This Is Us returns this week with another fantastic episode. This week, the title of the episode is The Pool: Part Two. Last week, the writers treated us to a whole new array of new characters. On Tuesday, we return to the characters we all are in love with: The Pearson Clan. Way back in season one, there was also an episode named The Pool.
This episode, however, is not a continuation of that episode. Still, the episode focuses on the same subject matter as the original, which is change and reflection. Though the episode first starts in the present, it’s best to start in the past. In the past, Jack, Rebecca, and the Big Three head to the pool for a family fun day. With the Big Three starting the 7th grade soon, Jack and Rebecca see this as their last opportunity to get some quality time. They are spot on with this assessment.
At the pool, Kevin, Kate, and Randall all go their separate ways. Jack and Beck are left wondering and worrying about their kids. Well, it’s more Rebecca than Jack. Jack is just confused. In regards to change, Kate finds herself hanging out with new friends. Coincidentally, this is also what worries Rebecca. These kids made fun of Kate a year earlier. So, Rebecca is trying to protect Kate. For Kevin and Randall, it’s a different story.
Kevin endears himself to Randall’s friends by knowing the words to Rump Shaker by Wreckx-N-Effect. Randall, however, is not familiar with the words to the song. Kevin and Randall’s friends make run of Randall and call him an oreo, which makes him feel, in my opinion, out of place. When Randall confronts Kevin about this, Kevin reflects with Jack and wonders if he is a good person.
Meanwhile, Kate’s new friends turn out to not be friends at all. Their goal is to embarrass her by making her believe a “hot” boy wants to kiss her. As it turns out, it’s a not-so-cool kid that genuinely likes Kate. Accepting the situation, Kate kisses the boy. In the end, the Pearson Clan reunites at the pool as a family after valuable lessons learned. Now, it’s time to relate this to the present.
In the present, Kevin continues to struggle with his sobriety. He passes the time by working and looking out for others. Kevin feels that by not focusing on himself, he can escape his demons. As the saying goes, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. While working on a movie, M. Night Shyamalan tells Kevin that if he takes all the exterior, he is an amazing actor underneath it all. We will return to this in a second.
Meanwhile, Kate and Toby now have to deal with life with baby Jack and his blindness. While Toby is struggling, Kate appears to be reliable. The day is spent making the house safe and welcoming for Jack. Kate finally breaks down. She is overwhelmed with the gravity of the new expectations of a child with a disability. Then, Kate and Kevin share a moment.
In baby Jack’s nursery, Kevin struggles to connect with the child. Kate, who tells Kevin she wishes he had as much compassion for himself as he does for others, helps Kevin with baby Jack. Kate then tells her twin brother that she thinks he should take the job in Chicago and focus himself more. Meanwhile, Kate tells everyone that though things might be rough with baby Jack, they will do what they always do: Figure it out. Now, to check in on Randall, Beth, and their sect of the Pearson Clan.
Randall, who is more like Jack than Kevin or Kate, wants to have a Pearson family fun day. In their own lives, Randall and Beth are going through a lot of change and reflection, as well. Randall is about to be sworn in as the city council. Beth is n the process of opening her dance studio. The girls (Deja, Tess, and Annie) are all gearing up for new schools. Unfortunately for Randall and Beth, Deja and Tess are teenagers. Also, they’re moody. When the parents announce the family day, the teens inform them that they have other plans.
Tess wants to get a haircut. Deja wants to check out the city bus that she will ride to school. So, the agreement is that Beth will handle the haircut and Randall the bus. Neither has success in their ventures. Beth fears that Tess’ hairstyle is too much but then realizes Tess is coming into her own. Randall fears for the safety of Deja, but he forgets that she is no stranger to danger and can handle herself. In the end, Randall and Beth accept their growing children and they have to let them grow.
After the changeup last week, The Pool: Part Two was a great episode to get back to the basics. When the Pearsons are in peril is when they thrive. Right now, times are not the toughest for them, but they are still tight. Rebecca has taken a backseat, which I think is suitable for the show. The show now focuses primarily on Randall, Kevin, and Kate.
With each passing week, the Big Three are taking the lessons their father taught them. Also, they are putting them to good use. Surprisingly, Kate might be the strongest of the bunch. I see this as a season where we will see a lot of growth from her, and I’m looking forward to it. Next week, the episode is called Unhinged. See you next week when we recap that episode!