We open in the ’70s with the evolution of William Hill’s (Ron Cephas Jones) relationship with Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) biological mother to the day that he is dropped off at the fire station. We then see Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Mile Ventimiglia) taking all three of the babies home.
They tell Doctor Katowsky (Gerald McRaney) that they’ve named the babies Kevin, Kate and Kyle.
Toby (Chris Sullivan) wakes up on Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) couch. She is singing in the bathroom and when he surprises her and she punches him. She makes him breakfast and he tells her that she has an amazing voice. Kevin (Justin Hartley) comes in and talks about the big move to New York, which is apparently really happening.
Flashback to the ’70s. Jack is getting the car and Rebecca sees a man watching from across the street. She yells to him. He walks away.
In the present day Randall introduces Rebecca to William and leaves them alone to chat.
In the flashback, Rebecca is having trouble nursing Kyle. He won’t take to her breast. He feels like a stranger to her, but it’ll take soon.
Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) talk about what Rebecca could possibly want to talk to William about. Upstairs, William tells her that he hasn’t told Randall yet. What hasn’t he told? Rebecca kept William from Randall. Now everyone knows that Randall will do everything in his power to help William get healthy again. Rebecca tells him he better be worth it.
Kate is helping facilitate the move to New York. When Randall goes to get William to take him to the doctor, he finds that he’s left. William is walking down the street and after an argument gets in the car to go to the doctor.
Toby surprises Kate with a limo outside her house and asks her for one day. He wants to let her be the star for the day. While Kevin freaks out about packing, Toby takes Kate to sing at a senior living facility.
Flashback to Jack bringing the babies to see the doctor by himself. He asks how to fix his wife because the “babies broke her.” The good doctor points out that they did lose a baby and that while Jack is throwing himself full tilt into the newborns, Rebecca still needs time to grieve. He tells Jack to go take a nap in his office while he watches the babies. While he’s out, Rebecca goes in search of the man she saw watching her leave the hospital. She asks a bus driver who calls him Shakespeare and tells her to get on the bus.
While Kate sings we see Randall take William to the doctor and Rebecca find him in the past. Kate is spectacular and afterward she and Toby make out in a closet. Before it gets any further, Kevin calls and he’s panicking. He slept with a crazy ex and now shes at his place breaking things. Kate tells Toby she needs to get right over there.
Rebecca finds William in the past. He tells her how he and Kyle’s mother met and asks when his name is. She tells the story of how she came to have him. When William asks if he can call from time to time she says no. She tells him she’s having trouble bonding with him and William suggests giving him his own name, instead of what she had been planning to name the lost baby. William’s favorite author’s last name was Randall.
Randall tells Beth that William is resting peacefully and that the results were not good. She suggests actually getting to know him while he still has time.
Kevin fires Kate from being his personal assistant, saying that she needs to find herself and that the time apart will do them both good.
Toby comes by and she apologizes by giving him a condom. Kevin leaves for New York when he knows she is too busy to stop him
Rebecca comes home to find Jack sitting in the hall. They discuss how much they still think about the baby they lost and how guilty they feel. She tells him they need to give Kyle a new name. When he asks where the idea came from, she says she just thought of it.
Randall tells William that he’s sorry things didn’t work out but he has one more doctor to consult. He then admits he’s gonna tell the kids who he is. He asks how William met his mother.
Kevin lands in New York and lets Kate he is okay. She’s okay too, she tells Toby.
Rebecca gets up to nurse Kyle in the night. After sitting with him for a few moments she calls him Randall and smiles.
I thought this was a great episode. I think this is a great show and I’m kind of surprised it’s living up to my expectations. With the big twists at the end of the first two episodes, I was worried they were going to try and make that a bit of a gimmick but there wasn’t really a big reveal in this one. I mean there is but it was built up throughout the episode. The cast is all pretty phenomenal but Sterling K. Brown really stands out. He is an exceptional talent in both the dramatic and more comedic scenes. I’m curious as to how the characters get from where they are in the flashbacks to the way things are now but I don’t think there will be a payoff for that anytime soon and I’m okay with waiting and letting it evolve the way it is because it is working wonderfully.
This is Us is new Tuesday at 9 p.m.