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S04.E17: After the Fire

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I really like it so far, but I can tell that Randall's therapist is going to continue to annoy me.  

Randall's story is sooooooo relatable.  I've seen it play out in my own life.  I am really enjoying the alternate versions so far.

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I wondered how’d they’d show Kate.   They always blamed her added weight on dads death but even with careful camera angles it was noticeable. Cute little girls though.  I don’t like the different versions taking up the entire show but to each their own. 

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So the Sliding Doors version that Randall wished for, he would be being a punk to RebeccaWilliam  is found immediately and saves him from cancer, Rebecca goes into the clinical trial and yet STILL finds Susan, moved from New Jersey to Philadelphia  and has Tess and Annie?
 

Gotcha, indeeed. 
 

The version where William rejects him from the jump, and Randall being resentful of Rebecca only to have a moment of clarity from Jack and forgive her? A tiny bit more plausible though my sister wasn’t convinced he would join a step team.
 

In the end, I get what Randall was trying to do, as my sister tried my best when my father was sick with cancer and wanted the best for him. But he basically guilt tripped his mom into the trial because HE would feel guilty if she didn’t. Against her wishes of living her best life.

yeah I can see why Kevin doesn’t speak to him in 5 months. I’d be pissed off that Randall had to be the one to make decisions especially Rebecca still had some clarity left.

 

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I loved the actor who played the therapist. Otherwise, this was unwatchable. Was it Sterling’s Emmy reel? 

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19 minutes ago, debraran said:

I wondered how’d they’d show Kate.   They always blamed her added weight on dads death but even with careful camera angles it was noticeable. Cute little girls though.  I don’t like the different versions taking up the entire show but to each their own. 

They tried to explain it in the 2nd version by giving her twins.

So I guess Rebecca "wastes" 9 precious months on the trial.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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"Oh please. I live for this stuff."  - Best line of the night for me! Haha.

Who were those (twin) baby girls and Kate's imaginary husband?

Great acting tonight from SKB.

...so THAT'S why they are not speaking in the future.

Will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

I kind of like cool, rotten Randall. Ha.

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I was starting to get hot under the collar about Randall's blackmail of Rebecca, but I don't think she ends up doing the trial, not for 9 months anyway.  This is March, Rebecca is at the cabin for their 40th birthday which is end of August I think.  Unless she gets weekends away, but I don't think they would have been letting her go to town alone for a cake if she's under treatment.  I think it's not going to work the way he wants it to.

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6 hours ago, ShadowFacts said:

I was starting to get hot under the collar about Randall's blackmail of Rebecca, but I don't think she ends up doing the trial, not for 9 months anyway.  This is March, Rebecca is at the cabin for their 40th birthday which is end of August I think.  Unless she gets weekends away, but I don't think they would have been letting her go to town alone for a cake if she's under treatment.  I think it's not going to work the way he wants it to.

She probably deteriorates so fast that ethically, they have to stop the trial, or, at least, her participation in it.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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1 minute ago, ShadowFacts said:

This is March, Rebecca is at the cabin for their 40th birthday which is end of August I think.  Unless she gets weekends away, but I don't think they would have been letting her go to town alone for a cake if she's under treatment.  I think it's not going to work the way he wants it to.

I think that she tries it, doesn’t like it and quits (possibly at Kevin’s suggestion) and she gets progressively worse which makes Randall upset and the brothers stop speaking to each other.

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1 hour ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

How did Kate meet her husband in Sliding Doors?  Was it explained?

No.  It wasn't important to Randall. I'm not sure why he didn't just give her Toby as a husband, as in the first scenario.  Plus, I wanted to know if she had gone to college to study music.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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I was getting so annoyed at Randall's "rose colored glasses" version of events that I loved his therapist interrupting to tell him that he's full of it. I love his therapist! I liked that she pointed out that he chose someone similar to Rebecca to work with.

In Randall's "scariest" of events, one of his fears was not only that he was no longer the favorite child but that Kevin was the favorite! I hope he reflects on that. It would help him understand not only himself, but Kevin better and maybe make their relationship better.

When he threw William's box of stuff out, I was like whoa, that was cold. At least that was also in his worst fears version so I hope that plus being estranged from his family was scary to him because he doesn't want to be that cold-hearted uncaring person.

OMG, his mentioning to Rebecca that he never held on to her keeping William from him was so manipulative! Plus, I seriously doubt that he's never asked anything from her. He really boxed her into a corner telling her that he had to "hear her say it." Wow, she should have taken some time to think but he was pushing her so hard and pushing all of her buttons. Oof.

 

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On 3/17/2020 at 10:19 PM, Ohiopirate02 said:

In the second scenario,  Randall's rudeness to his siblings was uncalled for quite honestly.   What could have possibly done to warrant his brush off?  

I think in that scenario, Kevin gets close to Rebecca.  He's working with Jack and living close by.  And after everyone survived the fire, Kate may have fewer issues with Rebecca than she did in real life.

Randall didn't like it that they were close to Rebecca  when he was so mad at her.

Jack was drinking beer at Thanksgiving in both versions, correct?  I thought for sure that he and Rebecca would split up in the 2nd version.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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4 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I think in that scenario, Kevin gets close to Rebecca.  He's working with his Dad and living close by.  And after everyone survived the fire, Kate may have fewer issues with Rebecca than she did in real life.

Jack was drinking beer at Thanksgiving in both versions, correct?  I thought for sure that he and Rebecca would split up in the 2nd version.

I went back and edited my comment to reflect my point better.  What I was really driving at was the way Randall treats Kate in his scenarios.  Kate and Randall have had very few interactions over the seasons but what we have seen have all had them in a good place.  Not as close as her and Kevin, but not as contentious as Kevin and Randall.   Shouldn't Kate also get her perfect life in the first fantasy?  

Edited by Ohiopirate02
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25 minutes ago, Quickbeam said:

I loved the actor who played the therapist. Otherwise, this was unwatchable. Was it Sterling’s Emmy reel? 

That's Pam Adlon and she has her own show called "Better Things".  She used to be on Louis CK's show too.

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Just now, slasherboy said:

That's Pam Adlon and she has her own show called "Better Things".  She used to be on Louis CK's show too.

Thanks, she’s really sharp. 

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2 minutes ago, slasherboy said:

That's Pam Adlon and she has her own show called "Better Things".  She used to be on Louis CK's show too.

Way back, she was also the voice of Bobby Hill on "King of the Hill."

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Wow, Randall. He was unforgivably manipulative. Painting himself as a hero for not confronting his mother, only to run around and absolutely guilt trip her into doing what he wants. If he was so concerned about what the confrontation would do to her, he could have found other ways to address that within himself. What a prick. 

I had hoped for a more balanced alternate universe where we got a taste of how it would affect the whole family. Instead, we got this. Meh.

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I did not understand why in one version of Randall's 'fantasies", he had a different girlfriend(not Beth, whom we've seen with Randall since college), has Randall secretly wanted a girlfriend?  And why did he see Kate with twins & not with Toby?  Clearly, he did not want to see Kevin as a famous actor...Randall wanted to be the "hero" in all his fantasies.

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This episode wasn't bad, but it was frustrating to see Randall's thought process and how the therapy session ended. I guess it proves that one therapy session isn't going to cure someone over night and that it's a LONG process. But still, Randall manipulating his mother into a treatment she clearly doesn't want? That's definitely a step too far.

However, this episode helped to show where Randall's head is at and I can feel some sympathy. It was a decent Randall episode, one of the better ones, but just so very frustrating for Randall to not make the progress that we want to see.

Randall's second scenario was depressing. His first one was pissing me off with his Saviour Complex kicking in, but the second one was just brutal. 

I'm glad they did give the therapist more of a voice this time, and we got to see her face for more than a shot. I get what they did with her last time, but it didn't make her look good. Here, she worked way better. Hopefully, she IS a positive influence on Randall because she has a lot of work to do with him. 

Because, yeah, his Saviour Complex and need to fix everything is frustrating to watch, especially in recent seasons. He also continues to go for the jugular when someone notes something that is true and he can't deal. In a way, I can relate, just to a lesser extent (I just get pissy and storm off before I say anything). 

Otherwise, it was a decent episode. Not exactly an episode I wanted as a penultimate episode, but I guess it beats it being about a character we barely know (Deja in season 2).

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1 minute ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I did not understand why in one version of Randall's 'fantasies", he had a different girlfriend(not Beth, whom we've seen with Randall since college), has Randall secretly wanted a girlfriend?  And why did he see Kate with twins & not with Toby?  Clearly, he did not want to see Kevin as a famous actor...Randall wanted to be the "hero" in all his fantasies.

The second version is when the therapist asked him what he feared life would be like.  He apparently feared academia and being all kinds of wrong with his TAs. That was kind of weird.  That, and him not wanting to re-litigate what Rebecca did but essentially punish her, wow, he is so much more messed up than I thought. 

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I think in the version where Randall was a professor, he had two different girlfriends, each of whom appeared to be his TA.  Not cool, Randall!

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7 minutes ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I did not understand why in one version of Randall's 'fantasies", he had a different girlfriend(not Beth, whom we've seen with Randall since college), has Randall secretly wanted a girlfriend?  And why did he see Kate with twins & not with Toby?  Clearly, he did not want to see Kevin as a famous actor...Randall wanted to be the "hero" in all his fantasies.

Also in that one, we don't really see Kate's husband, except from a distance, and what he says when he sees the little girl implies he hasn't seen her since she was a baby. I think in that version he doesn't really know her husband (or kids), hence his only appearing in the background.

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Maybe Kate, Kevin and Miguel band together for Rebecca's sake and put their foot down and say no, and that is why "they" aren't speaking to Randall in the flash-forward? Kevin was there at the museum that night to hear Rebecca's clear "no" to the trial.

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32 minutes ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I did not understand why in one version of Randall's 'fantasies", he had a different girlfriend(not Beth, whom we've seen with Randall since college), has Randall secretly wanted a girlfriend?  And why did he see Kate with twins & not with Toby?  Clearly, he did not want to see Kevin as a famous actor...Randall wanted to be the "hero" in all his fantasies.

He's showing his thought process is kind of all or nothing--he is either the savior that fixes all the problems in his life, or the important things turn pretty bleak. His father does not acknowledge him, he does not settle down, etc. There doesn't to be a  more realistic middle ground scenario his brain can conjure.

Or maybe that's all that the writers had time for... 

ETA: Never mind, I did not hear him being asked for his “feared” scenario. Now the extremes make more sense.

Edited by A.Ham
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41 minutes ago, mtlchick said:

I think that she tries it, doesn’t like it and quits (possibly at Kevin’s suggestion) and she gets progressively worse which makes Randall upset and the brothers stop speaking to each other.

Maybe whatever is being tested at the clinical trial makes her deteriorate faster.  Or Kevin, Kate, and Miguel team up to remind her why she didn’t want to do it. 

Edited by Veronica
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Oh man, this episode just angered me on so many levels. Still, it was nice to see Milo intereact with the older siblings. I'm sure that's why they wrote the episode.

I still think it's funny that in the bleaker scenario, Randall's nerdiness/social awkwardness were gone and a "playa's" vibe came from him. 

..and yeah, Randall you are played by a great actor but you're a shit character. More Kevin please!!!!!

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Am I remembering correctly that Kevin was married to Sophie in both of Randall’s “What if,” scenarios? 

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Oh, Randall ! I thought he was actually going to come to his senses and therapy would help him. And it seemed likely until the last 10 minutes or so, when he bullied ( or guilted ) Rebecca into the trial ! He doesn't seem to get that it should be her decision. She obviously knows that he wants her to do it, but she gave her reasons against it-- that should settle it. Not saying it would be easy to take, but I think it's the right way. Oh well. Shoulda known Randall would get his way.

 

Other than that, I thought the episode was well done. I, too, like "What-if" or alternative timeline stories. Even though she only got a few minutes on screen, Randall should be thanking God every day for Beth ! She is just a gem ( and easy on the eyes, too  !) Hopefully he does, but he doesn't seem like he appreciates her a lot of the time.

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