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This Is Us -- Birth Mother


This episode is entitled Birth Mother as Randall and Beth drive down to New Orleans to talk to Hai. The back story is the story of Laurel, who is really dead this time. As I suspected last week there’s no other stories besides Randall’s story being featured.

It seems Laurel came for a rich New Orlean’s family and her father had issues with her. He didn’t like her spending time with her aunt [which wasn’t really explained; maybe she was too down to earth for his snooty self] and ordered her not to see her anymore. She also had a brother that went off to Vietnam and died over there.

Working the Farmer’s Market with her aunt, she met Hai. He tells Randall and Beth she was the love of his life. As well as Laurel’s house now belongs to Randall.

Laurel and Hai become lovers. Then her Snooty Father told her some guy was going to propose and she was to say yes. To escape the marriage she was going to be forced into by Snooty Daddy [why didn’t she just leave home and live with her aunt? No one can make you marry someone you don’t want to. The days where women were chattel ended a long time ago.] she said goodbye to Hai and went to Pennsylvania, where she met William, got into drugs and had Randall.

Randall’s not really interested in Hai’s love story with his mother. Typical Randall. He wants to know if William knew and lied to him. Hai explains William did think Laurel was dead and never found out she was alive. He ran off before the paramedics revived her and as it turns out it’s a good thing they did.

When Laurel wakes in the hospital she’s arrested for drug possession and put in prison. Since there’s not enough room in the local prison she got shipped to another state to do her sentence. When she gets out she’s too busy beating up on herself for having taken drugs that she doesn’t think she deserves to try and find Randall and returns to New Orleans to live with her aunt. There’s one scene of her phoning Snooty Daddy but never speaking to him.

Laurel’s aunt tries to get her to see she’s being too hard on herself and gets her to walk out in the water and scream it out to release it all. Then one day she sees Hai at the Farmer’s Market like how they met, but Hai was married with children, so he and Laurel couldn’t get back together until his wife kicked the bucket. I feel bad for his wife that he was lusting and yearning for the Great Love while they were married. I hope he hid it well and she never knew, but on some level don’t women always know?

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Anyway, Laurel died of breast cancer and if they were going to kill her off again before Randall could meet her why not just leave her dead. Anyway, Randall goes out in the water and imagines his dead mother is there and she helps him scream it out and Randall feels he’s healed.

What really made me grind my teeth was him being healed because he now knows his bio mommy and daddy loved him. That might be a great moment had Randall grown up in foster care and never had a mother and father that loved him, but he did have a mother and father that loved him. Jack and Rebecca always had to put him first or he’d have one of his episodes. Jack gave up his dream of having his own company to send Randall to a fancy school. Rebecca has a lousy relationship with Kevin because she always put Randall, first. And yet nothing they ever did was ever enough for Randall. Only knowing his bio mommy and daddy loved him is enough. So it’s like everything Jack and Rebecca did for him means nothing compared to bio mommy and daddy loving him, because they were just his adopted parents.

On the way home Randall now feels he’s ready to make-up with Kevin after blowing him off. He calls him up and this time he gets blown off because Kevin is trying to rush back home to Madison because she’s in labor. He also says he regrets ever leaving.

What I wonder if he’ll actually call up Kate and apologize. I doubt he’ll apologize, he said horrible things to Kevin and didn’t apologize, so why wouldn’t he do the same to Kate. The way he treated Kate was worse because she has never done anything to deserve the way he treated her. She wasn’t asking HIM to make her feel better like he claimed and he’s never done anything in his life to make her feel better. That was Jack and Kevin. She was actually trying to make him feel better by protesting in the Black Lives Matter movement and then he ghosted her and told her he couldn’t make her feel better because he was just too tired.

The problem is Jack and Rebecca created an environment where Randall is entitled and he’s never held responsible for his actions and they continue to go along with the indoctrination. Kevin apologizes to Randall but Randall doesn’t apologize for all the horrible things he said to Kevin. And Kate will probably just feel lucky Randall is speaking to her again without demanding he apologize for the way he treated her.

Yeah, it’s obvious I don’t like Randall. I don’t like the way he’s always been written. I feel he’s the shows Bobby Lou. That’s the male version of a Mary Sue. He can say and do rotten things but he never has to own or apologize for them. I remember last seasons finale where he sat there and lied to Kevin and Kate knowing Rebecca was about to announce she was going to do what he wanted because he’d emotionally blackmailed her into doing it. And he continued to lie as Rebecca covered for him. Why couldn’t he have just been honest with them and the fight that happened between Kevin and Randall wouldn’t have happened. Instead when confronted by Kevin he kept walking away like he was too good to talk to him.

In the end the only thing that changed is that the Big Three myth is dead as Randall wasn’t born on the same day as Kevin and Kate. Otherwise resurrecting Laurel briefly didn’t really change much else in the story.

If I could say something to Randall, which I'm sure would go in one ear and out the other. You're lucky you had adopted parents that didn't treat their bio kids better than you and who always put you before their bio kids, Yet it was never enough for you since your bio parents what was really mattered to you.

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