Season 5 Episode 9
4 star editor rating ****
Photo: courtesy of NBC
Last week we saw a whole bunch of Pearson babies being delivered. Now is the time to bring them home. But it’s not just Frannie, Nick, and Hailey who are home for that rough ride home from the hospital: this episode falls on a slew of Pearsons driving newborns home for the first time. . If all of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, your mind might be heading to the season two episode The Car in which yes, we have several storylines that took place in the Pearson Wagoneer. It’s not that. Yes, the edit towards the end of the episode was a lot like Wagoneer’s, but where The Car was more of a family car like a kind of book of memories and a way to look back and remember a life together. , The Ride is on the start of a journey together.
Let’s start with Jack and Rebecca leaving the hospital with the Big Three for the first time, as it’s the most emotional of the various car rides we have in this episode. And also because I think I decided that Jack and Rebecca from the late 70’s and early 80’s were my favorite Jack and Rebecca. Why? Who to say. It probably has 73% to do with Jack’s beard. 86 percent. Either way, how terrifying must it be to leave the warm, supportive cocoon of the hospital with three newborns? No one can blame this security guard who sees Jack improperly installing the car seats and after learning that Jack has triplets, just responds oh my God bless you before you go. Jack and Rebecca are very brave people and no one wants to get involved in this situation if they don’t have to.
Jack and Rebecca are also very busy people. Of course they are! Besides having to keep three humans alive, let’s not forget that it was just a few days ago that Rebecca lost a baby in childbirth. She and Jack barely started to deal with this loss. It’s no wonder she looks distressed when she realizes she can’t see the babies’ faces from the front seat to make sure they’re okay on this ride.
And then the babies start to cry. So Jack, who is trying to prove to Rebecca and himself that he’s a competent supplier, already hurts him on the freeway when a real asshole of a driver interrupts him. They arrive at the same gas station and Jack is about to unload on this guy but Rebecca talks to him. To calm himself down, Jack walks inside, buys himself a tiny bottle of whiskey and lowers it. He asks Rebecca to drive the rest of the way back.
When they finally arrive in their hallway, the three children are sleeping soundly. They decide to wait for her in the car, which finally leads them to open up about the emotional spirals the two are experiencing internally. Oof, this scene is so good. It’s just the right amount of emotion and sentimentality and also advances character development. Rebecca is scared of being a bad mother because Shell is too sad, she has seen this happen to her mother after a miscarriage and she feels like a completely different person than the one who left to go have her babies ago. barely four days. Of course, what just happened to her changed her, how could he not? but Jack assures her that doesn’t mean she won’t be a great mother.
He is unable to accord himself the same kindness: he is completely terrified that hell will be exactly like his father. He talks to Rebecca about the whiskey and the rage he was ready to unleash on this driver. It’s his father. His father hated being with his own family and he sucked in air from any room he was in. Jack’s relationship with his father has been a staple of the show, but it’s received an even bigger spotlight this season and I hope This Is Us goes away more. We still haven’t seen what happens to the Pearsons immediately after Jack and Nicky’s return from Vietnam. And we know that Jack asked Stanley for money to buy his dream house and Rebeccas’ and he refused to see it when he was dying, but is there something in between that we should know? There is some interesting stuff out there waiting to be discovered.
Either way, Rebecca tells Jack that he won’t be like his father. You don’t suck in the air from the room, you are the air, she told him, which is corny as hell, but also I’m in it. They realize that they will be fine because they are together and it is very sweet and maybe we should all sit in cars while the babies are sleeping in the back so we can feel the things again, I don’t know, it’s a strange time.
Meanwhile, these days Kevin shows us once again that he looks a lot like his father in the best and worst ways. He too finds himself plunged into rage as he drives home from the hospital with his newborns. He too must be canceled by his partner before he does anything regrettable. Kevins Problem, however, is not a reckless driver, it is the paparazzi who follow him to take a picture of the Manny with his new babies. Madison who, by the way, is like the calmest new mother on the planet which is wild because I don’t think Madison has ever been calm for a minute in her entire life can see that Kevin is hopelessly deprived. of sleep talking about how he pulled a man out of a burning car and slipped his way into a robbery without ID? So many follow-ups!) And she gets behind the wheel and forces him to take a nap. It’s in this nap that we have a little interaction between Kevin and Jack.
Kevin dreams of stepping on Jack (interesting that this is Mustache Jack from Kevins ‘childhood and not Kevins’ goatee Jack from teenage years, right?) Holding his new grandchildren and ready for a heart to heart with his son. Dream Jack tells Kevin he needs to stop trying to live up to him. You see, Jack spent so much time worrying about becoming his father and Kevin is stressed out about not being like his father and all they do is waste time being afraid. He tells his son to decide what he wants and go get it. Obviously, this is all in Kevins’ head, but it sounds like a very close to the mark speech for Jack.
What Kevin wants is his family. For real and forever. So he officially proposes to Madison (well, officially with his hospital bracelet). They do that, I guess?
And what about Jack Pearsons’ other son? One of our other road trips after the hospital follows Randall and Beth after the birth of our only true savior, Annie. All Beth wants is a Dairy Queen Snickers Blizzard. All Randall wants is to talk about having a third child. Randall is so. I know we already know it, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves. Beth is like another human recently out of my body, just give me a fucking blizzard, man and Randall obliges, knowing he is SO MUCH, but he also explains where he’s coming from with this extremely untimely request.
A nurse at the hospital said Annie had her father’s eyes and that’s a big deal for Randall, who has never looked like family. There is a difference between knowing your family and knowing where you are from. This, of course, is the same thing we’ve seen Randall grapple with these days. He wanted to be related to something bigger, he wanted to understand his roots, which is why the search for his biological parents was so important to him. As for the children, he wants to build a family tree full of branches. Guy loves plant metaphors, okay? Randall hopes that even though he and Beth have no more children, his daughters will have babies and his family tree will grow again and again.
This is where the flash-forward comes in. We meet Adult Deja and Adult Annie, who go together to Uncle Kevins’ house to join everyone in saying goodbye to Rebecca, and Deja is secretly pregnant. ! Annie knows but no one else. Our tater tot has his own tater tot! Randall will be so excited that his tree gets a new branch. But even better: we learn that Deja is in the process of becoming a doctor. Were all so proud!
Kate and Tobys’ plans are thrown out the window as they return home from the hospital when a visibly upset Ellie tells them that she knows they’ve accepted an open adoption full of visits and photos, but she doesn’t. just can’t be a part of Haileys life yet. . She wants to say goodbye and move on. Kates is devastated, especially after seeing what Randall went through without knowing his birth parents, but Toby tells him that everything will be fine. And who knows, Ellie might want to meet Hailey at some point in the future. They have that. Do you remember how messy Toby was when Jack was born? He is so reassuring and stable now! What a twist.
It’s an intense day at the Pearson-Damon house because Toby also has to inform his wife that he’s been fired. Then his Kates are reassuring. These two seem to be in such a great place at the moment.
Okay, so just as Old Randall is about to walk into Old Kevins’ house with his adult daughters, another car pulls up, beeps, and Old Randall says look who it is then. that he and Adult Deja make a sign of familiarity. With most of our other major cast being factored into the flash-forward (Is Miguel still alive? Is Madison Kevins the woman?), It looks like This Is Us is setting us up for some sort of reveal with Kate. . Are the answers in this car? When will we find out? Its possible Im disproportionately invested in this flash-forward!
Beth’s deep love for her DQ Blizzard was very relatable. I mean, she chooses Snickers and I’m more of a Butterfinger girl, but I really felt seen.
Learning that Randall would be having weekly parties with Felicity with her mother is the most precious gift.
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