Sunday, February 4, 2018

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 2, Episode 13 “That’ll Be the Day” (B)

This wasn’t a bad episode overall, but this show is still so hopelessly wrapped up with slowly and dramatically revealing the circumstances of Jack’s death that it’s not accomplishing much else. Showing the offbrand Crockpot staying on and setting the entire house in flames reveals that Jack may have gone out in a far more noble and heroic way than the drunken stupor we thought had caused his untimely demise, and setting this episode on Superbowl Sunday was no accident since the next installment airs tonight in the plum post-Superbowl slot, where we might finally have all the blanks filled in. I’m hopeful the show can be improved greatly and less held back by a fidelity to this big secret after it’s finally out in the open, but at least everything else about this episode was decent. Randall invested himself fully into making snap improvements for all of his new tenants, while Beth tried to be more long-term, step-oriented. Kevin got even more into it, trying to find a purpose for himself even after they discovered that there were many, many roaches in the building. I didn’t expect to see Lena Waithe, very busy with TV these days after an Emmy win for writing “Master of None,” in which she also stars, and creating Showtime’s successful new series “The Chi,” as the animal shelter clerk, who shared stories of her own relationship and helped encourage Kate to bring home a dog to have with a very obsessed Toby. I imagine there’s a lot more pain involved with memories of a loyal animal sure to be revealed in tonight’s dramatic and hopefully decent episode.