‘This Is Us’ Season 6, Episode 10 Recap

It’s us

Every version of you

Season 6

Episode 10

Editor’s note

4 stars

Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

No. 3 is in the old It’s us Big Three Trilogy, and if you thought it was going to be a doozy given the emotional confrontations, whether external or internal, that the other Pearsons faced in their episodes, well, I have five words for you: Randall-and-Rebecca road trip.

Watching “Every Version of You,” I kept thinking about season one’s “Pilgrim Rick,” the first Thanksgiving episode, in which Randall learns that his mother has been lying to him his whole life about knowing his biological father. The two episodes feel like a pair. If “Pilgrim Rick” is about ripping apart the very special Randall-Rebecca relationship right there on the dining room table, “Every Version of You” feels like it’s finally stitching it back together. Yes, Rebecca has repeatedly apologized and Randall has forgiven her, but something about this road trip feels cathartic and healing. They need this. Maybe we all need to drink bar wine with our mothers.

So how do these two end up on a post-Thanksgiving road trip? Already steals the chicken coop. Immediately after the big meeting with Rebecca and Miguel, Randall tries to figure everything out, including that Rebecca is passing the reins to Kate, not him. You know it hits this guy hard. So what he doesn’t need right now is Deja coming downstairs telling Randall and Beth that she knows Randall told Malik to break up with her, what he just did, and that she hates him. Randall tries again to explain that dropping out of high school to move in with his single dad boyfriend is a really bad idea, but Deja doesn’t want to hear it. And when he tells her that he can make those kinds of decisions for her because he’s her father, she says something that I imagine most of us were expecting her to use to hurt Randall: she doesn’t. is not his daughter. “Tess and Annie are your daughters. I’m just a girl you took from her mother,” she shouts at him. This one stings. The next morning, they learn that Deja took off for Boston in the middle of the night.

Randall is ready to drive there so quickly that he basically has a trail of cartoon dust behind him. Rebecca is trying to get her son to breathe, and he’s kinda looking to ask Kate to take care of it since apparently she’s now taking care of the family issues. It’s so wicked! Rebecca decides she’s not letting Randall go alone – she follows.

The first half of this trip sees Rebecca trying to temper Randall a bit. This guy is about to leave. No one blames him – his teenage rant – but Rebecca is right in that anything he says to Deja or Malik right now would likely only make things worse. She makes him stop for a sandwich so she can take her meds and reminisce about what they used to do together when Randall was little – lots of reading and eating smiling cookies – and it’s just nice. Rebecca even wants a picture of them hanging out. When the waitress asks if they’re celebrating something, Rebecca says no, “just a day with my son.” To see? Pleasant!

When Beth calls and says she has heard from Deja and is fine in Boston, Randall wants to go, go, go, but Rebecca once again tells him to slow down. Give Deja the night. And this boy listens to his mother. They meet up at a dive bar and Rebecca fangirls about Randall’s article in a local Philadelphia magazine; she started to read Back home because he said he was in the article. They drink bad wine and play darts, and yes, Rebecca wants more pictures with her son. Throughout this journey are glimpses of Rebecca and Randall doing similar things when Randall was little. She watches him in the car and remembers looking in the rear view mirror at his little face in the backseat. When they brush their teeth side by side at the motel where they spend the night, she remembers that they used to do the same when Randall was a child. When Randall has to open Rebecca’s medicine for him, he’s the one who remembers his mother doing the same for him when he was little. It’s a very “time is a circle, the world spins madly on it” kind of stuff. When Rebecca looks at Randall, she sees him whole.

When getting ready to go to sleep — don’t worry, they have separate beds, Kevin, godddd — Rebecca overhears Randall on a call with Jae-won. Randall probably hasn’t felt this close to Rebecca in a while, and he seems almost thrilled to let her know what’s going on — he’s on a DNC shortlist to run for a Senate job when the current senior senator will retire. He’s not even sure he wants to, especially with, as he puts it, “so much uncertainty in the family.”

Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with Rebecca, who literally just talked to all of her kids about taking risks and not making their lives smaller because of her illness. Guess he couldn’t hear it on his tear alone; such is the life that Randall leads. The next morning, she wants to sit with him by the motel’s closed pool. She talks about how crazy and wonderful it was to watch him grow up, and how even before Jack died, they had a special relationship, and how he always took care of her no matter what. That’s why she could never ask him to be the executor of her care. She knows he would drop everything to help her and it would eat away at him. “You are my hero, Randall,” she tells him – he has DOUBLE tears here in case you need to know how meaningful this moment is – and, more importantly, adds that she “won’t be there. no one to hold [him] more back. I mean, I wouldn’t say that to Kate, but okay.

Everything is so beautiful and a great closing chapter on this relationship that had a strong presence on It’s us. The scene ends with Randall confiding in his mother that he knows he will win if he runs for the Senate. He knows it in his bones. And then from there… you guys, if It’s us ends with Randall Pearson becoming President of the United States, as this episode implies more than once, my head may explode. I can take almost all It’s us twist, but that? I don’t know if I can handle this. I thought it was just supposed to be an emotional family drama with Milo Ventimiglia’s butt in it!! I didn’t know it would be the prequel to a west wing to restart !!

In Boston, they’re leaving! Randall has already heard from Deja, and it’s not good. I mean, it’s not good for her – it’s great for Randall. She and Malik have ended things and she wants to go home. Randall can’t even speak as he pulls up in front of Malik’s building and walks over to Deja. Malik wants Randall to know that he didn’t end things because Randall told him to, but he ended things for the exact reasons Randall explained to him, so you do it, Malik. Randall tells him he’s a good boy and things like that can come back if they’re meant to be, especially on this show, so who knows?

However, Randall still can’t bring himself to talk to Deja. Sitting in the back of the car, she apologizes for what she said because, of course, Randall is her father. “You’re the only one I’ve ever had,” she said. Rebecca sits there watching her son watch her daughter, and she’s moved by it all. And by “everything” I mean life and the passage of time. It’s a very deep road trip!

The end of the episode gives us a little label to each of the Big Three stories: Kevin has returned home with the twins and is proud of himself. After calling Phillip, Kate returns to Toby’s apartment and tells him she’s not ready to move to San Francisco, “not with where. [they] are right now. And Randall calls Jae-won to tell him that he wants to go ahead with Senate business. They each follow their mother’s orders and “go ahead” in a more or less important way.

• It’s hard not to think of the other road trip Randall took with a relative: in “Memphis”, William shares his life with him and then dies before they get home. Randall had special one-on-one time with his people!

• Back at the closed pool, Randall and Kevin are still trying to convince Kate to climb the fence when a police car pulls up. He wants to bring them in for trespassing and underage drinking (could you be cool, Kev?), but Randall takes the cop aside and tells them how they’ve all been struggling since their dad died a while ago. two years old and tries to hold it all together, but if they get arrested, his mother will be broken. Plus, he doesn’t want to get arrested because he wants to be president one day (!!!). The cop lets them go!! Randall is truly a hero.

• I love watching the older teenager Big Three having fun at the restaurant. This version of the Big Three must have been so sad and angry, it’s nice to see them enjoying being together.

• Back to the first day at the pool, Little Randall passes the test to be allowed to swim in the deep end, despite his parents not really paying attention to him. However, he is the one who ends up getting all the Pearsons in the pool together to play.

• No, still not tired of hearing Jack and Rebecca shout “Swimming goggles! ” like that.

• Rebecca has a keepsake box tidied up for each of her kids – that’s why she’s taking all those pictures of her and Randall – and we see her putting in Randall’s article, which she got him to sign at the case where. She is preparing for the sequel.

• Has anyone else cried the four times they heard Mandy Moore give that “You won’t make your life any smaller because of me” speech? No? Neither do I. We are all doing very well here.

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