This Is Us Season 5 Finale Recap: The Wedding

Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan in NBC's This Is Us

Well, that’s one way to end the season. When we think it’s going right, This Is Us goes left. The Season 5 finale included a wedding, but it wasn’t the one I or the rest of America saw coming.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 16 Recap: “The Adirondacks”

The Wedding

It’s a nice day to (contemplate your relationship and potentially) start again! While Kevin works on his speech (wink), Madison revisits some of the worst moments of her life. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Madison’s mother walked out on her, but left a pair of earrings to wear on Madison’s wedding day. As a teenager, Madison’s father gave her money for a prom dress and said it’s ok to settle in her relationships. As an adult, Madison’s boyfriend broke up with her. To say these are the three worst moments a bride could think about on her wedding day would be an understatement!

Things start to go wrong at the venue, and Kevin experiences a minor panic attack. By trying to make everything perfect, he loses sight of what this day is truly about. Maybe it’s just cold feet, but it might be more than that.

Guess what? It was more than that. Madison walks into Kevin’s dressing room and asks him the million-dollar question. Madison asks, “Are you in love with me?” Kevin says he loves his kids and the life they’re building together, but he never tells Madison he loves her. Ouch! Kevin begs Madison to make it work, but Madison refuses, saying she can’t marry Kevin if he doesn’t love her. The wedding is off.

After the wedding’s called off, Kevin, Kate, Randall, and Rebecca sit in the Adirondack chairs that Uncle Nicky purchased as a wedding gift. They reminisce about Jack and how he’d know exactly what to do in this situation*. Due to her fading health, Rebecca asks Kevin to build the house that Jack was going to build her up at the cabin. Kevin agrees, and the Big Four embrace. Maybe I’m a cynic, but a wedding was just called off, and everyone is happy again?

*There was a flashback where Rebecca and Jack argued in front of the Big Three and it frightened the young children. Long story short, they professed their love for each other in a mock wedding in front of the kids. I’m not trying to minimize this scene, but it was not the most important thing from last night. It was touching though. I’m not a monster. I do have a soul.

Let’s Make It Work

Well this tweet aged poorly.^

Kate and Toby’s relationship was on a collision course towards a major argument due to Toby’s impending employment in San Francisco. Before the wedding, Toby shares what he thinks is good news, which is a new job. However, the job is in San Francisco and he will eventually need to be there three days a week. Kate is stunned, and questions if Toby understands the gravity of the situation. Toby stupidly commits the mortal sin of saying he loves his children and follows it up with a “but.” He desperately wants to go back to work. (Side note: How long has he been out of work? A few months? You would think it’s been five years with the way he complains! Double side note: Being unemployed sucks.)

At the venue, Kate recalls her wedding vows and remembers what true love is all about, putting your partner before yourself. Because of this, Kate calls her coworker, Phillip, and announces her resignation as a teacher’s aide. Surprisingly, Phillip puts his foot down, compliments Kate’s teaching ability, and refuses her resignation.

Later on, Kate and Toby talk it out and decide that Toby should take the job while Kate will keep her job. They’re going to try long-distance like high school sweethearts who separate for college. I don’t have the numbers on me, but I bet two-thirds of long-distance college relationships fail.

Randall And Rebecca

A mother and her favorite son finally made some ground in their fractured relationship. Since his return from New Orleans, Randall hasn’t talked to Rebecca about his trip and birth mother.

When they first sit down, Randall shows a picture of Laurel, and Rebecca immediately cries. Both of them can’t handle the grief so Randall immediately changes the subject.

Later on, Rebecca confronts Randall and explains why she cried earlier. Rebecca tearfully apologizes to Randall for withholding information about William. She realizes what she did and messed with Randall’s emotions throughout his life. Rebecca will always feel guilty for what she did. But, a tearful Randall accepts her apology and they sit down to chat about Laurel. This was one of the few happy endings tonight on This Is Us.

The Flashforward

Finally, let’s talk about the flash-forward aka the only thing people will want to talk about. My mind went in all different directions while watching so it’s hard to form complete thoughts. I’m just going to rattle off everything I saw. Ready, break.

  • Kevin is at a wedding in the future. He’s practicing a speech in the mirror, but it’s not for him.
  • Big Three Construction is a real thing.
  • Kevin has a girlfriend (women’s clothes in his room), but who?
  • Randall has a “Rising Star” profile in a magazine.
  • Uncle Nicky is alive and married.
  • Beth and Madison are still alive.
  • Kevin is 45 so this flash-forward is about fourish years into the future.
  • Madison and Kevin seem to be on good terms. I did not spot wedding rings on their fingers, but both seem to be cordial and happy.
  • The location is Kate’s second wedding.
  • Kate is marrying… PHILLIP FROM MUSIC SCHOOL.
  • Kate and Toby are divorced.

End Scene.

Now that is how you finish a season. I encourage you to read Dan Fogelman’s interview on how the time jump frames the sixth and final season. It appears there are two major events in the future: Kate’s wedding and the family gathering at the house Kevin built. What is the time gap between these? If I had to guess, it’s either five or ten years. Five would make the Big Three 50-years-old at the new house so let’s go with that.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until 2022 for the final season. Until then, maybe I have to give up on my “Kate is dead” theory? See you next year.

Did you enjoy the This Is Us Season 5 finale? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 15 Recap: Worst Bachelor Party Ever

Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley in This Is Us _ NBC

As a man in his late 20s, I’ve just started to dip my toe into the world of bachelor parties. I’ve had a lot of fun so far due to the fact that most of the attendees are around my age. On This Is Us, perhaps I got a glimpse into the future as to what a bachelor party would like if all of the attendees were 40 and older. Let me tell you, it did not look fun!

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 15 Recap: “Jerry 2.0”

Bachelorette Party

Before we talk about the men in the mountains, let’s discuss the girls and their paintings. Madison’s bachelorette party included the bride-to-be, Kate, Beth, and Rebecca. Things kicked off on an awkward note when Kate hires a nude model who previously dated Madison. Hot start!

After painting the model’s six-pack, the women gathered in the living room for a virtual edition of The Newlywed Game. After Kevin nails the question about Madison’s perfect day, he briefly hesitates when asked about his future as an empty nester with Madison. This triggers Kate to later question Madison if she’s truly happy with Kevin. Even though the pregnancy and relationship were both unplanned, Madison reassures Kate that she’s happy with Kevin because he’s stepped up as a partner and a father. However, Kate still has her reservations.

Later that night, Madison revisits the empty nest question and notices Kevin’s pause, which leads to a distressed look on Madison’s face. Is there a future with Kevin? Should this wedding be called off?

The Bachelor Party

At least the guys got to travel outside of the house for Kevin’s bachelor party. Kevin, Randall, Toby, Miguel, and Uncle Nicky met up at the cabin for Kevin’s bachelor party for some fishing and puzzles. Before heading to the cabin, Kevin receives a call from Sophie, who congratulates him on fatherhood and his engagement. It’s a little awkward at first, but the former lovers still have a soft spot for each other. Kevin said he would call Sophie back and catch up.

At the cabin, the guys do what most guys do at bachelor parties, which is throw on Jerry Maguire and fall in love with Tom Cruise. (I love Jerry Maguire. It’s on my Tom Cruise Mt. Rushmore.) Is Kevin a modern-day Jerry Maguire? Nicky believes so and calls out Kevin for the similarities he shares with the lead character. Kevin, just like Jerry, falls in love with the kid first and ends up marrying a woman just because it’s the right thing to do. Kevin takes offense to Nicky’s comment, but there’s definitely some truth behind Nicky’s harsh comment.

Jerry Maguire returns Kevin back to the late 90s when he went to the cabin with his family and wife, Sophie. When Kevin explains his reasoning for returning to LA in the future, this bothers Sophie, who does not want a long-distance relationship. Just like Jerry Maguire, Kevin writes his mission statement to Sophie, explaining how they will become an annoying old couple who loves each other so much. This is a lot different than his answer about his future with Madison. Late that night, Kevin asks Randall about how someone knows that their significant other is “the one.” In other words, Kevin wants to re-marry Sophie and needs someone to tell him it’s ok to call it off with Madison.

To the campfire, we go! There were more confessions at this campfire than an Usher album. Everyone went around the fire and confessed their truth. Nicky apologized for his earlier comment, saying he can’t relate to the movie because of his nonexistent love life. There’s only been one girl, Sally Brooks, and Nicky messed that up. Toby expressed his frustration over the ending of Jerry Maguire, but this was just a way to express his irritation over his unemployment. Toby might have a job offer in San Francisco, but he knows moving is a nonstarter with Kate.

However, Miguel came to the rescue with a speech about true love and how it’s not always “written in the stars.” Just like his relationship with Rebecca, it’s not a “love at first sight” situation, but it’s still perfect in its own way. Just like JP, I’m really gonna miss Miguel.

I'm gonna miss him. I really liked Miguel!

In the end, all of the campfire confessions led to some startling revelations. Nicky googled Sally in hopes of finding her someday. Toby called a job recruiter in San Francisco and expressed his interest in the job. Miguel called Rebecca and shared their love for each other. Then, they tragically discussed how they’re in limbo when it comes to Rebecca’s deteriorating memory. Kevin did not return Sophie’s call and deleted her number instead. Does this seem like a guy who’s ready to marry another woman?

Quick Hits

  • I need more Beth and Rebecca interactions. Both of these women are the two most genuine characters on the show. In a way, Rebecca is the supportive mother that Beth always wanted. Rebecca encourages Beth to take a job at a traditional dance studio so she can positively change the old, stale habits of current studios.
  • Please stop teasing Sophie if she’s not going to be prominently featured in future scenes on the show. I can’t take it anymore!

Next week marks the season finale of This Is Us. The episode is centered around Madison and Kevin’s wedding. Do they go through with it? I say no, but they will eventually get married at a later date in Season 6. It will mirror the storyline on Full House where Jesse and Rebecca call off their first wedding in Vegas but marry in a later season. See you next week.

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

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 14 Recap: Dance With Me

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.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13 Recap: Brotherly Love

Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley in This Is Us / NBC

To sum up Randall and Kevin Pearson’s relationship on This Is Us, I turn to one of the smartest and wisest movies ever made, High School Musical 2. There’s a scene between Troy and Chad where Troy apologizes for being a jerk over the summer. Troy says, “Hey, brothers fight,” to which Chad says, “And they’re still brothers.”

Is that the greatest brotherly quote ever? Randall and Kevin fight, but they’re still brothers. Finally, it was time for “The Talk” between Randall and Kevin. Did the brothers become closer or move farther apart?

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13 Recap: “Brotherly Love”

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Randall traced his battle with identity and race all the way back to his childhood. The episode starts with a 5-year-old Randall spending time in the kitchen with a black couple. It’s clearly a fantasy, but more on that later.

In a flashback, it’s boys’ weekend at the Pearson household and Jack takes 5-year-old Randall and Kevin to a taping of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. While in line at the show, a PA mistakes another white boy as Jack’s second son instead of acknowledging Randall. Jack forgives the PA for the mistake, but it stings Randal. To overcompensate for the mistake, Jack asks the PA to give Randall a “special seat” with a great view of Mister Rogers, much to Kevin’s dismay. Kevin then acts out the entire taping because of his jealousy for Randall.

Before leaving the set, Randall is alone with one of the puppets on stage. Randall reveals to the puppet that he created a set of imaginary parents for himself. These imaginary parents are a black weatherman and a black librarian, who happen to be two of the only black people that Randall sees daily. The puppet says it’s ok to create this fantasy, which makes a young Randall smile.

The College Boys

In the second flashback on This is Us, a late teenage Randall visits Kevin in Los Angeles. Randall is in town for a Model UN conference while Kevin tries to make it as an actor. Kevin calls Randall the “Fresh Prince” upon arrival at his small, beatdown apartment.

After some small talk, Kevin convinces Randall to go out clubbing, and the brothers start to drink like fish. I just want to say that Kevin is a MANIAC for taking straight shots of cheap vodka. Randall starts to loosen up with more liquid courage and takes a hurtful jab at a painting on the wall. Then, Kevin gives Randall a fake ID of a black guy who looks nothing like him. When Randall relays his concerns, Kevin says it will be fine since they’re “both black guys.”

On the cab ride to the club, Kevin is obnoxious to the black cab driver, requesting music changes and demanding specific routes to take. Annoyed, Randall tries to defuse the situation, but it leads to an argument, and the cab driver kicks the brothers out of the car. Randall and Kevin then wrestle on the street before calming down and walking back to the apartment.

While in the hallway, Kevin apologizes for being a jerk. Randall specifies that he was a jerk to their black cab driver, and Kevin responds by saying he’s rude to all cab drivers regardless of race. This argument is a microcosm of their relationships with race. Kevin overlooks Randall’s race despite blackness and identity being very important to Randall. In turn, Randall never wants to discuss race with Kevin for fear of an argument and elects to diffuse any situation where it’s brought up.

The boys eventually make up. Kevin admits he’s a struggling actor and says he’s jealous of Randall because he seems to have it all figured out (Beth, college, future, etc). Randall comforts Kevin by complimenting his painting, taking back his previous insult.

The Talk

In the present on This Is Us, Kevin arrives at Randall’s house, and the two waste no time diving. Kevin acknowledges that Randall probably had a tough, racially charged childhood. It could not have been easy growing up as the only black kid in a white family, living in a predominantly white area. Kevin shares his regret for not defending Randall when the racist father of his prom date humiliates Randall for being black.

While Kevin’s words are sincere, Randall doesn’t accept this defense because frankly, he believes it’s not a true apology. Kevin is just saying what he thinks Randall wants to hear instead of taking responsibility for his racial blindspots.

When the duo locks themselves out of the house, Randall tells Kevin he’s not an intentional racist. However, Randall explains that Kevin’s ignorance towards race was the true problem. Kevin insists that jealousy, not race, was the heart of his problems with Randall. On the flip side, Randall questions if his relationship with Kevin would have been different if he were white and accuses his brother of never accepting his blackness.

The argument showed no signs of slowing down after returning to the house. A defensive Kevin believes Randall is ungrateful for the life that Jack and Rebecca gave him. It’s actually the opposite. Randall is very grateful for his adoption but does wish he could have had a life with his birth parents. It’s here where Randall explains ghost kingdoms and how the black weatherman and black librarian in their town were his imaginary parents. Kevin finally starts to understand where Randall is coming from and the two start to reconcile.

Later in the night, Kevin finally accepts responsibility for his inconsiderate treatment of Randall. Kevin’s jealously stemmed from the fact that Randall’s blackness gave him special treatment so Kevin lashed out and tried to put Randall down because of it. This is the apology Randall was looking for all along. The episode ends with Kevin embracing Beth and the girls as Randall looks on with a smile.

That night, Randall dreams about his ghost kingdom, but this time, it’s with William and Laurel. Randall can finally dream about a life with his real parents, which puts him at ease.

Is all forgiven between the brothers? I’m not sure, but this was definitely a step in the right direction. Brothers fight, but they’re still brothers.

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

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 12 Recap: Who Is The Best Man?

Sterling K. Brown on This Is Us

There is a storm coming on This Is Us that would make Selina Kyle jealous. The impending storm involves a serious conversation between Randall and Kevin about race, childhood, and their future as brothers. But first, coffee*.

I’m drinking coffee right now so in the moment, that phrase feels right even though it has nothing to do with This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 12 Recap: “Both Things Can Be True”

Madison And Toby Bond At The Park

No bond is stronger than that of the Big Three. It’s the Fort Knox of sibling relationships. Because of this, those on the outside looking in end up bonding since they can’t join the exclusive club. We’ve seen the “Other Big 3” bond before in a text chain. Miguel, Beth, and Toby can now add Madison to the group.

Madison and Toby spent some time at the park with their children as Kevin worked on wedding plans and Kate started her new job at the school. Both Madison and Toby are hiding secrets from their significant others. Madison wants a new wedding venue while Toby struggles with Kate’s employment opportunity since he’s now a stay-at-home dad.

Madison and Toby urge each other to come clean with Kevin and Kate. Madison asks Kevin to change the wedding venue, and he agrees without pushback. On the other hand, Toby does not reveal his feelings about work after Kate shares her excitement about helping a young girl sing “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. I’ll give it a few episodes before Toby and Kate argue about their future.

Beth And Tess Enter New Territory

In Philadelphia, Beth nervously prepares for a “date” between Tess and her new friend (are they officially dating?), Alex. Beth quizzes herself on Alex’s preferred pronouns and promises to accept Tess’s new relationship. Things were going fine until Beth opens the door to Tess’s room and discovers the duo huddled close on the bed. After Beth asks Tess and Alex to study downstairs, Tess abruptly calls Beth a psycho. Calling your mother a psycho is a death sentence so Beth asks Alex to leave. This starts an argument where Tess accuses Beth of having a “look” when she saw Tess with another girl.

Beth takes some time to cool down and vent to her mother, Carol, about her own feelings towards Tess and her future. Beth explains how she always dreamed of Tess dating boys and marrying a wonderful man, but would let that dream go in favor of what her daughter wants. In her mind, Beth thinks she let that dream go, but Tess begs to differ. Carol describes how it’s not ok to just let go of her thinking. Carol says Beth must adjust to this new reality, relating it to her relationship with her daughter and how she wasted 20 years holding on to false hope. It was here I knew that This Is Us was pulling our heartstrings tonight.

Finally, Beth and Tess attempted to smooth things over in their relationship. Tess is sad that Beth has to “try” in their relationship when that’s not Deja’s or Annie’s case. Beth swears that they’re still close, but Tess doesn’t wholeheartedly agree with this notion. I applaud This Is Us for making this a marathon and not a sprint. The show could’ve easily ended this argument after one episode so I’m glad that this subject and tension will continue between Beth and Tess.

Miguel To the Rescue

Is Miguel the nicest guy to ever exist on This Is Us? Seriously, Miguel is such a good friend. When Jack decides to propose to Rebecca, Miguel helps his friend every step of the way. While practicing the proposal, Jack accidentally jams the engagement ring onto Miguel’s finger, which causes it to get stuck.

As the men try to get the ring off, Rebecca’s dad arrives to let Jack know that he will accept the proposal, but won’t give Jack his blessing. Jack views this as a win, but Miguel passionately defends Jack’s honor and praises his friend’s heroic qualities. Although he doesn’t say a word, Jack’s father seems to reconsider and offers to help get the ring off Miguel’s finger.

In the present, Miguel also moonlights as a wedding planner and meets with Kevin to discuss the rehearsal dinner. Surprisingly, Uncle Nicky wants to plan the wedding, too. Nicky clearly has an ulterior motive, and it’s revealed when he takes an unnecessary shot at Miguel for marrying Rebecca after Jack’s death. It’s a huge low blow if you ask me. Miguel had every right to punch Nicky, but instead, he takes the high road and explains how he thinks about what Jack would think of this marriage every single day and how he’ll never have a chance to explain his reasons.

Later that night, Nicky calls Miguel to apologize for the insult. Once again, Miguel shows such restraint and forgives Nicky for the cheap shot. Miguel goes one step further and tells Nicky that Jack never fully cut his brother out of his life. In the past, Jack asked Miguel to stand on the altar and say a few words at the reception but never says “Best Man,” because Miguel believes that spot was always reserved for Nicky.

I’m still convinced Miguel will die at some point. I wrote this a few weeks ago.

Kevin And Randall Prepare To Talk

While Nicky and Miguel bicker, Kevin tries to muster up the courage to ask Randall to be his best man. After trying to write an email, Kevin finally calls Randall and asks him to be his best man. To Kevin’s surprise, Randall happily accepts. When Kevin tries to talk with Randall about their childhood, Randall, who had an emotional day at therapy, passes and says to do it another time.

However, Kevin wants to have “the talk” in person and offers to visit Randall in Philadelphia. Randall accepts the proposal.

Next week, the brothers will sit down and hash out their issues. It’s long overdue.

Also, shoutout to Kevin’s exes, who read about his engagement in the tabloids. I can’t wait for Sophie to show up and profess her love for Kevin.

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

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 11 Recap: Uncle Nicky Comes To Town

Uncle Nicky This Is Us

Uncle Nicky’s origins have been somewhat mysterious since his introduction. We know Nicky and Jack were close until that fateful day in the Vietnam War when Uncle Nicky’s mistake accidentally led to the death of a child. That resulted in a separation between the brothers as Jack tried to put his life pre-Vietnam behind him even if that meant alienating Nicky. Last night on This Is Us, we received a glimpse at a happier Nicky and what his life could have been.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 11 Recap: “One Small Step …”

Moon Man

Although he became jaded and secluded in his elder years, Nicky was quite the opposite as a young man. Nicky was a shy, happy, and intelligent guy who lived with his parents and worked at a veterinary clinic. On the day of the moon landing in 1969, Jack, who moved out of the house, visits Nicky and tells him to get out of the house and go out on a date. It turns out that Nicky has the perfect girl to take out in Sally, his coworker.

Nicky and Sally bond over his love and appreciation for the moon. The duo become inseparable as Nicky forms a deep, loving connection with Sally and her van, “Pearl.” One night, Sally asks Nicky to come with her to Woodstock, and then to California to work on her cousin’s farm. Nicky hesitantly agrees at first, but after receiving Jack’s blessing, decides to take the leap of faith with Sally and travel the country.

Unfortunately, Nicky develops cold feet on the night he’s supposed to leave with Sally. After bonding with his father over the moon, Nicky decides to stay, mainly to protect his mother from his abusive father. Nicky noted that he’s “better with her when I’m around.”

The “What Could Have Been” Meet Up

We know that Jack and Nicky met up at least once post-Vietnam when Jack essentially cut Nicky out of his life. It turns out there was a chance for a second meet-up. A few years after Vietnam, Nicky is in bad shape and clearly needs help. His old war buddy tells him about meeting up with some members of their unit to celebrate one of their engagements. More importantly, Nicky learns that Jack will be there.

Despite his fears, Nicky musters up the courage to attend this party. Upon arrival, Nicky notices Jack enter the building, but hesitates to say anything and remains in the parking lot. Inside, Jack receives advice on how to deal with his tough past and how to move on. He’s told to forget about his old life, lock it away, and focus on forming a new life with Rebecca. This advice explains why Jack moved on from Nicky. However, Nicky still had a chance to speak with Jack in the parking lot. Just when he’s about to call out his name, Nicky stops in his tracks when Jack looks at the engagement ring he bought for Rebecca. The brothers then go their separate ways.

Great Uncle Nicky

In the present-day on This Is Us, Nicky surprises Kevin and Madison at their doorstep. He explains how he received an invitation for the twins’ baptism and decided to show up even if the ceremony was taking place on Zoom. As someone with a 90-year-old Grandma who doesn’t use Zoom, I totally sympathize with this mistake.

Anyways, before arriving in Los Angeles, Nicky enlisted the help of Cassidy to prepare for the trip. Nicky is really excited about the trip and even makes two beautiful snowglobes by hand to give to the twins. Unfortunately, Nicky can’t bring his presents past TSA, which leads to Nicky accidentally destroying the presents. This reminds me of Chris Rock’s rant about airport security and how it used to be fun to fly.

In typical Kevin fashion, he starts planning activities to do with his uncle and the twins, which freaks Nicky out since he’s not used to his much love. After debating on pulling an Irish Exit to Kevin, Cassidy talks him off the ledge and encourages him to accept their love.

Late at night, Nicky sneaks into the twins’ room and gives an impassioned speech about his life and how regret and fear have held him back. Nick compares the moon landing to his life, that the impossible became possible. If man could land on the moon, then Nicky could be happy.

This was arguably one of my favorite episodes of the season. Uncle Nicky finally got the backstory he deserved. Hopefully, Uncle Nicky is here to stay.

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

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.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: Here In My Car

Chris Sullivan in This Is Us

To quote Gary Numan, “Here in my car.” Car rides and babies dominated the screen on last night’s episode of This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: “The Ride”

Kevin And Madison Battle The Paparazzi

The paparazzi sucks. I’m trying to think of something nice to say about the paparazzi, but I’m at a loss for words. If you have a family and need to provide for them, then I can (sort of) sympathize with those photographers. However, if you’re single and stalk celebrities for a living, please get a life.

Madison experienced the paparazzi firsthand on her way home from the hospital with Kevin and the twins. A paranoid Kevin pulled over and confronted a photographer when he noticed the paparazzi was on his tail. Before he could start a fight, Madison intervened and cut a deal with the photographer. She’ll inform the photographer when Kevin goes jogging if he stops following them home, to which he agrees. Apparently, Madison is a ride-or-die.

When they arrived home, Kevin passed out in the car and dreamt about Jack meeting his twins. In the dream, Jack held Franny and Nicky while promising Kevin that he’ll be a good father. The dream ends with Jack asking Kevin to go after what he wants in life. It turned out that Kevin wants to marry Madison, and upon waking up, he re-proposed with a hospital bracelet instead of a ring, stealing a page out of a middle school boyfriend’s playbook. Madison accepted so let the wedding conspiracies begin.

Kate’s Dilemma

Things didn’t go according to plan for Kate. After Toby finally met Hailey, it was time to go home and become a family of four. But first, they had to bring Ellie home, who looked upset as soon as she stepped foot in the car. An excited Kate started to plan future playdates between Ellie and Hailey. However, Ellie tearfully revealed that she does not want to have an open adoption anymore. Expect this to come up again before the season’s end.

The bad news kept on coming when Toby shared the news about losing his job. Toby was laid off but withheld the news so Kate wouldn’t worry. Surprisingly, Kate remained extremely positive and reassured Toby that they will figure out their finances later. Something tells me that more problems are on the horizon for Kate and Toby. Unfortunately, Toby’s depression will most likely remerge.

One Shot Of Whiskey, Please

This Is Us brought us back to the day Jack and Rebecca left the hospital with the Big Three. Both parents were extremely nervous and on-edge. Can you blame them? Taking care of one baby is a full-time job, but three babies? That’s like working a 23-hour day.

On their drive home, another car illegally cut off Jack, which led to Papa Pearson angrily confronting the driver at a gas station. To calm down, Jack slammed back a whiskey nip and asked Rebecca to drive home. Upon arrival, Rebecca and Jack elected to stay in the car while the Big Three fell asleep.

At this moment, Rebecca and Jack revealed their biggest fears about parenthood. Rebecca disclosed how her mother experienced a miscarriage and never recovered from the sadness. Jack confessed to the whiskey shot and how he never wants to be like his drunk father. As this power couple tends to do, they lifted each other’s spirits and reassured themselves that they will be good parents.

Beth Wants A Blizzard

It was time for Randall and Beth to bring the cutest member of the family, Annie, home from the hospital. On their way to Dairy Queen, Randall expressed interest in having a third child with Beth. Randall wants a son so his family tree will grow. I don’t have kids, but talking about the next kid while your wife recovers from pregnancy seems like a death wish.

In the Dairy Queen parking lot, Randall explained how he has no family tree. At the moment, Randall does not know about William and Laurel. However, Randall reassured Beth that he doesn’t care about having a boy anymore. Tess and Annie will help grow his family tree.

A Flash-Forward!

It’s time to play “Who is in the flash-forward at Kevin’s house?” At the beginning of last night’s episode, a medical intern left the hospital to avoid a lecture on labor. This intern was picked up by another young woman. We found out that the intern is pregnant.

At the end of the episode, we got the big reveal at Kevin’s house. The pregnant intern was Deja and the driver was Annie. The girls embraced Randall and Tess at Kevin’s house. Right before the episode ended, a white car pulled into the driveway. In other words, the next guest has arrived. Who is it?

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

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8 Recap: The New Big Three

Caitlin Thompson in This Is Us

Let’s make some babies. The new Big Three arrived on This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8 Recap: “In The Room”

Kevin, Madison, and the assist from Randall

Let’s start with the most famous member of the Pearson family, Kevin, who was in a race against time to join Madison in the delivery room. While Kevin battled the TSA, Madison battled her contractions as she did her best to wait for her fiancé’s arrival. Excuse my ignorance if battling contractions is not the proper term. Apologies to all of the strong mothers out there!

Alone and afraid, Madison received an unexpected call from Randall and Beth as they traveled home from New Orleans. The duo did their best to calm Madison down as she prepared for labor. I was ecstatic to watch Randall in a good mental space. It takes a toll on my well-being to watch Randall suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. More Hanson stories, fewer tears.

Thankfully, Kevin arrived before the birth of the twins. Did anyone else feel cheated of an explanation regarding Kevin’s conversation with the TSA agent? He gave this magnificent speech in last week’s episode, and it apparently worked. However, I wish there was a scene at the airport where the TSA agent explained her rationale for letting Kevin on the plane. It could’ve been Kevin’s Jerry Maguire sprint through the airport scene.

Nevertheless, the twins arrived, and their names are Nicholas, in honor of Uncle Nicky, and Frances, after Madison’s grandmother. Kevin called Randall to share the good news and apologize for his actions in the argument to end Season 4. Randall forgave Kevin and wished him well. Not to toot my own horn, but… toot.

Kate And Toby Welcome A New Daughter

Kevin wasn’t the only member of the Big Three preparing for parenthood as Kate accompanied Ellie to the hospital for the birth of her daughter. Due to COVID, Toby waited in the parking lot like he was tailgating for a football game.

Ellie gave birth to a baby girl named Hailey with Kate by her side. However, Ellie went against her own orders and asked to spend time with the baby before giving her to Kate. The writers teased the idea that Ellie would keep the baby, leaving a devastated Kate to watch from afar. Instead, Ellie reassured Hailey that by giving her to Kate, she would be doing the right thing. Eventually, Kate greeted and caressed Hailey as Toby, who bonded with Arlo aka Senator Mitchell Chapin from Amazon’s Jack Ryan in the parking lot, virtually looked on. Toby chose Rose as Hailey’s middle name in honor Arlo’s wife, who finally reunited with her husband.

Rebecca Reminisces At The Cabin

In the past, Rebecca and Jack retreated to the cabin for a romantic getaway. After a pipe burst, they argued about the Big Three and how they’re growing up too quickly. Rebecca reassured Jack that their family will always remain strong and survive. Truthfully, that hurt to watch knowing that Jack dies years later.

In the present, Rebecca bonded with the nicest guy to ever exist, Miguel. Rebecca thanked Miguel for always being there for her especially after Jack died. Just like Jack’s death crushed our morale, Miguel’s death will crush our souls. Yes, I’m calling my shot.

On a group FaceTime between Kate, Kevin, and Rebecca, Kate dubbed the babies as the new “Big Three.” I can’t wait for a Big Three episode centered around these three kids in a flash-forward.

I also want to make note of the storyline between Esther Pariente and Nasir Ahmed. It was a touching tribute to the man who helped develop video transmission.

Next week, we’re going back to the past as Jack and Rebecca bring the Big Three home from the hospital.

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

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 7: The Good Father

This Is Us Kevin

All eyes were on Kevin as he raced home for the arrival of his twins on This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 7 Recap: “There”

Kevin Hits The Road

If you thought Kevin’s twins were going to arrive on their due date, then you must be new to This Is Us. Right before his A Few Good Men moment with Robert De Niro*, Kevin receives a call from Madison, who tells him she’s having contractions. Stealing a page from Jack Pearson’s playbook, Kevin leaves the film, jumps in his car, and heads back to LA. Fans everywhere were happy when Kevin stood up to the director and quit the film.

Side note: Do you think they had to ask De Niro if they could use his name in the show? I think they did. More importantly, does De Niro watch This Is Us? Up until 2020, I’m guessing he never watched. However, I bet he watched a few episodes during quarantine and liked what he saw.

I’m a sucker for a long car ride as a framing device for Kevin’s internal crisis. In the span of an hour, Kevin quits the movie, talks to Randall, secures a flight home thanks to Miguel and Rebecca, and promises Madison he will make it in time for the delivery. Oh, that’s right. He also saved a man in a car accident!

Side note: I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I predicted Kevin wasn’t in a car crash. Instead, he would be the one to help out at the scene.

While conversing with the victim (Joshua Malina from The American President and The West Wing), Kevin conveys how he wants to be like his father, who was always there for every major event. Malina’s character assures Kevin that his kids won’t remember anything about their birth. Still, Kevin doesn’t want to be an absentee father, and missing the birth of his twins would most likely send him on a downward spiral.

This conversation ties in with the two other timelines on last night’s episode. A young Jack must drive his drunk father home after a little league game. Jack’s father, Stanley, berates Jack for losing the game. Fast forward to adult Jack, who travels with 13-year-old Kevin to football camp. Kevin starts to feel the pressure especially after overhearing Jack call him “soft.” After discovering that the coach insults Kevin at practice, Jack takes Kevin to dinner to talk. Then, serendipitously (I pray I’m using that word correctly), Jack runs into Kevin’s coach in the bathroom of the restaurant and orders him to refrain from calling Kevin stupid.

To put a bow around the paragraph above, the idea of becoming a better father than your own father is on full display. However, you’ll always have a piece of your father no matter how hard you try to embrace or avoid it. Jack wanted nothing to do with his father and swore he would never act that way around his kids. When Jack realizes he’s pressuring Kevin as much as his own father, he stops that behavior immediately. Jack emphasizes that Kevin will be a better father than himself one day. Now, Kevin is trying to be like Jack by being “there” for all the big moments. As much as Kevin wants to be like Jack, he will soon realize he needs to carve out his path to become his own man.

At the end of the episode, Kevin makes it to the airport in time for his flight. When he attempts to get passed TSA, it’s to no avail since he dropped his wallet with his ID at the crash site. It’s unknown whether Kevin makes the flight or not.

Randall To The Rescue

I predicted that Kevin would help at the crash site, but I was surprised when Randall called Madison at the end of the episode. Ever since the fight between Randall and Kevin, I said that the birth of Kevin’s twins would bury the hatchet between the brothers. It appears my prediction might come true after all as the promo for the next episode teases Randall and Beth coaching Madison through labor over the phone.

Next week, babies might arrive for both Kevin and Kate!

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