This Is Us again blended past, present, and future as several branches of the Pearson family tree took their babies home for the first time.
This Is Us Season 5 Episode 9 was an emotional hour that also featured Kevin dreaming about Jack, Kate pushing Ellie to be part of baby Hailey's life, and another glimpse into the future.
Our TV Fanatics Carissa Pavlica, Christine Orlando, Sarah Little, and Jack Ori discuss which car ride home was the most emotional, how perfect Jack's advice to Kevin was, and what our favorite moments were from this poignant episode. Read on!
Which of the car rides/new baby storylines did you find most poignant? Why?
Carissa: Jack and Rebecca's because of how it ended.
Jack came clean about drinking, and then, with the babies finally asleep, then Everything I Own by Bread plays over all of their stories after they realized they made a family.
Oh my. That's the best song, and it fit so beautifully with the theme.
Christine: Jack and Rebecca's because they weren't just dealing with bringing home their family. They were also silently grieving the loss of Kyle, the baby they lost.
I've always felt as though Rebecca was never allowed the time to mourn properly because she had to be consumed with caring for three newborns, and we saw the beginnings of that here.
Kyle's death was swept aside.
I think that loss and the lack of time and space to process it affected how she raised all three of her kids.
Sarah: I have to agree with both of you! Jack and Rebecca's car ride stood out because there was so much happening all at once in that car.
From grieving Kyle's loss to Jack struggling with his alcoholism, it was a lot for the parents of three newborns.
Plus, that ending scene when they finally got to the house was beautiful.
Jack: Agreed with all of the above. I loved everything about Jack and Rebecca's car ride, especially the conversation they had when the babies had fallen asleep.
I felt like they were shifting from being just a couple to being parents during that ride, and it was so realistic and emotional.
In the future, Deja is a medical resident and is pregnant. React!
Carissa: Yay! I'm not sure how one reacts to another's life choices, but I hope she's happy with her pregnancy and career. Did we know she had ambitions to be a doctor? That's new for a Pearson!
Christine: I love that Deja, Tess, and Annie all seem so close as adults.
That Deja has a career she's probably passionate about, and a baby on the way is a bonus, and I hope we learn more about that soon.
It also had me wondering how different Deja's life would have been if Beth had given birth to a third child instead of adopting Deja.
Sarah: I had a feeling that that was Deja when she got in the car with Annie, and they had that natural sister chemistry.
I'm happy for Deja, but I am just thrilled to know more about the Pearsons' future. It has been way too long since we have ventured there!
Jack: I thought from the beginning of the hour that might be Deja. They did a fabulous job casting someone who looked enough like Lyric Ross to be an adult Deja!
I love that both Deja and Tess go into the helping professions. I can't wait to learn more about Deja's journey.
It's interesting to me, too, that a lot of online chatter has been about who Deja's baby's father might be. I was so caught up in the story that I never even thought about that.
What did you think of the advice Jack gave Kevin after the twins were born?
Carissa: It was perfect.
We've talked about him running from becoming his dad and Kevin trying to be like Jack, so it worked really well for me.
And who doesn't want to see their father again, even if only in a dream, to get much-needed advice on such a special day? I've talked with my father in dreams, and it's like hitting the jackpot.
Christine: It was everything Kevin needed to hear.
He's so consumed with being as good as his father that he fails to see how good he already is and that Jack was never perfect.
That their dream/conversation made Kevin realize that what he really wanted was to marry Madison and be a real family felt like he ended up exactly where he was supposed to be.
Sarah: I'm not going to lie. I burst into tears when I saw that Jack was the one Kevin was talking to.
It doesn't take much to make me cry, but this scene felt extra special.
I've always loved their relationship, and I'm glad it's getting its dues this season.
We know that Kevin has been trying to live up to this perfect version of Jack, but as we saw during Jack and Rebecca's ride home with the kids, Jack was not perfect.
Kevin needed this dream talk with his dad to realize that, and I am looking forward to seeing the father that Kevin becomes.
Jack: This was my absolute favorite scene.
It made me sad that Jack wasn't there in the flesh to enjoy his grandchildren and help Kevin, but this was the next best thing.
And I agree with Carissa that what Jack said to Kevin was exactly what he needed to hear. I hope Kevin can put less pressure on himself to be the perfect father now.
Are you glad Kevin proposed to Madison, or do you think it's too soon?
Carissa: I don't see how it could be too soon. Marriage is nothing in comparison to bringing two children into the world.
They've already accomplished something quite spectacular, and they did it together.
Even more important is that Madison is already handling paparazzi and trading favors for her fiance's bare chest and package in tight shorts. What else could she possibly need?
Christine: I've enjoyed Kevin and Madison from the start, and they've turned into a great couple, and now they're looking like a great family.
I was impressed with how calm Madison was and understanding of how stressed and tired Kevin was feeling, especially since she's the one who gave birth to twins!
Marriage seems like the right next step for them, and I can't wait to see it happen.
Sarah: Everything has felt too soon with Kevin and Madison, but I'm not that mad about it anymore.
After seeing Madison interact with Randall and Beth and see her be so understanding and amazing on the ride home, I can't think of anyone better for Kevin.
I want to see Kevin happy, and I think marrying Madison will do just that.
Jack: It took a while for me to warm to this couple, but at this point, I love them.
They seem to gel well together, and I think marriage is the right next step for them. Plus, I loved Kevin's proposal.
Do you think Ellie will change her mind about not wanting to be part of Hailey's life?
Carissa: I don't know, but I thought it was interesting how it hurt Kate the most.
She's really taken her conversations with Randall to heart and wanted to keep Hailey from experiencing the same issues.
I appreciate that.
She used to grind my last nerve, but I'm a Kate fan now.
Christine: She might, but this was a tough day for Ellie, and she needs time to process everything.
If she changes her mind, Toby and Kate will be happy to let her have a relationship with Hailey, and if not, they'll make sure Hailey knows as much as she can about her birth mom.
Sarah: Ellie definitely needs some time.
I can't imagine having to give birth to a daughter who you are giving up for adoption and then having to ride home with her and her new parents.
I see where Kate is coming from, but she can't be too pushy with this since it's such a fresh wound for Ellie.
Jack: I'm a big Kate fan, but she was way too pushy with Ellie.
Ellie definitely needs time, and she may change her mind later. But for now, I'm glad Toby was able to get Kate to back off so that Ellie can have the space she needs to decide what she wants to do.
Discuss anything not covered above.
Carissa: Can we all express appreciation for Beth and Randall going for the super-duper large Blizzards?
LOVE. Any other couple would have gotten the smalls, but not them.
They were celebrating with gusto!
And, hello! Who was in the car that pulled up to Kevin's place at the end?
Randall says," Oh, look who made it!" and then the credits rolled.
I assume the episode when we see that whole story will be the finale.
Christine: During This Is Us Season 1, would anyone have used the word "unflappable" to describe Kate Pearson? She's come a long way.
The old Kate would have had a meltdown when Toby told her he lost his job the day they brought their newborn home, but this Kate rolled with it and decided to enjoy this special day no matter what.
Part of what I love about this show is how the characters grow and change over time. It's a joy to watch.
Sarah: Randall talking to Annie about their new family tree while Beth got their Blizzards was beautiful.
And then to see all of them together in the future gave me chills.
I love this family so much! And I'm with Carissa; I need to know who was in that car that pulled up ASAP.
Jack: I'm going to be shallow for a brief moment and express how much I loved those silver-rimmed glasses Sterling K. Brown wore throughout this episode.
Now that that's out of the way, I also loved Randall talking to baby Annie about their family tree.
And I like that Kate doesn't want Hailey to have the same negative experience as an adopted child as Randall did. But I think there are important differences.
Randall didn't have any idea why he was abandoned at the firehouse or who his birth parents were, and being a Black child raised in a White family also impacted him.
Hopefully, Kate and Toby will be able to give Hailey a different adoption experience and keep the lines of communication open with her so that she will be able to express them as she gets older if there are any issues.
What was your favorite scene, quote, or storyline from This Is Us Season 5 Episode 9?
Carissa: We've already talked about the musical accompaniment to the "we made a family" scene, so I'll roll with this because I laughed aloud.
When Kevin said that he thought his fingers must be too muscular to put the baby seat in the car. Ha!! Too muscular. Oh. That was funny!
Christine: I love all the car seat stress.
I was lucky because my husband researched, read every manual, and had car seat run-throughs weeks before we ever left the hospital, but getting that car seat right is stressful with a tiny newborn counting on you.
But Randall and Beth were rock stars at this parenting thing, and I loved that. It's so them, and who doesn't want a large DQ blizzard on the way home?
Sarah: Obviously, my favorite scene was the one between Jack and Kevin.
However, my favorite line came from Rebecca:
You don't suck the air out of the room. You are the air.Rebecca
How breathtaking -- pun intended -- was that?
Jack: I already mentioned that my favorite scene was the dream sequence with Jack and Kevin.
But my favorite small moment was the conversation between the security guard and Jack. My sister is a parent of multiples, and she's gotten so many reactions like that guard's, so it felt like an extremely realistic moment to me.
Your turn, This is Us fanatics! Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and share your answers to the Round Table questions or your other thoughts about This Is Us Season 5 Episode 9.
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.