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Article

This Is Us recap: Season 1, Episode 8

Turkey and stuffing and secrets galore

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

I’ve really been enjoying the reconciliation and growing relationship between brothers Kevin and Randall. Actors Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown have a fun, playful dynamic that easily comes across on screen. But if you believe in the idea of a balanced universe, their coming together must spell trouble for another familial relationship…and it looks like Randall and Rebecca’s is in the crosshairs.

We pick up with the Pearsons — of the ’80s and ’10s — in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. Retro Rebecca is anxiously preparing cranberry sauce for dinner with her parents, hoping to at least match the expertise of her sister’s perfect sweet-potato pie.

“I hate going to grandma and grandpa’s,” Randall exclaims. And who can blame him? They always ask for pictures of the twins (sans Randall).

Jack returns from the store with road-trip snacks (it’s a six-hour trek to grandma’s house — way too far to travel for green-bean casserole, if you ask me), and he instructs the kids to make one more bathroom pit stop before they leave. But as Randall and Kevin run back into the kitchen, they collide with Rebecca, who’s carrying the cranberry sauce. It shatters to the floor. Thanksgiving: Not off to a great start.

In the current timeline, Kate and her support group are discussing the challenges of a holiday literally built around food. One woman mentions her gastric bypass surgery (and the 30 pounds she’s lost) and how she can’t feast or else she’ll spend the entire day in the bathroom. Kate takes note. Cut to her and her still-not-dieting boyfriend Toby dining later that evening. Kate has made a bold decision: Toby won’t be coming home with her for Thanksgiving because she and Toby will no longer be dating.

“I think we should take a break,” she says.

“A break. Why?” he asks, caught unawares.

“Because I’ve been dreading this date,” she answers. She just can’t handle watching him eat whatever he wants. It’s too much of a trigger. She, of course, tells him he’s free to do whatever he wants, but does remind him she warned she couldn’t date a fat person.

“So now what? You’re just going to throw me away?” he asks.

“You were better than my wildest dreams,” she says. “But I’m still not happy, Toby. And it’s not just about my weight. I’ve got to get a handle on myself. The weight, all of it. I need that more than anything right now. I want it more than anything right now.”

“Even more than me?”

She doesn’t answer. They are done.

NEXT: Hold the sweet potatoes, Miguel’s bringing awkwardness