Still reeling from last week’s explosive This Is Us season 2 premiere? Us too. Thankfully, the Pearsons returned to shed more light on Jack’s drinking problem, Kate and Rebecca’s issues and how Randall and Beth met during the Tuesday, October 3, episode titled “A Manny-Splendored Thing.”
The Manny, Take Two
Kevin (Justin Hartley) finally had what he wanted. A well-known film director (Ron Howard) was taking him seriously, and he’d won Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) back. So, naturally, this was the right time to return to The Manny. Manny say what?
Yes, Kevin returned to his Manny roots to film a special episode for reasons unbeknownst to Us. It was like that time George Clooney returned to ER. If you’re not familiar with the reference, get familiar because it came up often. With Sophie and the entire Pearson clan there to support him, Kevin was a total professional — even when the showrunner sought to humiliate him by outfitting him in a diaper and making him crawl on the floor like a baby. Show business, huh?
Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) — who, in the previous episode, decided to take in a foster kid rather than adopt a newborn — were in the process of filling out preliminary forms, but Randall kept hesitating. He worried he and Beth couldn’t handle a child with serious issues, so he started “Randall-ing out,” as Beth called it.
An exasperated Beth turned to Kevin, who told her how Randall worked up the courage to ask her out after meeting her at a college party. It was the only time he ever took a shot at something he wasn’t sure he could succeed at. With a little help from Kevin (he told Randall exactly what to say to Beth and listened in on their phone call!), Randall got the girl.
Later, Beth reassured Randall they could do anything, parenting a foster child included.
Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) issues have been hinted at in past episodes, but this one dived deeper. In a flashback, Rebecca encouraged Kate to sing “Lean on Me” in the school talent show. But once Kate overheard Rebecca singing the song, she convinced herself she wasn’t good enough and made up a story about a sore throat to get out of performing.
In the present, Kate got her first real gig filling in with a house band at a bar. Rebecca proudly followed Toby (Chris Sullivan) to the bar to watch Kate sing and it went really well … until Rebecca complimented Kate after her set. Kate lashed out at Rebecca, although Rebecca wasn’t sure what she’d done wrong. Kate responded, “You existed,” calling out Rebecca’s perfect pitch and figure.
It was just as awkward as it sounds, but at least one good thing came out of it: Toby, though he wanted Rebecca to like him, told the mama bear that he was always going to be Team Kate, which only made Rebecca like him more.
Jack Gets Honest About His Drinking
Remember when Rebecca demanded that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) stop drinking early in season 1? This episode took us back to show how Jack stopped. He kept it to himself and began boxing to work out his frustrations.
Fast-forward to the morning after Rebecca told Jack to come home so they could fix his drinking problem together, and Jack realized that this time had to be different. He had to be honest with his wife and kids. Kate was the first child he told, which led to the absolute sweetest moment. Kate took her dad’s face in her hands — just like Jack had always done for his children. Then, Rebecca drove him to an AA meeting.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.