Kate got a surprise visit, Kevin realized that living in Madison’s garage wasn’t going to work, and Randall gave the man who robbed him a break.
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 1 jumped right into the storylines they’re going to use to wrap the series up.
Our TV Fanatics Laura, Christine, and Jack discuss what’s going to happen to cause Kate and Toby’s marriage to implode, the parallels between the way the Big Three handled the Challenger explosion and Rebecca’s bad health news, and all other things This Is Us.
Kate and Toby seemed to be in a good place despite the distance. What do you think happens between them to cause their marriage to unravel?
Laura: Maybe it’s just me, but something did seem off with them already.
Kate’s essentially a single mom, and Toby called for 30 seconds on her birthday. He made up for it by coming home, but big gestures aren’t going to save their marriage.
I think Kate will tire of doing the everyday stuff by herself, and something will happen to Rebecca, and Toby won’t be there. It’s the little, everyday things that matter.
Christine: It’s clear Toby is trying hard to make up for being so far away, but nothing takes the place of being home. He’s missing all of the important moments, both big and small.
I think Kate will tire of feeling like she’s in this alone, and Toby may not want to give up a job where he feels successful and valued, and that will lead them to the inevitable crossroad.
Jack: It seemed like Kate missed Toby and was thrilled when he came home, so I’m also guessing the distance between them will destroy their marriage.
How did the way each of the Big Three reacted to the Challenger tragedy relate to how they responded to Rebecca’s health news?
Laura: I didn’t see much of Randall’s reaction on the Zoom, but I imagine, just like as a kid, he’ll want to save everyone like he did that criminal. Kevin has a hard time facing bad news, and Kate is the eternal optimist.
Christine: Randall seemed to put all of his efforts into someone he thought he could save, even though that didn’t work out. Kevin needed time to process everything both then and now, and Kate was the one Kevin ran to in order to help him do that, just like when they were kids.
Jack: I also thought that the Big Three each reacted the same way to Rebecca’s health news as they did to the Challenger tragedy. I also believe that they all felt the potential loss of their mother keenly after hearing Rebecca’s news, in part because she was so supportive after the Challenger tragedy.
Did Kevin make the right decision about the Manny reboot?
Laura: I think so. It’s wise for him to stay in LA to provide stability for the twins and be there for his mom.
Christine: Yeah, sometimes we take jobs for other reasons than the job itself.
In this case, Kevin can be there for his kids and Madison and not have to travel as he likely would if he pursued different movie roles.
Plus, this could lead to other opportunities down the road. He may not love the job, but Kevin loves being a hands-on Dad, so taking this job makes sense right now.
Jack: It was a tough one only because Kevin had such a miserable time with the original Manny. But I agree that this job fell into his lap at the right time and will allow him to be there for the twins and Rebecca.
Have we seen the last of the man who robbed Randall, or will he be back now that he’s free and didn’t show up at the shelter?
Laura: I’m not sure. I doubt it. There has to be a bigger reason why they brought him back.
Christine: The man obviously has issues due to either drug use, mental health problems, or both. It wouldn’t surprise me if he popped up again, especially since Randall seems to have a new mission to help people suffering from addiction.
Jack: This Is Us rarely does things that don’t have deeper significance, and the robbery story wasn’t exactly on the top of my list of things I was hoping to get closure on. In fact, I’d forgotten about it until this came up! So I’d guess that there’s a lot more to this story coming, and we’ll cross paths with this guy again.
Was Rebecca’s insistence that Nicky visit Sally a good idea or a disaster waiting to happen?
Laura: I can’t wait for the road trip to meet Sally. I think it will be fun.
Christine: Even if it is a disaster, it’s still a good idea.
Nicky has waited his entire life to see Sally again. He needs answers, and the only way to get them is to finally meet her and talk to her.
And who knows, there’s always the possibility that it works out.
Jack: I agree with Christine. The road trip seemed impulsive and out of nowhere, especially since Rebecca is dealing with realizing her dementia has progressed right now.
But Nicky was obsessing and complaining and not doing anything to find out what was possible now with Sally. So he needed that push to take action.
Discuss anything not already mentioned about this week’s This Is Us.
Laura: I thought Kevin and Madison were good co-parents, but Kevin doesn’t have good boundaries if he thought their relationship wouldn’t change.
I wonder where he’ll live now or if he’ll move in with Kate.
Christine: Oddly enough, I kind of love that Kate has become such a competent mother and teacher all on her own.
She was a bit of a mess when the series first began, so I’m enjoying how stable she is now, even with Toby living elsewhere.
Jack: I wonder what’s ahead for Kevin, romance-wise. He seemed to be harboring hope that he and Madison would eventually work things out, and he’s committed to co-parenting and being there for the twins. But with Madison having already moved on, a renewed romance between them isn’t likely.
What was your favorite quote, story, or scene?
Laura: I loved the parallel scene of Little Kevin climbing into Kate’s bed, realizing someday their parents will die and Kate and Kevin bonding over how far they’ve come and Rebecca’s illness. I love their relationship.
I also loved how sexy Beth was being with Randall on his birthday. It reminded me of Jack and Rebecca.
Christine: I liked seeing how differently each of the kids reacted to the Challenger tragedy and how Rebecca worried about them.
Everyone reacts to this type of thing differently, and even though Kevin seemed unaffected on the surface, it shook him perhaps most of all.
Jack: I almost mentioned Beth in the question above! I loved her sexiness with Randall as well. I also was a huge fan of the Little Kevin/Kate scene.
And can I say that so far, Mandy Moore is knocking the older Rebecca scenes out of the park! I loved the whole story with Rebecca trying to remember the word caboose and her relief when she finally did.
What do you hope happens throughout the rest of This Is Us’ final season?
Laura: I really hope we see more of how Miguel and Rebecca became a couple and how their relationship evolved.
I love Beth, so I want to see how she ended up owning a dance studio.
I’m curious who Kevin will end up with, if anyone.
I hope all of our questions will be answered by the end.
Christine: I still love Kevin and Madison, so I’d really love to see them find their way back together as a couple.
And I also want to learn how Miguel and Rebecca ended up together. I’ve been begging for their story since the beginning of the series, and I’ll be crushed if I don’t get it before the show is over.
Jack: I also want more of Rebecca and Miguel’s story! I’m hoping for answers to everything Laura mentioned, too. I also want more of Randall’s kids and especially some more flash-forwards about what their lives are like when they grow up.
Your turn, This Is Us fanatics! Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your answers to these questions. If you missed the episode, come back after watching This Is Us online!
This Is Us’s final season airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.