This is Us, episode eight

Rebecca is getting the cranberry sauce ready for Thanksgiving at her mother’s house. The kids are whining about their clothes and Jack is getting ready for the road trip. He sends the kids to try to go to the bathroom

Kate is at a meeting and talking about Thanksgiving triggers. She goes out to eat with Toby after and he’s excited for the holiday in New York but she’s not. She doesn’t want him to come. In fact she wants to take a break because despite how fantastic he is, she’s still not happy and that’s important to her.

Kevin is wrapping up rehearsal for the holiday. He asks Olivia her holiday plans (they include Rocky II and a dive bar) and then lays out his family drama and invites her to witness it firsthand. She accepts.

Randall sets an alarm for 6:30 and is ready to start cooking. He wakes everyone up and is in the kitchen making food happen when Kevin comes in. He needs the keys to go pick up Olivia. The rest of the family staggers in and slowly starts to help get the Pearson family Thanksgiving.

Rebecca and Miguel arrive and Beth corners her to tell Randall that she was in touch with William. Beth doesn’t like keeping secrets from her husband so she gives Rebecca until the end of the day to tell him.

Jack is driving to Thanksgiving dinner. They are behind schedule because they went to several grocery stores in search of the perfect cranberry sauce. They found it but now the kids are fighting and while Jack reprimands them, a tire blows out.

Prep continues. Rebecca is now helping. She wants to set up a chance to talk to Randall later. Kevin and Olivia arrive and introductions are sufficiently awkward. Then its time for the traditional hike.

Olivia explains her childhood holidays to Kevin and why she hates them so much. William also takes the time to tell Randall how he used to spend the holidays.

Jack can’t fix the tire and it’s going to get dark soon. They have no choice. They have to walk.

While they walk, the kids talk about what kind of grown up Thanksgiving they want. Randall says he doesn’t want to have one because he hates it.

Kate is on a later flight. She leaves a message for Randall.

They get back from the hike and its time to watch Police Academy 3 but Randall is going to skip it. He wants to go to William’s place to get his special tapes to listen to. It might be his last Thanksgiving. Rebecca offers to go with him but he says no.

Miguel asks Kevin about having a turn wearing the hat. Kevin says that only he and Randall get turns because it was their dad’s thing. He’s shocked Miguel would even ask and turns to Olivia for moral support but she just tells him she can’t be what he’s trying to make her and then leaves.

Jack and Rebecca finally see a store where they can call for a tow truck only, everything is closed for the holiday. Rebecca goes to call her mother for a ride and ends up fighting with her. She says they are done coming to Thanksgiving.

William steps outside for air and finds Olivia waiting for an Uber. They have a really morbid conversation about embracing life while you can. She goes back inside and kisses Kevin.

Rebecca and Jack find lodging from Pilgrim Rick but even that is something of a bust. Jack goes to ask about the broken furnace. He’ll be back.

Randall is rifling through William’s stuff in search of the tapes. He eventually finds them, along with several letters.

Kate’s flight hits some big turbulence and her seatmate has an epiphany. She needs a divorce.

Jack has returned with a way to salvage the holiday. Roasted hot dogs on the furnace. A picnic with Police Academy 3. And a story by “Pilgrim Rick.”

Kevin comes in as “Pilgrim Rick” but sees Miguel glaring at him and decides to let Miguel have a turn after all. Randall returns and he’s quiet and staring at Rebecca. He’s obviously upset.

The family gathers around the table with some bizarre foods included. They start a tradition with yarn.

Rebecca gets an idea to unravel Kate’s sweater and acknowledge what they are thankful for in the process.

Randall confronts Rebecca at the dinner table. The letters were from Rebecca to William, keeping him informed about Randall as he grew up. Adult Randall can’t even look at her. He gets up and needs to get away. Kate comes in and announces that she’s getting bypass surgery.

Young Randall tells Rebecca that he wants every Thanksgiving to be like this one.

Randall is the best character on this show and I’m glad that he seems to consistently be the emotional center of the family. Everyone and everything, with the exception of Kate, really revolves around him and the life he built.


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