Need to catch up? Check out the previous This Is Us recap here.
The year 2016 took a lot of people from us. But was This Is Us‘ Toby one of ’em?
This week’s episode let us in on Kate’s beau’s fate quickly, revealing within the first few minutes that he did not die after collapsing at Randall’s home on Christmas Eve. Turns out it was “just” arrhythmia — but the condition indicates he’s got bigger cardiac problems, which prompts his hasty declaration of love to Kate… and then a lot of worried waiting while Tobes undergoes surgery to repair a hole in his heart.
Meanwhile, Randall wonders why his biodad is more interested in getting his swerve on than in hanging out with the family, and in trying to do the right thing, Kevin does the absolute wrong one.
Read on for the highlights of “The Right Thing to Do.”
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MO’ BABIES, MO’ PROBLEMS | Let’s start in the past, where Jack and Rebecca have just learned the bun in their oven is more like a basket of dinner rolls. Gobsmacked, they realize that their new two-bedroom apartment in a six-floor walk-up is not an ideal nest for three baby birds, and they begin their respective freak-outs. She sobs in the kitchen. He lets her think that he didn’t hear her sobbing in the kitchen. And he ultimately decides to sell his car, ask his abusive father for a loan and buy a money pit of a house he’s been working on in order to make Rebecca happy. Luckily for him, she’s delighted. (Side note: I know it was a different time, but Jack makes two big financial decisions on his own in this episode and then drops them on his unsuspecting wife. Is anyone else a little irked by this?)
MATTERS OF THE HEART | Toby spends much of his post-arrhythmia convalescence trying to get Kate to climb on top of him. (“I’m not mounting you in a hospital,” she says) But when his doctor delivers the news about the hole that needs to be repaired, Toby stops making jokes and starts staunchly refusing to go under the knife. Kate calls him a child and takes off in a huff — and then when she’s gone, he has an abrupt change of (wait for it) heart. What’s more, he declares his love for Kate before he’s wheeled off to the operating room.
“Why didn’t I say it back?” Kate laments to her brothers as they keep her company in the waiting room. To push back her nerves, she asks for an update on Kevin and Randall’s lives. Like to hear it? Here it go!
SHOWMANCE REDUX? | Kev is still bedding Sloane, the playwright, his co-star and “the Jew who crashed Christmas,” as he calls her. And they seem happy, though she’s definitely pushing the “what are we?” conversation halfway through the hour. “I just like the fact that there’s an ‘us’ to talk about,” he tells her, which sounds sweet and all, but just then Olivia walks in and Kevin soon loses his mind.
“I’m baaaack,” says the actress, who’s now sporting a blonde bob. “I made a physical change to match the spiritual one,” she says, spouting off about how she went off and had all these experiences in order to become “authentic,” and I’ll be right back as soon as I can stop rolling my eyes at any part of that sentence. But Kevin is completely taken with his former leading lady, and Sloane’s a bright girl: She notices how enchanted Kev looks.
Eventually, Kevin decides that he doesn’t want Olivia in the play, and although he wants to slip back into a relationship with the bitchy Brit, he’s going to stick with Sloane as his lady, too. “Sometimes you’ve gotta do the right thing… even if it’s not what you want,” he tells Olivia — and Sloane overhears. Ouch.
THE AWFUL TRUTH | Randall can’t figure out why William’s bisexuality bugs him so much — and the bathroom-set discussion he has with Beth on the topic is perfection — so he spends the entire episode trying to parse his hard feelings.
Is he homophobic? Jealous of the time William is spending with Jesse? After Randall’s attempts to get to know Jesse better fail spectacularly (sample dialogue from an incredibly awkward Randall: “The sexiest thing about a man is his sense of humor”), he finally sits William down and asks why he’s not into spending time with the family anymore. “I can feel it now, Randall. The cancer is coming for me, sooner rather than later,” the older man says, explaining that Jesse has been helping him look into arrangements so that William can decamp to somewhere that the Pearsons won’t have to watch his painful final days. He’s so upset, and so is Randall as he assures his father that he’s not going anywhere and it’ll be OK.
ALL’S WELL THAT… | After the operation, Kate sits by a zonked-out Toby’s bedside and tells him she loves him and that she wants to spend the rest of his life with him… only to find out that he’s been playing possum and heard everything she said. “I would totally marry you, if that’s what you’re down with,” he says. “Just like that?” she asks, her face joyously incredulous. “From the moment I met ya, kid,” he replies. Aw, they are so cute and happy and I AM SO WORRIED. We have 13 minutes left in the episode, guys, and if ER and Grey’s taught me anything, it’s that you should never trust a bedside moment of elation in the back half of a medical drama.
Thankfully, Toby makes it through the hour OK. Phew. This show is gonna take years off my life, everyone.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!