This week’s episode of This Is Us (titled: “What Now?”) brings the Pearson clan together to celebrate William’s life.
In the beginning of the episode, William is packing for his trip to Memphis. He writes a letter.
In the present, Randall is in the same room and he’s unsure of what to do or how to honor William. Beth finds the note under William’s pillow. They sit down with the girls and read the note. William wanted them to plan the memorial. Randall and Beth are a little hesitant but comply with William’s wishes.
When Randall is preparing for the eulogy, Jesse calls and apologizes for not being able to come to the memorial. He tells a lovely story about William and how good of a man he was. Later in the day, the mailman brings in a carton of pears for Randall (these are from work; there is a typed note inside signed by “The Team”) and asks about William. When Randall tells him that William passed, the mailman starts to get teary eyed. William used to chat with him during his morning walks.
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The girls recreate William’s perfect day. They start with breakfast and taking your pills (little cups of M&Ms). While all this is happening, Randall notices Beth is a little off. When he confronts her, she tells him that he got to go to Memphis while the girls got to plan the funeral. She loved William too and didn’t even get a chance to say good-bye. When it comes time for the toast, Randall gives Beth the opportunity to say her good-bye.
After that, they all put on plastic fedoras and walk around the neighborhood. Kevin leaves to get ready for the show, and Rebecca confronts Randall. She tries to explain why she kept Randall from William. She was so scared of losing him, and she never found the best time to tell him. Randall forgives her, and they share a sweet mother-son moment.
After the show, Randall tells Beth he’s going to the office for a little while. When she arrives home, she finds a postcard from William from Memphis. This was her good-bye.
At the office, Randall confronts his boss about the pears. Randall gives a speech about how he’s been there for years (and he’s allergic to pears, which was obvious after his interview, when he ate a salad with pears and went into anaphylactic shock), and that’s the thanks he’s been given after all his hard work. He quits his job and walks away. When asked what he’s going to do next, Randall tells his boss that maybe he’ll go for a walk in the morning instead of a run.
Kevin and Sophie are having coffee together at a café and recap how Kevin missed his opening show and is trying to get the New York Times reviewer to come to his second opening show. Sophie tells Kevin she will be there but will avoid Kevin’s family altogether, especially Kate.
Kevin goes to the reviewer’s office and begs him to come to the show again. He doesn’t seem keen on doing what Kevin requests, but Kevin leaves with the hope that he will be there.
After the show, the cast gets a standing ovation. Kevin looks for the reviewer, but he never showed up. While this is disappointing, there is a sense of accomplishment for him being surrounded by his family and Sophie.
Afterward, he and Sophie end up sleeping together. Later, Kevin receives a phone call from THE Ron Howard. Ron saw the show that night and thinks Kevin would be perfect for a role in his next movie.
Rebecca is about to leave for tour and is anxiously packing while Jack stalls for time at a going-away party for a guy at work that he isn’t great friends with. When he finally gets home late, Rebecca confronts him about his passive-aggressive behavior. She goes over a checklist for the kids, and they manage to share a small laugh. And after she says good-bye to the kids, Jack gives her a kiss on the cheek. Teen-Kate gives her dad a look, and he knows what he did was childish. He runs out to see the van speeding away. He’s lost his chance. Later, when Jack is dropping the kids off at a party, Kate asks Jack if he and Rebecca are okay. He tells her she has nothing to worry about.
Later that night, he goes to the bar to meet up with his co-workers. One of them, Heather, offers to get him a drink. They sit together at the bar, and he tells her Rebecca is on tour with her band. Heather takes this as an invitation to put her hand on his leg in a suggestive manner. Jack is thoroughly upset with her and leaves. He calls the parents of the kids hosting the party and asks if the Big Three can stay over. Jack then talks to Kate and tells her that he’s going to fix things with Rebecca. After he hangs up, he drops his keys on the ground, picks them up, and then drives away.
Kate still hasn’t told Toby about her father’s death, and when he brings it up again on the day of the memorial, Kate promises to tell him after the show that night. At the memorial, she is visibly upset by Beth’s speech and leaves the house for some air. Randall goes outside to find her, and she hugs him, apologizing that he had to lose two fathers. Randall then tells Kate he had a dream that William and Jack had met and Jack was telling William his favorite Randall story about when he taught him to drive. They share a tearful laugh together.
Later, after the show, Toby asks about Jack again. Kate tells him it was hard to open up because she’s the one that caused his death.
Whoa! What a huge revelation into Jack’s death. From the way the story is going, it appears Jack is too intoxicated to drive safely and possibly dies on the way to apologize to Rebecca. But knowing this show, I have a feeling there is so much more.
The fun-eral idea was really cute, and I loved how William wanted the girls to plan it. They really grasped the concept, and it gave the episode a lighter tone while also mixed with the upcoming death of Jack on the horizon.
Join me next week for the recap/review of the season finale episode of This Is Us, which airs Tuesday, March 14, on NBC at 9/8c.