This Is Us

This Is Us 2×03 – Déjà Vu

"In my experience, there's no such a thing as "a long time ago." There's only memories that mean something and memories that don't."

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I honestly didn’t expect Sylvester Stallone’s guest-starring turn to be successful. But shockingly enough, his performance was heartfelt and charming, and his chemistry with Kate was off the charts. In fact, I enjoyed their dynamic so much that I kind of want these two to always catch up in future seasons. This subplot did a good job of bringing up Kevin’s inability to face his feelings concerning his father’s death. Although I’m wary of a prescription pill addiction storyline, I’m glad that Justin Hartley will be getting some meatier material going forward. He’s certainly up to the task.

Deja Vu is most notable for introducing the newest member of Randall and Beth’s family: foster child Deja. In addition to the fact that she’s got the coolest name of all time, Lyric Ross is perfectly cast as the troubled kid. Moreover, she’s got the hour’s most gut-wrenching moment – she cowers back in fear when Randall enters the room and this is where we realize that she’s been through some pretty traumatic abuse. I love everything about Randall and Beth’s layered marriage, and I have a feeling this storyline is going to be the season’s MVP. Plus anything that gives Tess and Annie more screen-time is fine by me.

Sadly, the past couldn’t live up to the present this week. I liked the idea of Rebecca trying to get through to Jack, but everything from her seduction to their various heart-to-hearts fell flat to me. Of course Moore and Milo were as stellar as always, but the script unfortunately let them down. Oh well, a show this consistent is allowed to have some missteps every now and then.

Heartwarming Bits

– So we now have Randalling and Jack Pearsoning as verbs. Epic.

– Annie asking if they could return Deja was hilariously rude.

– Horrifying but realistic: Kevin making Kate cry by calling her sad and damaged.

– Young Randall trying to track down his birth mother and having that incident with the junkie in the park was really bizarre. Definitely an undercooked storyline as far as I’m concerned.

– How great was the juxtaposition of Deja and William breaking the household rules? Especially loved both scenes featuring the line “This house is crazy.

– I can’t get over how great Faithe Herman is when Annie has that heart to heart with William. This is Us is finding clever ways of keeping the deceased character on the show.

– Even more masterful editing: Kevin filming the action scene with Sylvester intercut with his dad taking care of him when he broke his leg.

– Beth’s face when Randall calls her “super fine” is priceless.

– Justin Hartley delivers a really nuanced performance during that “Twin Fight” call with Kate.

– The dog that Rebecca and Jack find is the same one that Kate is holding when she finds out about her dad.

– So was Kevin previously addicted to pain medication? It feels like there’s a history there with his “bad knee”.

Triplet Talk

Beth: (to Randall) Oh, damn. Bolognese. I love it when you cook your feelings.

Randall: Look at this place. There’s two staircases, kitchen island the size of Maui.
Beth: Yeah, ’cause kids in need love them some big old kitchen islands.

Randall: I really think that being a foster parent was my calling. Like that call was my calling calling.

Kate: Everybody looks, like, busy and important. Everybody on The Manny just looked pasty and sad.

Jack: What’s all this?
Rebecca: I’m Jack Pearsoning you. That’s a term I made up for when you sweep someone off their feet

Stallone: You got a great sister here.
Kevin: Yes, I do. Thank you for noticing. We like here a lot. We’re gonna keep her

Conclusion
Deja Vu is an enjoyable hour, but it’s also not particularly special. The bar has been set way higher.

Nad Rating
B

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