Justin Hartley in The Music and the Mirror / This Is Us, NBC

Season 5 is winding down on This Is Us. After last night’s chapter, there are only two episodes left in this unprecedented season. Did last night’s episode feel out of place? The stakes were fairly low for the third to last episode of the season. I’m not saying it was a bad episode, but it felt like something that would air in the middle of a season, not towards the end.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 14 Recap: “The Music and the Mirror”

Lose Yourself To Dance

Like many small business owners during the pandemic, it’s been a struggle to keep the doors open. Beth’s business fell victim to the pandemic as well, closing her dance studio indefinitely. We’ve seen so many businesses close over the past year so this storyline was all too real.

With the studio closed, Beth decides to rejoin corporate America. Randall notices something off with Beth because a person in the right mental state does not inhale Lucky Charms without any milk. When it comes time for Beth’s virtual meeting, the woman set to interview Beth is forced to reschedule. Oddly, Beth takes this as a sign to not join Corporate America. Instead, she heads to the studio for one final clean-up.

In the past, Beth gave up dancing as a teen, in part because of self-doubt. When Randall surprises Beth with a trip to the ballet on their six-month anniversary, she immediately asks to go home. Beth then explains to Randall how she’s been told her dance talent is not good enough to “make it.” In true Randall fashion, he asks Beth to slow dance. The song? An all-time BANGER.

In the present, Randall went to the studio and asked Beth to slow dance. We’ve seen in a flash-forward that Beth will teach again at her own studio so be patient, fans. Beth will bounce back eventually.

Kate And Toby Are Headed For Trouble

Kate and Toby represent Newton’s Third Law, which states that there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. Science was my worst school subject, but my teachers would be proud of me for dropping some #knowledge right now.

Kate is thriving as a music teacher while Toby can’t stand unemployment. I don’t blame Toby for feeling this way, but he can’t take it out on Kate. At the Damon household, a leaky pipe caused a schism between Toby and Kate. Toby is determined to fix it without professional health while Kate insists on calling a plumber who might be out of their price range. Kate leaves for the day while Toby attempts to fix the pipe.

Kate accompanies Madison to assist in wedding dress shopping. They are joined by Rebecca. When an upset Madison reveals her father won’t be at her wedding, Rebecca shares heartfelt words of wisdom to cheer her up. Then, Kate and Rebecca reflect on their rocky relationship from the past. Kate admits she was hard on her mother, and apologizes for her actions.

At the school, Kate leads her class in singing “Big Yellow Taxi” by one of Rebecca’s favorite artists, Joni Mitchell. It’s a breakthrough moment for this mother-daughter relationship as Kate finally found her true calling as a music teacher.

Back at home, Toby calls in reinforcements in the form of his father, who I will refer to by his real name, Dan Lauria aka Mr. Arnold from The Wonder Years. After Toby’s father helps repair the pipe, he tells Toby about the time he was unemployed during Toby’s childhood. He then expressed his admiration for the Pearsons and how they are so in touch with their emotions and that Toby should share his feelings with Kate.

Unfortunately, Toby did not listen to his father’s advice and remained quiet about his feelings with Kate. Trouble in paradise on This Is Us?

Cold Feet

It was only a matter of time before Kevin’s on-set actions caught up with him. There are only so many movie sets and plays you can walk out on before the industry bites back. Kevin went to a screening of his new movie, and as he said it, “It’s a piece of a crap.”

Kevin panics and heads right to his agency to figure out his next project. Unfortunately, Kevin has developed a negative reputation because of his abrupt exits from projects, so directors aren’t lining up to work with him anymore.

As Kevin leaves the office, he spots Zoe on a virtual conference call and sits down to catch up with his former girlfriend. It’s all friendly until Zoe makes a comment about Kevin’s willingness to give into suggestion. He always rolls with the punches and turns every situation in his favor, which clearly rubs Kevin the wrong way.

Later that night, Kevin suggests watching Bridgerton but gives into Madison’s request for watching The Great British Baking Show, proving Zoe’s point. Kevin, this isn’t a bad flaw! Don’t overthink it. However, Kevin tends to overanalyze everything so it will lead to a future problem.

Next week, Kevin calls Sophie at his bachelor party. Oh boy.

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

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