Episodes like The Wedding are exactly why I love This Is Us. There was some big laughs, some ninja onion cutting moments and those truly introspective, reflective scenes that feel relatable in spite of vastly different circumstances.
Just to make sure everyone was paying attention, the episode kicked off with an intriguing What If scenario — What if Jack didn’t die and he and Rebecca were renewing their vows at the cabin. This gimmick was hard to pull off since the writers couldn’t trick us on this one. It 100% could not be real. While This Is Us is doing more flash forwards to go along with its flashbacks, it’s not quite at the Lost or Fringe stage of alternate realities just yet.
The solution was probably just as effective as it was eventually revealed that this was Kate’s dreams of how their lives should have been. Interestingly, there was no Miguel or Toby. Or even Sophie with Kevin if this was truly the idealized version of the Pearson Plan. It was interesting that Randall and Beth were together with the girls, but Kate and Kevin were still single.
Wouldn’t Jack staying alive helped Kevin be more stable and be a better husband to Sophie? And it was also interesting that Kate still envisioned herself at that size as I thought Jack’s death was the biggest trigger for her not caring about her weight. I know, logistics.
But dreams and reality rarely meet. Kate seemed to be reaching a point of closure, but needed to say her farewell to Jack in her own way. It couldn’t be at their old ice cream spot. That’d been replaced by a new wave ice cream shop. I’m glad the clerk wasn’t a hipster and tried to help her out.
Randall and Beth had their own issues as they were dealing with a new Deja after her mom waived the parental rights paving the way for her to be adopted. This wasn’t the mute Deja Classic and it definitely wasn’t the appreciative Deja 2.0. This Deja was mad and needed something to lash out against. I immediately wanted to play Beth and Randall’s Worst Case Scenario game. Does Deja eventually do something to hurt Beth?
Beth’s cool baby cousin Zoe (Melanie Liburd) was able to relate since she resented Beth and her mother when her mom left. For a time, Deja was fine and even acting somewhat sociable, but her anger is going to be a Season 3 issue. The Deja arc has been exhausting and I hope Beth and Randall aren’t dealing with her drama all of next year.
This was the first episode in a while where Kevin and Randall were on the same page and trying to put out any and all pre-wedding fires. Hopefully Season 3 finds the Pearson brothers in more fun situations together like trying to replace Jack;s missing shirt was really funny. Too bad they didn’t do a better job of hiding that bat though…
It was nice seeing Toby’s parents played by TV fan favorites Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me!) and Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years). As they broke down their concerns with him marrying Kate did anyone else think they kinda had a point? Hey at least Kate got him that swank bow tie from Naked Gun 33 1/3 The Final Insult.
I loved that Kate let Rebecca in tonight. Kate was all in her emotions and called her mother to help her work them out. And just when it was time for the wedding, Kate finally gave her the positive reinforcement Rebecca has needed from her daughter all her life. Rebecca wasn’t in Kate’s way, she was her way. That transition to Jack’s conversation with Kate about finding the right guy was beautiful and a little sad since he was not there to walk her down the aisle.
Kevin did have a great toast. It’s nice to see the incremental steps he’s taking to becoming more and more like his father. It was a beautiful ceremony and I’m glad Deja shattering Randall’s car windshield didn’t ruin the night.
Just in case you thought we were getting a completely happy wrap to the season, The Wedding foreshadowed some not so pleasant moments ahead for our favorite family. Toby looks to be suffering from depression. Adult Tess doesn’t want to go with Randall to see ‘her.’ Does Beth have Alzheimer’s? Did Deja go to prison? Is Annie in the hospital? So many questions and so many fractured emotions here!
One positive — Kevin and Zoe are a couple. She did say she loved a good wedding toast. Liburd is going to be a series regular next season so she’s going to stick around for a bit. I like that combination and Zoe made a great impression in her scenes. We knew the chances of Kevin not hooking up at the wedding were exactly zilch.
Maybe just as significant as Kevin finding someone who could be his ‘one’ is the fact he’s got Jack’s Vietnam picture. Looks like Kevin has grieved enough that he’s ready to learn more about his old man. I like that subplot already.
With that another season of This Is Us is in the can. Randall and Beth’s storyline felt like manufactured drama for most of the season, but the strength of Kevin and Kate’s made up for it. Is it time for the fall yet?
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: NBC