Monday, February 3, 2020

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 4, Episode 12 “A Hell of a Week: Part Two” (B+)

I thought it was a bit of a strange scheduling decision to split up this latest three-parter by a few weeks, but apparently the first two episodes were back-to-back and now we’ll have a week off for the State of the Union before the third one airs. This focus on Kevin was interesting but sadly didn’t feature this season’s strongest player, Justin Hartley, all that much since it looked back a lot more at his history. We’ve always seen Randall and Kate as the more sensitive ones while Kevin was rebelling or making fun of someone, and this was a chance to see him a bit more intimately. We’ve also encountered Beth’s mom but hadn’t previously seen another parent of a Pearson spouse, even if they’re no longer married. Jennifer Westfeldt, best known for the film “Kissing Jessica Stein,” was a great choice to play Claire, who was warm to Kevin even if she didn’t want to give him a family heirloom until he had really earned it. He was extremely sweet with the adult Sophie when her mother died, and let’s hope that they’re deciding to get back together to have a baby and that he’s not going to get Madison pregnant instead, since I think everyone can agree she’s one of the only truly bad characters this show has invented. I’m interested to see what’s been going on with Kate during this time, although it doesn’t sound too good from her summary to Kevin. I’m also curious if M. Night Shyamalan will be making more guest appearances like this now that his Apple TV show “Servant” has taken off.

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