Last night’s This Is Us spelled something new for Kate, while unveiling a character flaw Kevin inherited from his father. And Randall and Beth took a step forward with Deja, only to face another setback.
Kate busies herself in preparation for a big show, paying particular attention to her steady weight loss. Toby senses she is stressing too much, even ignoring him in the process. But she assures him she is fine. What she hasn’t disclosed to her fiancé is she’s six weeks pregnant.
While Kate prepares for this monumental change, Randall and Beth struggle to connect with the change in their home. A simple discussion about Deja not washing her hair becomes a science neither of them can understand. In an intimate moment, Beth finds the root of the problem: Deja suffers from alopecia. It’s a touching segment seeing her open up to Beth. Unfortunately this progress regresses once Deja discovers Beth shared her secret with Randall. It’s evident men in Deja’s life have been the source of mistreatment.
We see a different form of abuse in the flashback narrative. An outbreak of the chickenpox brings Rebecca’s tenuous relationship with her mother to a head. We had glimpses of her mother’s constant critiquing, but never witnessed it firsthand.
The snide comments about Kate’s weight. Emphasising Kevin’s success with his looks. Judging Jack for his upbringing. And lastly, her racially insesitive disposition toward Randall. Rebecca finally extolls how none of it is acceptable.
This scene brilliantly tackled the timely issue of addressing problematic family members. To all those with Trump supporters at the Thanksgiving table; to those who’s friends make rape jokes; this is how you make it known that their behavoir is unfavorable and unacceptable.
The flashsback segment also gave us insight into Kevin’s backstory with his father. Jack’s seemingly innocent encouragement for Kevin to be tough through the chickenpox ordeal stuck with him. Even after his football-ending leg injury, Kevin learned to cope with pain and suffering by acting like it isn’t there.
Now with his knee surgery, he’s recoiled to the same tough-it-out mentality. Part of it is him not wanting to lose his acting career like he did his athletic one. The other is him fearing how he’ll react to the opioids prescribed.
Just as Jack coveted his father’s alcoholism, Kevin may have inherited a similar addictive trait. And by the looks of next week’s episode, Kevin succumbs to more than just pills to cope.