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This Is Us -- Forty


Randall suddenly realizes he's black...

This Is Us is back and we’re finally going to see what happened on the sneak peek scenes we saw in last years mid-finale episode where Rebecca was brought home and where Kevin mentioned his pregnant fiancée was lying down because she had morning sickness. Only when we see it unfold it’s a little bit different from what we thought.

If you watched the finale from last season or the midseason finale to bone up for the season premiere you may find it a bit jarring as the show decided to include the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protest in the storyline, since it wasn’t included in the story last season. For instance, Kevin and Madison’s talk continues with the mention of the pandemic. Kevin doesn’t believe it’s real until he gets a text while talking to Madison. Obviously, if you watched the finale there was no mention of it and there was no social distancing at Jack’s birthday party or at the hospital. Meanwhile at Randall’s house they’re watching the video of the murder of George Floyd which kicked off the Black Lives Matter protests throughout the nation.

Kevin and Madison go to Kate to break the news. She insists Kevin social distance so they do it on the front lawn complete with air hugs. Kate is okay with it and happy with it. Kate’s neighbor in a mask is watching from his lawn and Kevin tells him, too. There was no scene of Rebecca reacting to the news or even caring. But then that’s typical Rebecca. She could tell the two important kids about her illness, but blames Kevin’s addiction for not telling him like she blames Kevin being difficult and cringing when she tried to touch him for being a less attentive mother to him than she was to Randall. Blaming the victim is easier than owing your own crap.

Kate is moved to go out protesting for Black Lives Matter with Jack even though the pandemic is still a concern and she keeps texting Randall about it and asks what black causes she should donate to. Randall shares a look with Beth. He’s not impressed. Later in the episode she asks him why he hasn’t been texting her back and he says he’s exhausted. Wasn’t those the exact words Beth used on him to get him to continue therapy? I think Kate was doing it for him and he just looked down on her for it. I actually think he looks down on most of the family [including Rebecca] so he can believe he’s superior to them.

I really hope the show isn’t going to try to make Randall the face of Black Lives Matter because he’s one of the most privileged characters on the show. The only time he got discriminated against was when the white dad of his prom date wouldn’t let her go to the prom with him. Unless they’re going to make stuff up. When he reported his home was broken in we didn’t see him getting any cop tude suggesting he was doing something illegal to make someone break in. And when he beat up the mugger we didn’t see him given any cop tude then, either. Malik and his father and Deja all are better representatives than Randall is. They’ve experienced life as black people living in the black world.

Randall’s also whining about how he’s not even sure if the day he celebrates his birthday is his real birthday. Then why didn’t he ask William when he was around. All these questions he had could have easily been answered by asking William before he died. Later in the episode Rebecca wants to talk about why she lied to him about William and Randall shuts her down. But I bet he’ll be whining about wanting to know why Rebecca lied to him when she’s got full-on Alzheimer’s and can’t tell him. He says he wants to know, but he doesn’t really, since he doesn’t ask the people when they could tell him. It just seems to be something he can use to throw himself a pity party.

Speaking of Rebecca, all of Randall’s machinations were for nothing as Covid19 prevented her from going to the trial and she and Miguel are staying up at the cabin to stay safe from the pandemic. When she disappears Kate calls Randall and he drives up. He apologizes to Rebecca for emotionally blackmailing her about the trial and being her typical Randall enabler self she’s all, “Oh, baby, you have nothing to apologize for.” Some times these two make me wanna puke. At the time he did it, she sure look like she was pissed about it. But now Randall’s back to being her precious perfect baby.

Being up at the cabin seems to have been good for Miguel and he seems to have found his cajones in regards to controlling Randall. Or maybe it was because Rebecca wasn’t in the room and she’d have a fit if he didn’t give in to Randall like she does. Rebecca had been doing good at the cabin and they don’t understand why she suddenly had the episode in town. Miguel is talking to her doctor about what happened when she wandered off. Randall comes up expecting Miguel to hand the phone over to him, but he refuses. Instead Randall has to tell him that he suspects some over the counter medicine he saw in Rebecca’s medicine cabinet caused a side effect and was the reason she got confused. Pardon me while I roll my eyes that Randall knows what medicine Rebecca is on even though he wasn’t with Rebecca when she got diagnosed and immediately knew what medicine she shouldn’t take with it. All so Miguel and Kevin can look shitty for not knowing. Like I said, rolling my eyes.

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Kate thinks that since Randall is at the cabin he can stay and celebrate their birthday but he says he’s going to go home to his family and celebrate his birthday with them and leaves.

Because of Covid, Kevin suggests he and Madison quarantine together. He agrees to stay in Madison’s guest bedroom that’s decorated with all the Japanese stuff she got from her junior year abroad. It’s not a very restful place. One night while watching TV together Madison feels the baby kick and takes Kevin’s hand so he can feel it too. They end up in bed together. Madison suggests since she knows Kevin is worried about Rebecca that they, Kate and Toby quarantine so they can rent a camper and drive up to the cabin to spend their birthday with Rebecca. While there, Madison trips over some luggage and falls on her stomach. She’s terrified she’s hurt the babies and gets Kevin to take her to the hospital to make sure they’re all right.

The scene with Madison and Kevin at the hospital are interspersed with Rebecca in the hospital in labor and Jack freaking out. The doctor has trouble finding one of the baby’s heartbeats and leaves Kevin and Madison alone to get a special instrument. Kevin impulsively proposes to Madison. After the doctor returns and assures them both babies are fine Madison says he can take it back, but Kevin doesn’t seem to want to. So they may or may not be engaged. They also find out they’re having a boy and girl.

Kevin and Madison return to the cabin without telling anyone what happened and Madison isn’t really lying down because she has morning sickness, but because she’s tired from all the excitement. Kate questions Kevin on why he referred to Madison as his fiancée and he doesn’t really explain what happened.

When they get back to the cabin Kevin finds Randall there and it’s a bit awkward between them. Kate demands that Kevin apologize to Randall. She doesn’t, however, demand that Randall apologize to Kevin. More of Randall’s privilege on display. He doesn’t. He does say he’s sorry about not knowing about Rebecca’s meds, but that’s hardly his fault. Miguel is her caretaker and should have known, though.

The backstory was William and Laurel’s relationship. She was in pain after she gave birth and William gave her something and it caused her to stop breathing. He called the paramedics and it appeared she was dead. William was afraid that they’d take the baby from him so he left, never hearing that she wasn’t dead and the paramedics managed to revive her. William started riding on the bus with Randall until he left him at the fire department. Then he came to the hospital where Randall was taken. He and Jack actually walked by each other and never even noticed each other. It also appears Randall wasn’t born on the same day as Kevin and Kate.

When Jack was asked to leave the delivery room he went to the chapel to pray and started thinking about his father. He even called him up, but didn’t mention he was about to become a grandfather.

One of the terms to come out of the Black Lives Matter movement is the term white privilege. Like how a white man can show up to Michigan’s state capitol with a gun and he doesn’t get arrested but protestors for Black Lives Matter got tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets. The interesting thing is Randall is the character written with white privilege even though he’s black. After Jack died he found his bio daddy and now that Rebecca has Alzheimer’s it looks like he may find his bio mommy. He emotionally blackmails Rebecca and she pooh-poohs it all away. Kate tells Kevin HE has to apologize to Randall. Randall got to go to an expensive private school while the other two didn’t. He got expensive athletic shoes. He also got special after school programs. When the three kids wanted to do something in New York he got to do what he wanted first and for longer than the other two, ending up taking up most of the time so there was no time for anyone but Kate to do what she wanted. He’s basically the Mary Sue of the show.

Randall disdains Kate for suddenly becoming aware of the plight of black people, but it’s like Randall has just realized he’s black since there’s this big Black Lives Matter movement. Like it’s hip to be black. Now the white woman therapist he sought out who resembles Rebecca is no longer good enough for him because he’s suddenly realized he’s black and only a black therapist will do. Only a black therapist can understand him and his issues. Me rolling my eyes again.

And that’s how this episode comes to a close.

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