After a season of ups and down and episodes ranging from very mild to extremely intense, this is a This Is Us I’ve been excited for.
This episode did a lot. It tied up all of the loose strings from this season, as well as finally let us know what the heck we’re going to be watching now that the show’s main plotline (Jack’s death) has finished.
Let’s break it down like this:
This entire episode starts with what feels like a flashback, but it’s modern day? Immediately it’s pretty confusing, but Kate later clarifies that it was a dream.
We see Rebecca (Mandy Moore) walking down the aisle, and then Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) at the the end of the aisle. It’s their 40th anniversary, and they’re renewing their vows. It’s a super sweet, beautiful wedding, and the entire Pearson clan seems really happy.
The second flashback we get comes towards the end, when Kate is just about to walk down the aisle. Young Kate (Hannah Zeile) asks her dad if she can marry him one day (very Sweet Home Alabama). He tells her that’s not how it works, but that one day she can marry a man who is perfect for her. He talks about how he’ll walk down the aisle and probably cry, which is just emotional when it’s playing next to Kate walking down the aisle IRL.
MEET ZOEY, BETH’S COUSIN:
Zoey, Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) cousin is taking the photos at Kate and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) wedding. The two of them are definitely super tight, immediately joking and catching up when they see each other.
We immediately think her relationship with Deja will be important (it is, and it still could be).
While Tess is giving Zoey the details on the new Deja situation (her mom terminated all parental rights), she offers to go to talk to her “only because I used to be the angry kid.” While Zoey is talking to Deja, we find out that her mom left when she was 7, and after that she was raised by Beth’s mom. She took it out on them, and “got real good at making their lives miserable.” Then, one morning, “she forgot to hate them.”
Deja is apprehensive at first, but Zoey definitely said something to her that worked because we later see her all dolled up for the wedding. (Side note: Beth’s dress!)
During the reception, we see all three little Pearson girls at the dessert table. Toby’s mom comes up to them and tells them that they are the spitting image of their parents. This upsets Deja a lot. She storms out, and we see her smashing Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) car during his toast.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!
In a flash forward, also during Randall’s toast, we see Zoey and Kevin (Justin Hartley) KISS on a plane to Vietnam! At the end of the episode, we see her approach Kevin with some compliments about his speech, as well.
She’s definitely going to become a major player next season and I, for one, can’t wait.
Brief aside, but I feel like it might become important later.
Toby’s parents come to him an hour before the wedding and let him know they have some concerns about Kate. Their reasons are that, “It feels like you’re constantly bending over backwards to calm her,” and that, “It feels to us like she might be a little bit unstable.”
They also say that, when Toby married his first wife, they knew it wasn’t going to go well and they didn’t say anything. They just don’t want him to go down the same path with Kate, because he was deeply depressed during his divorce.
Personally, I think they’re wrong, and Toby does, too. “My whole life, I wanted you two to agree on something, and now you finally do. You agree that I shouldn’t marry the woman I’m madly in love with. Kate is not like Josie. She would never hurt me. She cares about me.” Toby tells them (go off, Tob!).
He basically tells them to take it back or GTFO. We later see them at the wedding, so they must have decided to chill.
We do, however, see a flash forward during Randall’s speech, which ties back to this. Kate walks into their dark room and tells Toby that the doctors want to see him tomorrow to talk about changing his medicine. He doesn’t look well, but I did notice that he is in a button-down shirt. His mom mentioned that she found him at home, under the covers, in the middle of the work day during his divorce, and this feels similar, minus the divorce. This is This Is Us, though, and this could mean anything.
THE BIG DAY!
It’s Kate’s wedding day!! I’m so excited for her and Toby.
They’re getting married at the family cabin in the Poconos, which is where we meet up with the whole fam the day before the wedding.
A lot is going on, but we start with a cute moment between Kate and Toby. She thanks him for for making this her dream day and letting her do the “weird” stuff she wants — like having her dad’s T-shirt as her something old and having her dad’s urn next to the guest book.
Probably my favourite thing about all of this is that Kevin and Randall are the wedding planners. They’re being such good brothers, and they know it, too (which is pretty funny).
In the midst of this all, Kate realises that Toby forgot to pack her dad’s shirt that she was using as her “something old”. The boys have this under control, though, and scavenge around the house for other old things of Jack’s that might be there. They come up with some random bits though, like a hammer.
We also see Rebecca and Miguel (Jon Huertas) getting ready for the big day. Rebecca is worried about her dress being too flashy. She doesn’t want to do anything to make Kate think that she’s trying to be showy on her day. She also feels like she’s a “walking reminder of Jack,” and Miguel is all, “If that’s anyone, that’s me.”
Now it’s wedding day!
First thing in the morning, Kate goes to “run an errand” to replace her dad’s T-shirt. She goes to the ice cream store that she and her dad used to go to, but now it’s all new and artisanal.
When the bridesmaids show up to start getting ready, Kevin and Randall really start to stress that they’ve lost Kate. They head out to look for her, playing Randall and Beth’s game of “Worst Case Scenario” in the car.
Some worries they have:
Randall is worried Toby will be so shocked that Kate ran away that he’ll have a heart attack and die.
Kevin is worried that she’ll have to move in with him, they’ll never find love, and that they’ll become “one of those creepy twins who grow old together.”
Randall is worried that he got too absorbed in his own life, stopped looking after his sister, and now this is his fault.
Kevin is worried that he never helped her, especially after all the times she helped him, and now this is his fault.
This game doesn’t make them feel any better.
Finally, Kate calls her mom. She explains here that the “flashbacks” are actually her dreams she’s been having. “The way it was supposed to be,” she calls it.
Kate then goes to a tree (it looks familiar, but there are a lot of trees in this show?) and talks to her dad. She knows that he would have no doubt that Toby is the one for her, and she doesn’t have one either. She takes a moment to reminisce, and then tells her dad that she has to let go a little now and make room for Toby, spreading some of Jack’s ashes.
When she’s done, Randall and Kevin are waiting for her (unclear how they found her, but it worked).
SIDE NOTE: Kate’s dress is PERFECT. YES, KATE!!!!
Rebecca speaks to Kate about her wanting to stay out of the way, and Kate tells her the sweetest thing. “All that I’ve ever wanted was to be like you. I want to be a singer like you, I want to be a mom like you, I want to have a marriage like yours. You’re not in my way, you are my way.” So, so sweet.
Whew, am I crying during the wedding sequence! Everything is beautiful! Kevin and Randall walk Kate down the aisle! Jack’s old tools are in her bouquet as her something old! They’re married!
The reception is just as nice as the wedding, but it really focuses on the two Pearson brothers’ speeches.
Kevin’s speech focuses a lot on their dad. He says that Randall and him have been going crazy, but they wanted to make this day perfect for her because “that’s what dad would’ve done.” If he were here, he would’ve said ‘Katie Girl, you have never looked more beautiful than you do right now’.” He also then asks the four of them to “release that breath” they’ve been holding in since mourning their dad. He ends it with a funny “Sorry this toast was weird, I’m not an expert on marriage.”
Randall’s speech is great and so him. It basically goes like this: “There is absolutely zero point in trying to control the future, because nobody knows where we’ll be. Not even a year from now. But what we can control are the people we choose. Choosing our people is the closest we come to choosing our destiny. While everything else may change, if we choose right, your people will stay the same.”
During this, we see all the flash forwards that set us up for the future of This Is Us — Toby and Kate talking about his medicine, Zoey and Kevin on the plane, and Old Randall and Grown Up Tess.
Remember Future Randall and Tess? They’re back!
There was a brief flash forward with him and Tess where he tells her “It’s time to go see her,” and then they both agree that they’re not ready.