#This is Us S1 Ep 16 "Memphis" Episode Recap
Thank you for joining me for my first This is Us blog. I became a fan only recently after hearing so many of my friends rave about the show. I started binge watching and fell in love with the cast, story lines, originality, etc. It's just a great show.
I start my blog recapping Memphis, which i think is one of my favorite episodes. I love that they didn't spend too much time focusing on Randall's breakdown and I love that William was able to give Randall a glimpse into his life before he died.
So the episode begins with Randall and Beth at the doctor's office one week after Randall's breakdown. Randall wants to take William on a road trip to Memphis. Beth is very much against the trip but the doctor thinks it would be good for Randall.
As they prepare to leave, William gives his granddaughters a goodbye kiss. Although the girls don't realize it, William knows that this really is goodbye. Randall and Beth say goodbye at the car and they are off. Randall, still the control freak, says no GPS this trip. They are road tripping the old way with maps. He tells William to navigate and hands him the maps. William tosses them out the window! Loved that scene!
William admits to Randall that it was hard for him to see his son so vulnerable. The Randall he had come to know was always so together. Randall explains that he has been that way since he was a kid. He explained that when he got overwhelmed his father, Jack was the only one who could calm him down. He would place his hands on each side of Randall's face and they would just breathe until he was calm. William asks Randall to take him to where Jack is buried. William thanks Jack for raising his son to be a good man and wishes they had had the chance to meet. It's a beautiful scene.
First they stop at William's old haunts - his favorite BBQ joint and the men get haircuts at the old barber shop. Then its on to William's childhood home. In one of the many great flashbacks this episode, we see William's mother and father together in that house preparing for William's dad to go off to war. Soon after William is born, his mother finds out that his father was killed in action. It's clear that William and his mother and son have a good life in that home. Back to the present, Randall and William approach the house and Randall asks if they can come in. William wants to see if his treasures are still there and much to Randall's amazement, William pulls a brick out of the fireplace and pulls out his toys put there when he was just a child. Randall hands them the brick, apologizes and they leave. I love that Randall just goes with it.
William and Randall walk into the bar where he played keyboard in his cousin, Ricky's band. Flashback to William saying goodbye to his mother who is moving to Pittsburgh to take care of her ailing mother. In the flashback, William joins the band and they become very successful. Flashback to William receiving a call from his mother. She is ill and he leaves the band for Pittsburgh to take care of her. He promises Ricky that he will return. William never does. It is in Pittsburgh he falls in love with the girl on the bus, Randall's mother. Together, they care for William's mother until her death. Drug abuse changes the lives of William and his girlfriend. William resisted drugs for a long time but with his mother gone, he becomes an addict. Back to the present we the band is back together. William and Ricky have made amends. William seems strong and the band is back together and having an awesome jam session. Other family members gather at the bar and Randall is drinking, meeting his cousins and having a great time! I loved this scene too!
From day one, William has been talking about showing Randall the ducks at the Peabody hotel. That is the plan for what will be the last day of their trip. The last day of William's life. After having such an wonderful day, Randall awakens to find William is bad shape. He calls 911 and they head to the hospital. The doctor tells Randall that they don't have much time. As Randall sits by William's side, William tells Randall "the two best things in his life were the person in the beginning and the person at the end.” William then tells Randall that he's afraid and Randall takes both hands and places them at the sides of William's face and tells him to just breathe. William is gone.
As Randall heads home, without realizing where he is, he sees the ducks at the Peabody Hotel crossing the road.
The next episode of This is Us, "Saying Goodbye" airs tomorrow at 9 pm on NBC.