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'This Is Us' recap: 'The Right Thing to Do'

Posted on

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
09/20/16
performer:
Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Sterling K. Brown
Producer:
Dan Fogelman
broadcaster:
NBC
genre:
Drama

We gave it a B+

An Arrhythmia: Kate and Toby

Speaking of major beginnings, back in present time, Toby’s big scare from the midseason finale was so much more than just a gasp-inducing cliffhanger. Turns out, the reason for his Christmas Eve collapse was an arrhythmia, which required an emergency stent implantation to address. Unfortunately for Toby, that wasn’t the full extent of his heart issues; he’s also got a pretty sizable hole that needs to be repaired or else he could have much more serious complications down the road.

Good news! The doc on hand is just the guy to do it, with tons of experience and zero concerns about his prognosis. Bad news! Toby’s a wimp when it comes to going under the knife — it’s not just these BFD procedures that throw him for a loop. He’d be squeamish over a hangnail removal.

Kate is, of course, in favor of the potentially life-saving surgery, but Toby’s being a “child” about it all, so she goes away angry before he makes the big grand gesture and beckons her back with exclamation-point and emoji-filled ASAP texts. He’ll go through with the surgery for her because he loves her. Love isn’t a word Kate’s used to slinging around, so she doesn’t return those three words and lives to regret it during his lengthy operation time. Eventually, once he’s made it through and laying in the twilight zone of morphine recovery in his bed, she whispers that she loves him too … and, of course, he was only pretending to sleep and actually heard everything because that’s how you reach peak drama in a moment like this.

Then comes a proposal. Yes, just like that. Toby’s taken to Kate so quickly and assuredly that even if they’ve only, like, just reconciled after a few weeks-ish of dating, he’d “marry the hell out of” her. He really just wants to cut to the chase anyway because, he says, all the pomp and circumstance and traditional courtship rituals are really “just life trying to get in the way.”

Are we doing a head-tilt-aww thing over this? Or is it more of a polite-golf-clap and side-eyeing the room to gauge other peoples’ reactions kind of celebration? ‘Cause, frankly, Toby’s sense of ownership and constant need to be THERE even when he’s not expected (Christmas Eve), wanted (Sunday football with Dad), or necessary (the weight-loss meetings he takes little to no stock in) is kind of weird.

Hey, at least he survived and kept the whole “nothing bad ever happens on Christmas Eve” tradition alive.

Randall and William (and Jessie)

Randall is just the cutest thing in the world, isn’t he? Beth has him figured out, alright, because it’s completely true that he cannot help but be the good guy who makes the most empathetic and earnest decisions at every turn. In fact, his devotion to being a right-thing-doer when it comes to William causes him anxiety and a sudden sense of urgency to improve and self-correct.

He doesn’t recognize the feelings he’s having over William’s newly revealed (and rekindled) relationship with Jessie; it’s jealousy, of course, and it’s a pretty big testament to Rebecca and Jack (and, erm, Miguel maybe?) that he doesn’t see the parental ownership urge for what it is. The more time William spends with Jessie, the less time he gets to spend with Randall. And since William’s time is a precious commodity no matter how many chemo milkshakes he downs, Randall’s starting to wonder whether there’s something more nefarious in his bones. Is he homophobic all of a sudden, he wonders? But of course not. Cruelty’s not in his nature.

Once he accepts that, he moves on to trying to bridge the divide between himself, much like Beth did with William. Only, he doesn’t have pot brownies to split, so the two don’t hit it off quite so well. Instead, what we get from their time together is a hysterical moment where Randall accidentally tries to offer the recovering addict some whiskey and then proceeds to tell Jessie he sees why his dad likes him because “the sexiest thing about a man is a sense of humor.” It’s 11,000 shades of awkward in the best way.

NEXT: Home is where the art is?

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