This Is Us returns this week with another fantastic episode! This week’s episode is Flip a Coin, which is a perfect name for this chapter of the series. This week, the writers again focus on both past characters and new ones. Flip a Coin focuses on both the old characters and the new characters in a seamless fashion. In this recap, though, we will focus on the characters that represent two sides of a coin: Mama Cee, Cassidy, Kate.
Breaking the order of the list of above, we will start with Kate. In Flip a Coin, Kate and Toby continue to face the reality of raising a blind son. In their latest effort to give baby Jack a healthy life, they decide to take him to music class. When they get to music class, it is an unmitigated disaster. We learn in a previous episode that baby Jack takes time to acclimate to his surroundings. Kate wants to get to class early, but it does not work out that way.
Before they can make it to class, Toby has to go back into the house to find “Ducky.” It takes a while to find Ducky, so they end up being a little late for music class. Because Jack is unable to see what’s going on, it startles him. It’s unclear if they remain for the whole class, but back in the car, things fall apart. Kate is upset with Toby for not packing Ducky first. Then, she accuses Toby of spending too much time at the gym. Here, we see Kate’s flip a coin moment.
Toby tries to get Kate to see the reality of how life will be for baby Jack. He insists that they can attempt to make Jack’s life as usual as possible, but some things will still be different. Now, Kate has to decide how to move forward. On one side of the coin, Kate and Toby can continue to overexert themselves to accommodate Jack. On the other side of the coin, they can accept things as they are and go with the flow. Kate and Toby choose the latter side of the coin. They take baby Jack to the beach and allow him to go with the flow on the beach. Kate finds peace in her flip a coin moment.
Next, there is Cassidy. I’m not sure if it is intentional or not, but Cassidy, Kevin, and Nick find themselves at the same AA meeting again. I have a feeling, though, that they are there together based on the fact that they were kicked out of the last session together. Kevin desires to be in a meeting because he is feeling down because he learns The Manny is over. Cassidy, on the other hand, is dealing with the fact that her husband now wants a divorce.
Cassidy, however, is not sympathetic to the fact that Kevin is losing The Manny. Besides, Kevin quit the show, which is something that she happily points out. Cassidy wishes that Kevin stops trying to relate to her. At this point, Kevin tells Cassie that she needs to ease up and give him a break. In truth, Cassidy and Kevin do have a lot in common. Kevin did not go to war, but he has gone through a divorce.
Cassidy’s flip a coin moment happens when she realizes that she is a dick to Kevin. When she opens up to Kevin, Cassidy also realizes that they do have a lot in common. She now sees Kevin as she hasn’t seen him before. Cassidy relates to Kevin more. She’s now able to see that Kevin is more than just this Hollywood, pretty boy douche bag. It seems that a new friendship is starting.
Lastly, we have Mama Cee. Just in case you are not familiar, Mama Cee is Carol, Beth’s mother. At the end of Season Three, we discover that Mama Cee is a complicated individual. On the outside, she is as tough as nails. A no-nonsense type of person that has her family’s best interest at heart. Beneath that façade, though, Mama Cee is a caring and tender person, which stems from her wanting the best for her family at heart.
In Flip a Coin, we see these competing aspects of Mama Cee’s personality at play. In the present day, she is cold to Randall. On Beth’s big day (where she opens her dance studio), Carol refuses to recognize Randall in his attempts to have the day go well. Conversely, in the past, when Mama Cee meets Rebecca for the first time, we see the softer side of her. It seems that Carol and Rebecca bond over the loss of their husbands. Still, all is not what it seems.
In a later scene in the past, Mama Cee reveals that she does not believe Randall is good for Beth. She believes that their family (the Pearsons) are still grieving the death of Jack. Mama Cee believes Beth needs someone who will be secure, and that is not Randall. Back in the present, Randall proves Carol wrong. Disaster strikes when they learn a dead opossum is in Beth’s studio. There is nothing they can do about it or the smell.
Randall then puts his Jack Pearson hat on and goes to work. Mama Cee sees the strength of Randall and has her flip a coin moment. When Randall apologizes for the way he spoke to her, Mama Cee corrects Randall in his belief that she has never liked him. Mama Cee admits that she has always liked him. She did not believe he was good enough for her daughter. Now, she sees how much of a strong father and husband Randall is for his family. Mama Cee changes her mind about Randall.
Again, another great episode from the This Is Us writers. Flip a Coin is an excellent integration between the old characters and the new. More importantly, the growth of the Big Three continues to astound me. If this show has longevity, it will be on the backs of those three. We didn’t even see Jack in this episode, which is the show staple to this point. So far, the transition away from him is smooth. Next week, we have Storybook Love. See you then!