Prepare to have the Rocky theme song stuck in your head.
In This is Us's third episode of the second season, Rebecca and Jack try to piece together their relationship, Randall and Beth meet their foster child, and Kevin and Kate meet Sylvester Stallone - their Dad's hero.
You guys, This Is Us might make some missteps here and there, but these extra moments spent with William are not one of them.
In the past, the Pearson kids rally around Randall as Jack and Rebecca struggle to hold on to their emotional and physical intimacy weeks after Jack's confession. Rebecca admitted to Miguel's (Jon Huertas) ex-wife Shelley that she and Jack hadn't had sex "in a while". Do you know what happens when a teenager puts his name, birthdate, address and a disclaimer saying he doesn't need money in the newspaper for all the world to see? While it doesn't go as planned, it does lead to Jack at least trying to open up to her about some of the things that have happened in his life. He doesn't want to talk about Jack right now, it was a long time ago. Though the circumstances of how Stallone is introduced to the Pearsons are contrived, I'm reminded of something Kevin's portrayer Justin Hartley recently said in an interview with Larry King. They then get back in the auto and try the whole date over again. Lately, fans have been seeing a lot about the couple's darker days. He sees moments with his father, when he was a child and struggles with the scene as Kate watches him. His openness, and his wonderful speech, seems to get through to her - but only for so long, as he has to break the news that her mother is looking at serious prison time, not just a simple in-and-out.
Randall got a letter back from a woman who claimed to be his mother and she asked him to meet her in the park. He tells her he's been trying to escape "ugly, frightful years" of his life and admits he had to borrow money from his dad to buy their house. Then Sly goes into this lovely speech about how time is a amusing thing, and that little moments can bring on a whole flood of memories. She already knows this, and she also knows he'll talk about it in his own time. He feels this was his calling, and his way to honor his biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones). When the phone rings, Randall gets excited but Beth has to calm him down. More than just the event of it - though that, too, is of utmost curiosity - but the environment in the Pearson home before and after. Deja has just been pulled out of her home and plopped into a house full of strangers; she encourages them to be patient and don't predict how the day will play out.
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Deja snuck into Tess and Annie's room once everyone was in bed to ask them about the house rules. The most telling moment was when Randall tried to step in, and she openly flinched and covered her face. They are such dynamic characters and it's unbelievable to see how they tackle problems in their life.
It's Sylvester Stallone week on This Is Us, so rejoice if you've been waiting for the action star to arrive on that movie set with Ron Howard and Kevin Pearson and lay down some good ol' fashioned paternal wisdom. Going right along with that was Kate's declaration that Kevin is so much like his father. Whenever Jack felt under the weather or had a bad day at work, he'd pop in a Stallone movie. "Kate, it's really hard for me with Dad", Kevin admits as their conversation nears its end.
For as much of a blunt-force melodrama "This Is Us" can be - even here, with Howard directing Kevin that Sly's character is "like a father to him" - it always manages a few clever and welcome turns on what you expect. So, after realizing that Kevin was totally shutting down, Sly told him, "In my experience, Kevin, there's no such a thing as "A long time ago". "There are only the memories that mean something and the ones that don't".
Additionally, "Deja Vu" indicates Kevin, like Jack, may struggle with substance problems.
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Kevin was still off his game in a later scene in which he was supposed to rescue Stallone's character. This triggers more flashbacks and Kevin injures his bad knee. Holding back tears, he tells Kate that it's "hard for him with dad".
"He's just like you", Kate says while turning to look at the urn Jack's ashes are in.
Could this be some foreshadowing?
The episode begins with Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) sharing the story of his descent into alcoholism in an AA meeting.
For lack of a better way to phrase it, This Is Us hasn't really given Kevin a reason to be emotional up until now. This wouldn't be a surprising turn of events for the show.
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