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S04.E11: A Hell of a Week: Part One

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4 hours ago, saber5055 said:

I vote Dementia Rebecca took the jewelry/cuff links when she was there and then totally forgot about them. Randall will find them years after putting Rebecca in that hospice unit.

That's a really good theory-- let's see if the writers are clever enough to have thought of it, too ! My sister's mother-in-law has some sort of dementia and one time a couple of years ago she ( my sister) was at their house and couldn't find her car keys when she was ready to go home. I still to this day think that the mom-in-law picked them up and put them somewhere. They have never been found and my sister looked everywhere. While she loses things like everyone else, this one was a bit extreme, even for her.

 

I found this episode rather tedious. I hate to quit the show because it is done well, but Randall wears on my last nerve most of the time. Don't really care much for Kate, either. Kevin is really the only sibling that even interests me-- he has his faults, but he always seems to be trying to keep positive about things. Can the other 2 say the same ?

 

As for the college fire alarm, that as odd. I lived on the 12th floor in my dorm and it seems like we would have false alarms at least once a month ! And always at 2 AM ( before a big test, just to make it worse). So we would have to go down 12 flights of stairs,  go out in the parking lot until all clear, then walk back up because the elevator would be off for 20-30 minutes. Always a ton of fun, especially in the winter !

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I like the cuff link theory too. I just don't think still the guy was real but I guess he was. I don't think he was in their bedroom. It was just too surreal and he had too many nightmares and day terrors in the past for that not to be part of the plot.

I could care less too who Kevin is with, thought of it for less than a second. ; )

Kate's boyfriend intrigues me because I remember watching her finding the picture of him in the piano bench twice. She wasn't shocked, crying, repulsed, she was surprised and calmly called her mom. She didn't react terribly either. I remember thinking he died (suicide?) or went to jail or something sad/awful but not personally physically hurt her. I might be wrong, but wondered what others thought. We all react differently to things but with rape mentioned a lot, I would never have acted like she did.

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18 minutes ago, debraran said:

I might be wrong, but wondered what others thought.

If the boyfriend had been abusive, a rapist, a woman beater, a cheater, yada yada, I don't think the Pearsons would have kept his picture at all, much less for years stored in a piano bench. Plus Kate is such a self-centered rag, she would have been harping on how he ruined her life well before we have to see it in some upcoming episode. She would have stabbed his face out of that photo is my opinion.

Of course, the opinion of this show's writers may vary.

Randall was so exhausting, Beth is indeed an angel for staying with him period, much less marrying him and having his kids.

If his dinging phone shows up next episode ... I swear I'm reaching through the teevee and smashing it.

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I figured Kevin said it had been a hell of a week because of the Sophia Bush hall pass thing, plus Sophie‘s mom dying would be bound to bring up emotions from Jack dying, not necessarily because of who he was in bed with at the moment.  

When was the last time Rebecca was at Randall and Beth’s? Thanksgiving or Christmas?  Is it mid-late January or February in the trilogy episodes? Wouldn’t they have noticed missing jewelry before now if Rebecca had taken it? I thought one of the girls took it for whatever reason. We saw the Thanksgiving episode, then wasn’t  last week’s episode set after Christmas & New Year’s Day?  

I could totally be confused about the timeline. 


 

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1 hour ago, ECM1231 said:

But why would Madison be in Pittsburgh for Sophie's parent's funeral? To my knowledge they don't know each other. 

You know who might have been in Pittsburgh at the funeral?  That woman who was at the big high school reunion Kevin went to, the one he had a one night stand with and at first she wouldn't give back Jack's necklace.  Huh? Huh?  No, I don't think so either.

 

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48 minutes ago, willco said:

As for the college fire alarm, that as odd. I lived on the 12th floor in my dorm and it seems like we would have false alarms at least once a month ! And always at 2 AM ( before a big test, just to make it worse). So we would have to go down 12 flights of stairs,  go out in the parking lot until all clear, then walk back up because the elevator would be off for 20-30 minutes. Always a ton of fun, especially in the winter !

We had no elevators! (But it's only a three-story building, and I was on the 2nd floor.) But I did work on the 6th floor (out of 8, I think) of a building in Philly for a while and we had to take the stairs down and back up for fire drills.

11 minutes ago, saber5055 said:

If the boyfriend had been abusive, a rapist, a woman beater, a cheater, yada yada, I don't think the Pearsons would have kept his picture at all, much less for years stored in a piano bench. Plus Kate is such a self-centered rag, she would have been harping on how he ruined her life well before we have to see it in some upcoming episode. She would have stabbed his face out of that photo is my opinion.

I didn't think they realized the pictures were in there until Kate opened it.

What little we've seen of him, and Kate's side of the phone call in this ep, suggests some level of emotional abuse, at the very least. And unless she was in the hospital or something I don't know why they needed to take the time pick up Randall on the way. Normally I'd say it must be bad if all three of them had to be there, but then it is the Pearsons, so who knows.

[One possible contributing factor for Kate's weight, if they do go that route with the boyfriend. I was listening to something about obesity recently (a podcast, probably, but I can't remember which), and one thing they mentioned (talking about a doctor who treats such patients who did a study) was that high percentage of the patients developed their extreme weight problems after being sexually abused/assaulted in some way. One story they mentioned was a woman who was raped by her grandfather as a pre-teen, and gained a lot of weight, then as an adult got down to a normal weight via a medically supervised program but started to eat again after someone hit on her (in a sincerely interested way) at a bar; she didn't know how to handle that. The weight protects them, psychologically - I think it was a quote from the same woman, "overweight is overlooked" which made her feel safer.]

10 minutes ago, JudyObscure said:

You know who might have been in Pittsburgh at the funeral?  That woman who was at the big high school reunion Kevin went to, the one he had a one night stand with and at first she wouldn't give back Jack's necklace.  Huh? Huh?  No, I don't think so either.

Nah, she had dark hair.

That scene was at the end of the week, though (I think), so who knows if he was in Pittsburgh still, or went home, or went to Bradford to visit Uncle Nicky....

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I actually thought the route they were going was Deja taking the jewelry and selling it. dont ask me why. Im still not convinced there was a real intruder actually, so I guess I havent a clue 🙂

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44 minutes ago, nlkm9 said:

I actually thought the route they were going was Deja taking the jewelry and selling it. dont ask me why. Im still not convinced there was a real intruder actually, so I guess I havent a clue 🙂

I think the mention of the broken window was evidence that the intruder was real.

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16 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

One of the things that I find most interesting about the show (and one of its more subtle themes) is how even really great loving parents who try so hard to give their kids everything they can can still unintentionally cause problems that could end up affecting their kids for years after. Kids remember weird things sometimes, it kind of seeps into their conscientiousness and even if the parents dont remember it all at, and it was just some random thing they did or said that meant nothing to them, it could shape the kind of person that kid becomes. Not that there is no free will or that parents will decide exactly how kids will turn out as adults, but people are certainly shaped by their experiences, especially when they're little and growing. Random little things, like Jack telling little Randal that he has to be strong, or Rebecca's comments about Kates weight, or how they often dont pay as much attention to Kevin due to Kate and Randall's more obvious insecurities, none of those things were done out of malice or cruelty, they were all well meaning or things they didnt really think much about, but they set up issues that the Big Three would deal with for their whole lives. 

Its also interesting how all three of the Big Three picked up so many of Jacks traits, both positive and negative, but its almost like they broke them up between them. Randall got his love of big gestures and devotion to his family, but also his tendency to think he knows whats best for everyone. Kevin got his charisma and big heart, but also his self esteem issues and struggles with addiction. Kate has his passion for traditions, but also his tendency to hold onto things for too long. Really, its kind of funny that Kate, who is probably the one most obsessed with keeping Jacks memory alive, is probably the least like him of the B3 personality wise.

Wow...Yes to all of this!

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42 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

One of the things that I find most interesting about the show (and one of its more subtle themes) is how even really great loving parents who try so hard to give their kids everything they can can still unintentionally cause problems that could end up affecting their kids for years after. Kids remember weird things sometimes, it kind of seeps into their conscientiousness and even if the parents dont remember it all at, and it was just some random thing they did or said that meant nothing to them, it could shape the kind of person that kid becomes

True. Parents can often say things in an offhand manner or in anger and not really mean it. But children often internalize and take it to heart. It reminds me of that song from Into the Woods:

”Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will see. And learn”

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21 hours ago, NUguy514 said:

As far as the woman in Kevin's bed, I have no doubt that's Sophie: as was said upthread, they didn't show her face so that they could use a random extra and not have to pay Alexandra Breckenridge for appearing in this episode.

While this is possible, odds are that we'll be seeing that scene/the rest of that scene in the next episode anyways, so they could've just used footage of that in the end of this episode.

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7 hours ago, ECM1231 said:

But why would Madison be in Pittsburgh for Sophie's parent's funeral? To my knowledge they don't know each other. 

Did Kevin say he was still in Pittsburgh? 

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10 hours ago, meep.meep said:

Definitely not Super Duper Close Friend John Legend - but maybe Chrissy Teigen?

John Legend could've been wearing a wig 😛

Or maybe... it's Chrissy Teigen, then the door opens, and John Legend is walking back in with coffee for the three of them!

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On 1/22/2020 at 2:55 AM, Lily H said:

I'm liking Randall less and less. His behaviour in his office when Darnell came to see him was boorish and rude. You don't pick up your phone and ignore someone who is sitting across from you trying to talk to you. Whoever's calling can just leave a message and damn well wait.

It wasn't messages. It was alerts from his security system letting him know that someone was around the house. He was obsessively checking for the burglar. 

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Randall is a smart guy. The idea that he wouldn’t be able to recognize that he and his family would benefit tremendously from him getting therapy is ridiculous. 

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24 minutes ago, Enigma X said:

As a person who battles depression and anxiety on a daily basis and has been doing so for as long as I can remember, and know many smart people who won't even admit that they are dealing with depression and anxiety, I think Randall is behaving on par. Yes, for every Randall there is a person who willing seeks therapy too. But it has nothing do with intelligence or not wanting to get better.

I really think the whole people with mental illness should behave this certain way is part of the whole stigma and added anxiety we have to face in society.

This is so true - people who suffer from depression and anxiety don't always think clearly or rationally. I think the show is doing a good job of depicting this. 

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53 minutes ago, Johnny Dollar said:

Randall is a smart guy. The idea that he wouldn’t be able to recognize that he and his family would benefit tremendously from him getting therapy is ridiculous. 

Sometimes, people aren't rational, no matter how smart they are. I'm someone who has never gone to therapy and definitely should be for my own anxiety. But, for various reasons, I just haven't. Again, it's not rational, even though I am aware that I should be. So, I can totally buy Randall being in denial and not going to therapy because he thinks that he's fine, or that he has it under control, or that his current methods are working. WE know they aren't, but he doesn't. 

Darnell even recognized that he should try therapy but it's completely in character for Randall to brush it aside. Look at what happened the last time he went to therapy. It was the family therapy session and he basically brushed it aside as a joke. 

But, then again, nobody in the Pearson family has even been open to therapy, let alone tried it more than once willingly. Kevin has made strides because he's actively gone to get himself help, not just through therapy (yes, it was court mandated, but he still seemed to use it to his benefit) but also through support groups. Yes, it took Kevin a while, and he was just as reluctant about therapy and asking for help as any of the other Pearsons, but he's finally comfortable enough to admit when he needs help. His issue is that he didn't keep up with therapy. But because of the way he was raised, because both Rebecca and Jack didn't seem to be open to any kind of therapy, that kind of mindset is hard to break. Jack dealt with his alcoholism on his own, which wasn't exactly a healthy way to go about it, but it worked for him. But it doesn't work for everyone.

So, for someone like Randall, he has tried to do it on his own and although it's worked out so far, in the sense that he's able to pick himself back up for a little while, it's just a cycle that continues to happen. He just can't see that because he thinks he's fine. It's clear that, at this point, something drastic needs to happen in order for him to admit that he needs help. I just am not sure what that would be.

I want to see all of the Pearsons in weekly therapy. They all need it desperately. 

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12 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

One of the things that I find most interesting about the show (and one of its more subtle themes) is how even really great loving parents who try so hard to give their kids everything they can can still unintentionally cause problems that could end up affecting their kids for years after.

So true. Of course there is no playbook for parents, it's all on-the-job-training, with lots of learning from mistakes. I have lots of regrets about things I said/did running both ways, to my kids and to my parents, and they all have said and done hurtful things, too. I don't think any of us have been irretrievably broken by any of it, but there are people in much more dire straits who are.  Even in this show, the kids were the recipients of many benefits from their loving parents, and their lives aren't exactly hellish.  Kevin and Randall have had much career and financial success, Randall has a star partner (in my opinion) and pretty great kids, Kevin is now striving for that, and Kate has achieved her goal of being a mother like Rebecca, or at least is on the way. They could sure benefit from some therapy, not so much to uncover the missteps of their parents, but to discover ways to manage feelings and find new ways of thinking. 

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2 hours ago, Johnny Dollar said:

Randall is a smart guy. The idea that he wouldn’t be able to recognize that he and his family would benefit tremendously from him getting therapy is ridiculous. 

I get all the explanations about denial and stigma, etc., but this is a guy who has been hospitalized over his anxiety. That he would believe he could 'run it off' at this point is straight up willful ignorance.

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:10 AM, Ohiopirate02 said:

  I can easily see Randall being someone who thinks addiction is a moral failing and a choice instead of a disease like his anxiety.  

I actually think the reason Randall refuses to get help is because he sees his anxiety/issues as a moral failure/leak of mental strength on his part. For someone who believes he needs to be perfect, the idea of exposing his moral failure to a stranger is probably a big fear off his. 

All the people Randall turn to when he is having trouble are people he involuntarily exposed himself to, and kept his secrets moral failure to themselves. So he feels safe going back to them. 

I hate it , it's wrong, and it is not fair to Beth and Kevin but it makes sense in the head of someone who believes they can be "perfect" if they work hard at doing everything right. 

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7 minutes ago, SevenStars said:

I actually think the reason Randall refuses to get help is because he sees his anxiety/issues as a moral failure/leak of mental strength on his part. For someone who believes he needs to be perfect, the idea of exposing his moral failure to a stranger is probably a big dear off his. 

All the people Randall turn to when he is having trouble are people he involuntarily exposed himself to, and kept his secrets moral failure to themselves. So he feels safe going back to them. 

I hate it , it's wrong, and it is not fair to Beth and Kevin but it makes sense in the head of someone who believes they can be "perfect" if they work hard at doing everything right. 

I think this is exactly right. Randall's biggest issue is his superman complex. He can't admit he needs help to anyone except his brother, because that would mean admitting weakness.

I don't think his anxiety is what's preventing him from realizing he needs help. I understand that severe mental issues can prevent someone from seeking help. (When I was severely depressed, I didn't seek help, because my depression told me that my situation was hopeless.)

But I don't think that's the case here. Randall's anxiety is warning him that he's in extreme danger, but he's so proud - and so convinced that he has to heroically hold it all together - that he won't admit it.

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3 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

Sometimes, people aren't rational, no matter how smart they are. I'm someone who has never gone to therapy and definitely should be for my own anxiety. But, for various reasons, I just haven't. Again, it's not rational, even though I am aware that I should be. So, I can totally buy Randall being in denial and not going to therapy because he thinks that he's fine, or that he has it under control, or that his current methods are working. WE know they aren't, but he doesn't. 

Darnell even recognized that he should try therapy but it's completely in character for Randall to brush it aside. Look at what happened the last time he went to therapy. It was the family therapy session and he basically brushed it aside as a joke. 

But, then again, nobody in the Pearson family has even been open to therapy, let alone tried it more than once willingly. Kevin has made strides because he's actively gone to get himself help, not just through therapy (yes, it was court mandated, but he still seemed to use it to his benefit) but also through support groups. Yes, it took Kevin a while, and he was just as reluctant about therapy and asking for help as any of the other Pearsons, but he's finally comfortable enough to admit when he needs help. His issue is that he didn't keep up with therapy. But because of the way he was raised, because both Rebecca and Jack didn't seem to be open to any kind of therapy, that kind of mindset is hard to break. Jack dealt with his alcoholism on his own, which wasn't exactly a healthy way to go about it, but it worked for him. But it doesn't work for everyone.

So, for someone like Randall, he has tried to do it on his own and although it's worked out so far, in the sense that he's able to pick himself back up for a little while, it's just a cycle that continues to happen. He just can't see that because he thinks he's fine. It's clear that, at this point, something drastic needs to happen in order for him to admit that he needs help. I just am not sure what that would be.

I want to see all of the Pearsons in weekly therapy. They all need it desperately. 

And I think it was easier for Kevin to admit he needs professional help because he sees himself as a mess,  and he believes people expect him to be a mess. So he has no perfection illusion about himself, and no false believe that he is strong enough to over-come his "weakness".  People can't think less of you for getting help when they already think the worst of you. 

Randall on the other hand, spent his whole life believing that can be perfect if he just work hard at it. That he has the ability to be perfect, therefore, if he isn't, then it is because he is not trying hard enough/making the right decisions.  This idea is reinforce/praise over and over again in different ways and levels by his parents/siblings/wife/others.  To Randall, people telling him he needs help probably feels like people telling him he is failing/failure, therefore, the solution is not to listen and get help but to work harder at being perfect. What people say to you when you are mentally ill and what you hear them say are too very different things.  So in order for someone like Randall to accept and knowledge he needs help, he needs to be knock down so hard that he can't get up, or think his way out off the hole he falls into.  As long as he is functional and able to come up with reasonable ways to "fix" himself, he will continue to believe he can do it on his own. 

This is why I like to judge Kevin/Randall/Kate differently from each other because their weakness/strength are different, therefore, they are going to react to the same thing differently. 

Also, like to add that mental health as a serious medically issue and not a moral/personal failure is recent development that majority of people still don't really accept in themselves and others, even in the medical field where people should know and know better. 

 

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23 hours ago, kicksave said:

I think the "we're counting on you to hold it together" comment from Jack to Randall is the key to all of Randall's anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a brain chemistry thing, which the show has indicated he probably inherited from William.  But Jack's comments may be one of the things that shape the way the disorder manifested, which was probably exacerbated by an overly competitive private school environment. 

I do have to say, given how teen Randall couldn't even let his brother get through an awkward talk with his parents about his and Sophie's sex life because he was in the middle of a panic attack, counting on Randall to be the "stable one" was not the right bet.  I actually think that by the time the Big Three were 6, Kevin was expected to be the stable one.  In trouble, misbehaving, yes.  Having emotional needs or complicated problems, no.   

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13 hours ago, Enigma X said:

As a person who battles depression and anxiety on a daily basis and has been doing so for as long as I can remember, and know many smart people who won't even admit that they are dealing with depression and anxiety, I think Randall is behaving on par. Yes, for every Randall there is a person who willing seeks therapy too. But it has nothing do with intelligence or not wanting to get better.

I really think the whole people with mental illness should behave this certain way is part of the whole stigma and added anxiety we have to face in society.

I agree. Thank you for this. For me my depression often manifests in lack of motivation. So knowing what I need to do vs actually doing it is so different. Any action is very difficult. It's hard to explain. 

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10 hours ago, gonzosgirrl said:

I get all the explanations about denial and stigma, etc., but this is a guy who has been hospitalized over his anxiety. That he would believe he could 'run it off' at this point is straight up willful ignorance.

That isn't how it works. It just isn't and these comments are why the stigma persists and people are reluctant to be open about it. Depression/anxiety is very isolating and the lack of support doesn't help. I get severe panic attacks. I cannot control them. Often, the triggers are irrational. Logically, I know that but I cannot prevent them or access that at the time. My mom knows the extent but outside of her? I've told exactly one person. 

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18 hours ago, Janie430 said:

Anxiety is a brain chemistry thing, which the show has indicated he probably inherited from William.  But Jack's comments may be one of the things that shape the way the disorder manifested, which was probably exacerbated by an overly competitive private school environment. 

I do have to say, given how teen Randall couldn't even let his brother get through an awkward talk with his parents about his and Sophie's sex life because he was in the middle of a panic attack, counting on Randall to be the "stable one" was not the right bet.  I actually think that by the time the Big Three were 6, Kevin was expected to be the stable one.  In trouble, misbehaving, yes.  Having emotional needs or complicated problems, no.   

Randall's first fear that we've been shown was of a monster in his new bedroom set-up.  So very common in little kids.  I don't think that was any indication of any disorder.  We may be seeing it that way, and the show is sort of presenting it that way.  Really, though, not only did Jack not mean to be putting excessive pressure to perform on a kid, a three-year old wouldn't receive it that way cognitively.  It turns out Randall did take on the role of the one who had to be strong, and he unraveled at times, but not necessarily because he had a brain chemistry problem.  He might, that might be part of what we're seeing.  Whatever he inherited from William, it wasn't anxiety, as William was as chill as they come; he was an addict, not living with anxiety that we ever saw.  All of the family dynamic, plus adoption and being black in a white family and community, shaped Randall.

I think Kevin actually was the emotionally needy one from a young age, from feeling neglected and that he should have been the star, etc.  Luckily he has made a lot of forward progress just recently. Teen Randall didn't deliberately stage a panic attack so that Kevin could escape the sex talk, which he was happy to skip.  Kevin didn't like the focus on Randall, he made crappy Oedipal comments about him and his mother, even though by high school he was a football star in a football-loving family.  I see it as all part of the complicated family dynamic that each of the kids would inevitably feel like they were in the back seat, when they really were very much loved by two imperfect humans.

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47 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

Randall's first fear that we've been shown was of a monster in his new bedroom set-up.  So very common in little kids.  I don't think that was any indication of any disorder.  We may be seeing it that way, and the show is sort of presenting it that way.  Really, though, not only did Jack not mean to be putting excessive pressure to perform on a kid, a three-year old wouldn't receive it that way cognitively.  It turns out Randall did take on the role of the one who had to be strong, and he unraveled at times, but not necessarily because he had a brain chemistry problem.  He might, that might be part of what we're seeing.  Whatever he inherited from William, it wasn't anxiety, as William was as chill as they come; he was an addict, not living with anxiety that we ever saw.  All of the family dynamic, plus adoption and being black in a white family and community, shaped Randall.

I think Kevin actually was the emotionally needy one from a young age, from feeling neglected and that he should have been the star, etc.  Luckily he has made a lot of forward progress just recently. Teen Randall didn't deliberately stage a panic attack so that Kevin could escape the sex talk, which he was happy to skip.  Kevin didn't like the focus on Randall, he made crappy Oedipal comments about him and his mother, even though by high school he was a football star in a football-loving family.  I see it as all part of the complicated family dynamic that each of the kids would inevitably feel like they were in the back seat, when they really were very much loved by two imperfect humans.

I was wondering about this.  Three seemed way too young for an innocent comment by Jack to make that big of an impression on young Randall.  I have a 5 year old niece and 3 year old nephew and while I can see their little brains turning and I know to watch what I say around them, I do know that I cannot say anything that will cause lasting damage.  They are still too young for that, well the 5 year old is now at the stage where I can see she would remember.  

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Man alive, I dont recall signing up for a whole hour of Randall Pearson, Man on the Verge. That was rough. Give the man a break.

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Like others, Randall is not my favorite character (neither is adult Kate, though I like the younger Kates) but man, did I feel for him in this episode. Although perhaps too young for toddler Randall to internalize, my stomach still dropped when Jack made the comment to him about the parents having their hands full with Kevin & Kate, and that essentially, Randall needed to be the "good" one.

That was my role growing up, as my sibling was a wild child, terrible at school, always getting into trouble, drinking too much, etc. I can't tell you how many times I tried to talk to my parents about my problems and only got back a "You're smart, you always land on your feet, you'll figure it out, you're the one we don't worry about." Or, having my accomplishments overshadowed by my sibling having issues. I didn't realize how much my childhood (there's a lot more to the story) affected me until decades later. And yes, I'm in therapy now.

As for teen Kate and her boyfriend and the emergency situation - I think abuse is too obvious. I was thinking that her boyfriend has a drug issue or psychological issues, and that he dies by accidental OD or suicide. And just like Kate blames herself for Jack's death (going back in for the dog), she will blame herself for her boyfriend's death, that she wasn't there enough for him, didn't say the right things, etc. And that triggers the out-of-control weight gain, not wanting to get close to anyone and creating a physical barrier. I don't know, just a theory.

 

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On 1/23/2020 at 8:43 AM, Enigma X said:

As a person who battles depression and anxiety on a daily basis and has been doing so for as long as I can remember, and know many smart people who won't even admit that they are dealing with depression and anxiety, I think Randall is behaving on par. Yes, for every Randall there is a person who willing seeks therapy too. But it has nothing do with intelligence or not wanting to get better.

The problem I have with it is that Randall has no problem dragging other people to appointments and getting them help, but he won't seek out that help for himself.

Clearly something horrible happened in his childhood.  I don't think Jack sleeping on the floor next to Randall when Randall was much younger or Beth sleeping in Randall's bed with him in college helped any.  If anything, it stopped Randall from getting the help that he needs.  I believe it is easier to deal with mental health issues when people are younger than when they are adults.

On 1/23/2020 at 8:43 AM, Enigma X said:

I really think the whole people with mental illness should behave this certain way is part of the whole stigma and added anxiety we have to face in society.

I wouldn't expect everyone who may have a mental illness to react the same way.   There are numerous reasons why people won't seek out help, but I don't think they apply to Randall.

I also have anxiety issues, which is one of the reasons why I don't drink anything with caffeine in it.  Of course that goes out the window because my migraine medication is full of caffeine.

I also keep a journal so when I do have an anxiety attack, I make a note of what I am doing at the time of the anxiety attack.

Of course blocking the news channels and avoiding the news which is most often negative has also helped .  There is a huge difference between being informed and being inundated.

Edited by icemiser69
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On 1/21/2020 at 10:40 PM, gonzosgirrl said:

I don't think Jack meant any harm, or to put undue pressure on little Randall. Seemed to me he was trying to help him overcome his fear by conspiring with him, letting him know how brave and good he is.  He'd just finished telling him the monsters were just as afraid of [Randall] now, too.  I think it was always in Randall's DNA to be anxious. I don't think it makes Jack a bad parent because he tried to ease his fears this way.

I agree. And as a parent myself with three small kids (not triplets, thank goodness!) sometimes you say unwise things when they won't sleep and you just want a break! I could sympathize with Jack in that moment and it also showed me to watch what I say when I'm tired/frustrated.

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4 hours ago, hookedontv said:

Like others, Randall is not my favorite character (neither is adult Kate, though I like the younger Kates) but man, did I feel for him in this episode. Although perhaps too young for toddler Randall to internalize, my stomach still dropped when Jack made the comment to him about the parents having their hands full with Kevin & Kate, and that essentially, Randall needed to be the "good" one.

That was my role growing up, as my sibling was a wild child, terrible at school, always getting into trouble, drinking too much, etc. I can't tell you how many times I tried to talk to my parents about my problems and only got back a "You're smart, you always land on your feet, you'll figure it out, you're the one we don't worry about." Or, having my accomplishments overshadowed by my sibling having issues. I didn't realize how much my childhood (there's a lot more to the story) affected me until decades later. And yes, I'm in therapy now.

As for teen Kate and her boyfriend and the emergency situation - I think abuse is too obvious. I was thinking that her boyfriend has a drug issue or psychological issues, and that he dies by accidental OD or suicide. And just like Kate blames herself for Jack's death (going back in for the dog), she will blame herself for her boyfriend's death, that she wasn't there enough for him, didn't say the right things, etc. And that triggers the out-of-control weight gain, not wanting to get close to anyone and creating a physical barrier. I don't know, just a theory.

 

I agree, the vibe Kate sent out looking at his pic seemed melancholy or sad, regretful. He might have threatened something and did it? Time will tell.

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All these conversations have been interesting to read. I’m just coming in to point out a part that made me lol but was maybe unintentional on writers part...when Darnell asks Randall if he does anything besides run and he says “I was thinking of getting a peloton....” ha. Oh Randall. 

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:13 AM, gonzosgirrl said:

Everyone was asleep when Randall got home. The robber could have come in (through the broken window), cased upstairs first (where there is most likely to be jewelry/portable valuables left laying out, like Beth's earrings), grabbed that stuff and was downstairs already when Randall came in. Why he didn't flee as soon as Randall went upstairs - dunno. Maybe he was high - he looked kind of strung out - and just didn't react 'normally'.

I think the reason he didn't leave was that he was looking for cash to be able to buy drugs that same night. He'd have had to wait until the next day to pawn/sell the jewelry. If he had found cash in the same place he found the jewelry he probably would have just taken it and ran. He didn't strike me as someone who was looking for an in-person confrontation, he was just desperate for a fix.

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What three year old growing up in the mid-1980’s knows what the term “high maintenance” means when describing other people?

Come on Jack. How about just letting Randall sleep with you on the couch watching cartoons, considering it’s his first time in a real bed, instead of scarring the kid for life by burdening him with the responsibility of being the fixer for your weird family. It would be very fitting if the upcoming Kevin and Kate episodes reveal that St Jack the Great was the original source of their own personality flaws that lead to their lives being so screwed up. Maybe the three can do family counseling to come to terms with how much their beloved father fucked them up. 

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On 1/22/2020 at 8:46 AM, PRgal said:

In East Asian communities too.  For us, it’s about upsetting the ancestors and “cursing” the family for generations (and from what I understand, the past generations as well).  And this goes for people who are very integrated as well.  Many of us are newly integrated (first generation born/raised here) and however unintentional, feel that there’s some kind of custom we have to uphold, I guess.  And it’s hard to hide things from family so even if we lied about going to therapy, we’d be pressured by families to admit it.  

 

On 1/22/2020 at 9:43 AM, PRgal said:

It's worse in some cultures than others though.  In Chinese communities, anyway, they still speak of metal ILLNESS rather than mental health.  And people in my generation are kind of caught.  Services, at least those I've looked into, tend to focus on people with linguistic issues and do little for those of us who speak English (or French in Quebec) as a primary language.  So people from my generation are often left with very few services - if they're looking for someone from a similar cultural background (I'm not - in fact, I don't feel comfortable talking to people from the same background as I feel like I'm going to be judged for not being "Chinese enough" - even though I was born here and speaking with someone who was as well!).  The therapists I've seen have mostly been women of Ashkenazi descent.  They've worked for me 🙂 

ETA:  Randall may find a similar issue - being an adoptee from a white family, his experience as a black man might not be "typical."  I wouldn't be surprised if he feels like he's constantly "judged" by the black community.

There is also tons of pressure on the first generation of children to be perfect otherwise all their parents sacrifice is for nothing. There is a strong burden on their shoulders which they are expected to bear with inhuman strength.

I too would not go to a therapist with my background as my community has always been a source of great stress rather than comfort.

On 1/22/2020 at 10:07 AM, kili said:

I have a theory that Jack says the same thing to each of his three children and this run of episodes is to show us how three different children react to it.

Randall accepts the challenge and has enough inner confidence to believe what Jack is saying. Randall feels he needs to be the perfect low-maintenance child and he has the tools to do that. So, he bottles up his feelings, works hard and always tries to be the model child. As he evolves, he picks up Jack's habit of using exercise to distract from his roiling inner-turmoil (Jack boxed, Randall runs). 

Kevin tries to accept the challenge, but does not have enough inner confidence to believe Jack. He knows he needs to be the protector of the family who doesn't complain (Jack re-inforced it in the chicken pox episode where Kevin was told to man-up, not to complain about being itchy and be the only child told to shovel the snow), but he doesn't believe he can do it. He knows he's been given all the tools, so this should be easy, but he believes that he will ultimately fail. As he evolves, he picks up Jack's habit of using drink to distract from his roiling inner-turmoil. 

Kate never believes it for a minute and promptly feels like she can never be the child that Jack believes he has. She doesn't think she has the tools and believes she is a failure. Like Nicky before her, she actually sets about to self-sabotage herself because it gives her some control of the situation (or something - I am not a therapist - these guys all need therapists).

I think this set of three shows is the nature in the nature vs nurture side of the equation. We all know families where children turned out polar opposites despite being raised the same way (it's never the same way, but it can be close). Neither Jack nor Rebecca are entirely to blame for what these children became. Parents cannot be perfect. Even if they were perfect nurturers, children's inherent nature will cause them to react differently.  Nature and nurture both play a part.

This is very interesting. The same thing happened in The Prince of Tides. In that story, the parents were so horrible the children bonded together through without therapy it was not enough to overcome their childhood demons.

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An interesting review, especially what she says about what Jack told young Randall, how the good kid had to suck it up, while everybody has to deal with the "not good kids."

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On 1/22/2020 at 7:20 PM, Hudson0325 said:

True. Parents can often say things in an offhand manner or in anger and not really mean it. But children often internalize and take it to heart. It reminds me of that song from Into the Woods:

”Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will see. And learn”

So true. When I was five, my parents offered to drop a family friend off after dinner. She lived in an apartment building that had a gate at the entrance and a locked door to get into the lobby. We all sat in the car while she unlocked the gate, walked down the sidewalk, and unlocked the front door before actually getting into the building. My aunt jokingly said to my mom, "Gee, I hope she never gets chased by someone because they will catch up with her before she unlocks all those doors." I remembered that every time I came home after dark once I was old enough to be out with my friends. I still have a slight paranoia about it because I never forgot that seed of anxiety that got planted by a throwaway comment. I'm sure my aunt wouldn't even remember saying that if I asked her.

On 1/24/2020 at 6:54 AM, Ohiopirate02 said:

Three seemed way too young for an innocent comment by Jack to make that big of an impression on young Randall.  I have a 5 year old niece and 3 year old nephew and while I can see their little brains turning and I know to watch what I say around them, I do know that I cannot say anything that will cause lasting damage.  They are still too young for that, well the 5 year old is now at the stage where I can see she would remember.  

Sorry to burst your bubble, but 3 and 5 is definitely young enough to remember things (see above). I told my parents about two memories I had from when I was very young. Neither of them were bad memories, just very specific memories. One of them was running up and down empty airline rows on a plane with red carpet in the aisles. I was not a jet setting toddler so my parents knew exactly what trip that was. It turns out I was two years old when that happened. They never told me that I'd done this, so it wasn't one of those "we've told this story so many times that you think you remember it" things. They actually couldn't believe that I remembered that ONE random thing from the trip we took. My mom said she let me run up and down the aisle a few times because she was hoping it would tire me out and because the flight was almost completely empty.

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On 1/23/2020 at 8:26 AM, Lady Calypso said:

Sometimes, people aren't rational, no matter how smart they are. I'm someone who has never gone to therapy and definitely should be for my own anxiety. But, for various reasons, I just haven't. Again, it's not rational, even though I am aware that I should be. So, I can totally buy Randall being in denial and not going to therapy because he thinks that he's fine, or that he has it under control, or that his current methods are working. WE know they aren't, but he doesn't. 

Darnell even recognized that he should try therapy but it's completely in character for Randall to brush it aside. Look at what happened the last time he went to therapy. It was the family therapy session and he basically brushed it aside as a joke. 

But, then again, nobody in the Pearson family has even been open to therapy, let alone tried it more than once willingly. Kevin has made strides because he's actively gone to get himself help, not just through therapy (yes, it was court mandated, but he still seemed to use it to his benefit) but also through support groups. Yes, it took Kevin a while, and he was just as reluctant about therapy and asking for help as any of the other Pearsons, but he's finally comfortable enough to admit when he needs help. His issue is that he didn't keep up with therapy. But because of the way he was raised, because both Rebecca and Jack didn't seem to be open to any kind of therapy, that kind of mindset is hard to break. Jack dealt with his alcoholism on his own, which wasn't exactly a healthy way to go about it, but it worked for him. But it doesn't work for everyone.

So, for someone like Randall, he has tried to do it on his own and although it's worked out so far, in the sense that he's able to pick himself back up for a little while, it's just a cycle that continues to happen. He just can't see that because he thinks he's fine. It's clear that, at this point, something drastic needs to happen in order for him to admit that he needs help. I just am not sure what that would be.

I want to see all of the Pearsons in weekly therapy. They all need it desperately. 

Honestly the therapy anvils are one of the things that bothered me about the episode. Especially since they seemed to being trying to say something about black men and therapy.  The problem I had is that the show seemed to be saying that black men are the problem and talk therapy is a cure all which isn't true and is actually rather patronising. The truth is therapy come in many forms and traditional talk therapy was mostly designed by white people for other white people. Its not a magic cure all and not everyone does well in a traditional setting. Aboriginal men have a lot of the same issues as black men and its been found they do better in group therapy or other less self focused more behavioural therapy. Not wanting to spend an hour talking about yourself isn't really a mental illness so much as a mental difference and it would have better if the show acknowledged that. As it stands it feels a little like the show is saying Randall should be more white. Which could be clumsy writing but if Randall is magically cured I'm calling bullshit.

I actually think Randall might get more out of group therapy and he definitely needs meds to help in the short term. Its an insidious idea that what works widely for white works for everyone and even a deadly one in the case of black maternal health. Therapy as a cure is dangerous in general too because so many people "fail" therapy and then despair because they don't know what else to do. I really wish the show would get into alternative therapies at least a bit because that really needs awareness. The closest they have come so far is Kate's drum session.

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I'm not saying that Randall should be more white. I'm saying that he is clearly not coping well and he needs help. I know he likes to be in control, but he can't fix this on his own. Going for runs and calling Kevin aren't enough. Telling his wife that he doesn't want to talk about it when she voices her very valid concerns about his stress level and the realistic possibility of him having another breakdown doesn't make things better for him, for her, or for their marriage.

Randall doesn't like to admit that he needs help or that he isn't perfect or that he can't handle something on his own, but in this case things aren't going to change if he keeps doing what he's doing. Even when Malik's dad tried to help him understand that it's okay to talk to someone, Randall brushed it off and basically said, "Nah, I'm good," when he clearly wasn't fine just the night before at the town hall meeting. Denial and trying to smush your feelings down doesn't work long term.

Most good therapists recommend that patients with stress and anxiety go to group therapy because it helps them (1) see that they aren't alone (2) shows them the range of what other people are going through (3) lets them see different stages of progress in dealing with stress and anxiety (4) gives them a support system of people who understand what they're going through.

But for me the issue is that Randall really isn't making ANY effort to deal with his issues. He's acting like if he goes for a long run and ignores all of the things that have been piling up (Rebecca's illness, keeping secrets from his siblings/lying to his siblings, the stress of his job, the fear and anger at having someone break into your house, etc) then they will just magically fix themselves or go away. He told Malik's dad that he can talk to Beth about anything, but he keeps shutting her down whenever she tries to talk to him about his anxiety. I don't care if Randall starts taking modern dance or painting abstract nudes or gardening or writing mystery novels that take place on Mars or whatever, but it's clear that he needs to do something to deal with all the stress he's under and right now he's basically refusing to.

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14 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Sorry to burst your bubble, but 3 and 5 is definitely young enough to remember things (see above). I told my parents about two memories I had from when I was very young. Neither of them were bad memories, just very specific memories. One of them was running up and down empty airline rows on a plane with red carpet in the aisles. I was not a jet setting toddler so my parents knew exactly what trip that was. It turns out I was two years old when that happened. They never told me that I'd done this, so it wasn't one of those "we've told this story so many times that you think you remember it" things. They actually couldn't believe that I remembered that ONE random thing from the trip we took. My mom said she let me run up and down the aisle a few times because she was hoping it would tire me out and because the flight was almost completely empty.

I have a vague impression/memory from when I was about 18 months old, and my daughter just yesterday recounted something from her bedroom when she was 3.  But that's not what we were talking about in the episode -- lasting damage from one off the cuff comment.  I don't think that is what happens or we would all be walking around afraid of our own shadows.  It's the difference between remembering things and being damaged. Jack's comment wouldn't have been fully understood by a 3 year-old ("high maintenance") and the suggestion to be the strong one is one a lot of us firstborns get (not saying Randall was first). The show is just doing shorthand for look at what all went into Randall's anxiety, which I get, but I felt it was a little too facile.

3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

But for me the issue is that Randall really isn't making ANY effort to deal with his issues. He's acting like if he goes for a long run and ignores all of the things that have been piling up (Rebecca's illness, keeping secrets from his siblings/lying to his siblings, the stress of his job, the fear and anger at having someone break into your house, etc) then they will just magically fix themselves or go away. He told Malik's dad that he can talk to Beth about anything, but he keeps shutting her down whenever she tries to talk to him about his anxiety. I don't care if Randall starts taking modern dance or painting abstract nudes or gardening or writing mystery novels that take place on Mars or whatever, but it's clear that he needs to do something to deal with all the stress he's under and right now he's basically refusing to.

I think he is making an effort, his effort is running, so far, and reaching out to Kevin.  Small steps, that's how it works for some people, and exercise is good for anxiety and depression and lots of other things, so he's on the right track there.  I wasn't surprised he brushed off Darnell's advice, he is a constituent and his daughter's boyfriend's father, he doesn't want to show vulnerability.  He was graceless about it, I didn't like it, but I understood where it came from.  We already know from the infamous flash forward that in years from now he is seemingly in the good graces of his family, so this rough patch will smooth out.  How that happens is yet to be seen, but he is inching toward help, and there is no one-size-fits all solution.  I think we're about to find out what the writers think about where Randall should go for help, but ultimately in real life an individual has to find out what will work for them, and it may not be what works for others.

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:53 AM, colorbars said:

I mean, odds are that her boyfriend likely hit/assaulted her, so yeah, I'd say that's a good enough reason to call her brother.

Given her reaction when she found a photo of him recently (she seemed sad), I think that her bf had something to do with drugs or some kind of crime and that his ending was not good, maybe he is now dead or in jail.

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:57 AM, Snapdragon said:

Count me in as someone who doesn't think Kevin's in bed with Sophie.  The two of them will probably get coffee and have some sort of closure providing conversation where they part ways forever...and then Kevin will randomly bang the barista or something.

 

Kevin said he would go to Sophie's mom's funeral. This means there were relatives there who he used to know, so I'm guessing he slept with a cousin or something of Sophie.

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On 1/27/2020 at 5:48 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

One of them was running up and down empty airline rows on a plane with red carpet in the aisles. I was not a jet setting toddler so my parents knew exactly what trip that was. It turns out I was two years old when that happened.

Same (or similar.)  I recently told my parents  my two year old memory and they had forgotten most of it, but my details confirmed what they vaguely knew.  My father had taken me to town with him and to a toy store where I was told to pick out something for my second birthday.  I toddled to a side door that led to a store room and pointed to a large teddy bear on a top shelf.  I still have that bear .  Next memory of that day was coming home and dropping the bear from where my father was holding me, onto the turquoise carpet.  Carpet must be a really big part of a toddler's world.

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On 1/22/2020 at 8:15 AM, JudyObscure said:

I agree, poor Jack who tries so hard to be the very best father/husband for all of them at all times.  If there's any one thing this show teaches us, it's that everything that happens to you as a child colors your whole future -- and that means parents have to be perfect every second of every day and that's just impossible. 

I was once a young hippy-type mother, open and encouraging to all things original and creative, and yet my son has a memory of the two of us walking up to a Dairy Queen when he was about four:  He said he wanted green ice cream and according to him I said, "They don't have green ice cream here," in a tone of voice that made him feel stupid.  I don't know if I was, tired, distracted, or just a down right terrible mother, but there it is. He remembered it forever.  You can't win.

Little Kevin popping up and scaring his dad was the cutest moment ever.

OOF.

I have one of those too. When I was a kid, my mom used to sing the Miss America theme to me when I would come downstairs and my hair was crazy. Then one year she bought me a Miss America Halloween costume. Satin white evening gown, with a sash and a crown. My feelings were SO HURT. I felt like she was publicly making fun of me and I refused to wear it and cried and cried, I think I was maybe 7? 8?

My mom and I talked about it once when I was an adult and she had always been puzzled about why I reacted that way. She felt just awful when I told her how I remembered it.

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