TV Reviews

This Is Us Season 2 Episode 5: Brothers Review

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

Synopsis: Kate surprises Toby at work. Kevin and Randall attend a charity fundraiser for Sophie’s hospital. Jack takes the boys on a camping trip, leaving Rebecca to deal with some unexpected news. (TVGuide)

Writer: Tyler Bensinger

Directors: John Requa & Glenn Ficarra

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 minutes

Tonight’s episode of This Is Us took us back to young Randall and young Kevin’s camping trip with Jack. As kids, they were constantly butting heads and Jack decides they need an opportunity to bond and get closer, especially Kevin. A flashback shows us that Jack once shared a similar trip with his father, Stanley.

While the boys are away on their camping trip, Rebecca and Kate decide to have a girl’s day out. This is abruptly cut short, when a phone call comes bearing news that Jack’s father is in the hospital, dying. Unable to reach Jack, Rebecca pays Stanley a visit, despite the fact she has never met him before.

As the story shifts to adult Kevin, we see his addiction with pills and alcohol is ever slightly growing, mimicking a very similar path as Jack once took. This doesn’t bode well for Kevin’s future, especially with his family unaware of his current situation. This dilemma continues to unfold as Kevin desperately tries to contact his doctor to refill his prescription, who refuses to do so. His behavior begins to strain his and Sophie’s relationship.

As we learned last week, Kate is pregnant! Tonight, she shared the news with Toby, who reacted so adorably, filled with the utmost excitement. Kate, however, is reluctant and wary, due to her age and weight, and is unsure whether the pregnancy will remain viable. Because of this, she doesn’t want either of them to be excited or enthusiastic over their future child. Sigh.

Randall and Beth continue to try and make Deja feel comfortable, a feat that has been quite impossible for them so far. Kevin invites Randall and Deja to an auction gala, despite Beth’s reluctance. Deja is super eager to go which is due to the fact that she has a crush on Kevin, which causes her to ignore Randall, despite his silly and loving attempts to connect. Luckily, Deja and Randall finally have a moment when Deja shares a story of her past with him, one that makes him realize how delicate she truly is.

The stand-out moment from tonight’s episode was Kate’s breakdown during one of her group sessions. Frustrated and angry with a fellow group member’s story, she snaps at her because she feels the girl doesn’t belong there. It seems emotions are getting the best of Kate as she grapples the reality of being pregnant. This fluster of emotions results in her crashing into the girl’s car, with whom she ends up sharing the news of her being pregnant. Luckily, this helps Kate realize sharing the news made her feel less anxious, so much so, that she and Toby begin sharing the news with strangers in the most hilarious of ways.

Rebecca finally gets a hold of Jack and gives him the news of his father’s deteriorating condition. Instead of returning to be with him, Jack decides to stay with the boys and continue camping. This is a testament to the damaged relationship he and his father have, and a spotlight on the amazing father he went on to be despite that.

The most touching moment of this episode was in its final moments, as Rebecca tells Stanley how wonderful of a father Jack is. And despite his rough childhood and absent father, he persevered and became an amazing person. This moment continued as we learn in a flashback that Jack had a younger brother, Nicky, bringing the whole episode to a full circle.

Tonight’s episode, aptly named “Brothers”, takes fans on a journey that we believe to be about young Randall and Kevin. However, as we learn, Jack had a younger brother, who isn’t a part of his adult life due to unknown reasons. It is yet to be seen if Rebecca or the rest of the family know about him, if he’s alive in that time, and what his and Jack’s relationship is/was. Time will tell as the season continues.

This Is Us continues to deliver the most emotional, beautiful, and impactful storylines, and never ceases to catch the fans by surprise. Tonight’s episode was no exception.

Score: 8/10

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