It’s far too early to be talking about Oscar nominations for next year — or years down the line — but after Tuesday’s This Is Us, how could we not?
Because the hour included one of the most incisive performances we’ve seen in a long time, courtesy of a recent cast addition who stole a scene in which he didn’t even have any lines.
Yep, I’m referring to the infant actors who play Kate and Toby’s son, Baby Jack. (We technically don’t know which of the babies delivered the money shot, so we’re handing out kudos all around.) Allow me to set up the moment, so you get the full picture. In the episode, after Kate finished nursing her son, Toby walked into the room and wanted some snuggle time with little Jack. As Kate handed the baby to her husband, she made sure to narrate exactly what’s going on, in order to help the blind child feel comforted and informed. She gently told him that she was passing him to his dad, who then cradled the kiddo in his arms.
“All you have to remember is that I am the hairy one,” Toby joked, moving Jack up to rest on his chest.. And then — as if on cue! —Baby Jack reached up to tug on his father’s beard. (Props to Chris Sullivan, who seemed both delighted and unfazed by his tiny co-star’s actions. Additional props to Sullivan for not flinching when the baby locked onto his beard, because, as any new parent can tell you, infants are freakishly well-versed at getting a fistful of hair and then refusing to let go.)
The passion! The dedication! The lack of drool! What teeny thespians these kids are! Hey, Emmys? Golden Globes? Oscars? You might want to invest in some sandpaper, because we’ve got a good feeling you’re going to have to baby-proof any hard edges off a statuette come next fall.