‘This Is Us’ recap: 2×06 “The 20’s”

This Is Us recap: Season 2, Episode 6, “The 20’s,” Aired Oct. 31, 2017

Happy Halloween, This Is Us fans! Tonight’s episode completely centered around Halloween, and we even got to see the birth of baby Tess! So join us as we go back in time to 2008.

The 20’s

This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

We got to see the Big 3 in their 20’s as they struggled their way through life. Kevin, at this point, had yet to be cast in The Manny while Kate was working as a waitress. Beth and Randall were preparing for the birth of their baby, but Randall wasn’t doing so well. He had suffered a nervous breakdown, which was hinted at in a previous episode.

Rebecca comes to visit her son and daughter-in-law to spend time with them on Halloween, but Randall is still having a difficult time. It’s tough to see him struggling at this point in time since he seemed so put together in the future. However, it is important to remember this is before the events that we have seen in the present day. We’re seeing where they were just 11 years after their father passed away.

Young Big 3

This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Watching the young Big 3 get ready for Halloween was also fun to see. Randall was dressed as Michael Jackson, Kate as Sandy from Grease, and Kevin was basically a tattered mess, but an adorable tattered mess.

The interesting thing about seeing this Big 3 was we saw how Randall and Kate were both treated by their parents, respectively. Jack can never say no to Kate, and Rebecca always gives in to Randall, who wants structure and to do things by the book. This is in line with how he always has been, needing to be in control of what is happening around him.


This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

In their 20’s, the triplets are, to put it mildly, a mess. Kate seems to be struggling with losing her dad, Kevin hasn’t gotten work in a year, and Randall is trying to come to terms with fatherhood.

Kevin can be very unlikeable at times, and his younger self is no different. It is important to remember that this is Kevin as he was before he began to really develop into who he is today. Trying to get a job by putting down his roommate and friend? Definitely not the right thing to do and it was hard to feel for him. However, it allowed us to see Kevin as he was and how he has been trying to step away from that version of himself even though it is difficult for him to do.

A mess

This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kate in the present day is furthering her career and is engaged with a baby on the way. Younger Kate is not in the best shape as she is working as a waitress and flirts with someone she knows is likely married. It actually makes her look desperate, but to see how she grew nine years later is something to think about and remember.

Randall, for his part, is probably the biggest mess out of all three of them even if he is married and about to be a father. He is having trouble getting a ceiling fan ready for the new baby, and we agree with Beth, leave the talk of crib death off the table just before your baby is due.

When he goes to the store to get a new ceiling fan, he has a conversation with one of the clerks about his fear about being a father. Sometimes when we need clarity, we find it from a complete stranger. The man was a father himself and gave Randall advice that could help him.

Then, of course, before he can finish processing, Randall finds out Beth is in labor. He gets home in time to deliver his baby girl, who we, of course, know is named Tess. How she got her name? From the brand of ceiling fan the clerk suggested he buy.

Seeing the birth of baby Tess was beautiful and such a blessing. Her birthday falls on Halloween. Also, anyone else catch that she was born on the 31st like her own father, uncle, and aunt were? Not the same month, but they both share the date of the 31st. Now I wonder what Annie’s birthdate is!


This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The most touching part of the episode was when Rebecca mirrored her visit with Tess like her visit with Randall. Before, we only saw how Rebecca was hesitant and unsure about bringing Randall home. But in this moment, in the nursery with her new baby boy, she speaks to him just like she did with Kate and Kevin when she was pregnant. It is a beautiful scene set against Rebecca in the future, who can’t share this moment with Jack like she did with Randall.

One of the key things I noticed was Rebecca was alone when she visited Randall and Beth. Plus, she was still clearly in mourning, telling Randall she wished that she could share the birth of her granddaughter with Jack. So what did this mean? She was not yet married to Miguel, which is confirmed when he messages her on Facebook after she posts a photo of baby Tess.

The two had not spoken in eight years, according to his message, meaning they stopped talking three years after Jack died. Another piece of the puzzle is in place, and now we know that Rebecca and Miguel did not get together right away after Jack died. Maybe Miguel isn’t so bad after all. Plus, it also could explain why Kevin and Randall have shown some animosity toward Miguel. It has only been recently that their mother began a new relationship, so it gives insight into why they act the way they do toward him in the present day. For them, it is all still brand new.

A revelation

This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

So what is one of the worst possible thing you can do to a child who is adopted? Tell them about how their parents came to bring them into their lives when you have no business discussing it. Young Randall was acting out enough for Rebecca to try to find out what was wrong. It is then she finds out one of the neighbors told him about being a “replacement,” which is the same word Randall used to his deceased father in season one.

Despite the difficulty in talking about it, Rebecca tells Randall about his adoptive brother, Kyle, and assures him he was never a replacement. They knew they were meant to have three kids and he was there at the right moment. Even though it appears Randall understands what she is telling him, we know this is something he will hold onto for the rest of his life regardless of what they say.

Rebecca does tell Jack about the conversation and how hard it was for her to talk about it without him. They both feel for their little boy. Personally, I think Jack should give the nosy neighbors a piece of his mind.

Halloween Joy

This Is Us The 20's
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The birth of baby Tess brings her aunt and uncle together as they arrive to celebrate her arrival. Based on their conversation, it looks like Kevin and Kate have not been very close as they are now. It’s after they talk about where they are in their lives that we see this is how they came to live together and Kate would soon become involved in helping her brother with his career.

While I missed the present day Big 3, I felt this episode was a fun way to see where they were in a brand new decade as they welcomed a new generation of Pearsons into the world.

What did you think of this episode? Do you think we’ll get an episode surrounding Annie’s birth? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or find us on Twitter!

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

(Featured image via Ron Batzdorff/NBC)


Elizabeth Learned

Elizabeth is a television writer who previously worked for an Entertainment news website. When she is not writing or watching television, she can often be found on Twitter gasping and crying over the latest 'The Flash' episode or 'Shadowhunters' announcements. Other shows she enjoys include the NCIS franchise, 'Criminal Minds', 'Jane The Virgin', 'Stitchers', 'This Is Us', and more.

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