Kevin had the opportunity to support Rebecca, Randall started therapy, and Kate and Toby came to an understanding.
There was a lot to talk about after This Is Us Season 4 Episode 15.
Our TV Fanatics Carissa Palivca, Sarah Little, Christine Orlando, and Jack Ori debate whether it was a problem for Randall's therapist to be familiar with his backstory, whether Kate and Toby really took a step forward, and how we graded Kevin's support of Rebecca.
Randall's therapist was familiar with his backstory because of his campaign speeches. How, if at all, do you think that will affect his therapy?
Carissa: It's going to help.
He got upset and frustrated at the news because she knew he was giving her lip service.
Randall needs a lot of help if we're to judge by his outburst before leaving that session. He's no good to anybody in that state of mind.
Sarah: I don't know if it will necessarily help or hurt his therapy going forward.
I think it was just a way to initially show that Randall can't control everything, which is something he has admitted to struggling with.
Overall, Randall was looking for a reason to leave, and that was one of the things that prompted him to storm out. But if this episode showed us anything, it was that Randall needs help whether he likes it or not.
And not only has his mental health been affecting his behavior this season, but now we know that it is affecting his family as well and they need to change that.
Christine:Randall has an overwhelming desire to be in control and finding out the therapist had already heard some of his stories took that control away.
I agree that he was looking for a reason to leave, but this highlights how serious Randall’s issues really are and if nothing else, his therapist now knows that too so it may turn out to be a good thing.
Jack: I had mixed feelings about this.
The therapist's opinions of Randall as a politician could influence her interactions toward him.
Then again, Randall is in the public eye so that'll probably be a problem no matter what therapist he goes to.
However, as everyone said, he was thrown off by this news because of his control issues, so the therapist saw exactly how he reacts to not being in control. That can only be a good thing.
Beth told Randall that she's also having a hard time since the break-in. React!
Carissa: How could she not have trouble with that? A home invasion wreaks havoc on your safety and security and sense of well being.
Home is your safe space.
It's bad enough to know that someone broke into your home while you were away, but to do it while you're still in the home sends everything about that safe space into disarray.
It's sad that she didn't feel she could talk with her husband about it.
Sarah: I was shocked by the extent to which she was struggling with the break-in, but it just goes to show how good some people are at hiding their true emotions.
Of course, it makes so much sense that she would be terrified not only for herself but for her kids as well.
Beth is only human and she deserves to be allowed to break just as much as Randall is.
I agree with Carissa. It breaks my heart knowing that Beth can't really talk about her struggles with her person.
Christine: Of course she has!
I’m sure the kids are quietly suffering in much the same way Beth has been.
Randall manages to make everything about him but I’m relieved that Beth was able to show him that his issues affect her.
Randall thinks he’s being the strong one but knowing that he can break down at any moment forces Beth to keep her fears bottled up so that she can hold things together when he does and it’s not fair.
I'm glad she showed him that and pushed him to get help.
Jack: It's not surprising that Beth is having issues after the break-in, but I was surprised she was struggling as much as she was.
It shows that in many ways, Beth and Randall do complement each other perfectly. She's able to be strong when he's freaking out.
And as Christine said above, it's not fair to Beth that she has to keep her own feelings to herself because of Randall's issues. I'm glad she got him to see that.
What grade would you give Kevin's first visit with Rebecca since learning about her cognitive issues?
Kevin has only ever disappointed me when he's disappointed himself.
He's always had the utmost respect for other people, and his family is at the top of that list. I loved that he didn't pull punches and asked Rebecca if she's scared.
Doesn't everybody want to know that during those situations?
There was a moment when Kevin looked at his mom and you could see a million feelings cross Justin Hartley's face, all of them revealing he was savoring a time that could be gone too soon. So good.
Sarah: If hanging out with his mom was a grade on Kevin's report card, it definitely would have been the best grade he had ever received.
I have always loved the complexity of Rebecca and Kevin's relationship because of how real it is. Mothers and sons aren't perfect, but they try their best, and I love that, with this episode, you could see how much they loved one another despite their previous struggles.
Rebecca has always needed Kevin to make her laugh and distract her and Kevin has always just wanted to be seen by his mom.
They both got that in this episode and it was beautiful.
Christine: He was perfect. A++.
Kevin showed up. He was there for Rebecca and most importantly, he asked what she needed, let her be heard and followed her lead.
The only time he balked was when he knew she needed to go get those MRI results. That’s when he became the adult, yet managed to make a reluctant and probably fearful Rebecca feel as though she was doing it for him so that the family wouldn’t label him as irresponsible.
Kevin gave his mom the day she needed, and kudos to Miguel for being willing to step back and let them have the time together.
Jack: It's unanimous. Kevin gets a perfect score.
I was so glad that Randall slipped up and told Kevin about Rebecca's issues.
Not only was Kevin up to the task, but he was so supportive that it was clear that Rebecca's "protecting" him from the truth was just cheating both of them out of the love and support they deserved.
Kate is tired of fighting with Toby and took Madison's advice to let him have his feelings. How long do you think the peace between the two of them will last?
Carissa: Honestly, Toby didn't look all that willing to forgive her. Was I the only one who saw the look on his face as she apologized as being less than satisfied?
I'd like it to last, but the longer they're together, the less they seem to have much in common from their health regimens to the way they handle crises and a whole lot more.
They both have a lot of growing to do, and it's probably going to be done without each other.
Sarah: I'm so happy that Kate and Toby are at least both trying to repair their relationship.
They still have a multitude of issues to work through though, and Kate was right in thinking that a music studio was not going to magically make them all go away.
It seems to be a step forward, but knowing that Toby isn't wearing a wedding ring in the scenes in the future, it does not seem as if this peace will last for much longer.
But that might be a misdirect, and I believe that Kate and Toby have the ability to make their marriage last if they put in the work.
Christine:It’s funny how Carissa focused on Toby’s reaction to Kate’s apology because I was focused on Kate’s reaction to Toby’s.
He made the first step forward and she totally shut him down.
The music studio won’t fix all of their problems but it was Toby’s way of showing that he took what Kate said to heart and was doing something for both her and Jack.
As to the future and Toby’s lack of a ring. It could mean they divorce. It could mean that Kate has died. It could also mean nothing at all as my husband and I rarely wear our rings because we find rings really uncomfortable!
Jack: I was glad to see some movement in Toby and Kate's relationship.
Kate listening to Madison and trying to accept Toby's feelings was huge, and so was Toby's attempt to do something positive for Kate and Jack.
Will any of this be fixed overnight? No, of course not. But I was cautiously optimistic about their chances after this episode.
Share any thoughts you have that were not covered in these questions.
Carissa: The music from the episode was fantastic. Of course, I'm a Crosby, Stills & Nash fan, so using it as a backdrop tugged at my heart..
Sarah: I agree that the music was one of the highlights of the episode as I love Joni Mitchell and it's always made me so happy how big of a fan Rebecca is of her music.
Also, Randall's dismissal of Kevin's capability in his therapy session made me wince knowing that a big fight is looming between them.
If Kevin ever heard Randall talk about him like that, I can't even imagine the blowout.
Christine: I loved Madison in this episode as she told Kate, “Shouldn’t Toby be able to express his deepest fears without punishment. Isn’t that what marriage is?”
Yes, he should.
Toby seems to work at trying to see things from Kate’s point of view but Kate frequently gets upset with Toby when he doesn’t see things her way and that’s a problem in their marriage.
Jack: I also saw the writing on the wall for Kevin and Randall with this. Randall sees Kevin as a screw-up, and more than that... he's invested in being the only one who can hold the family together.
So for Kevin to be able to take care of Rebecca is a real threat to Randall's sense of purpose and belonging within the family.
It's a shame, because Kevin has often been super supportive of Randall and there's no good reason for their rift, but we all know they are going to end up not talking to each other.
What was your favorite scene, quote, or storyline from This Is Us Season 4 Episode 15?
Carissa: Everything with Rebecca saving every last drop of her life before she begins to forget it.
It's making me uncomfortable even thinking about how cruel our bodies can be to us.
I'm not sure which is a worse scenario, losing yourself as Rebecca will be doing in the coming years or the way Peter Gallagher's character is trapped inside of his body on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
TV sure makes you think.
Sarah: All of the scenes involving Rebecca and Kevin, flashback and present, were my favorite.
Seeing Rebecca fangirl over Joni's home and talk to Kevin about it with such light in her eyes and in turn making Kevin look at her with such love and admiration brought so many tears to my eyes.
Christine: Kevin and Rebecca were the joyous highlight of this episode.
Kate and Randall are always so serious that it can be depressing.
Kevin has his flaws but he also knows how to have fun!
I loved when Kevin quipped, “If I end up on TMZ for breaking into to Joni Mitchell’s house with my Mom…” because I don’t think Kevin would have minded that one bit.
Jack: I also loved that Kevin got a chance to shine. His scenes with Rebecca were all sorts of awesome.
I also liked that little montage showing Jack Damon in the music room at various stages of his childhood.
Clearly, that room was a big part of his life as he grew up. Toby made a good decision by building it.
Your turn, This Is Us fanatics!
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST. The next original episode airs on March 10, 2020.