This Is Us midseason finale recap: Season 2, Episode 10, “Number Three,” Aired Nov. 28, 2017
The midseason finale of This Is Us aired, this time showcasing Randall and Beth as they dealt with Deja’s mother returning for her. We continue to see the past timeline in Randall’s point of view as he looks toward a different future for college.
As his dad is fixing the fuse after the lights go out in their home, Randall tells Jack that he wants to go visit Howard University. This is Jack’s first time hearing about the college but agrees to talk to Rebecca about going for a visit that Friday, despite Kevin having a game.
Randall is really excited about going with his dad on this road trip and as we see when they arrive to the college, the campus is mainly populated by other black students. You get the sense that Randall is continuing his journey for a place where he can be comfortable, as he has grown up in a mostly white community.
A tough choice
Randall and Beth are preparing the girls for bed and the former even bonds with Deja a bit while helping her with a project. While she may think he is a dork, and he really is, it’s a moment that encapsulates her development in being comfortable in Randall’s presence.
The night is interrupted when Deja’s mother, Shauna, shows up out of the blue. They come to find out the charges against her have been dropped and she hadn’t heard from Linda, the caseworker. Deja has to talk her mother down, which only makes Beth and Randall feel more tense and worried for her.
When they talk to Linda, Beth, and Randall make it clear they are not comfortable with Deja going back to her mother, even though Linda checked on her. Beth and Randall just want to protect Deja, given everything that happened to her.
While Randall drives around after dropping the girls off at school, he has memories of his father after the last Thanksgiving. He wanted to know how many times he met with Rebecca and finds out that during the last visit, he actually followed her home. Randall learns that his father did want to walk up and introduce himself, but he stopped because of the bicycles in the yard.
Seeing the plates, with the nicknames the triplets have had since they were born, he realized he didn’t know which one belonged to Randall. He wasn’t a part of that world and he didn’t want to intrude, especially after Rebecca asked him not to. The memory gives Randall a sense of direction about what he should do for Deja, especially when he drives through Shauna’s neighborhood.
Randall is hanging out with a friend and some other guys from the school when Jack comes over to them. When Randall hesitates in introducing him, it makes Jack feel uneasy but he keeps it to himself. On the drive home, Jack gently confronts him about it but Randall assures him it wasn’t because of his skin color. The conversation does reveal why Randall wanted to look at the school. Having grown up in the community he did, it left him feeling off balance.
Jack makes a detour on the way home, taking Randall to the Veterans Wall. In a beautiful and touching moment, Randall quietly supports his father as Jack touches the wall, likely on the spot where his brother’s name is.
The two talk about Jack’s time in Vietnam and he admits to Randall he knows what it is like to feel off balance. This emotional scene is so real and beautiful. Jack assures Randall he will always get back up and he may not always be there, but Randall will conquer anything in his path. Their conversation is interrupted with the page from Kate, who is calling about Kevin’s accident on the field.
Randall goes to see Beth, telling her that he has been thinking about their situation. He doesn’t feel they should keep Deja from her mother. He goes off on a tanget about pacman, which doesn’t seem to make sense but leads to an adorable moment between the couple. In a way, Randall could be trying to say no matter how many times you can keep going and moving, the ghosts from the past keep coming.
Before Randall says goodbye to Deja, he gets a call from Kevin, who is on his way to the house. After hanging up, he gives Shauna her daughter’s bag and offers help if needed. Even though the two have been hostile toward each other in the past, they both understand each other’s place in Deja’s life.
Deja has a heartwarming goodbye with Beth, Randall, and the girls. When Deja agrees to a hug from Randall, it is a beautiful moment that shows just what Randall and Beth have done for her by way of helping her grow in the time they have gotten to spend with her.
A new low
When Kevin arrives at the house, the first thing he does is mix vodka with orange juice. Randall is taken aback, noticing his brother’s odd behavior but neither of them bring it up. It looked like Kevin was ready to talk to him about his issues, but the moment Kate’s news is given, he goes back to where he was before.
Randall offers to call Kate with him, but Kevin wants to wait until he is not such a mess. After Randall leaves to call his sister, the girls greet Kevin, who decides to leave.
Beth and Randall have a talk about having another foster child, with Randall revealing that he would like to foster a boy. While this is a possibility, current events could derail this part of their life until later.
Unbeknowst to Randall, and even Kevin who is speeding on the highway, Tess snuck into his car and only pops up when her uncle is going too fast. Stunned, Kevin gets her to put her seatbelt on but then they hear sirens. Watching Kevin being handcuffed was hard but seeing how upset Tess was feels much worse. Why did Tess sneak into the car? Has she been feeling neglected because of the new foster situation? While we know Kevin had no idea Tess was with him, it’s hard not to feel mad at him for putting their lives in danger the way he did.
One goes down, another goes up
As we see Randall and Beth learning what Kevin has done, young Randall and Jack talk at the hospital while waiting to take Kevin home. Randall is concerned about Kevin and Jack assures him his brother will be fine. When one triplet goes down, another always gets up. This is true for the Pearsons.
All three of them were at their lowest points these past three episodes. But just as Kate and Toby pulled themselves together and Randall and Beth made decisions in being foster parents, Kevin went further down than anyone expected. He not only endangered his life, but also his niece’s. We can only imagine what will happen from here. Will this event ruin things between the two brothers, who were working on getting back on track? Or will this be the wake up Kevin needs to bring the family together?
We’ll be back in January with a brand new episode. Until then, tell us your thoughts in the comments below or follow us on Twitter!
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
(Featured image via Ron Batzdorff/NBC)