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TV Review: This is Us (Season 2, Episode 10)


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The third and final of the three flashbacks which have made up the ‘Big Three’ series on the programme, Episode 10 was the turn of Randall Pearson to take the spotlight. 

In the final piece detailing the events of the fateful day of Kevin’s life-changing accident, Randall is focused upon his college application. While Jack and Rebecca have high hopes for the most studious of their triplets, Randall has other ideas. 

Going against the expectations of his parents, Randall is enamoured with Howard rather than Harvard. Being the wonderful and understanding father which we all know him to be, Jack takes Randall to the college open day, supporting his son despite his unexpected choice. In touching and eye-opening scenes, the real reason for Randall’s decision is exposed. After meeting an older friend there, Randall is introduced to Howard’s black community.

With authentic acting from Niles Fitch as young Randall, we see the beginnings of the character embodied by Sterling K Brown, as a teenage Randall begins to come out of his shell. Candidly speaking to his father, Randall asserts that although he loves his family very much, he can sometimes feel “off-balance” as the only black family member. Here, This is Us deals with issues of identity, family and race in a sensitive way and begins to lay the foundations of Randall’s path to eventual success. 

On the other hand, in the present-day scenes, we see a different side to Randall. Following on from the out-of-character threats and accusations thrown at Deja’s mother a few episodes previously, Randall once again is on the war path with regards to the situation of his foster daughter. Shauna, Deja’s mother, is free of all charges and ready to be released, to the dismay of Randall and Beth. Beth in particular is adamant that Deja will not be going back to her mother.

However, after recalling a story which William told him, Randall realises that the best place for Deja is with her mother and reconciles both Beth and himself with the idea. Deja is mature beyond her years, consoling both her foster parents and her biological mother, again reflecting a parallel with young Randall. The seeming success of their first attempt at fostering opens up the potential for future, perhaps more challenging storylines, as Randall and Beth prepare to take on another child. 

Kevin’s arrival at Randall’s house brings the story up to speed with previous episodes. While trying to tell his brother of his problem, Kevin’s outburst does not quite go to plan. Instead it is Kate and Toby’s bereavement which takes centre stage.

Kevin’s bad decisions take a worrying turn when, distressed by Deja’s departure, Tess slips into Kevin’s car. After irresponsible driving, Kevin is pulled over – leaving a cliff hanger for future episodes. 

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



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