THIS IS US IS BAAAAACK
by Julie Perez
You know how I know This Is Us is officially back? My face is has tear-stained and my nose won’t stop running; Crying Tuesdays are a thing and I am here for it. Spoilers are ahead, read with a tissue in hand and with extreme caution if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
“A Father’s Advice” begins with a voiceover from William and suddenly the pain comes back all at once. To say I am emotionally invested in each character, is an understatement and William’s death hit me particularly hard (I have the crying selfie to prove it). He is prominent in this episode and the first tears of the night came when we saw him in a flashback talking to Beth.
When Season 1 came to an end Rebecca and Jack had gotten in a fight and had decided to temporarily separate (Jack was meant to go stay with Miguel), Randall and Beth decided to adopt (but really Randall decided), Toby and Kate were engaged and continuously adorable (Toby comes through with the perfect comedic timing), Kevin got a big movie and moved back to Los Angeles for filming.
The episode starts with the teenage Big Three finding out that Jack and Rebecca are taking a big break, with none of them taking it well. The interesting way in which they are telling the story bring forth so many more emotions than the audience is usually used to. It becomes even more difficult to see Rebecca and Jack fighting since we have discovered Jack’s inevitable destiny, it feels like their time is limited so all I want to see from them is a happy and healthy relationship. It brings a whole other level of anxiety to the television-show-viewing experience.
Randall and Beth begin the adoption process in this first episode and the beauty in these two actors is that even during their tumultuous moments, you do nothing but root for them. The magic for This Is Us comes through in the dialogue (give me just 30 minutes in that writing room, let me try to soak up all their talent) with Beth and Randall creating masterpieces within conversations. Whether they are arguing, compromising or problem-solving the heart of their relationship lies within the words. After some thinking, some grieving, some flashbacks; it is decided that they will adopt an older child.
Often times I find that television shows lose the raw reality, when they find a glimmer of a happy-ending within a storyline but this is not the case with Kate. We see her in a healthy and happy relationship yet her problems are still her problems and her insecurities are still prevalent in her personality. She has decided to pursue her dream of becoming a singer, she goes on an audition to be the lead singer of a wedding band and I’ll save you the details; this is a scene worth watching. Though I will say, Kate (Chrissy Metz) opens her mouth to sing and my heart is suddenly in my throat, then she opens her mouth to stand up for herself and suddenly I find myself holding my heart in my hand. Chrissy Metz is truly magical on screen.
By the end of the episode you remember why you became so invested during their first season. The answer is in Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), this story is the one that began everything with Mandy and Milo being completely mystical in their portrayal. Towards the end of this episode Rebecca goes to Miguel’s house to tell Jack to come back home which in turn forces Jack to admit that he has a drinking problem. Which is where the strength of this relationship comes in, because even when finding his biggest flaw, Rebecca chooses to fight for the love that is so prevalent between them.
This was a beautiful first episode back; tears were shed, laughs were had and a smile was permanently spread across my face. Though the last scene of the episode was gut-wrenching (we get a MAJOR hint as to how Jack dies) it was just a reminder of what makes this show so absolutely special.