by Justin Kirkland | via Entertainment Weekly
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the kidneys are in the laundry room. You may say, “Well, that’s not too romantic,” but if you’ve ever lived in a place without a washer and dryer, you know a home can survive without it — but it’s mighty difficult. So it’s not completely surprising we open with a series of washers that have defined Jack and Rebecca’s relationship. The problem is… You can find a temporary fix without a kidney, but the heart? If you don’t have a heart, things are hopeless.
Kate and Toby
On the outskirts of the spin-cycle plot are Kate and Toby. Kate is starting to see the benefits of sticking with her diet and respectable power-walking regime — mind you, in 1.25-pound increments, but still! And then there’s Toby, who dropped eight pounds wearing regular clothes. Kate is supportive, but you can see the frustration. We all collectively just held up our emotion wine and did a cheers, Kate. We get it, girl.
That frustration is only compounded when she visits Toby, who has been actively breaking his diet with pizza and snack cakes and high-fructose corn syrup. She calls him out on the binge, but Toby insists he’s done dieting. After some back and forth, Toby agrees to stick with Kate, but it proves to be quite the struggle at dinner as Kate insists Toby gets the dessert she knows he wants anyway. As Toby gives in, it doesn’t take long for Kate to follow suit. On the way home, she stops and picks up some powdered doughnuts — which we all know equals at least a quarter-pound, because life is too cruel.
Kevin and Randall
And speaking of cruel, let’s catch up with Kevin and Randall’s adolescence. Teenage Randall appears in a late-night study sesh after joining the football team, as roommate/arch nemesis Kevin is trying to get to sleep. Having already completed his bicep exercises for the night, former-family football star Kevin isn’t having Randall’s hours, causing him to move downstairs. Like most new-age millennials and independent women, teenage Randall is trying to have it all, so he asks Kate what he should do to connect with Kevin, and she tells him to be more laid back.
Kevin isn’t having it, though — he banishes Randall (and his milk and cookies) from the basement. They seem to have a bit of a cease-fire until game time because as all men know, you take your frustrations out on the football field. Teenage Kevin and Randall break into a fist fight on the field while a Peter Gabriel song plays in the background, which seems strange for any other show, but this is This Is Us, after all. Of course Peter Gabriel was playing.
Though not typically physical, adult Kevin and Randall still don’t get along, even competing on their morning runs. Beth, being no less brutally honest than usual, calls out how strange it is to see them together and even compares them to Cain and Abel. Randall insists everything is fine, so we raise our emotion wine and cheers to Randall because we all know that’s a lie. He tells Beth he and Kevin are having dinner with their mother tonight, so they’ll be in late.
In the office, Randall is dropping some solid futures jokes when one of his coworkers sees Kevin through the glass. When you’re the Manny, you know how to stop a business meeting. He’s come to the office to meet Randall for dinner, but when Rebecca has to cancel, that just leaves Cain and Abel the brothers to duke it out at a fancy restaurant. It’s not long before Kevin’s Manny persona pushes Randall out of the picture (literally, because selfies). When Randall doesn’t recognize his costar, Kevin asks him what his character’s name was on the show. Randall can’t tell him, because there’s not much talk of weather futures on The Manny. Kevin bails on dinner.
Click HERE to recap, “The Best Washing Machine in the World.”