Another week, another bucket full of tears. This Is Us‘ Tuesday, November 29, episode proved yet again that our tear reservoirs are bottomless pits when it comes to the Pearson family and their never-ending drama.
Watch our video recap above, then read on for eight moments from this week’s episode that made us ugly cry all over ourselves.
Randall Made a List of His Mom’s Betrayals
Randall’s making a list, he’s checking it twice, and it’s very sad! The episode kicked off with a furious Randall (Sterling K. Brown) making a list of all the ways he was betrayed by mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore). He then confronted his biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones), saying, “You acted like you didn’t remember abandoning me.” Ouch.
Little Randall Wanted to Know His Biological Parents
The episode then jumped back in time to the ’80s, where we saw a young Randall desperately asking other African-American people in his town if they could also roll their tongues — a genetic trait. Explaining to his parents, the desperate kiddo said, “If I can find people who can roll their tongues, they could be my birth parents.” When Rebecca pretended that she had no idea who his biological parents were, it made us want to scream!
Olivia Brought Her Ex-Boyfriend to Kevin’s Family Cabin
Randall, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) then decided to escape the Thanksgiving chaos and head to their family cabin for one last trip before it’s sold. This heartwarming moment lasted for all of 10 seconds when Justin’s new flame, Olivia (Janet Montgomery), arrived with two friends in tow — one of them being her ex-boyfriend. We agreed with Kate when she scoffed and said to Olivia, “Who are you right now?”
Randall Took Magic Mushrooms and Talked to His Dead Dad
The best part of the episode had to be when Randall accidentally drank Olivia’s ex-boyfriend Ash’s magic-mushroom-filled smoothie. The usually uptight Randall spent his shroom trip talking to a hallucination of his father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). This beautiful sequence of events led to a confrontation between the father and son duo. Randall said, “You never wanted me either. I was a replacement for your dead baby. That’s all I’ve ever been.”
Our tear ducts exploded when Jack said, “The moment I saw you, I knew you were my boy. You weren’t a choice, Randall. You were a fact. You were never a replacement son.” Jack eventually led Randall to discover that his mom sacrificed a lot for him and only ever wanted to protect them.
Kevin Bared His Soul to Olivia — and She Ran Away
We were shocked to see Olivia rudely snuggling up to her ex while watching old videos with Kevin and the rest of the gang. Kevin immediately called her out and said, “That kiss that we had yesterday. … Those feelings were real, and I know you know that. … I’m not sure you’ve experienced anything real in your entire life.” He then accused his British costar and co-kisser of having an “empty human shell.” Olivia stormed out with Ash, and Kevin made what may possibly be the best joke of this entire series when he said, “It was a Brexit.” Tears — sometimes tears of laughter, but still tears.
Jack Did Push-Ups With Randall on His Back
Back in the ’80s, we saw as Jack and Rebecca attempted to introduce strong black male role models into their adopted son’s life. In a great speech, Randall’s new karate teacher, Ray, explained, “The world isn’t always a kind place, especially to men like us. … We are your community. When things get hard, we are going to be the ones that hold each other up.” Ray then asked Jack to do push-ups with little Randall on his back to prove he would always be there for his son. We wonder if that includes being there in mushroom-hallucination form — either way, we had ourselves the ugliest of ugly cries at this father-son bonding moment.
We Found Out the Reason for Rebecca’s Letter to William
In a series of flashbacks throughout the episode, Rebecca visited William following Randall’s insistence at finding his biological parents. We saw a young, clean-cut William explain he’s “been clean for over five years.” William then revealed that he’s been wanting to get in touch about Randall but didn’t know where to find Rebecca.
She explained, “He’s been asking about you. He really wants to meet his father, and so that’s why I’m here.” William got so excited that he jumped out of his chair. Rebecca then became overwhelmed and rushed home to Jack, where she admitted why she can’t “try” to find Randall’s parents. She said, “What if they’re great? What if they regret abandoning him. … I cannot lose my son.” She then sent William a letter explaining why he couldn’t be in Randall’s life, saying, “This is for the best for him because he has an extraordinary father who gives him everything he needs. I hope you take comfort in knowing just how loved Randall is.” When William placed the letter inside of a manuscript called “Poems for My Son,” we completely lost it. The tears! The inconsolable heartbreak!
Randall Sort of Forgave His Mom … for Now
Back at the house and after some mushroom-fueled closure, it seemed that Randall might finally be able to forgive his mother for her betrayal. Randall coldly opened the door and said to his mom, “You kept that secret for 36 years. That must have been incredibly lonely.” Rebecca instantly started sobbing and reaching for her son, who recoiled and said, “Not yet. I’ll see you at Christmas.” When will the drama end?!
We could probably name 3,000 more ugly cries that this episode gave Us, but there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to recount them. Like, when Toby (Chris Sullivan) told Kate to stop calling him? And when we saw the kids’ names carved into a tree?! What city does this show take place in? Oh yeah, tear city. Tear City: Population Us.
Tell Us: Will Randall ever completely forgive Rebecca?
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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