This Is Us is going to build us up, break us down, and then try to build us up back again. Between Rebecca’s devasting diagnosis to the downfall of Kate and Toby’s marriage, there are going to be a lot of heartbreaking moments this season. Here’s to the good times!
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 1 Recap: “The Challenger”
Rebecca’s Devastating News
Rebecca’s health is the overarching storyline of Season 6. Kevin, Kate, and Randall’s decisions from here on out will all consider their mother’s health.
In the past, Jack and Rebecca confront the Big Three about the Challenger explosion after the children watch it on television. Kate tries to find the silver lining, saying the astronauts are now closer to heaven. Randall takes the sympathetic route, wondering who will feed the children of the teacher on board. Kevin chooses to hide his pain and pretend it wasn’t real.
Later that night, Rebecca and Jack rationalize their children’s decisions. Jack believes Kevin is protecting himself from getting hurt while Rebecca compares Randall to Holden Caulfield and how he’ll eventually realize that he can’t save everyone.
Did they nail those comparisons or what?
In the present day, Rebecca, Nicky, and Miguel take Kevin’s kids to the park and ride a kiddie train. Rebecca starts to reminisce about how she loved going on trains with her father, but she struggles to remember her favorite cart. At Kate and Kevin’s party, Rebecca reveals her PET scan revealed plaque building in her brain. In other words, early-onset Alzheimer’s. At the end of the episode, Rebecca tearfully remembers the word, “caboose.”
The Downfall Of Marriage
That headline may be harsh, but it’s true. Kate and Toby are heading towards a divorce whether you like it or not. Kate is going to marry Phillip at age 45, but her marriage to Toby has to crumble first and foremost.
Damn. Have a soul, Dan.
Toby video chats with Kate to wish her a happy birthday, but ends the call abruptly to get back to work, much to Kate’s dismay. After a birthday massage, Phillip texts Kate to come to the school due to an emergency. Before entering the office, Kate eavesdrops on Phillip’s brutal breakup with his partner. I’m not a romantic expert like Mystery, but calling someone “boring” is grounds for a nice slap across the face. After the awkward breakup, Phillip surprises Kate with a performance of “Time After Time” from her students.
Later that night, Kate views pictures of the day when she stops to text Toby, who ends up surprising her in person for her birthday.
Calling my shot: One of the pictures will be of Phillip admiring Kate.
The Manny Reboot?
If I were left at the altar, I would move out the next day. Kevin, on the other hand, decides his best course of action is to move into the garage to be closer to the babies. Good idea? Hold that thought.
It’s easy to forget that Kevin is an actor considering how many projects he’s left. Kevin heads to the studio to meet with Casey, the former producer of The Manny, who offers him a role as the father in the reboot of the same show he walked off of in Season 1. Due to Kevin’s outbursts and sporadic behavior, Hollywood isn’t exactly clamoring to cast Kevin as the lead in a movie. Although Kevin would rather die than go back to The Manny, he decides to take the job so he can stay in Los Angeles to be closer to his kids and mother.
Also, Madison connects with Elijah, a friend from the book club. Jealousy gets the best of Kevin and leads to him leaving the garage in favor of Kate’s couch.
Randall Can’t Save Everyone
Spider-Man learned that he can’t save everyone, which is a lesson Randall tackles head-on. Randall receives news that the burglar who broke into his house has been caught and arraigned that day. Instead of spending the birthday with the beautiful, awesome, and charismatic wife, Beth, Randall opts for a day in court.
When Randall confronts the burglar, he soon notices the burglar’s mental health problems along with drug addiction. Randall decides to bail the burglar out and offer him a bed at a local homeless shelter. When the burglar never shows up, Randall reveals to Beth that he must help out more people in the city.
Randall can’t save everyone, but he’s going to try.
That’s it for now. Tune in next week when we get to see Nicky stalk Sally in real life!
What are your thoughts on the last night’s This Is Us? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet me, @danny_giro.