This Is Us recap episode four

We're starting to piece the puzzle together!

As much as I love watching This Is Us, I’m starting to approach it with trepidation. After every scene I’m waiting for that gut-wrenching twist (the anxiety is seriously giving me grey hairs). Thankfully, episode four was relatively twist-free. However, it did provide some key insights into the back stories of our ‘Big Three’ Kevin (Justin Hartely), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K Brown).

In the ’80s a sweaty and stressed-out Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) decide to take their brood to the pool to beat the heat. Why Jack thought a public pool on a hot day full of screaming children would ever be relaxing is beyond me, but we’ve all made terrible decisions as a result of broken air-con, so who am I to judge?

It comes as no great surprise that the pool trip isn’t a huge success. Kate gets bullied about her weight in her new Care Bear bikini, Kevin almost drowns, and Randall sneaks off to play with other African-American children his own age.

In the present day, Kate, Kevin and Randall are still dealing with the same issues, only on a far greater scale.

Kate goes full stalker on Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) ex-wife Josie and accidently winds up being offered a job in her store. While it’s all a little far-fetched, the storyline does develop into a great scene where Toby is actually serious for once. He explains to Kate the effect his marriage break-up had on his physical and mental health. It’s a nice wake-up call to Kate, who can be a little on the selfish side when it comes to their relationship.

Kevin is having his own crisis in New York. He has an atrocious audition for a play, yet manages to get the part as they think the Man-ny will help sell tickets. His co-star Olivia Maine (Janet Montgomery) is a total cow, and calls out Kevin on being a terrible actor. Of course, Kevin can’t handle to blow to his ego, with Kate back in LA, he ends up rocking up at Randall’s house seeking some sibling validation and affection.

Kevin arriving on his doorstep is actually the last thing that Randall needs. Now that his biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) is sticking around, Randall feels the need to justify his wealth and success all the time. In this week’s stand-out scene, Randall finally gets the reassurance he needs, has needed all his life, from his father when he leans over and says, “You are doing everything right, son.”

If you thought you were going to escape this episode without crying, you thought wrong.

While we’re starting to fill in the gaps between time jumps, there is still a whole lot more I want to know about Jack and Rebecca. Jack was back in fine form in tonight’s episode – so where does it all go wrong? And when will we find out why?

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