Thursday, February 18, 2021

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 5, Episode 8 “In the Room” (B+)

I kept thinking that, in keeping with this show’s style, we might be seeing these two birth scenes happening at the same time but actually playing out on different days. The fact that both happened simultaneously and Rebecca had to FaceTime in to meet all three of her new grandchildren was very fitting of the current state of the world and the ability of people to celebrate occasions, something that this show has been handling very well since its return this past fall. I was also trying to reason out who the new couple we met at the start of the episode might be, and it felt right to feature two people who weren’t directly related to this show or its plot but instead to one of the most important pieces of technology keeping people relatively sane right now. Randall was doing a spectacular job of keeping Madison entertained while Beth drove, but I’m very glad that Kevin did show up just in time. It was very nerve-racking to see Ellie nearly change her mind about wanting to bond in some way with the baby, something that would have completely devastated Kate since she was already nervous about the way this relationship was starting. Toby camping out in a particular parking spot enabled him to make a friend in Arlo, played by Michael O’Neill, recently seen on “Council of Dads” and particularly adept at playing this kind of part. Getting good news, like what he heard from his wife and Nicky finding out that one of the babies is named after him, was welcome, especially after the impact of the kids’ paintings plotline sunk in and Jack didn’t really get much of a chance to bond with his kids more after that.

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