‘This Is Us’ recap: Episode 2×12, “Clooney”

This Is Us recap: Season 2, Episode 12, “Clooney,” Aired Jan. 16, 2018

The latest episode of This Is Us followed the aftermath of the Pearson therapy session, in which the entire family came to grips with the trauma that they had avoided discussing for so long. In this episode, “Clooney,” Kevin focused on repairing one of his relationships as Kate and Randall had their own journeys of self-discovery.

Visiting Mom

This Is Us Clooney
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kevin is looking forward to spending some time with his mom and getting into a routine. The only thing about the visit is that Kevin still has issues regarding Miguel. He fully expects to be able to spend alone time with mom shopping, but Miguel wants to tag along.

Rebecca, for her part, is just excited to have her son home and to spend time with him. They have a lot of healing to do and I think Kevin chose the best person to start with. She loves him very much and they’ve been through a lot together.

Finding that feeling

This Is Us Clooney
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Randall is supposed to have a job interview but he isn’t feeling excited about it, despite Beth urging him to get moving. She is also dealing with a disappointment at work and wants her husband to find something he is passionate about. Before he goes to the interview, Randall has an errand to run at William’s old apartment building.

Having found a box of his old things, the tenant, Lloyd, called Randall so he could obtain William’s things. Upon arriving, Randall deduces he was the caretaker for William’s cat, Clooney, who we see throughout the episode wandering the streets.

After going through William’s things, Randall finds a poem that he thinks was about a woman his dad was in love with. So he goes door to door at the building to find her. However, he ends up discovering just how much his dad was loved by his neighbors. It also leads him to an epiphany about what he wants to do for his future.

Wedding dress shopping

This Is Us Clooney
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

After talking about planning her wedding at the group therapy session, Kate is approached by Madison, the girl she is not very fond of. Madison knows a place where she can shop for customized dresses and offers to take her. Kate eventually agrees and Madison goes out of her way to make Kate feel as comfortable as possible.

While Kate may not particularly be fond of Madison, she was touched at the well-planned trip, including a private visit.. At one point, though, Kate notices something troubling about Madison and how she is eating so much sweet food.

This leads to Madison reaching out to Kate later for help, as she is suffering from bulimia. Kate takes care of her since she got hurt and talks about how she had her own issues growing up. This is a bonding moment for them, even if Kate is not very comfortable with her as a friend.

We’ve seen how Kate is not very open with Madison but she was a good friend here. Although she may not be quite ready to embrace being best friends as Madison proclaims. However, I really was impressed in this episode that she wasn’t so focused on herself and she was able to see a cry for help when presented in front of her. It could be after missing the signs of her brother needing her, Kate was more attuned to it in another person.

Day at the mall

This Is Us Clooney
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

In the past, the Pearson family goes to the mall so Kate and Kevin can try on outfits for their school formal. Randall has his own reasons for wanting to go to the mall, which he doesn’t share, and Rebecca has some things they need to pick up after dress shopping with Kate.

Unfortunately, Kate doesn’t have a great experience shopping for her dress and she hides that she is having trouble from Rebecca. While the girls are off getting dresses, Kevin and Jack go shopping for tuxedos. This was a beautiful father/son moment and it’s just all the more bittersweet knowing what’s in store. It was great to see a happy moment in which Kevin can look back on and know he shared with Jack.

Different dynamic

This Is Us Clooney
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Seeing two different versions of Kevin interacting with Miguel give us some more insight into their relationship. In the present day, he doesn’t want to spend time with Miguel and he gets a wake up call when Miguel reveals why he came grocery shopping. While Kevin doesn’t think she needs to be protected from him, Miguel makes him think about his behavior.

The two soon have a talk, which clearly was a long time coming. Kevin needed reassurance that Miguel wasn’t always after his mom. Later, Rebecca confirms this when she tells her son that she let go of happiness and found a new form of it in Miguel.

This moment between Kevin and Miguel was such a difference between their interactions in the past during the mall trip. Kevin and Miguel bond over being down on their luck. Miguel even tells Jack’s sons about how his dad let go of his own construction business for his kids. While we don’t know yet what caused the disconnect between Kevin and Miguel, whether it was solely because of him being with Rebecca, it is clear there was a ripple affect after losing Jack.

Kevin originally went there to heal his relationship with his mother. Instead, he ended up healing his relationship with Miguel, or at least beginning to do so. Maybe we’ll see him do this with Beth and Toby since they have had their fair share of tension as well.

Big clues

This Is Us Clooney
Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Now we get to the part where I was completely shaken up. If you want my thought process after two scenes, it mostly consisted of the word “nope” running through my head.

Randall’s reason for being at the mall? To ask a girl on a date and he does this in the most geeky, but most Randall way possible. Who is this girl? Well, her name is Allison and she has red hair. She also looks very familiar. And as happy as I was for Randall, I wanted to tell him to go right back to his dad and brother. Because if this clue isn’t present, then nothing bad happens later. Right?

Well, on to clue number two. Remember the things Rebecca needed to pick up? One of those things was batteries. Which were forgotten about entirely, likely due to the dress shopping drama. At first when Jack and Rebecca talked about forgetting something, I thought maybe one of the kids got left at the mall. Hey, there are three of them!

No, no, they forgot batteries. The final scene of the episode shows us what the batteries are for. Can I just skip past these scenes because this means my heart won’t be ripped out of my chest in the next few weeks?

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Who do you think Kevin will mend fences with next? How close are we to that moment we are all dreading? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below or follow us on Twitter!

Tune into This Is Us 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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