Sunday, May 15, 2022

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 6, Episode 16 “Family Meeting” (B+)

This show has always done a remarkable job of showing us the connective tissue between formative moments in a person’s life and the way that they end up reflecting and shaping interactions and dynamics later in life. We’ve been anticipating Rebecca’s decline and death for a while now, and showing her in her best and worst moments of parenthood while that was happening was very powerful. Telling Randall that the tooth fairy wasn’t real and assuring Kate that she wasn’t always going to be behind on everything showed how she knew how to relate to her kids, and that they wanted to do the same when they were in a position to be able to help her. After the uncomfortable conversation that included Randall speaking unkindly to Kate and then immediately owning up to it, it was Kate who showed her brothers that they needed to actually look at Rebecca. The solution that Kevin and Sophie would move to take care of Rebecca and that Madison and Elijah would also relocate was unexpected but sweet, and, in this show’s typical fashion, we skipped right to the final moments where Rebecca was about to die. What may have been the most endearing part of this episode didn’t actually have much to do with Rebecca but instead with Toby, who asked permission to overstep as a former husband and coparent before calling her a baller and reminding her that it was ultimately up to her. It’s wonderful to see how their relationship has evolved, though I’ll admit it was still tough to see the new trio of spouses with both Miguel and Toby absent, even if Sophie and Phillip make for very suitable replacements.

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