What a tearjerker!
If Mandy Moore doesn’t win every award this year, we’ve got a problem ladies and gents. Her dual speeches that close out the episode are absolutely phenomenal, and Moore does a spectacular job of bringing two timelines to life. Sure the editing is impeccable and seamless, but Moore nonetheless manages to invoke a great deal of emotion and gravitas. Note that she’s not playing off another actor in these sequences; it’s all her and she pulls it off with flying colors.
Ever since the show paired Rebecca and Miguel (all the way back in the show’s second episode), I’ve found myself feeling uneasy while watching Jack’s best friend on-screen. The 20’s wisely flips everything on its head by showcasing Rebecca living many years on her own after Jack’s death, and in dire need of some companionship. It’s only then that Miguel gets in touch and their partnership begins. How great is that? I can finally look back on the storyline now and not feel like it’s icky and uncomfortable (which was definitely not the case before).
Where The Big Three are concerned, The 20’s is most successful where Randall is concerned. Not only does it effectively highlight Randall’s perfectionism at a ridiculously young age (the Halloween map is a hoot, yet also very sad), but it gives us a glimpse into the immensely stressful period he encountered just before Tess’ birth. It’s especially intriguing to note how paranoid Beth was after his first nervous breakdown, and how it all culminated in an especially touching home-birth.
Even Kate’s storyline is surprising. I was sure the coffeeshop customer would reject her in some manner, so it was a relief to see the show avoid the cliché route. In fact, the whole subplot is about Kate losing herself and deciding to sleep with a married man despite knowing about his status. Nothing about her weight is even hinted at, and that makes for a really refreshing arc that leads to her moving in with Kevin.
Part of me doesn’t buy that 20’s Kevin would so deviously try to steal a role from a close friend, but I guess the subplot succeeds in showcasing just how desperate he had become in LA. Plus we get the double bombshell of Kate working as a waitress and Kevin in a hair salon of all places! Perhaps the show could show us more of his adventures with those ladies? Because that would be a comedy goldmine.
– Check out Jack doing that moonwalk! Badass
– Little Randall as Michael Jackson is perfection.
– The “turban” dude and his advice ended up working far better than I expected.
– Kevin’s best moment ever: giving his friend candy in exchange for holding hands with Kate. How cute is that?
– Little Randall exclaiming that “nobody looks like me” was extremely heartbreaking.
– Gutwrenching moment when Jack appears behind Rebecca in those dual monologues. As depressing as it is to know that Jack died so early, his demise adds a great deal of pathos to everything the show explores.
Kevin: (massaging his client) Too much pressure?
Woman: Too much whining.
Salesman: (to Randall) What they don’t tell you is that babies come with the answers. They come out, they look up at you, and you at them, and they tell you who you are.
Rebecca: And life has a middle, too, and middles can be the hardest because that’s when you can get really lost. But middles can be a beginning sometimes.
One of my favorite This Is Us episodes in a long time and the best episode of the season thus far. Brilliant!