This Is Us / Credit: NBC

Between the election and winter hiatus, This Is Us has experienced more breaks than a long-distance relationship between freshmen at college. Thankfully, the show should be rattling off a large chunk of episodes in succession so let’s get cooking.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: “A Long Road Home”

THIS IS US — “A Long Road Home” Episode 505 — Pictured in this screen grab: Sterling K. Brown as Randall — (Photo by: NBC)

Kate’s Pregnancy, Abortion, And Trip To San Diego

In the last episode, teenage Kate held a positive pregnancy test in her hand. This Is Us spent little time beating around the bush as the first scene confirmed Kate’s pregnancy. She also revealed that she had an abortion and Marc, her abusive ex-boyfriend, was the father. After confessing to Toby, Kate drove to San Diego to confront adult Marc, who was still the same asshole from the past. Kate took back control of her life, forgave herself, and gave her pain back to the source, Marc.

Good for Kate. Marc traumatized her for years so it was inspiring to see her win back her confidence and strength. The abortion scene was both harrowing and practical so I respect the care the writers put into that scene.

Having said that, the meeting with adult Marc was a bit of a letdown. I understand why the scene happened, but it felt too good to be true. I’m a firm believer in separating television from real life, but Kate tracking down Marc seemed way too easy and unrealistic. Marc then conveniently lived in the same state as her less than two hours away. I wasn’t offended by the scene whatsoever. However, for a show that has tackled present-day issues such as COVID-19 with accuracy and attention to detail, this chance encounter seemed far-fetched.

Kevin The Father Or Kevin The Actor?

NBC This Is Us
This Is Us / NBC Universal

Currently, my favorite member of the Big Three is Kevin. His evolution from the funny, half-wit brother to a complicated, compassionate adult has been a highlight for the show. In the episode, Kevin receives a notice that his film will be shooting in Vancouver and must leave for a few weeks. Madison allows Kevin to go but reveals her concerns over his commitment to their relationship. Without specifically stating the circumstances, Madison gives Kevin an ultimate, his career or fatherhood?

Since when could actors not become fathers? Kevin needs to prove he can be a good dad, but doesn’t this argument seem a bit premature? Madison has every right to question Kevin’s intentions, but can we give the man a chance before an ultimatum? The twins haven’t even been born yet! I’m going to cut Kevin some slack. Let him go make some money for the family in Vancouver and come back before the birth of the twins.

Towards the end of the episode, Kevin surprisingly called Randall for advice about Madison. Kevin expressed his regret for the horrible insults he directed towards Randall months prior. It wasn’t an official apology, but it was a step in the right direction. Randall ends the call early, leaving Kevin to ponder if Randall still hates him. I originally predicted that Kevin and Randall would bury the hatchet once Kevin’s twins arrive so I’m sticking with that prediction.

Randall Learns About His Mother

Since next week’s episode will be entirely dedicated to Randall and Laurel, I’ll try to keep this brief. Because of Randall’s viral video, Hai, the Vietnamese grandfather showcased in earlier episodes, reached out to Randall and stated he knew his birth mother, Laurel. He also stated Laurel died in 2015 from breast cancer. After deliberating on what to do, Randall called Hai and learned his mother spent time with Hai in New Orleans. More importantly, Hai said William probably did not know she survived the overdose so what William told Randall wasn’t a lie; it’s what he believed.

Can Randall catch an emotional break? Every episode, he gets metaphorically punched in the stomach multiple times. Credit to the terrific Sterling K. Brown for his ability to cry on demand. He cries every episode! Randall reminds me of Elisabeth Moss, who stars in The Handmaid’s Tale and The Invisible Man. These difficult and emotional roles take a toll on a person’s well-being so I pray Elisabeth Moss mixes in a rom-com every so often. Likewise, can Randall just have an episode where he has a great day? Maybe he goes for a run, spends time with the family, and makes a few dad jokes. I’m hoping it all turns out ok for Randall.

Next week, we’re off to New Orleans to learn about Laurel. Bring your tissues!

Did you enjoy last night’s episode? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

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