But the This Is Us episode also took time to examine individual characters. We heard Toby’s reaction to Kevin offering his castle-in-the-sky vision of a family compound. And we also watched Kate achieve a major milestone with a significant career move.
Now the producers are offering some sneak peeks into the next episode, as well as some insights into what all the interplay at those dinner tables and beyond means for the future. (And yes, we haven’t forgotten Nicky: We’ve got the scoop on what his appearance means as well.)
Kevin and His Compound: Why Toby Refused
This Is Us viewers have repeatedly been teased with visions of a family compound concept created by Kevin (Justin Hartley). So exactly who lives on that compound in addition to Kevin, Madison (Caitlin Thompson), and their twins?
The most recent episode showed Kevin trying to get Toby on board, from taking money to living in the future compound. Sorry, Mr. “I’ve Got Money,” but Toby has pride despite his unemployed status. He’s not drinking the “we’re all one big happy family” Kool-Aid!
This Is Us also emphasized how we change our definition of who is our family as we grow. Kevin seems to have stayed in a more youthful mentality, seeing anyone linked to Kate as a member of his immediate family.
And that’s put Kate between a rock and a hard place, trying to stay loyal to Kevin on the one side while honoring Toby’s desire to keep it all in their family on the other.
Kate and Her Job: Getting Superhero Strength From Mom
In the end, Kate recalls what her mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore) did when they were growing up to pay for the twins: Rebecca took charge of the family’s finances.
Consequently, although Toby (Chris Sullivan) appears uncomfortable, Kate (Chrissy Metz) surprisingly gets superhero strength from her mom and insists on keeping the family funded by working at Jack’s music school (all together now: “Let’s start at the very beginning; A very good place to start;When you read you begin with A-be-see; When you sing you begin with do-re-mi”).
As the This Is Us producers pointed out, Kevin had the very best of intentions in wanting to be the one to save Kate and Toby’s family finances. But while Kevin believes that “we’re all a family,” Toby defines relationships very differently.
“You guys are a family, and we are a family,” explained Toby to Kevin.
You could almost see the flashbulb of “Oh, yeah!” understanding shine in Kevin’s head.
Relatively Speaking: This Is Us Weaves Tangled Storyline
The same episode of This Is Us took us to the dinner table of Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown), where Beth’s mother Carol (Phylicia Rashad) was making life so uncomfortable that Randall headed out to the porch to talk to a basil plant he named Isaac.
In true This Is Us fashion, the storyline got tangled, with Deja (Lyric Ross) upset that her boyfriend Malik (Asante Blackk) has sought advice from Randall about the return of the mother of Malik’s daughter.
Into all this comes one more relationship: Kevin opens up his front door and discovers Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne). We hope he likes sushi!
The producers noted that they are seeking to have This Is Us tell “the generational story” of how each mother fits into her household. But it isn’t just mothers playing surprising roles. What role will Uncle Nicky play?
In a sneak peek, the producers revealed that “the next episode is Uncle Nicky-centric.
“And we’re going to find out what happened not only on his journey to Kevin’s doorstep but also learn more about him in the past. One thing I will say is that he’s obviously doing well enough that he was able to get to them. Whether that was an easy journey or not, we’ll see next week.”
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