Friday, October 26, 2018

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 3, Episode 5 “Toby” (B)

The title of this episode doesn’t really cover all of its content, though I guess we had the chance to meet Toby and understand more about his life in a way that we haven’t before. I instantly recognized the actors playing both of his parents, Wendie Malick from “Just Shoot Me” and Dan Lauria, who just wrapped a recurring role on “Shameless.” His family situation growing up was similar to that of Jack, as he saw what his father was doing to his mother and felt powerless to stop it, but was incredibly supportive at the time that he could be. His mother coming to visit him when he was spiraling down after his breakup was telling, and it was inspiring to see him get his life back on track with medication and the sight of Kate in a meeting. While he definitely decided he needed to get back on his meds too late, at least Kate is aware of the fact that he needs to be on them and may be able to help him get back to a good place. The news of her pregnancy is also affirming and may lead to some positivity in the near future. Randall’s big start in politics went very poorly, and it was harsh to hear him told that he didn’t belong anywhere when he heard why it was that the owner of the diner was supporting the man he wanted to beat. Seeing his prom date’s cruel reaction to the color of Randall’s skin was well-paired with Zoe experiencing casual racism that Kevin didn’t even notice, something that she had to very explicitly point out to him. Miguel’s attempt to bond with a young Randall went poorly, and it’s obvious how his selfless acts helped him become a part of Rebecca’s life again. I’m happy to see the renewed focus on Beth who, after teasing Randall, got choked up during her job interview. I’m not sure what that means for her, but it’s good to see her spotlighted.

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