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This Is Us -- The Challenger


Rebecca's salad days may be over...

I was anticipating the premiere of This Is Us’ final season like I do a loaded piece of pizza with extra cheese only to take a bite of it and find the crust burnt and no sauce underneath all the toppings.

The episode was entitled The Challenger and featured Jack and Rebecca helping the kids deal with seeing The Challenger space shuttle blow up on TV. Kevin had the weirdest reaction of the three kids not believing it was true because it was on TV. He ended the episode by crawling in bed with Kate for comfort. I imagine once The Sophie dumped Kate as her friend and hooked up with Kevin that closeness came to an end for awhile.

I’m not sure where I expected to find Kevin and Madison after the wedding fiasco, but not Kevin living in Madison’s garage co-parenting with her. Kevin’s challenger was a geeky little guy named Elijah who was calling Madison “Maddie” and getting a little too close to her for Kevin’s liking even though he doesn’t love her. Kevin eventually decided this wasn’t working and moved in with Kate.

Okay, what was the point of Rebecca telling Kevin to build the house Jack wanted to build at the end of last season when he obviously isn’t doing it. I mean, come on, when is he going to build the house. This is the last season and with only a limited amount of time left isn’t it time to get a move on with this house?

My second pet peeve is apparently the Pearsons are treating Kevin like he’s the victim in the called off wedding when he was going to marry someone he didn’t love. It seems they’ve all drawn their wagons around him and have apparently offered no support to the real victim in this situation…Madison…to the point she refused to attend the birthday party because she’s not family. I wonder if it’s also cooled off her friendship with Kate. I remember how they all let Kevin rip Madison apart in the hospital waiting room for daring to come to be there for Kate while she was delivering Jack and not one of them told Kevin to back off and leave her alone. It’s one of the nastier parts of the Pearson family.

The challenger for Randall was learning they caught the man who broke into his home and ended up sending him into therapy and he was carrying a picture of Beth and Randall. He decided to go to court to confront him. Randall quickly could tell the man was mentally ill so he bailed him out and decided he was going to help him. Only the man never keep their appointment to meet up later. But Randall still decided he needed to do more to help people.

I thought when the guy was carrying around a pic of Randall and Beth that he had some connection to it. Maybe he was the son of Laurel’s older brother or William had another son. But no, he just liked the picture cause they looked happy.

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Rebecca’s challenger was her disease causing her to not to be able to remember the word caboose. She spent the whole episode obsessing over remembering the word. She finally did, but some day soon she won’t be able to do that. She also shared the news that her latest brain scan showed her condition was deteriorating.

Toby and Kate were still trying to wrangle the challenge of long distance marriage. He arranged a message for her and surprised her by coming home early. At work, Phillip lured Kate to the school to hear her students since her Time After Time. She arrived in time to hear him coldly dumbing his current girlfriend by telling her she bored him. The actors who play Phillip and Kate keep saying how Kate and Phillip are going to be a slow burn, but again, this is the last season with a limited amount of episodes. I also have a hard time believing when the final credits role Kate and Toby won’t be back together. It would be one thing if Toby found someone better for him and was happy but from the glimpses of his future that’s not the case.

Finally, Nick has been staying with Miguel and Rebecca and won’t stop yipping about Sally. Rebecca finally has enough and tells Nick they’re going to take him to see Sally and that’s what episode two is supposed to be about. Malik and Deja and Nick and Sally.

While I’m rooting for Malik and Deja to make it, I’m not rooting for Nick and Sally to get together. I like Nick, but no matter how you slice it he really did the dirty on Sally and doesn’t deserve a happy ending with her. It was his choice not to go and meet Sally and wasn’t like crossed wired and a twist of fate that kept them apart. That means Sally waited for him to show up and when he didn’t she was left to realize he wasn’t coming. He couldn’t even have gone to her and say he wasn’t coming which would have been the decent thing to do.

Even after that Sally wrote him while he was in the war and when he came back he bought a trailer and drove by her house and didn’t see anyone there so he just kept on driving. Did he even get out of his car and knock on the door to see if anyone was at home? NOW after how many decades he wants to get together with her. I really just hope she’s happy to see him, but she’s moved on, as he should have done a long time ago.

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