Once again I praise the excellent This is Us writing team who continue to create characters that touch us and become part of our soul. The storylines are compelling, emotional and surprising. And the cliffhangers… are sick! Just when you think you’ve figured something out, you are taken in a completely different direction. This is Us fans have made the Pearson family our own. We feel their pain. We identify with their struggles, and we share their joy. “The Wedding” was beautiful, powerful, and emotional. It was a great way to end season 2. But, then there was the flash forwards! Do we have to wait until September? Seriously!
As a side note, I tweeted with Chrissy Metz last night! I replied to her after-show tweet, asking her what I was going to do until fall. She replied, “watch This is Us reruns”! It was pretty cool – not gonna lie!
Ok. Let’s recap “The Wedding.”
The episode starts with a wedding. Not the wedding we were expecting, however. When Rebecca came down the aisle, I assumed it was her wedding to Miguel. But the groom was Jack – an older, gray-haired Jack and he and Rebecca were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows. It was how life was supposed to be – before it wasn’t.
On to Kate and Toby’s wedding. The wedding is being held at the Pearson family’s cabin, and Kevin and Randall are the wedding planners. It’s a role Kevin in reveling in. He barks orders to Randall about the “swag” bags for all the guests.
Randall and Beth frantically rush to finish all the bags as Deja walks into the room. But is that really Deja? She’s different. She’s angry. She’s so angry. Nothing Beth and Randall try working. Deja has closed herself off since Shauna left her with them and filed to give up her parental rights. Beth and Randall understand that she feels abandoned and angry with her mother for leaving but they are worried that “their” Deja will not return. Randal and Beth play a game they call “worst case scenario.” They tell each other the worst that could happen in a situation thinking that once it’s spoken out loud, it’s less scary. R & B fear that Deja will end up in jail or turn Tess against them. They fear, sort of jokingly, but not, that Deja will kill them in their sleep (or not in their sleep). They manage to get all three girls out the door and head to the cabin.
Meanwhile, Rebecca and Miguel are getting ready to leave as well. Rebecca is struggling to find something to wear that won’t overshadow the bride. Rebecca doesn’t want to do anything to upset her daughter on her wedding day.
Back at the cabin, Kate and Toby have a moment alone before he heads to the airport to get his parents. Kate gives him a gift. It’s the bow tie worn by Leslie Nielson in Naked Gun 33 ½. Toby is elated! Kevin shoos him off to get his parents. His parents are no longer together, and they bicker back and forth whenever they are together.
Later, Kate is searching for her dad’s shirt that she wants to wear under her wedding dress. When it appears that Toby forgot to pack it, Kate is thrown. The brothers call Toby who is heading back and, yes, he did forget the shirt.
Randall and Beth arrive at the cabin. The drive to the cabin has been horrible. Deja is mean and belligerent. Beth’s cousin, Zoey, is there to photograph the wedding. She asks about Deja. It turns out that Zoey’s history is similar to Deja’s and she offers to speak to Deja. Zoey seems to break through Deja’s anger by telling her basically not to punish the family that loves you because of her mother’s decision.
It’s wedding day, and everyone has arrived. Madison arrives with the dress. The hair and makeup people have arrived. Kate, however, is not! She left earlier to run an errand. Rebecca, Randall, and Kevin are concerned she’s not coming back. Rebecca tries to reach Kate by phone and her brothers take off in the car to search for her.
Without her dad’s shirt, Kate is trying to find something to replace it. She goes to the ice cream shop that holds so many memories of her and her dad sharing his favorite ice cream, banana pudding. Unfortunately, the ice cream shop has new owners, and Jack’s ice cream is no longer available. Now what?
On the hunt for their sister, Kevin and Randall stop by the ice cream shop but just miss Kate. Back in the car, they decide to play the “worst case scenario” game. Randall’s is that they don’t find Kate and have to go back and tell Toby that the wedding is off and Toby has a heart attack and dies. Kevin’s is that Kate will move back in with him. They never find love again and end up as the creepy twins that grow old together. Each of the brothers worries that they haven’t been there for Kate.
At the cabin, Kate finally calls Rebecca. Kate tells her mother about the dream she’s been having. The 40th wedding vow renewal has been Kate’s dream. Life the way it should have been. Rebecca asks about Toby’s part in the dream. When Kate realizes that Toby isn’t in her dreams, she hangs up on Rebecca seemingly more shaken than before.
Kate arrives at the spot in the woods, to the stump where she and Jack sat long ago. She’s had Jack’s ashes. She sits on the stump and tells her dad that Toby is the perfect guy for her and that he would agree. She tells Jack that she has spent so many years trying to hold on to the feeling of him sitting beside her. But now it’s time for her to let him go and make room for Toby. Kate opens the urn. Is this where she spreads Jack’s ashes? As Kate walks back to her car, she finds Kevin and Randall waiting for her. When they ask if she did it (spread the ashes), Kate says yes. Now it’s time to get married!
Kate is in her wedding dress when Rebecca walks in. Kate is beautiful. Rebecca apologizes if she said anything to upset her. She knows that she has a habit of getting in Kate’s way. Kate stops Rebecca. (This mother/daughter moment is the one that made me cry). Kate tells her that all her life she has wanted to be like Rebecca. She wants to sing like her, be a mother like her, everything. Kate tells Rebecca that “she isn’t in her way, she is her way.” Beautiful moment.
As Toby is getting ready, his parents knock on the door. They tell Toby that they have concerns about Kate and feel that he’s making a mistake. They bring up his first marriage and that when it ended, Toby went into a serious depression. They feel that Kate is not good for Toby. Toby tells his parents that Kate is the love of his life and they can both shut up and support him, or they can leave. They stay.
Kate is walking down the aisle. She is beautiful, and Toby is emotional when he sees her. Toby and Kate are married!
At the reception, Tess, Annie, and Deja are standing together. Deja put on the dress Beth got for her and seemed to be doing better. Then Toby's mom walks up to them and tells Tess and Annie that they look like their mom but that Deja looks exactly like her dad! Deja's anger returns, and she heads outside.
At the reception, Kevin makes his toast which is more about how the Pearson’s have to let Jack go physically. They’ve been holding on to his memory for too long. He encourages the four to take a deep breath. Rebecca, Kate, Kevin and Randall each take a deep breath, letting go of Jack and moving forward with their lives.
Randall speaks next and has these words of wisdom, “You can’t control what the future will bring, but you can control who you experience it with.”
As Randall speaks, Deja is breaking the windshield of Randall's car!
We also get a glimpse into, presumably, the year ahead. Kevin and Zoey (Beth’s cousin) are on a plane together. Kevin is holding a picture of Jack and his army buddies and his brother, in Vietnam. What’s that about? Kevin and Zoey? I like it.
The next vision is Kate walking into their bedroom. Toby is in bed. Kate walks up to the bed and for a moment, I think maybe she’s going to tell him that she’s pregnant. But instead, she tells her husband that she has talked to the doctor, and he wants to increase Toby’s meds. It’s obvious that Toby is again suffering from depression – something his parents alluded to. NO! What happened?
Finally, a vision of about 20 years into the future with grown-up Tess and older Randall at Tess’ office. Randall asks Tess if she’s ready to go see “her.” Her? Beth? Deja? Is Beth sick? Is Deja in jail? It’s obvious that it’s a visit neither is looking forward to.
NOOOOOOOO! Don’t leave us hanging like that! Curse you This is Us writers!
That’s a wrap for season 2 of This is Us. I’ll post news and info from time to time, and when a premiere date for season 3 is announced, I’ll let you know.
Have a great summer everyone!