Four Fractious Dinners...
The title for episode 10 of This Is Us was I’ve Got This. Jack even utters those words and you could say he quite literally gets it. Miguel has a power dinner to try and help Jack rise in the company now that he’s got three mouths to feed. Things turn sour at the end of the evening when the two executives want Jack and Miguel to player credit card roulette when the credit card that gets chosen has to pay for the expensive dinner. Miguel tries to get Jack out of it, but Jack being Jack he insists on putting his own card in and he ends up holding the bag and has to pay over $200 for dinner. When he goes home and has to tell Rebecca she’s not thrilled and says she’s taking over the finances and she wants 10% of his paycheck every week. In short, she’s got this.
While Randall and Beth were in New Orleans they had her mother looking after the girls. Now that they’re back they’re looking forward to her leaving. Randall has built a refuge on the porch and is raising a basil plant he’s named. Malik comes out seeking the wisdom of Randall about the fact his baby mama wants to be part of their daughter’s life after wanting to give the baby up for adoption. Randall councils giving her a chance because of his own experience of never getting to know his bio mom. When Deja finds out she’s not thrilled. She tells him Randall he’s supposed to be her One and he’s supposed to have her back NOT give Malik advice that could adversely affect her life. Randall assures her he’ll always be her One.
Beth’s special dinner to say adios to her mother doesn’t go any better than Jack’s did. Tess plays her grandmother against her mother and storms away from the table and a private convo with her mother revealing how lonely she is living by herself prompts Beth to invite her difficult and controlling mother to live with them permanently. She tells Randall she’s put up with his family living with them, now it’s his turn. Looks like Randall will be spending a lot of time out on his porch refuge.
By far the worst dinner of all happened with Kevin, Madison, Kate and Toby. The episode starts out with both new parents taking care of their new borns. Kevin and Madison are learning the ropes for the first time doing it together. Madison, whose wearing cow pajamas, feels like a literal cow as both twins take turns nursing. Kevin does the first real nice thing he’s done for Madison when he goes out and buys her a pretty dress to wear. Then he just they get the new Big Three together and have a joint dinner party.
Toby isn’t too jazzed about going to dinner because he doesn’t want Kevin to know he’s lost his job. He has a Zoom job interview and is hopeful he got it. Meanwhile Kate takes Jack to music school and is offered a job there as a teacher. Before going to dinner Toby makes Kate promise not to tell Kevin he lost his job.
Unfortunately, Kevin is kind of acting like a braggart and saying how he wants to build a compound in Malibu for the entire Pearson clan to live in and thinks it would be great if the new Big Three could grow up together. At the dinner table when Kevin offers to buy this device for Kate and Toby that soothes babies, Toby accuses Kate of telling Kevin he lost his job. Then Toby attacks Kevin and Madison’s lifestyle of having a nanny. Kevin jumps in and tells Toby he can trash him all he wants but to keep his lips off Madison because she’s been great. Toby backs off. And then Kate mentions she was offered a job and Toby nixes her taking it.
When Kevin is alone with Kate he tells her his money is her money, which is a nice way to feel about it. If there ever comes a time she needs help with money just come to him because he’s got this. Kate secretly agrees to do that. Kate also reflects that even though they didn’t have much money as kids, they never wanted for anything and she thinks that was because of Rebecca who made their clothes and did other economic things to make their money stretch. She calls Rebecca when she gets home and thanks her for all she did for them as they were growing up and gets some advice on what to do from her mom. Afterwards, Kate puts her foot down with Toby. She’s taking the job, because she’s got this.
Kevin accepts that his dream of a family compounds will have to wait and decides to enjoy the new family his has with Madison. Then there’s a knock at the door. I thought it might be the guy Kevin saved in the car accident. It turns out to be Uncle Nick. He’s comes to meet his namesake, so it seems it won’t be just Kevin and Madison, after all.
A more appropriate name for this episode might have been Four Dinners. The Big Three seem to be facing more changes. Randall and Kevin will face the challenges of living with a family member and Kate will be the breadwinner for the first time.