This Is Us Season 2 Episode 3: Deja Vu Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Kate visits Kevin on the set of his movie; Randall and Beth receive exciting news; and Rebecca tries to reconnect with Jack. (TVGuide)

Writers: Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger

Directors: John Requa and Glenn Ficarra

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 minutes

Yet again, another wonderful, touching episode of This Is Us. Last week we learned a lot about Kate’s struggles growing up. Tonight’s episode dove a little deeper into Kevin’s inability to express feelings about his dead father. We also saw some progress on the Jack/Rebecca front as Jack continues to deal with his alcohol addiction and mend his relationship with Rebecca. Beth and Randall. on the other hand, got a call informing them that they are officially foster parents! It was a beautiful episode that is continuing the trend of peeling away the layers of each character, allowing the audience to understand them like we never have before.

The episode opens to Jack at an AA meeting discussing the improvements he’s seen with himself. However, he feels he is struggling to connect with Rebecca and talk out his feelings like he promised.

In the past, young Randall is seeking out his birth parents via an ad. To his surprise, someone responds to it claiming she is his birth mother. When he goes to meet up with her (alongside Kate & Kevin), he immediately realizes she is not who she says she is.

In the present, typical Randall is freaking out because they have not heard back about getting a foster child. He speaks too soon, as a phone call comes bearing the good news that their foster child, Deja, is on the way, as they speak. An excited Randall starts preparing Beth and the girls for her arrival. Deja’s arrival isn’t what he expected as she asks to go straight to bed, despite his efforts to get her to open up.

Meanwhile, in Kevin’s world, he is currently filming a movie directed by Ron Howard (yes, the real Ron Howard!) and his co-star is…SYLVESTER STALLONE. Good ‘ol Rocky made an appearance on This Is Us, who would have thunk it?! Kate decides to visit the set for the day and ends up bonding with Stallone over her dad who was a huge fan. This seems to throw Kevin off his game as he still struggles with talking about Jack and his death. Even when Stallone brings it up, Kevin finds himself angry and annoyed that Kate told him in the first place. Its clear that Kevin has some unresolved issues when it comes to Jack’s death, and in a montage we see flashbacks of moments of him and Jack and the moment he found out about his death. These visions seem to haunt him more than we realize, and this episode focuses on just that.

Back in the past, Rebecca decides to plan a date night for her and Jack to help spice things up. She surprises him and tells him she is “Jack Pearsoning” him (better known as sweeping him off his feet awww). The date doesn’t initially go as planned, as Jack stops Rebecca’s advances to be intimate. He isn’t ready for it, just yet. As the date progresses, Jack opens up to Rebecca about why he’s struggling and asks to start their date over again. Sigh, they always find a way to make it work.

Beth and Randall struggle with Deja’s first night in their home. Beth finds a pack of cigarettes, and the girls aren’t quite warming up to her either. We quickly realize that Deja has a complicated past, one that becomes apparent when Randall raises his voice and she ducks for cover. Poor girl, she doesn’t realize that she will get nothing but love and affection in this home. Randall realizes that isn’t going to be easy and will take a lot of work. However, alls well that ends well, because Deja starts to warm up to the girls and ends up sleeping in their room. Awww, things are going to be just okay.

Perhaps, the best scene from tonight’s episode was one between Beth, Randall, and Deja. Randall and Beth decide to talk to Deja, in the hopes of making her feel more comfortable. What better way to do this than share his own adoption story? So perfectly named, tonight’s episode was called “Deja Vu”. And wasn’t it just that? Randall recalls how he felt split growing up, not knowing about his birth parents. There is even a flashback to him telling young Kate and Kevin how he wants to find his birth parents. He feels this experience with Deja reminds him of his journey, a journey that led to his wonderful life today. And he has a feeling that Deja will have the same too. Such a perfect moment so beautifully explaining the purpose of the episode and bringing it back together.

The episode closes with Kevin calling Kate to apologize for calling her “sad and damaged” when she tried to get him to talk about Jack. He tries to talk about him but falters in doing so, yet again. In what seemed like foreshadowing, we see Kevin opening up his painkillers (to ease the pain from the injury he got on set) while Kate looks at Jack’s urn and says, “He’s just like you.”

It was great that this episode discussed Kevin a bit more, and allowed us as an audience to gain a better understanding of his character. As the story progresses, it feels like we will continue to learn more about the Pearson family and come to understand how this all plays into Jack’s death.

Score: 8/10

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