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TV Review: This is Us (Season 2, Episode 11)


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Carrying on Kevin’s storyline from where it left off at the end of episode eight, the Pearson family find themselves at rehab. With the culmination of the previous episode, seeing Kevin arrested, his recovery appears to be very much back on track.

Alongside his therapist Barbara, he invites his mother and two siblings to join him in a group therapy session. What begins as a session to help Kevin work through his own issues becomes heated as blame is laid at both Jack and Rebecca’s doors.

Image credit: IMDb

The issues which have been hinted at thus far in the series come to fruition, with Kevin diagnosing each member of his family’s problems. This paints Kevin in a much harsher light than in previous episodes.

While his break-up with Sophie was painful, it was also understandable. This episode, however, seems much harder to comprehend and instead takes away from the difficulties which Kevin has been through in the past few episodes.

It paints him as unforgiving and egotistical, qualities which have perhaps come through in his character throughout the series, but seemed redeemable. This provided a slightly disappointing climax to the storyline which has been building up over the past few episodes. 

Meanwhile, while the family is in therapy, Beth, Toby and Miguel, discuss their feelings of exclusion from the Pearson family circle. Neither Toby or Beth knew Jack and thus their feelings of exclusion sprout from this fact.

Miguel, as Jack’s best friend, consoles the pair, reflecting on how wonderful Jack was and how much the family was affected by his death. These scenes, although endearing, were seemingly pointless as they only created an issue which had not existed thus far.

When watching the show, all characters are interconnected, whether they knew Jack or not, and all are part of the Pearson family circle. These scenes only served to put Jack at the centre of the show’s plot, a fact which takes away from the autonomy and validity of the other characters. 

The flashback scenes provided more of an insight into the events which take place in the present-day drama. Young Kevin feels excluded from the attention of his parents suggesting the beginnings of the feelings he holds inwardly later in life.

Taking it out on Randall he becomes frustrated with his family. In a touching moment, the bond between Rebecca and Kevin is affirmed and their later disagreements seem redeemable.

Meanwhile, the foundations of Kate’s struggle with her weight are laid, with Jack indulging her love of Ice Cream despite Rebecca’s protests. The bond between Jack and his daughter is one which has had a tragic effect upon the character of Kate throughout the series and provides a heart-warming element to the series. 

Towards the end of the episode, the reconciliation between the Big three suggests the strength of their bond and its importance to the series as a whole.

Perhaps by putting aside their differences, the three siblings will be able to support each other in working through the problems which have presented themselves in the series thus far. 

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

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