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TV Review: This is Us (Season 2, Episode 9)

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The second part in the trio of episodes devoted to each member of the ‘Big Three’, Number Two brought home the trials and tribulations facing Jack and Bec’s only daughter. 

Having miscarried her baby early in the episode, Kate is faced with the grief and tragedy of having lost a child. The excitement which had been such a challenge to hide was suddenly lost as both mother and father-to-be were forced to come to terms with their loss. The difference in their reactions to the tragedy begs the question of how compatible Kate and Toby really are.

While Toby feels that coming to terms with their loss privately, together and in their own time is the best way to heal, Kate goes about her day as if nothing had happened, to the dismay of her fiancée. This difference over an issue so large reflects the differing attitudes to self-care and healing of the pair. Perhaps Toby’s emphasis on self-care will be an antidote to Kate’s dismissal of her true feelings, or perhaps, as was the case with her brother, old habits die hard. 

The flash-back scenes allow an insight into the life of eighteen-year-old Kate. Seemingly in the shadow of her two high performing brothers, Kate’s own talents fall to the whey side when it comes to her parents. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Kate’s wonderful singing voice has gone unheard by her family for years, with the family dog her only audience. While Randall and Kevin apply for their respective colleges, garnering much of the attention of Bec and Jack, Kate has quietly researched music school, hoping to be able to explore her talent further.

Displaying the same attitude to her mother as we see in the older Kate, the younger incarnation is furious when Rebecca discovers her audition tape. Wanting to bond with her daughter over a shared love of music, Bec’s encouragement of her daughter is heart-warming. In a moving moment shared at Kevin’s infamous game, we catch a glimpse of the strength of their mother-daughter bond, something which has only been portrayed as tense up until now. 

Similarly, instead of turning to her brothers or to her fiancée, Kate the elder finds solace in her mum. Moments of tension throughout the series have suggested that the relationship between the two has been on rocky grounds. However, in a moment of tragedy, Kate realises the importance of her mother’s guidance and puts whatever resentment she may have previously felt behind her. 

In an equally touching episode and second in-depth chapter into the lives of the show’s protagonists, Chrissy Metz delivers a stunning performance. Reflecting the confusion and heartache of miscarriage, Metz’s portrayal of a bereaved potential mother is emotional and authentic and is a testament to the show’s stellar reputation. 

This Is Us: Season 2 airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on More 4.

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