This Is Us Season 6 Episode 18 Recap: Us

Still from This Is Us Season 6

With the conclusion of the Season 6 finale, This Is Us has come to an end. What a journey it has been. I’m going to keep the recap brief because I have some other thoughts I want to get off my chest.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 18 Recap: Us

Last night’s series finale included a mix of happy and somber moments. In the past, the adolescent Big Three spent a lazy Saturday with Jack and Rebecca. In the future, the Big Three beautifully celebrated the life of Rebecca Pearson at her funeral. Randall might run for President, but more importantly, Deja is going to name her son after Randall’s father, William. The Big Three promised to never drift away from each other, and they recited the “Big Three chant” one last time. Finally, Rebecca and Jack shared a heartfelt moment in the bed of the train as the Pearson patriarch promised his wife that she will forever be a part of her children’s lives.

I apologize for the short recap, but my mind continues to contemplate the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. Many people like myself use television as a vehicle for escapism. However, it’s hard to watch a tight-knit family onscreen and not think about all of the parents who sent their young children to school, believing they would come home safely at the end of the day. It breaks my damn heart thinking about it.

This Is Us meant a great deal to many families. I’ll never forget when my father told me to watch this interesting show about a family that spans multiple timelines back in September 2016. This is when broadcast TV was searching for another hit drama outside of Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, and the Dick Wolf universe. I gave the pilot a shot. The reveal of Kevin and Kate being twins with Randall as their adopted brother (who shared the same birthday) was enough for me to stick around. My patience was rewarded with the show’s 16th episode titled, “Memphis,” which is the best the series has to offer.

Over the years, the show preached about the importance of family and sticking together even when times get tough. The lesson I will take away revolves around the speeches about time from Randall and moments from Jack. Randall discussed time and how we all wish to slow time down, especially during the big events.

When teaching the boys to shave, Jack talked about how during the first half of our lives, we wish to be older. Then, the script flips. As you get older, you wish to be younger. Kate understands the concept of enjoying the present, and Jack hopes that Randall and Kevin will come to appreciate these strange things one day, too.

So as I sit here and reflect on the tragic events that occurred yesterday, I think about time and moments. I’m the first one to laugh at Internet users who post quotes about living in the moment and carpet diem. Perhaps I need to start living my life by those inspirational quotes. I’m at the point in my life where I want to be younger and remember all of the little things in life.

I apologize for rambling so I’ll end with this. This Is Us might be a television show, but the lessons about living in the moment and enjoying time in the world will stick with me for the rest of my life. I can’t promise I’ll even abide by those teachings every single day, but there’s no shame in trying. Hug your parents and siblings a little tighter today.

Thank you, This Is Us. Stay safe.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Tweet me, at @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17 Recap: The Train

Kevin and Randall sit bedside in a scene from This Is Us.

Rebecca has finally arrived at her destination on the train known as life. While the Pearson family says goodbye to Rebecca, fans should start saying their goodbyes to This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17 Recap: The Train

After years of teasing the flash-forward, the show finally arrives at Kevin’s house as the Pearson family began their final goodbyes to Rebecca. One by one, every member of the extended family said their heartfelt goodbyes to the Pearson family matriarch. Annie thanks her for the inspiring words about her size. Toby praises her for always believing in him. Beth tells her to rest easy, saying it’s her turn to take care of Randall.

Kevin and Randall are waiting for Kate, who is flying back from London after a business trip. The nurse believes Rebecca will not last through the night. It’s a race against time for Kate. More on this later. Meanwhile, Rebecca is on a train, waiting for someone to arrive. First to greet Rebecca is William, who invites her to the bar cart. Although Rebecca is waiting for someone, she agrees to go for a walk. As they move from cart to cart, Rebecca sees the Pearson family at different stages in their lives – childhood, teenage years, and adulthood.

Rebecca reaches the bar, and much to our surprise, Dr. K is the bartender! Dr. K offers to make her a drink with lemons, a flashback to his famous saying, but Rebecca elects for a vesper, a drink her father would have gotten on a fancy train like this. Dr. K injects his soothing presence into the scene once again, praising Rebecca for her toughness and attitude. Rebecca sees different versions of Randall and Kevin in the cart, but Kate is noticeably missing since she is still not back from London. Dr. K lets Rebecca continue her journey with William on the train.

Back in the house, an adult Deja tells Randall that she’s pregnant. However, she’s hesitant to tell the father. Who is the father of Deja’s child? It’s none other than Malik, who shares his enthusiasm with Deja over the pregnancy later that night. The Pearsons then gather in the living room as they listen to Joni Mitchell and share their fondest memories of Rebecca. The night ends with Kevin and Randall the last ones standing as they head to Rebecca’s bedroom. As the boys talk, Rebecca continues to see her sons on the train. Unfortunately, Kate is still missing.

Before Rebecca reaches the caboose, the show takes us to the hospital the night of the housefire and Jack’s death. There is a family that got into a car accident, and their little boy, Marcus, is fighting for his life in surgery. Jack and Marcus’s father trade stories over coffee. When Marcus’s father worries that his son won’t make it, Jack shares the same advice that Dr. K gave him the night of the Big Three’s birth. Take the sourest lemon that life has to offer, and turn it into something resembling lemonade. That becomes the motto for Marcus’s family as Marcus goes on to develop medicine to combat Alzheimer’s.

Here’s the twist. At the hospital the night of Jack’s death, both Jack and Marcus were seen by the same doctor. The doctor left Jack, who was in stable condition, to help an unconscious Marcus in the operating room. Marcus survives, but Jack dies. Had the doctor not left to help Marcus, Jack would have survived.

Finally, Rebecca reaches the caboose of the train, which is an empty room with a bed. She refuses to go in because someone still hasn’t arrived. That special someone is Kate, who comes rushing into the house and sits with Rebecca at her bedside. When Rebecca tells William about her sadness, he says that if something is sad when it ends, it must’ve been pretty wonderful. I agree, William.

Rebecca finally accepts her fate. She gets in bed, turns around, and sees Jack laying next to her. Reunited at last.

Next week, we all say goodbye to this show. See you then.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Tweet me, at @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 16 Review: Family Meeting

The Big Three sitting next to Rebecca on This Is Us

I want to get into the recap, but all I can think about is “the song.” If you watch This Is Us, you know what song I’m talking about. I’ll get to it shortly.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 16: “Family Meeting”

As the show gets better, things become sadder. Last week, we said goodbye to Miguel. This week, it’s time to start saying goodbye to Rebecca. But first, there are some important decisions to be made.

It’s been approximately 7 days since Miguel’s death, and Rebecca doesn’t remember as she calls out for him at night. Randall, Kate, and Kevin call a family meeting as they must decide on how to care for Rebecca during her final years. Beth, Sophie, and Philip head to the cabin as the Big Three are left to discuss their mother’s future over some delicious Chinese food.

In a typical fashion, an overprotective Randall believes Rebecca should move in with his family in Philadelphia. They flashback to a time when Rebecca thanked Randall for protecting Kate at a party where Kevin and Kate got drunk. Obviously, Kevin does not agree with Randall, saying that he built the house for Rebecca at her request. Kevin is not wrong. Rebecca did ask him to do this! The two brothers want to make their decision without Kate’s input, who is technically Rebecca’s guardian.

Rebecca interrupts their conversation to say she wants to go for a walk. She even did her makeup for the occasion. I’m not a fashion expert, but I’ve seen five-year-olds apply makeup better than Rebecca. But it’s not her fault! When Kate escorts her on a walk, both Kevin and Randall agree that Rebecca is not “magic” anymore. However, they still don’t agree on what to do.

We interrupt this break to joke with the Big Three Spouses – Beth, Sophie, and Philip – who joke in the cabin about what their significant others are saying. Was this a backdoor pilot for the spinoff?

Back to the family meeting. When it’s finally time to talk, Kate tells her brothers that they need to look at Rebecca like she’s their mother, not a woman with an illness. They need to see Rebecca again. She still has the magic. It’s just a little hidden at the moment. The boys share a nice and quiet moment with their mother and sister.

Finally, it’s decision time. Kate tells the family that Rebecca will be moving back to LA to be closer to her. Before she can even finish, Kevin pulls a “not so fast my friend.” Inspired by his time with Rebecca the day prior, Kevin steps up and says he will move in with Rebecca in the house he built for her. Sophie is game as are Madison and Isaac, who will relocate to the East Coast with the kids as well. Everything is all fine and dandy until…

The song.

This goddamn song! When accompanied by a montage, this song will always mess with my emotions. I still think about the time the show used it to show the crockpot starting the fire that killed Jack. So rude!

It’s a great song by the way. Now, the end is here as the goodbyes begin next week. See you then.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Tweet me, at @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 15 Recap: Miguel

Miguel and Rebecca take a walk in the house in a scene from This Is Us.

After waiting six seasons, Miguel finally stepped into the spotlight on This Is Us. Hopefully, tissues were nearby.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 15 Recap: “Miguel”

Every television show has an unsung hero. It’s the supporting character who’s perfect in their role, but when called upon to be in the spotlight, they deliver. On The Office, it was Kevin Malone. On Ted Lasso, it’s Higgins. On This Is Us, it’s Miguel. It’s always been, Miguel.

The episode starts with Miguel’s childhood in Puerto Rico. Led by Miguel’s father, the entire Rivas family moves to Pennsylvania. Miguel’s father finds work as a landscaper. When a young Miguel uses the bathroom in one of the homes, he stumbles upon the owner of the home and discusses Roberto Clemente and the Pittsburgh Pirates. When Miguel says he’ll sit anywhere in the stadium to watch Clemente, the man stresses that where you sit is all that matters, a lesson that stuck with Miguel for the entirety of his life.

We skip ahead to Miguel’s early days as an adult. Miguel lands the construction job because he changes his name to “Mike Rivers”. After all, “Miguel Rivas” never received a callback. On Christmas Eve, Miguel spars with his father over the choices in his life: a new car, straighter hair, and his willingness to pay for a nurse for his aunt. His father expresses his disappointment in Miguel, feeling as if he’s forgotten where he came from. An upset Miguel leaves in tears.

Miguel heads to the bar to meet Jack and Rebecca. Weirdly enough, Rebecca is not too kind to Miguel. Being the good guy that he is, Jack forces Miguel and Rebecca to talk and settle their differences. Future scenes at the bar highlight their budding friendship as well as Miguel’s courtship of his wife, Shelly, which unfortunately ends in divorce as their two kids witness the turmoil in their failed marriage.

Miguel tries to do the right thing and moves to Houston to be closer to his kids even if that means leaving behind a heartbroken Rebecca. After his father dies, Miguel admits to his mother that he’s lost in life. His mother reassures Miguel that he will find love soon enough. Lo and behold, that love is Rebecca, who he reconnects with on Facebook in 2008. When the two friends meet up, their connection is seamless. They kiss, make love, and begin a relationship together in Pittsburgh. At this point, I bet most fans gave a fist pump to celebrate this new union. You know who didn’t approve of this relationship? A twentysomething Kevin, who voiced his displeasure on Thanksgiving at the cabin.

That concludes the happier part of the recap. Now, it’s time to go to the present where things become much sadder. Well, it’s bittersweet, but sad nonetheless as Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s worsens. Miguel borrows Jack’s Super Dad cape, and cares for Rebecca 24/7. Miguel is the first thing she sees in the morning and the last thing she sees at night. Between physical therapy, medicine consumption, and memory exercises, Miguel starts to wear down both physically and mentally, culminating with a bruised lower body after slipping on ice. Jack would be proud of Miguel. That’s for damn sure.

Thankfully, the Big Three step in and give Miguel the break that he so desperately deserves. They hire full-time care for Rebecca, which allows Miguel to receive the necessary treatment he needs both physically and mentally.

Cue Billy Joel. Let’s get sad.

The final montage covers Miguel’s final years. His health begins to deteriorate despite stepping back as Rebecca’s primary caregiver. His heart weakens along with the rest of the body. The writing is on the wall. Knowing Miguel’s time is limited, Kevin visits Miguel’s son, informing him about his dad’s illness. It’s here where Kevin finally sympathizes with Miguel and appreciates what he did for his entire family after Jack’s death. Kevin urges Miguel’s son to make things right with Miguel while he still has the chance. Thankfully, Miguel’s son listens to Kevin’s advice and spends time with his dying father.

I wrote this at the end of my recap last week. I was right. Sadly, Miguel dies. His ashes are spread at his two homes: Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.

When the show finally ends at the end of the month, “Miguel” could crack the Top 10 list for best This Is Us episodes. Though not as good as “Memphis,” the best episode in the series, “Miguel” finally gave an unselfish character the tribute he so desperately deserved. “Miguel” reminded viewers like me that This Is Us can still reach back and throw a 99mph fastball. Go be with Jack, Miguel. Here’s to the final three episodes.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Tweet me, at @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 14 Recap: Sophie’s Choice

Sophie and Kevin talking in an episode of This Is Us

Kevin Pearson’s love life has been a topic of conversation on This Is Us for six seasons. In Episode 14, he finally found his happily ever after with…

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 14 Recap: “The Night Before The Wedding”

At the end of Episode 13, Randall asked Kevin about his night before the wedding. Through the flashback, Kevin thought about three women: Sophie, Cassidy, and Arielle (the wedding singer). Who will he choose?

Episode 14 kicks off with Sophie, or contestant number one. After Kevin learns about her missing luggage, he offers to drive her into town to pick up some clothes. After striking out at every store, Sophie cleverly enters a dry cleaner and secures an unclaimed dress. The former couple then begins to share details about their lives. Sophie is now a traveling nurse while Kevin is a family man and the head of his non-profit construction organization. When Kevin tells Sophie that he’s happy she found love, Sophie shockingly reveals she’s divorced. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife.

After a night of staring at each other from afar, Sophie and Kevin begin to passionately hook up in Kevin’s room. When Kevin makes a comment about how her hair’s smell hasn’t changed, Sophie panics, telling Kevin that she wants him to fall in love with her current self, not her teenage self. Sophie leaves the room, and Kevin is back to square one. For recapping purposes, the pink bra that Madison and Beth found the next morning belonged to Sophie. I had to say it.

Later at the hotel bar, Kevin meets Arielle, the wedding singer, who has been writing observations on things she’s seen in order to serve as future song lyrics. Arielle shares what she wrote about Kevin and how he’s longing for someone in his life. The napkin is what Madison and Beth found the next morning in Kevin’s room.

On his way back to the room, Kevin runs into Nicky, who is on an ice run for Edie as the older couple tries to… well, I’ll leave it to your imagination. As Nicky attempts to relate Kevin’s love life to a pinball machine, Cassidy interrupts and requests to speak with Kevin in private. She needs help unzipping her dress, and Kevin happily obliges. Inspired by Nicky’s words, Kevin asks Cassidy if they should be romantically together. However, Cassidy shoots his request down immediately, saying they are best friends and coworkers and that’s the way it should be. Kevin taking Ls left and right!

At the wedding, Rebecca approaches Sophie, and senses something is wrong with Kevin.* She calls her son an idiot (fair statement!) and reassures Sophie that he will one day figure it out and be a great partner. Meanwhile, with Kevin, Randall attempts to compare losing Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl merchandise to how the world makes no sense. (I give Randall a pass on this mediocre speech because he absolutely crushed his speech to Kate.) However, he tells Kevin that his relationship with Sophie makes sense, and he needs to talk to her.

*Rebecca thinks Kevin and Sophie are 20-years-old and married.

When Kevin attempts to tell Sophie how she feels, Sophie cuts him off and tells him that it’s her turn to speak. Sophie explains how they are both the best versions of themselves at the current moment, and they need to love each other for who they are, not who they were. In one of his shortest speeches ever, Kevin pulls out a Valentine from elementary school that’s addressed to Sophie and tells her that he’s always carried her with him. The two kiss and the crowd goes wild!

I’ve been Team Sophie since Day 1 so I’m happy with this result despite having many questions about how it transpired. Did Kevin carry that Valentine while dating Madison? Anyways, some viewers might think this was rushed. It’s not exactly the shocking This Is Us twist we’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

Sometimes, you just have to play the hits. I’m a huge Billy Joel fan. Seeing Joel live is in my top 3 concerts of all time. I love lesser-known songs like Why Judy Why and Big Man On Mulberry Street, but that’s not what I want to hear at his concert. I want to hear Piano Man, Vienna, and Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. Play the hits. Don’t overcomplicate things.

That same mindset applies to Kevin and Sophie. Justin Hartley and Alexandra Breckenridge have undeniable chemistry. Why fight against it in the name of shock value? I’m sure there are quite a few painful moments in the four remaining episodes (Miguel’s death? Rebecca’s death?), which is why a happy ever after a moment feels great right now.

Tune in next week when Miguel FINALLY gets a spotlight episode. I’m afraid he dies. See you next week.

What are your thoughts on this episode of This Is Us? Tweet me, at @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 10 Recap: The Dinner Table

NBC's This Is Us

If you like uncomfortable conversations at the dinner table, then last night’s episode of This Is Us was in your wheelhouse!

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 10 Recap: “I’ve Got This”

Anyone Up For Some Credit Card Roulette?

Anyone up for some credit card roulette? Back in the past, Jack learned to never play credit card roulette, especially with cocky businessmen. The men across from Jack would’ve been snake oil salesmen in the early 1900s. Plus, the waitress should not have the option to look at the cards when playing roulette. She needs to close her eyes or turn away and pick. This game of credit card roulette was fixed. To quote Brodie Broadus from The Wire, “The game is rigged, man.”

Jack spent money he didn’t have, a tale as old as time. However, this moment changed how the Pearson family dealt with money. Rebecca told Jack that she would be handling the finances and putting 10% of Jack’s monthly salary into savings. Well done, Rebecca.

The Dinner From Hell

In terms of awkwardness, family dinners are as uncomfortable as they get if all hell breaks loose. Well, all hell did break loose at Randall’s house. Beth has always had a contentious relationship with her mother, Carol (Phylicia Rashad). With Carol in town, Beth feels like a demon is breathing down her neck at all times. (Apologies to Phylicia Rashad. She’s not a demon, but a demanding and judgmental in-law can be someone’s worst nightmare.)

With Carol set to leave the next day, Beth decided to make the perfect dinner as a way to prove her worthiness as a mother and leader of a household. Before sitting down for some chicken curry, Randall shared an important moment with Malik outside on the porch. (Shoutout to Isaac the basil plant.) Malik’s ex-girlfriend, Jennifer, who happens to be the mother of his child, expressed interest in being apart of baby Janelle’s life again. Randall, who spent most of his life wishing he knew his birth parents, supported Malik’s decision to give Jennifer another chance.

As you could expect, dinner became a war zone on This Is Us. Carol threw a backhanded compliment towards Beth about her chicken. Tess scolded Beth for using the wrong pronouns towards her friend, Alex. Tess also revealed that she’s dating Alex, which came as a surprise to Beth since Carol already knew about the relationship. Deja confronted Malik and Randall about Jennifer. Beth finally reached her breaking point and lashed out against Carol. It’s not what you want to see.

After taking some time to relax, everyone finally calmed down. Randall apologized to Deja and reassured her that he will always be #TeamDeja. Beth apologized to her mother after Carol revealed her appreciation towards her daughter and her family. In a surprising twist, Beth told Randall that Carol will be staying at their house indefinitely, which means Randall will be spending a lot more time on the porch.

The Dinner From Hell (In California)

Across the country, there was another dinner full of arguments and awkward moments and no, I’m not referring to an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Kate, Toby, Madison, and Kevin decided to meet for dinner as a temporary escape from their newborns.

Before dinner, Toby asked Kate to not mention the fact he lost his job. Toby was waiting on a potential job offer and did not want to discuss work with Kevin unless he had another job lined up. As soon as the Damons arrived at Kevin’s house, bad news struck when Toby received a rejection email from a potential employer. Throw in the fact that Kevin wants to build a family compound in Mailbu. Toby was bound to explode at some point.

Money is a tricky subject to discuss with other people. No one wants to admit they’re struggling or need help. Our pride gets the better of us. However, people in better financial situations need to understand this concept and respect someone’s wishes when it comes to finances.

Take the above paragraph and apply it to the dinner conversation between Kevin, Toby, Kate, and Madison. After Kevin offered to pay for everyone’s childcare, Toby flipped out and stated he doesn’t want or need Kevin’s money. Toby assumed that Kate told Kevin about their financial troubles, which she did not disclose. Toby then tripled down on outbursts when he called out Kevin and Madison’s nanny for doing all the “hard stuff” of parenthood, which was a cheap shot. Cooler heads prevailed as Kevin and Toby forgave each other later on. Mark my words, this conflict between Kevin and Toby is far from over.

At the end of the night, Kate shared that she’s going back to work as teacher’s assistant, and Toby was less than thrilled with the news. Something tells me things are only going to get worse for Toby. I could see his depression ramping up in future episodes. Hang in there, Tobe.

Uncle Nicky Comes To Town

Kevin was greeted by none other than Uncle Nicky, who showed up on his front porch at the end of the night. Next week will be Uncle Nicky’s time to shine. See you then.

Did you like last night’s episode? Leave your comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.