TV Episode Shout Out: This Is Us…

Normally up until now on my blog, when I’ve highlighted a series it’s usually with a write up about a full season or that series as a whole. Then an episode from the current season of “This Is Us” happened and I just had to acknowledge it for being a stand out episode among this current season.

20190219_181821Season 3 of This Is Us has been an interesting one, “In My Opinion”.  On an unrelated note from This Is Us, but still very much TV relevant: Anytime I ever hear the phrase “In My Opinion”, I always think of The Good Wife with Ana Gasteyer.  On that show, Gasteyer played a Judge and always insisted on the lawyers always saying the phrase “In My Opinion” constantly during their arguments.  This TV Nerd always here with “Fun TV Facts” nobody ever asks for.  Anyways, back on to the subject at hand, This Is Us.

I found myself just not really caring for the first half of this season, in all honesty. Normally up to this point, This Is Us had become one of my go- to favorites for just always being on point and being just simply perfection in every episode, every week. I ended up doing a re-watch for the first half of this season which is something I never do.  With so many series out now, I never re-watch episodes that I’ve already seen once.  Although, sometimes a re-watch is a necessary viewing tool to get that feeling back to where you’re like “Yes, this is why I like this show”.  Even though after a re-watch of the earlier episodes from this season, I’m still not sure I felt that exact feeling.  I do have to say though, that I did enjoy them more than I did the first time around.

This season’s first half I just found to be uneven for some reason. I don’t know, I just wasn’t connecting with the series and feeling the feels that I usually would feel after watching the show in the past. In past seasons the show seemed to have a certain flow to it that just didn’t seem to be there for the episodes that were shown in the fall and early winter months of 2018.

20190218_160551The storylines felt all over the place. Randall running for City Council, Kevin searching and trying to learn more of his Father’s past, Kate trying to get pregnant. Maybe it was just the fact that the family wasn’t spending as much time with each other as in the past seasons and that just felt different. Well whatever the case was with the start of the season, the show came back around to being itself again when the storyline of Jack’s brother, Nicky entered the picture.

By making this a main storyline arc for a few episodes, it felt as though life had re-emerged in this series again.  An overview of this particular storyline is that Jack told his family that his brother had died in the Vietnam War while serving his country.  His family (as well as the viewers of the show) had no reason to question if that was actually true or not.  Jack has always come across as a stand up guy despite having flaws, but a person who was always there for his family.  During Kevin’s search to try and find out more of his Father’s past he uncovers that Jack’s brother Nicky, did not die in the war like they had been told.

Nicky was drafted to go into the Vietnam War. He, such as many others did not want to go, but ultimately did end up going. Jack feeling guilt of not being able to be there for his brother, goes to join the Army voluntarily some time after Nicky has been drafted to serve. Once Jack and Nicky are reunited, Nicky is not exactly who he was before he left for the war. He’s become addicted to drugs and his outlook on life is grim. Jack tries, but it seems to get nowhere.

One day a small child from the village where Jack and Nicky’s Army Base had been stationed, comes by to where Nicky is sitting by the water.  The child jokes around and takes Nicky’s glasses off of him and puts the glasses on his face. They laugh at the silliness of that.  They share a candy bar. This is a brief moment where Nicky forgets where he is and a smile goes on his face.

They go for a ride on a boat to go fishing and get food. Nicky had brought onto the boat hand grenades to use on the fish to find them instantly.  Nicky picks one up to throw in the water as he has already a few times by this point.  This one though, is stuck.  Then by accident he drops it in the boat.  He tells the child to jump, then he jumps.  But the child never jumped off the boat and the child is killed instantly from the hand grenade. Jack sees this and this was the last straw for him, he is now done with Nicky.   It was an accident, but Nicky never got to tell him that.

To two disconnect after this, despite Nicky’s attempts to stay in each other’s lives. Jack could just never forgive him for this, no matter how much he wanted to.  This is the first time on the series that we see Jack in somewhat of a new light. Jack has never been perfect, he has flaws like anyone might have. Although, he was always seen as that perfect person for his family. Someone who you could always count on to be there. So as a viewer, it was surprising to see that Jack be could anyone but that “always there for you” kind of person for someone, especially his own brother.

Okay, so now on to my thoughts for the recent episode that was the 12th in this current season:

Title of Episode: Songbird Road Part 2 (Season 3, Episode 12)

Date of Episode: February 12, 2019

I’ll be separating the major episode plot points for this episode three parts:

Part One:

Despite the their Uncle being a stranger to them, Kevin, Kate, and Randall still want to help him and get to know him. At the end of the previous episode it looked as though Nicky might hurt himself and seeing that they all felt the need to help him and they couldn’t just walk away. After they arrive at the hotel they are staying at, Nicky is thankful for their help but not necessarily wanting it at the same time. Kate and Randall say they have stuff back home to get to and they can’t force to help him if he doesn’t want it.  Randall says how maybe there was a reason why Jack told them what he told them.  Kevin feels he just can’t walk away from Nicky like his father did. Rebecca comes to stay and be by Kevin’s side during this time.

Part Two:

Kate and Randall end up leaving to go back home together. They decide before they do that, that why not take a ride to their old house. Obviously the old home is no longer there, but they thought it would still be nice to see what might be there now. They knock on the door and a woman answers basically not interested in their trip to memory lane. A few moments later, her parents with her child say how it’s okay. Randall and Kate start reminiscing and the new owners are smiling at their nostalgia of the past. Then Kate remembers how her,Randall and Jack had this sequin party one afternoon day at the house.

It was this day where Kevin wanted to get his baseball cards signed at the mall. Jack had just returned from what would ultimately be his last visit to Nicky. He just didn’t have it in him to go, so Rebecca said she would. Kate and Randall were going to make Valentine’s at home for their classmates. Jack said he’d be in the garage.  During this time Kate and Randall ordered a pizza cause they were hungry, Jack said it was okay. Moments later Jack returns to the living room to see the room in chaos, glitter and sequins everywhere.

Kate remembers this day one way and Randall remembers it another way. Kate remembers Jack happy and playing and joining in on this glitter and sequin party. She remembers him laughing and them all just having the best time. Randall remembers him coming in and seeing the mess the two of them made and yelling and then throwing a plate at the kitchen wall. The truth is both happened, Jack did get angry at them, but felt sorry for getting angry. Then he started up the sequin party again throwing sequins in the air everywhere and they all had a day to remember. Rebecca and Kevin arrive at home seeing this madness and Kevin joins in on this fun.  Kate questions why she didn’t remember her father getting angry, how she could possibly not remember that part of the day at all.

20190218_175100Part Three:

Kevin is at Nicky’s mobile home trying to fix what he can while Nicky stays behind at the hotel with Rebecca. Kevin is on the phone with Zoe and just starts feeling discouraged. He questions why his father would say his Uncle was dead, why would he say that when it wasn’t true.  We later see towards the end of the episode, how at a low point of feeling discouraged by this situation a sober Kevin sees a bottle of whiskey and starts to drink.

20190218_175019Rebecca wonders as she is sitting in the hotel lobby with Nicky about his and Jack’s life together.  Nicky isn’t what one might call friendly and eager to talk about his past.

Nicky tells Rebecca how it’s just simply to hard to revisit his past. Earlier in the episode during a flashback scene, Rebecca sees Kevin meeting a baseball idol of his who signed a card for him. She sees him just chatting away.  Rebecca asks the player what they were talking about. He says how he might change teams and Kevin was telling him the best things to do in that city if he gets transferred to that team and he just wanted him to have fun things to do there.  They then drive home with Kevin staring out the window in the passenger seat as Rebecca drives home.

Flashback to present day where Nicky and Rebecca return to Nicky’s place where Kevin has been fixing up what he can. Nicky says he’ll try and go to one of the VA Centers and try it out. He can’t promise anything, but he’ll give it a try. Kevin and Rebecca then leave Nicky’s home.  There’s then the same sequence of Kevin being once again in the passenger seat with Rebecca driving the car. Rebecca says how proud she is of him. Kevin at this point is filled with guilt and sadness, but says nothing and just stares out the window.

This episode in particular dealt with a lot. Mostly it dealt with the affect and impact that both people may feel when getting forgotten about or when leaving someone behind. Nicky is definitely someone that broke your heart while watching his story unfold. He went off to a war that he never wanted to be in and as you can imagine he changed. He became someone he might never have become if this never happened. And then the accident happened and he was discharged. Then Jack abandoned him after several attempts made by Nicky to stay in each other’s lives. Left all alone without any family to his name, he sunk further into a  depression and loneliness.  He suffered much trauma of what he went through in his time in Vietnam.  He was all alone with just his regret and sorrow of past mistakes.  To cope he drank, a disease that plagued Jack, Jack’s Father, and his Father before him.

If he only sought some kind of treatment, possibly with the encouragement of his brother Jack, who knows how that might of helped. Thoughts like that are devasting because a difference could of been made with the help of Jack, if he didn’t just completely leave.

It’s somewhat hard to think how Jack could just completely cut him off and stick with that after years and years. I guess once a certain amount of time had gone by, it’s possible that it was just too hard to reach out and return to that time of his life again. It was hard to revisit and possibly he felt an incredible amount of guilt for never trying again with his brother.

Nicky changed the moment he was drafted for war. Any ounce of who he was just left. While talking with Rebecca he said something that is in one way or another relatable to anyone dealing with feeling a loss of who they are vs. who they were:

“I wanted to be a writer.

And then I wanted to be a doctor.

And then I didn’t want to be anything.

I use to be a person.

Wish I could be that person again.

But it’s been so long.

I don’t think I can.” —- Nicky “This Is Us”

20190218_161529Kevin tried to do what his father didn’t. He wanted to help, but he was possibly too late.  At a certain point when someone has just known one way of life for so long and so much time has passed by, a change in someone where hope is there, sometimes is hard to make happen.  As much as Kevin was willing to try to help this relative he doesn’t even know, Nicky at this point of his life was who he was.

Kevin has always been some what of relatable character on the series. He’s never quite content and there’s always something more he feels he can do if someone is in need of help. He was willing to help his Uncle and be there for him, it was just help that was too little, too late. After Kevin has this relapsed in the heat of his despair and takes many drinks in, it was as though he wanted so badly to help this relative of his and his help was just not wanted. Kevin couldn’t make it better.  The past in many ways was too strong to overcome the hopefulness Kevin had when he started this journey of just wanting to know more about his father. The image of Kevin riding in the car in the passenger seat again years later showed how Kevin is just still that little kid at heart. The little kid who just wanted to help and make his Uncle’s life better.

Unfortunately, that was not the case here.  So many years had passed and it seemed in many ways too much had gone on by.  That hopeful and happy family reunion that Kevin was possibly expecting might happen, didn’t happen.  This reunion wouldn’t be one of laughter and talks of better times.  But with a small maybe of a possible try from Nicky to seek some kind of treatment at least.

After mostly an uneven season that Season 3 started off being, the show is starting to feel like that show again that we have all come to know and love. Every show no matter how good can have an off season or some off episodes. That might have been the case with the start of this current season, but like with anything that is good it has found its way back around again. And this TV Nerd is forever happy about that!

Author: Jodi Fisher

Hello, everyone out there in the land of blogs! My name is Jodi Fisher. A hopefully interesting yet quiet gal who wishes she could afford to live in the Big Apple. Some of you out there may be wondering why I decided to start a blog. There are so many blogs out there, that I didn’t think it was worth it for something nobody might even read. Although, with this new year I decided why not? So here I finally am with my own blog. So what is my blog all about? Well, as I previously have mentioned I am a fan of all things entertainment. Television, theater, and books are my very favorites out of pop culture. There is a chance if you were to ask me about a random television show or stage play, I will probably know if it’s worth viewing. I am also someone who loves nostalgia and remembering the better times from my past. I usually like to incorporate my love of entertainment and nostalgia together, when I wrote my blog posts. Along with my fondness of entertainment, I am someone, who tries to notice the simple things in life. So in ending this little tidbit about who I am, my goal in starting this blog is to just simply be me and write about things that I find interesting and entertaining.

10 thoughts on “TV Episode Shout Out: This Is Us…”

    1. Oh, LoL. It happens. With so many series playing today I totally get that about forgetting when some shows return to the TV Airwaves.

      This Is Us is still one of my favorite shows, despite not really caring for the first half of Season 3. The last several episodes have been very good though.

      Thanks so very much for reading and commenting =)!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I haven’t watched this show, but I hear people talking about it all the time. I feel like it’s one of those shows that you just can’t start any season watching because there is so much context to the relationships that you’d miss out on if you didn’t watch earlier episodes. I hope this season ends up closing strong for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks =).

      Yeah, I would say with a show like “This Is Us” it is definitely better to start watching it from the beginning. You’d miss out on too much if you were to just start from any episode.

      It’s really a great show and definitely one that I would still recommend to tune into, despite the uneven first half of this current season. It’s still very much a favorite show for me and so far the second half of this season has been quite well done.

      Thanks so very much for reading and commenting =)!

      Like

    1. Oh it’s really an excellent program! Hope you like it as much as I do whenever you tune into it! It can be quite an emotional series, so have your tissues ready, LoL.

      Thanks so very much for reading and commenting =)!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure thing and thanks so much =)!

      Always happy to remind others about great TV out now! There is just simply too many TV Shows out these days now, so I completely understand forgetting about when shows are back on. Even though Season 3 started off kind of “eh, just okay”, it’s definitely bounced back to being just really quite good again. Especially the last few episodes. Hope you enjoy the show once you catch up on it too!

      Thanks so very much for reading and commenting =)!

      Liked by 1 person

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