This Is Us 4×03 recap: Season 4, Episode 03, “Unhinged,” Aired Oct. 8, 2019
Episode three of This Is Us was full of great character moments, both in the past and the present. This episode did a great job of moving along the current storylines of the characters we know and love, while also establishing the new characters. It’s exciting how relationships are starting to form between the new and old characters so far this season.
The episode opens with Nicky at therapy, seemingly doing very well with his therapist. This is great to see, however it is short lived when she broke the news of her transfer to him. Nicky falls off the wagon so to speak and that is when this leads to him throwing the chair through the window of the group meeting.
It was hard to watch Nicky struggle in this episode as he falls deeper and deeper down the dark path of his addiction. We really appreciate how supportive and helpful Kevin is to him in this episode, not giving up on him no matter what. He understands what it is like to struggle to stay sober and having someone who cares is exactly what Nicky needs.
This storyline has introduced Kevin to Cassidy, and we are so excited for these two to become closer. While waiting for Nicky at therapy, Kevin bonds with a young boy by playing video games with him while he waits for his mom. Turns out this is Cassidy’s son, and although she isn’t too fond of Kevin, we love a slow burn and are very excited for this one!
The end of the episode, Cassidy and Kevin meet up again at an AA meeting and the two banter a bit before Kevin takes his seat a few seats away from her. At the meeting he talks about his struggle with staying sober and about how he saying sober for baby Jack. Kevin makes a joke and even though is a very sweet moment, he is interrupted by Cassidy laughing who then makes Nicky laugh and the three of them start hysterically laughing, which lightens up the situation and proves how sometimes you can’t take life too seriously. The three seem to have formed a bit of a connection here and we can’t wait for more interaction between them.
We also get a glimpse into how life as parents is going for Toby and Kate. Kate starts to notice a change in Toby and it is revealed that Toby has been going to the gym and has developed a pretty ripped body. Kate starts to feel those old insecurities creep up when she realizes that Toby wants to lose weight in order to be healthy for the baby while she has went the opposite way and gained a few pounds. Thankfully, these two always work it out and promise to never keep secrets from each other again.
One of the most interesting interactions in this episode was between Kate and her new neighbor. Upon first interaction it seems as though this old grumpy neighbor just wants to cause trouble as he yells about where Toby parked his car. Naturally, Kate apologizes and walks away noting that they should stay away from that particular neighbor.
Of course in a show like This Is Us, there is a reason for everything. After Kate gets into a small dispute with Toby, she tearfully goes outside where she has a second interaction with her new neighbor. She emotionally tells him a bit of what she’s going through and then he tells her about his walks around the block and why they are so important to him. He tells her about his stroke and explains how he had to learn how to do everything all over again, such as eating, drinking, talking, and Tobys car had gotten in the way.
With clear eyes, the two seem to come to an understanding and by the end of the episode, Kate joins him on the walk with baby Jack. These two different people who each have a goal have decided to come together and help each other out. We love the subtle message with this interaction that explains how you never know what someone else can be going through and it’s important to extend an olive branch. We hope to see more of these two in a future episode!
Another sweet moment was the heart to heart between Deja and Tess. Mirroring the ‘Big Three’, the two come together and talk a bit about their day at school and Deja reveals that the boy that she likes, is a father. Tess in return expresses the difficulties she is feeling by not being openly out at school. It’s so wonderful that the writers are taking the time to develop their sisterly bond and we can’t wait to see more scenes like this in the future!
We had a lot of important moments for our characters during the flashbacks this week, especially with Randall, Kate and Jack. Initially we get a cute little moment with Jack and Rebecca being cute as Jack claims that the actress Kate shows him on the magazine cover is “no Rebecca Pearson.” Where can I find a Jack Pearson? *swoons*
The scenes with Randall in this episode really give insight into the start of his struggles with anxiety early on. Trying to impress the new teacher on his first day at his new school, Randall wears sneakers and violates the school’s dress code. This causes him to get a yellow slip, which needs to be signed by his parents. Randall, having never broken any rules at school, panics.
In this episode especially, we really see the pressure that Randall puts on himself to be perfect and not mess up. A distressed Randall calls home and Kevin answers, telling him to meet him by the door at school. Kevin ends up forging Rebecca’s signature, but there is obviously a deeper root to Randall’s panic. It was definitely nice to see Kevin being there for his brother since most of the flashbacks with the two have been more about their differences.
Meanwhile, Jack struggles at work when he makes a mistake and ends up getting fired. Luckily, Miguel comes through for the Pearson’s and helps to save Jacks job. It’s always interesting to see the role Miguel played in their lives back then, considering what ends up happening in the future.
As each of these things are happening, Kate is seen wrestling with her weight. She had just had her first kiss and she is starting to feel a bit self conscious about it. When she sees her mom working out, she jumps at the opportunity to join her and then afterwards excitedly goes to weigh herself, only to be disappointed that nothing changed immediately.
At the end of the episodes, the siblings catch up on Kevin’s floor. They discuss what happened with Randall at school and Kate reveals to them that she had her first kiss. She goes on to ask them if they would ever be with a large girl, in which Kevin replies with a joke that lightens up the room and the ‘Big Three’ share sweet moment.
Despite how everyone’s day went, the past storyline ends with the entire family laughing together in the living room. This reminds the audience that in the end, as long as you can laugh with the ones you love, everything will be okay.