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This Is Us -- Changes


Kevin and Madison learn some new things about each other...

The past story is about the Big Three hitting puberty. Kevin is about to start his ill-fated football career, Kate’s crushing on a boy and Randall has a not very pleasant encounter with one of Kate’s friends. In the present Randall finds his perfect black therapist, Kate and Toby meet a birth mom who might let them adopt her baby and Kevin and Madison hit a rough patch.

It’s a rare flashback story where Kevin is actually getting some attention from Jack as he sets up a work-out area in the garage for Kevin and shows him the safe way to pump iron. He even tells Randall to back-off when he tries putting Kevin down. The interesting thing is this is actually something Jack and his Dad did together, as well.

Kate thinks the boy that dumped her wants to get back together because he wants to work on a school project with her. He disabuses her of that notion but saying he’s just into desert biomes. Rebecca comforts Kate when she tells her the truth.

Meanwhile Randall gets propositioned by Kate’s friend, but not in a good way. She wants to see what it’s like to kiss someone like him. Later Rebecca is all excited about what she thinks is a budding romance and Randall doesn’t tell her what really went down.

In the present, Madison’s insecurities are getting the best of her being with someone like Kevin. She wakes up in the morning before he wakes to put on make-up so she’s looking her best. She also isn’t too thrilled when she hears Kevin say he’s going to diet so he can be all buff for sex scenes he’s doing in his next movie. Kevin thinks she’s upset because he’s doing sex scenes and Madison assures him that’s not it. Then while they’re out walking a fan gets Kevin to take a selfie and is able to tell Madison is pregnant just by looking at her. Madison tells Kevin she wants to walk home on her own and for him to not follow her.

When they meet back at the house Madison confesses to having an eating disorder. That she has a picture of the babies sonogram on the refrigerator to remind herself to eat, but that’s it’s her problem and she’s got it handled. Later, when she finds Kevin in the garage working out like he did when he was a kid and Jack taught him to work-out with weights Kevin tells her he’s an alcoholic and he has his own issues, as well. He also wonders why if he’s playing a lawyer why he needs to be buff? That he got his first big break by taking off his shirt but now that he’s getting older it’s getting harder to keep his body buff. Madison tell him she has Bulimia and that when she was 17 it almost killed her.

Kevin says his parents were super connected to each other but missed so much about the kids and that if they want to be good parents they can’t be polite strangers who hide their selves from each other. They both admit they worry they’ll pass their stuff on to their children.

Kate and Toby meet a pregnant woman who wants to give up her baby. All seems to go well and they seem to connect with her. But Toby remains cautious because she could always change her mind.

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Randall finds his perfect black therapist. He gives Randall her first assignment to help him to get to know him better and asks him to write a story about something that tells him something about Randall. Randall decides to write about Kate’s white friend who wanted to kiss him because he was black and that really doesn’t tell the therapist anything about him. As I said before, he’s trying to make his issues all about Black Lives Matter and this story fits in with Black Lives Matter. But it doesn’t really get to the heart of any of his issues. This therapist is going to have a hard job ahead getting Randall to stop using Black Lives Matter to blame his issues on to get to the heart of them.

Tess is also effected by the Black Lives Matters protests as she and her white friend post a negative rap video about their teacher telling her not to touch her hair. The principal tells Beth and she and Randall punish Tess by grounding her and taking her phone from her.

Rebecca and Miguel weren’t on but they sent Kevin and Madison balloons to celebrate their engagement. Meanwhile Kevin still hasn’t gotten Madison a ring. I keep hoping maybe Rebecca will give Kevin her engagement ring from Jack for Madison.

I wonder if Randall decided to go out for football, too, because of all the attention Jack was giving to Kevin, when usually Randall gets all the attention. I’d also imagine there would be time both boys would be playing football games at the same time and Jack and Rebecca would have to choose between which boy’s game to go to. Randall likes to be the one who is the center of attention. He didn’t like it when William got attention for playing the piano and he tried to learn to play the piano to compete with him. So it would make sense he did the same when Kevin started playing football and getting attention for it. It may be why he resents Kevin’s being an actor because he can’t compete with him on that level and take the spotlight off of Kevin and on to himself.

Just one of Randall’s many issues that don’t have anything to do about Black Lives Matter issues. It may be more of Jack foisting the Big Three on Randall and trying to get him to fit into that mode but because he was different he never felt he fit in. Randall wondering if he really has the same birth date as Kevin and Kate is an attack of the Big Three Myth. Also wanting to celebrate his birthday separate from Kevin and Kate may be another sign.

It’s also interesting that Kevin was talking about wanting to make up with Randall, but Randall doesn’t seem to have any desire to do the same. Yes, what Kevin said wasn’t nice but Randall tried to make Kevin feel worthless as a human being; that there wasn’t one good thing about him and he’s never expressed any regret over what he said. And the whole thing started because Randall was lying about persuading Rebecca to go to his trial.

So as the episode ends Kevin and Madison got to know each other better and their relationship changed and deepened, Toby and Kate have possibly found a baby to adopt and that will change their family, and Randall has found his new therapist which is a change for him.

Finally, we were introduced to a Vietnamese man and his granddaughter. At the end it was revealed how they fit into the fabric of the Pearson Family. The grandfather’s girlfriend is Randall’s bio-mom Laurel. So she’s definitely lived after being revived by the paramedic. The question is how will Randall find out which will really bring about changes in his life.

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