This Is Us 216 – Vegas, Baby

For all the other stuff that happened this week, I think we’ll be able to look back at this one as the one Kevin started to become the man his father always wanted him to be.

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One thought on “This Is Us 216 – Vegas, Baby

  1. Hello there Caroline & Paul–

    I was going to start by apologizing for the way I have come to haunt your podcast regarding all things Kevin “the fifth wheel” Pearson. But actually, I kinda LOVE it. You talk right to me in my tiny little town in rural Maine! So as long as you can stand it, consider me your Maine correspondent/defense attorney for Kevin. The Kevin hate is real out there. On another podcast the host actually threw shade at little 9-year old Kevin for wanting the kids to take charge of Jack and Rebecca’s anniversary. He implied it was still self-serving, that Kevin was really just worried about how a divorce would affect his life. Give me a break…

    Just wanted to go back to your podcast on the previous episode “The Car”. I thought your insights about how Rebecca handled Jack’s urn were so good! I saw those differences, but the significance didn’t sink in until you pointed it out. Rebecca was so obsessed with Jack’s urn at the beginning of the episode and there is definitely a progression throughout until she finally casually passes it off to Kate. I wonder if she would have gotten to that point without her talk with Dr. K. Excellent podcasting wisdom re: the urn—thanks.

    Secondly you mentioned being shocked by Kevin and Kate being less than solemn and obedient as they are leaving the hotel for the funeral. I had a few thoughts about that. My family has checked into a hotel with only the clothes on our backs after our house burned down. You are in total shock for quite a while—and we did not lose a beloved family member. Rebecca seems almost like she is sleepwalking, which seems realistic. She probably did not communicate well what the plan was, it looked like they were crammed into one room, four people had to take showers in one bathroom, they were probably running around like crazy trying to find clothes/toiletries for everybody and making arrangements in the day or two before and even getting Kevin’s cast off. There is absolutely no extended family or friends who are close enough to Rebecca to be there at the hotel helping her. NOBODY!!! And most importantly, they are all deeply in shock and mourning—not just Rebecca. Kevin and Kate are not kids who are supporting their Mom in her time of need. They are just as wounded as she is and even more ill-equipped to deal with it.

    I don’t think Kate was complaining about her dog—I think she was letting Rebecca know that the hotel room was going to get trashed by the dog. And her giving the dog away is all about Jack. Rebecca has no patience for that discussion or soothing Kate’s feelings at that moment—it’s a very cold moment between them. They are all the walking wounded.

    Once again I have the minority opinion. To me, if anyone acted oddly, it was Randall. What is he, a professional mourner? A funeral director? Who asks for his Dad’s watch before he’s even buried? What 17-year old meets and greets strangers and makes small talk at his Dad’s funeral? To me he seemed way too self-possessed and controlled. I thought it was weird. Perhaps out of touch with his emotions?

    Okay, regarding “Vegas Baby”–I find it annoying when people complain about supposedly “slow” TV episodes. Quality television is about storytelling and character development for me. I am not interested in shows that feature car chases, fist fights, affairs and other unrealistic dramatic events every single week. When I hear “slow” it usually means the episode has mature, compelling character development.

    I appreciated the Kate/Beth moments—I hope there will be more of that. I also appreciated Beth losing her patience with Randall and admitting that his anxiety can be difficult to deal with. I’ve been waiting for some relief from the “perfect Randall” narrative. He is a great guy in many ways, but let’s see the other side of the coin.

    Of course I loved that you acknowledged Kevin’s positive story arc in this episode. He is committed to his sobriety and discusses it with the maid. This seems to be a pattern—he likes to engage with the housekeeping staff at hotels, always asking their names? Some commenters have said that he should have had the booze removed from the room, but I think he prefered the challenge of leaving it there. Thank you, for seeing that Kevin knew that he couldn’t be around a bunch of people drinking after getting bad news about his movie. But, it was rude that he didn’t speak to Toby personally when he left the party.

    I’m glad that Toby finally got the bonding experience that he wanted in the end. Kevin and Randall finally understand how important they are to “Toby Bryant”–awwwww. It was good to see Toby give solid advice to both Kevin and Randall. Let’s have more of that—Toby doesn’t always have to be comic relief. I’d like to see his character get more depth as he becomes Kate’s husband and a real part of the family.

    Paul—you know I’m 100% in favor of the “maybe it’s all about Kevin” theory. In the end, maybe Kevin will learn to be a man and father as wonderful as Jack was. The seeds are there. One of my favorite Kevin scenes is when he helps Randall’s girls understand William’s death by making that cool painting with them. That was dope as the kids say. I noticed the painting is framed and displayed in Randall & Beth’s house now.

    New episode tonight. Only 2 left. I’ll be looking forward to your podcast…

    Ellen
    (Kevin Apologist)

    PS
    Paul—slow dancing is just an excuse to hug your wife and sway.
    Caroline—did I hear a reference to you growing up in Massachusetts?

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