This is Us, episode four

In the ’70s, Randall and Kevin are fighting over a Rubik’s Cube will Jack tries to fix the air conditioner and Rebecca is trying to fix a meal. Jack comes into the kitchen to announce the repair job is a bust but to make up for it they are going to spend the day at the pool. With no alcohol!

William and Beth are getting the girls ready for school talking about William’s past. He has a scar on his arm from his time in Pittsburgh, when he helped bus kids to better school. He leaves for his walk and¬†Kevin Facetimes Randall. They talk for a minute about his upcoming career plans now that he’s on the east coast when Randall notices the neighborhood security giving William some trouble. He goes outside and clears up the misunderstanding.

Kate and Toby are eating out. He leaves the table for a minute and ends up running into his ex-wife, who is very pretty. Kate is a bit intimidated.

Kate calls Kevin to talk about the ex-wife situation and he tells her to get out of her own head and get off the internet. Kevin goes into his audition and… it does not go well.

Randall and William go shopping for some new clothes for the latter. He notices the price tag and makes a comment. Randall says its time to have the conversation. He accuses William of thinking he doesn’t live a black life because he grew up in a white house. He points out how that is not the case, points out all of the injustices he faces every day.

At the pool Kate goes to make friends and runs into some trouble. Meanwhile Jack and Rebecca¬†can’t find Randall. Rebecca yells at Kevin because they were supposed to keep an eye on each other. When she walks away, he holds his breath and sinks.

Kevin knows that his audition was not great. He calls Kate to vent and gets lost. He ends up bumping into his reading partner from the audition. She invites him for a drink.

William joins Randall and the family at the girls’ school for their play. Randall explains that its a good school system. That’s why they moved there.

Kate goes into a shop run by the ex-wife. She mills about for a minute before the ex-wife asks if she needs help. When Kate says no the ex-wife assumes she is there because of the help wanted sign and leads her away to talk.

At the pool, Rebecca tracks down Randall. He is playing with the other black children, which is the real reason he voted for this pool.

Randall’s daughter is playing the title character in Snow White and the family is very proud. Only when the lines about her “pale skin” are recited, the predominately white audiences laughs. Randall is upset.

Kevin and Olivia Maine (Janet Montgomery) are sharing drinks. She gives him some career advice “as a friend.” She tells him to go back to LA because that is what he’s good at. If he’s serious about theater, go home and enroll in some classes. When he tries to respond, she tunes him out. She just got a message. Turns out, Kevin got the part because “The Manny” will sell tickets.

Jack and Rebecca are arguing about the interference of other parents when it comes to raising Randall. They take their eyes off Kevin. He swims into the deep end to try and retrieve his football. He has some issues swimming and ends up having to grab onto the edge of the pool to catch his breath. The family didn’t even notice.

Kevin confronts his parents about almost drowning. He tells them he’s feeling neglected. He points out that everyone looks after what Kate eats and tries to Randall feel less adopted but he goes looked over as a result. Rebecca talks to the black mothers about the difference in raising a black child.

Kate is talking to the ex-wife. When asked if she knows anything about the store, she spouts everything she read online. She gets the job and goes to tell Toby.

Jack tries to make Kate feel better about herself. He makes up a story about his “magic t-shirt” that helps people see the wearer as they want to be seen and she wants to be a princess.

Toby freaks out that Kate took a job with his ex-wife Josie (Natalia Cigliuti). Kate points out all of her good qualities and Toby snaps. He tells Kate about how terrible she was too him and how after they separated he started drinking and even considered committing suicide. She apologizes.

Kevin calls Kate to tell her he got the part and has to leave a message. Randall and William discuss the play and William offending Randall by judging him. Randall tells him about growing up with white parents and how proud he is of his upbringing and the one he is providing for his own kids. William apologizes. The doorbell chimes.

Kevin has come to visit and crash for a bit. Randall introduces Kevin to William.He’s a big fan of “The Manny.”

At the pool Rebecca finally finishes her book, with Jack and the three kids resting nearby.

I liked this episode. I didn’t love it though. It seemed to just be a way to set up a prolonged trip east for Kevin and an argument between William and Randall. I did like learning more of Toby’s backstory though. We get to see why everyone else is the way they are through the flashbacks so it’s nice to have his character expanded on as well.

This is Us is new Tuesdays at 9 p.m.


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