Thursday, March 22, 2018

What I’m Watching: This Is Us (Season Finale)

This Is Us: Season 2, Episode 18 “The Wedding” (B)

I don’t know why it is that this show, which is immensely popular and a beloved staple of many viewers’ weekly schedules, ends its seasons so early, culminating around this same time last year when most other series go all the way to May. Shortened eighteen-episode seasons don’t necessarily lead to more quality plotlines, though it’s not as if they feel like they’re filler, more that they’re about building the mysteries so that viewers have to come back to find out what’s going on. This installment didn’t really wrap anything up other than to let Kate and Toby get married peacefully – for the moment – and it produced three new shocking developments that are going to be the center of season three. Kevin getting together with Beth’s cousin and adoptive sister Zoe is the least spectacular of the three since this might actually be a positive relationship for him, and even though he was holding Jack’s photo on the way to Vietnam, I think that it might just be to film more scenes for his Ron Howard movie or a subsequent project. Toby experiencing the depression that his parents, played by Wendie Malick and Dan Lauria, had described that he experienced when his first marriage ended, is a devastating turn that’s going to give Kate the opportunity to care for her troubled partner. And, way in the future, Randall pushing Tess to go see someone is a complete question mark, with the assumption that it’s Deja but a likelier conclusion that it’s either Beth or Annie. That will all have to wait, as is this show’s frustrating tendency, and we’re left instead with the manipulative start to this episode, featuring a Jack still living long beyond when we know he died renewing his vows with Rebecca on their fortieth anniversary, something that Kate was dreaming about as she prepared for her wedding and had to let her father go a bit. At least we got to see Randall and Kevin acting like brothers and having fun as they searched for Kate. I still don’t think this show is quite as superb as everyone else does, but it is a good show that has its moments and serves its purpose. I’d love to see Susan Kelechi Watson earn an Emmy nod along with the rest of the cast this summer, and I think Mandy Moore’s chances are looking good for that Superbowl episode.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth

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