Friday, October 20, 2017

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 2, Episode 4 “Still There” (B)

This was an episode about relationships and realizing the things that are toxic and unavoidable in them. I mistakenly thought that Rebecca’s helicopter mother was portrayed by Margaret Colin from “The Missing Person” and “Veep,” but it turns out that she’s actually played by Elizabeth Perkins of “Weeds” and “Big” fame. Rebecca calling her out on being a racist for not giving Randall the same attention as her other two grandchildren was bold, and it’s a shame that he was within earshot when she said it, though he got his licks in later with his “about time” quip when she complimented him. His desire to get the chickenpox was entertaining, and Jack didn’t turn out to be much use when he too got infected. Randall and Beth’s present-day parenting struggles are far more severe, since Beth was able to achieve a monumental breakthrough by identifying Déjà’s alopecia and braiding her hair, only to have it all undercut by Randall’s very well-meaning gesture of friendship that revealed that the two parents had communicated about something she meant only to share with her foster mother. The expression on her face when she showed up to the breakfast table with her cut hair was one of defiance, and this is going to continue to be a major struggle. After producer Brian Grazer, playing himself, showed up to check on Kevin, he had a tough recovery that seems to have gone well enough even if it was the least compelling focus of this hour. Toby is trying to make sure that Kate is happy while she’s being healthy, and he’s about to be in for a big surprise, one that had my wife cheering while we watched the episode - they’re going to have a baby! I hope he’ll be thrilled when she breaks the news to him.

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