Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 4, Episode 16 “New York, New York, New York” (B+)

We’ve been waiting to find out what it is that Randall did that make Kevin, Kate, and Rebecca stop talking to him, and though this might not be all of it, it’s definitely enough to make it clear that Randall thinks he knows best and doesn’t want to hear anyone else’s opinion. Seeing his reimagined version of events in which his timid teenage self was able to channel his adult determination to tell his father that he shouldn’t run back into the house to save the dog explains so much of how he holds himself responsible for not preventing his father’s death. Rebecca was lucid and unambiguous when she said that she wanted to spend whatever time she had left with her family, and after ignoring Kevin’s request to let her have one good night away from fears of the future, Randall still wouldn’t accept that. Flashing back first to her childhood memories of visiting New York with her father and then the big family trip with Jack failing to navigate a city he didn’t know helped to encapsulate this family’s connection to New York City and what it meant to them. Rebecca leaving dinner with a bickering Kevin and Randall to go to the Met herself after missing it years earlier was a nice opportunity to truly take some time for herself, and Mandy Moore is definitely getting a great multigenerational chance to work with difficult material this season, which is nearly over with just two episodes to go.

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