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S04.E17: After the Fire

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I think Rebecca may have intended to let both Jack and Randall know what she knew about Randall's birth father at some point, but initially she was scared, and then the secret became this big thing and then Jack died. The loss she suffered from that obliterated all else for the time being and by the time she started feeling 'normal' again, perhaps she felt it was too late to give Randall that information. 

We have been shown Randall as a younger person wanting to know about his birth parents, so she was not unaware of his desire to meet them. It's not like he just started looking for them and she had no idea he wanted to know.  That's the part Randall finds so hard to forgive. She knew he wanted to know, she watched him search, and she didn't help him. 

Her reasons for not doing so initially are understandable, but the second time they made contact, it's less easy to forgive, as William was clean, and wanting to connect. He came on too strong and scared Rebecca again, and she made the decision, all on her own, to not let anyone know he was around. 

But I don't know that using her guilt over a decision she made years ago to do Randall's trial is going to make up for this. I don't see it making him less driven or obsessed. 

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32 minutes ago, cardigirl said:

But I don't know that using her guilt over a decision she made years ago to do Randall's trial is going to make up for this. I don't see it making him less driven or obsessed. 

No, if anything it will make him worse. I don't believe for one second that the writers really think this episode is divisive. They know exactly what they are doing. 

I wish we could see his next therapy session:

'Hey, Doc - great sess last week. I took the lesson that this is all about my mother to heart and guilt tripped her into a drug trail she did not want. My siblings are no longer talking to me but they're losers, so who cares. Now let's talk about your poor taste in interior design and footwear.'

*crickets with silently exploding heads*

Edited by MissLucas
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14 hours ago, Neurochick said:

What fans are you talking about?  I don't mind it being the Randall show at all. 

I can only speak for myself and the comments I see here. But I think seeing the alternate universe that Kate and Kevin would imagine would give greater insight into their characters. As it is now we know a great deal about what motivates Randall but not a whole bunch about why Kevin and Kate make the choices they make.  We can't even pin down why Kate gained so much weight. Or why Kevin became a substance abuser. I think Randall has a lot to explore as he is was an adopted child of color in a white family. But I don't think it should be at the expense of Kate and Kevin.

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54 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

So I can firmly believe that Randall genuinely has guilt about not saving his Dad whom he loved very much. I can believe he would have guilt about Rebecca’s illness, this in no way excuses his manipulation and selfish choices- he was being an asshole. 

I also thinks fear plays a big part. Randall has lost three parents. One before he even knew her. My son lost two dads. His bio dad (who he didn't remember) and his step dad. Shortly after my husband died my son was very fearful of losing me too. Any time I had a health issue no matter how minor he would say you are going to die I just know it.  He didn't really believe that but he was scared.  Now would he have made me feel guilty to get me to do something I didn't want to do just to make himself feel better? No. Randall's fear has made him selfish and putting his needs ahead of  his mother's.

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7 minutes ago, blondiec0332 said:

I can only speak for myself and the comments I see here. But I think seeing the alternate universe that Kate and Kevin would imagine would give greater insight into their characters. As it is now we know a great deal about what motivates Randall but not a whole bunch about why Kevin and Kate make the choices they make.  We can't even pin down why Kate gained so much weight. Or why Kevin became a substance abuser. I think Randall has a lot to explore as he is was an adopted child of color in a white family. But I don't think it should be at the expense of Kate and Kevin.

Kate is the most underwritten lead character I have ever seen.  She gets what amounts to random storylines which are constantly dropped because the writers have not mapped out her story yet.  I know the show's creator wanted her main storyline to be weight loss, but after season one they knew that wasn't happening.  She has been in limbo since.  They have had time to write for her but choose not to.  Yes she met Toby, got married, had a high risk pregnancy and early labor, and now has a disabled child; but these are character attributes and not plot.  She gets her requisite number of scenes each season, but they do very little to advance the plot or to fill in the holes.  Both Randall and Kevin get character growth and Kate is still very static.  

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3 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Kate is the most underwritten lead character I have ever seen.  She gets what amounts to random storylines which are constantly dropped because the writers have not mapped out her story yet.  I know the show's creator wanted her main storyline to be weight loss, but after season one they knew that wasn't happening.  She has been in limbo since.  They have had time to write for her but choose not to.  Yes she met Toby, got married, had a high risk pregnancy and early labor, and now has a disabled child; but these are character attributes and not plot.  She gets her requisite number of scenes each season, but they do very little to advance the plot or to fill in the holes.  Both Randall and Kevin get character growth and Kate is still very static.  

I agree. 

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4 minutes ago, blondiec0332 said:

I also thinks fear plays a big part. Randall has lost three parents. One before he even knew her. My son lost two dads. His bio dad (who he didn't remember) and his step dad. Shortly after my husband died my son was very fearful of losing me too. Any time I had a health issue no matter how minor he would say you are going to die I just know it.  He didn't really believe that but he was scared.  Now would he have made me feel guilty to get me to do something I didn't want to do just to make himself feel better? No. Randall's fear has made him selfish and putting his needs ahead of  his mother's.

I can understand Randall being afraid. Of course. No matter how old he gets this is Mother, his only living parent- she has also been his friend. I don’t think anyone thinks Randall is a bad son/person for being afraid of losing his mother, but emotions don’t excuse your moral responsibility to people that love you.

He was a manipulative asshole trying to emotionally blackmail his Mom over something so serious. The audience might be more forgiving if he was a teen pulling this- chalking it up to emotional immaturity. But he’s a grown ass man. He should KNOW BETTER, and I believe he does know better but he is so selfish when it really counts. 

Which is why it’s so realistic- someone can be responsible and dutiful and attentive (which Randall has been) and still be emotionally selfish. Also Rebecca has so much damn guilt she cannot say “Randall you have every right to be mad at me, let’s work through that, but you are not doing to blackmail me I am still the mother here!!!”

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Did anyone else catch what Randall said about William? Something like, "When the treatment became too painful I allowed him to choose to end it." I can't remember, but did William want to stop treatment earlier in season 1, but Randall wouldn't let him? He seems so focused on saving their physical lives that he forgets about quality of life. I just found that statement so horrible, poor William! I'm sure William himself felt as guilted as Rebecca into continuing treatment after he gave Randall up for adoption. These are adults who have a right to choose how to spend what little time they have left.

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3 minutes ago, Natalie25 said:

Did anyone else catch what Randall said about William? Something like, "When the treatment became too painful I allowed him to choose to end it." I can't remember, but did William want to stop treatment earlier in season 1, but Randall wouldn't let him? He seems so focused on saving their physical lives that he forgets about quality of life. I just found that statement so horrible, poor William! I'm sure William himself felt as guilted as Rebecca into continuing treatment after he gave Randall up for adoption. These are adults who have a right to choose how to spend what little time they have left.

Yes, William was ready to stop chemo but continued for Randall.  William was ready, but Randall was not.  He did continue for a few weeks or months.  I also caught Randall's words. 

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10 hours ago, lexiexx said:

Why should she have told him?  They all made their choices, including William.    I don't get why anyone thinks that Rebecca should have done any of that.   William isn't Randall's dad, never was.  Why would a recently widowed single mom of three decide to out of nowhere go track down an ex drug addict who never even knew Randall just because they are blood related and Randall is 18 now.   And then Randall has all of these bizarre fantasies about his rage over how Rebecca handled it like anyone owed William anything.  Of course it's. natural to wonder about the situation but how does that translate into opening up your lives to a stranger just because he's the bio dad?  

I hear what you are saying.  I think most of us don't blame her for keeping it a secret when he was young, but when they become an adult, you'd have to tell.   My daughter was adopted from Russia.  I specifically chose international and Russia because they are closed adoptions.  I worried about adopting here in the US because we've had cases where the child was ripped away from all they knew with their adopted family and reunited with a birth parent.  We had a case in DC where that happened and the bio mother murdered the kid.

I actually do search the internet at times to see if I can find her birth mom on the web. I'm  always in part hoping I can find her and praying I don't.  B/c if I did, I'd have to tell her.  Daughter is now 18 and old in enough in my mind for me to tell her.

In this show, he must've searched for his dad for a while, and she must've known as an adult that he searched.  At that point, she needed to tell him and take her lumps for the decision she made when she was younger.  Her reasoning is perfectly acceptable. and actually the right thing to do with an addict.  But when he became an adult, she should have told him particularly when she knew there was interest.

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Other than him carrying around a notebook and looking when he was 8-9, did she know he was actively searching for his birth father?  Because my kids wanted a lot of things when they were 8-9 that I am not going to bring up as they turn 18.

Since this show still seems to enjoy making Rebecca be wrong, I would anticipate that if she told Randall at 18, he would be furious that she tried to replace his recently dead dad with another, and we’d be hearing about that in his therapy sessions.  Or William was using again and blaming his relapse on Rebecca showing up, then backing away from letting him see Randall.

Their solution then was to find ways to introduce more people of color into his life.  I thought it was a good solution for all.

Did a poster earlier make a distinction between Rebecca’s lie and Jack’s lie that his was before their marriage?  If so, that doesn’t fly for me.  At the very least, he was still seeing Nicky while they were married and didn’t tell her where he was going.

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Kate has not evolved in the slightest since the first episode.   I dont even get why Toby is interested tbh.   

As for the whole Rebecca and Randall thing, we can all have our own opinions but personally I don't think she owed it to anyone especially Jack lol.   Jack had his own secrets and had no problem with just not telling Rebecca things.   Plenty of adoptive parents wouldn't have opened that can of worms.  I personally just don't make the connection that just because Rebecca had info on William that she owed it to Randall to tell him and that is JMO on the subject.  Adoptive parents owe the kids that they adopt a good life, not updates and info on their bio parents.   I mean, we are talking about a man who chose to RUN BACK INTO A BURNING BUILDING, a choice that basically ruined his whole family's life and nobody is pissed at him for it.  In fact he's up on a pedestal to say the least.  But Rebecca choosing to not tell Randall about her son's bio dad who abandoned him as an infant and his a history of being a drug addict is an unforgivable offense?  If I was Rebecca I would tell all three of those kids to fuck off.  We don't have to agree on it, i just don't see it as something that she owed anyone.   

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7 minutes ago, Crs97 said:

Did a poster earlier make a distinction between Rebecca’s lie and Jack’s lie that his was before their marriage?  If so, that doesn’t fly for me.  At the very least, he was still seeing Nicky while they were married and didn’t tell her where he was going.

You might be thinking of me even though that’s not where I was going. 
 

I mentioned that Rebecca was keeping a secret regarding something that affected their family, not something about her life long before she met Jack. I didn’t compare that to Jack’s secret regarding Nicky or even think of it in my rationale(although I can see how it could come off that way). 
 

For example Rebecca would have every right to keep a secret about an abusive relationship she had before she met Jack, or a job she had, or if she had cheated on a boyfriend or something- that was all in her past and had nothing to do with their family now (and couldn’t effect them). I wouldn’t put Nicky in that category at all. 

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I see now, Scarlett.  Thanks for the clarification.  

So playing devil’s advocate - I recall people being upset that Rebecca didn’t tell Jack she once went out with the band member.  She didn’t see it as a big deal because it was a few group dates 10+ years ago.  Which way does that fall for you?

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8 minutes ago, lexiexx said:

But Rebecca choosing to not tell Randall about her son's bio dad who abandoned him as an infant and his a history of being a drug addict is an unforgivable offense?  If I was Rebecca I would tell all three of those kids to fuck off.  We don't have to agree on it, i just don't see it as something that she owed anyone.   

No, I don't think it's unforgivable.  However, look at how her choice turned out.  Keeping a secret like that is like a ticking time bomb.  It was going to come out some day if Randall looked hard enough.  Or if somebody hopped on Ancestry or anything like it.  When it becomes known, something so huge is going to be explosive, and the blow back will be on the person who made the choice to keep it secret.  She can explain her reasons, forgiveness can happen, but the initial action is pretty much guaranteed to cause trouble.  Even if it somehow came out after her death.  A person's whole concept of their parent would be blown to bits, and there would be no chance to understand what was behind it.  I don't know if there would be enough therapy to help that.   

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17 minutes ago, Crs97 said:

I see now, Scarlett.  Thanks for the clarification.  

So playing devil’s advocate - I recall people being upset that Rebecca didn’t tell Jack she once went out with the band member.  She didn’t see it as a big deal because it was a few group dates 10+ years ago.  Which way does that fall for you?

I wasn’t upset about that. I mean I think she could have mentioned it to Jack, in a normal “we are married and married ppl chat” kind of way. But Jack was drinking, incredibly insecure, and I understand why Rebecca just wanted to not mention it and go on tour. If Jack hadn’t been dealing with is own demons surrounding his drinking etc he likely wouldn’t have reacted the way he did. 
 

A past dating partner is no way in the category of your child’s biological parent whom you know they are looking for and would like to meet IMO. 
 

Do I think keeping the secret makes Rebecca a bad mom or a bad person? Of course not. Even great moms make mistakes (mine sure has!!), BUT Randall being justifiably upset doesn’t give him an excuse to emotionally blackmail her.
 

It’s like being upset that someone scratches your car, and instead of expressing you’re upset, and talking to them about repairing the damage, you take out a baseball bat and smash their windshield in revenge. NOT an appropriate response, especially towards someone with whom you share emotional intimacy and vulnerability. 

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Just rewatched last night's episode.  Chrissy Metz looks bigger than ever and have to wonder who fit the bill for Randall's tuition at Carnegie Mellon.  It's private and I don't think it differentiates between in state and out of state tuition.

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2 minutes ago, cameron said:

Just rewatched last night's episode.  Chrissy Metz looks bigger than ever and have to wonder who fit the bill for Randall's tuition at Carnegie Mellon.  It's private and I don't think it differentiates between in state and out of state tuition.

Didn’t Randall have full academic scholarships to both universities?

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32 minutes ago, cameron said:

have to wonder who fit the bill for Randall's tuition at Carnegie Mellon.  It's private and I don't think it differentiates between in state and out of state tuition.

Randall getting a full-ride to a private institution with a large endowment seems plausible.  Out of all the ridiculous things this show throws at us, Randall's tuition free education is something that makes sense.  Also, college was way more affordable in 1998.  One year of Carnegie Mellon in 98 is probably equivalent to one year of a state school in 2020.  

Edited by Ohiopirate02
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1 hour ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Yes, William was ready to stop chemo but continued for Randall.  William was ready, but Randall was not.  He did continue for a few weeks or months.  I also caught Randall's words. 

Regarding the chemotherapy, Randall stated, "When it became clear it was hurting more than it was helping, I was okay letting him choose to stop".

William immediately stopped the chemo treatment (I just re-watched most of season 1 😉

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29 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

Didn’t Randall have full academic scholarships to both universities?

I don't remember the scholarship.  He might have.

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17 hours ago, BoogieBurns said:

He pledged a black fraternity. The LEAST Randall fraternity of all. That was not at all in character with the Randall we've seen for 17 years. Each black frat has a sort of "type" and Randall is NOT and Omega "type" in any timeline.

He was at Howard University an historically black college

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7 minutes ago, Higgins said:

He was at Howard University an historically black college

Thought he turned down Howard so he could stay in Pittsburgh and be by Rebecca.

 

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One of my favorite quotes, especially as a mom, is “ When I became a mom, I swore I wouldn’t make the same mistakes my mother made.  So I made different ones.“

I can’t decide if the show runners are surprised that no one thinks Randall made the right choice or pleased we are all erupting.  I hope they haven’t overplayed their hand here.

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I need a good dose of Gregory and/or Nicky about now.

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9 minutes ago, cameron said:

Thought he turned down Howard so he could stay in Pittsburgh and be by Rebecca.

 

In his 2nd version the alternate reality he did not. He went to Howard after being rejected by William & became distant from his family. This was the alternate reality where he pledged the fraternity. 

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14 minutes ago, cameron said:

Thought he turned down Howard so he could stay in Pittsburgh and be by Rebecca.

 

I think that scene was from his fear scenario. 

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Randall’s issues are pretty intense and deep-seated. Lots of fodder for future episodes.

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Can my TV screen actually fit the size of Randall's ego on the screen at this point? Or his self importance, to the point where he sees himself bullying and emotionally blackmailing his sick mother as him being the "good son" and the apparent hero of the story? Can one screen on my laptop possibly hold such bullshit without short circuiting?! 

I was actually really excited about a Sliding Doors "What if Jack had lived?" AU episode, and was sourly disappointed by the "Randall Pearson Self Importance Power Hour" that we got. I admit I was seriously cracking up during the first scenario, it was the ultimate in having your cake and eating it too. Not only does Randall save Jack, but he also meets William and saves him from drugs AND cancer, so now he gets two awesome dads for the price of one, he still meets Beth and has the girls, and in fact everything is basically the same but slightly better for Randall, and finally, Jack immediately joins forces with Randall to get Rebecca into the drug trail, because of course Randall is totally right obviously. They even still save the freaking dog. I loved when the therapist basically stopped him in his tracks and called this exercise out as the ridiculously stupid self insert fanfic Marty Stu AU that this was. "Ok Randall, so when do you not only get your mom into the drug trail and save her, but also cure all illness ever? When do you get super powers? When you become president in this scenario, do you give your inageral address wearing the Pilgrim Rick hat?" Not that the second scenario was a whole lot better or more realistic, but it was interesting that, since he went to Howard and never met Beth, he basically became what he thinks Kevin is (sleazily sleeping around, rich but empty, keeps away from his family) while Kevin became a bit more Randall like (stayed with the family, happy long term relationship) except of course Randall gives himself a "respectable" job even in that AU, because for Randall, being an actor is about as respectable as being a particularly cheap street walker/ low grade meth dealer, but is even more sleazy than even Kevin and his many flings, considering Randall is boning his TAs, which is even more icky than just sleeping with a lot of people. 

I am especially disappointed that we didnt get more of Kevin and Kate's lives in either AU, and while I can totally see Kate having issues with weight and Kevin dealing with addiction (Kate had body imagine issues and Kevin had self esteem issues and a predisposition towards addiction even before Jack died) even with Jack around, it would also be interesting to see them having different lives. I can see Kate still being the same size she is now, but maybe now she has a different career or get more into her apparent marriage and daughter, or Kevin never became an actor and now has a child as well. Or, if they wanted to do some "maybe some things would be worse" stuff, maybe Jacks alcoholism got worse and he and Rebecca split, or Kevin's drug problems got worse earlier and he got worse off or died, or at least something, notably better or worse. But, as is clear, Randall hasn't really thought about how this would affect his siblings, because this is the Randall Show and they only exist to prop up his story as foils or background characters.

The manipulation from Randall was just really hard to watch, that was just terrible to see. So this isnt even about Rebecca at all, this is just about Randall and HIS guilt and HIS pain and how his feelings are just so much bigger and better than everyone elses, including his mom, who is the one who is actually dealing with this! So now she is going to be stuck alone in a city she doesent know, without her family or doing fun and exciting things that she wants to do, for a medical trail that might not even work, and not because its what she wants, but because she still feels guilty about something that happened with Randall years ago. What a dick. I need Randall to get a massive ass realty check very soon, presumably when he loses his whole family because of his own massive ego and cruel manipulation. 

I can at least appreciate that even in Randall's fantasy world, Beth is the only one who can knock some damn sense into him. He got that right at least.

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1 hour ago, Rohirrim said:

Regarding the chemotherapy, Randall stated, "When it became clear it was hurting more than it was helping, I was okay letting him choose to stop".

Even William's illness and dying became about Randall. He was okay with William stopping chemo. So his dad basically had to get permission to die.

Have the writers always written Randall this way and we are just now noticing? I mean he was never my favorite but once you look back in hindsight you start to see things differently.

Edited by blondiec0332
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I agree with the posters who would like to see an alternate reality in which Kyle survives.  I too have wondered why nobody ever makes any reference to him.  Rebecca and Jack were both looking forward to having all three children; they gave them names.  During my own pregnancies I remember that I felt "in communication" with my babies, especially in the later months when they started moving around.  Kyle would have been a real person to Rebecca, and probably to Jack too.  Maybe the three babies they did have kept them too busy to mourn him, but it's hard to believe that nobody - not Rebecca nor Jack nor either of his surviving womb-mates - ever mentions him.

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4 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

Also Rebecca has so much damn guilt she cannot say “Randall you have every right to be mad at me, let’s work through that, but you are not doing to blackmail me I am still the mother here!!!”

And she could even leave off the “I’m still the mother here” and still be 100% correct.

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56 minutes ago, MamaBird said:

I agree with the posters who would like to see an alternate reality in which Kyle survives.  I too have wondered why nobody ever makes any reference to him.  Rebecca and Jack were both looking forward to having all three children; they gave them names.  During my own pregnancies I remember that I felt "in communication" with my babies, especially in the later months when they started moving around.  Kyle would have been a real person to Rebecca, and probably to Jack too.  Maybe the three babies they did have kept them too busy to mourn him, but it's hard to believe that nobody - not Rebecca nor Jack nor either of his surviving womb-mates - ever mentions him.

I’m not surprised. He died at birth.
 

I am not trying to be insensitive towards anyone who’s lost an infant or had a stillbirth, of course my sympathy goes towards the parents and their feelings. In my life experience when that’s happened to people it’s mentioned in a history of their Ob/Gyn story, or regarding their grief at the time and how they worked through it afterwards, not in their daily life with their living family members and living kids who are taking up their emotional and mental attention.  An older cousin of mine** was a twin who’s brother died at birth (28 weeks in 1969) and while that affected her upbringing (her parents were very over protective) and we all knew she was a twin it rarely comes up. My great aunt (her mom) has shared that things are better for preemies now and she wishes there had been the internet back then but she talks 1000x more about her brothers that died as young adults than her son.

 

 Especially because Kyle did die at birth and Rebecca has no memories of parenting him outside of her pregnancy (compared to dying as an infant). Not to say she would every forget Kyle but I can see how he never (or rarely) comes up in conversation. 
 

**This cousin looks SO MUCH like an older Zoë from last season. I would send her screenshots each week and it was uncanny. 
 

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16 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

One thing that struck my interest in this episode was Randall’s purported GUILT from not saving his dad’s life, even though it clearly was not his fault. I never knew how pervasive guilt is in this country until I started reading Comments from caretakers of the sick, elderly, disabled, etc. You also see it on realty shows.  The reasons given why these people feel guilty are laughable. It’s so ridiculous that I finally concluded that the person is either lying or  is saying it for attention and pity. I feel that about Randall. He feigns guilt, so others will fuss over him and beg him to not punish himself. I have little patience for it. Why can’t people be honest with themselves?  Their contentions are so self indulgent......ughhhh

The trial may be helpful, but maybe it won’t. His plea was over sale. Just state the facts and let her decide. So, if things don’t go well, Randall gets to blame himself and feel guilty some more. Please.....

I can't speak to reality show contestants (who mostly seem like they are only there for their 15 minutes of fame), but the caretaker guilt is real and will eat you alive if you aren't careful.  My own father died 3 months into the premiere season of This is Us.  And at the time, I wasn't sure I would be capable of watching the show, but I stuck it out.  Dad had been in decline for years and I moved home to help my Mom and siblings in what turned out to be his final year.  And after he passed, the "what ifs" appeared.  What if I came home earlier?  What if I had done more?  What if I had recognized the signs?  My family and I got through it by talking.  Whenever we felt like....however we felt like.  Sometimes it was anger at some of his choices toward the end....others were more happy memories. 

In the end, you have to accept that what happened is what happened.  Even if I had been there sooner...even if we had gotten Dad help sooner, he still would have made the choices he made.  Randall needs to see that too.  Getting Rebecca into the trial is not a guarantee, and the likelihood is good that it may not affect the outcome.  And I know from experience (not Dad), 9 months with an Alzheimer patient is a lot longer than Randall thinks.  He's far more likely to regret losing that time with Rebecca.  Time where she remembers him and speaks relatively coherently.  But that is what therapy is for. 

 

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8 minutes ago, kirkola said:

I can't speak to reality show contestants (who mostly seem like they are only there for their 15 minutes of fame), but the caretaker guilt is real and will eat you alive if you aren't careful.  My own father died 3 months into the premiere season of This is Us.  And at the time, I wasn't sure I would be capable of watching the show, but I stuck it out.  Dad had been in decline for years and I moved home to help my Mom and siblings in what turned out to be his final year.  And after he passed, the "what ifs" appeared.  What if I came home earlier?  What if I had done more?  What if I had recognized the signs?  My family and I got through it by talking.  Whenever we felt like....however we felt like.  Sometimes it was anger at some of his choices toward the end....others were more happy memories. 

In the end, you have to accept that what happened is what happened.  Even if I had been there sooner...even if we had gotten Dad help sooner, he still would have made the choices he made.  Randall needs to see that too.  Getting Rebecca into the trial is not a guarantee, and the likelihood is good that it may not affect the outcome.  And I know from experience (not Dad), 9 months with an Alzheimer patient is a lot longer than Randall thinks.  He's far more likely to regret losing that time with Rebecca.  Time where she remembers him and speaks relatively coherently.  But that is what therapy is for. 

 

I agree.  I lost my father to colon cancer in 2012.  I have had those moments where I wonder "what if I had forced my dad to get a colonoscopy for his 50th instead of taking him to a Springsteen concert? Would we have caught it in time?  Should we have nagged him until he did?"  I could beat myself up thinking about this, but I make the conscience decision not to do this.  Rationally I know that my dad was always going to die of cancer.  Out of 9 kids, 3 of them have been diagnosed over the years, and both my dad and his older sister died from it.  My dad was diagnosed in 2007 and died in 2012.  The cancer came back, and whatever we would have done before his initial diagnosis would not have mattered.  Randall needs to do the same.  Rebecca is going to die eventually.  He needs to prepare himself for that, not force his mother to prolong her suffering for his benefit.  Because at the end of the day, her living longer is not for his benefit.  

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Maybe Kevin and Kate will have their "What If?" episodes in the next two seasons and they could ponder different alternate realities than Randall. Kevin seems like the prime candidate for a "What if Kyle had lived?" episode given his issues with Randall and being the least favorite child growing up. 

I'm not really surprised Kate wasn't thinner in Randall's AU version of life, not only because it ended up being a pretty self-absorbed exercise, but he has always accepted her as she is. If TPTB ever even portray a "Thin Kate", it would probably be within Kate's fantasy and they would send out Chrissy Metz on the mother of all "I am totally okay with this!" PR tours. The show doesn't have the time/budget for Irishman-style CGI to make someone hundreds of pounds lighter or to put Chrissy's head on someone else's body. Also, I'm not an actress, but can imagine how it would get under my skin if my bosses trotted out an "after" version of me right under my nose, to do my job! Especially if it were their idea vs. mine. If Chrissy herself had lost weight and the writers wanted to work that into the show, that would be fine, but a totally different circumstance than supposedly needing to "fix" Kate's appearance in an episode where she was a tertiary character at best.

Edited by Dejana
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On 3/17/2020 at 7:05 PM, mansfolly said:

"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.

I definitely like him better than saintly self-righteous self-deluded Randall!

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Some people are obese unrelated to some significant psychological damage. They just are

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Rebecca touched on Kyle when she tried to talk to Tess.   She made a comment about how she lost a child, and never talked about it.  Basically saying that its okay to talk about things..   Of course, Tess pulled a Pearson and started bitching Rebecca out the minute Rebecca opened her mouth and tried to communicate.   Rebecca isn't allowed to have any cathartic moments unless it's crying over Jack with the big three.

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On 3/18/2020 at 6:44 AM, movingtargetgal said:

Randall always needed to have "mommy" to himself.  He loved the fact that his siblings were living across the country.  When baby Jack was born and Rebecca moved to LA to help Kate caring for a special needs baby, Randall was pissed and JEALOUS.  The fact that mommy would also be living near Kevin instead of him sent Randall over the edge of reason.  

Randall keeps throwing it in Rebecca's face that HE took care of her when Jack died.  The fact is that Randall was being self-serving.  In his mind, being mommy's helper gave him an edge up on his siblings.  He was the "good" son.  I think Rebecca was really strong after losing everything, including Jack in the fire.  Randall attended college nearby so he could help is mother was because HE needed to be needed.

 

so much word to this!! The hardest kind of narcissist to call out is the one who builds themselves up by helping others.  They may do genuine good in the process, but they never admit that it is all about them.

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4 hours ago, MamaBird said:

I agree with the posters who would like to see an alternate reality in which Kyle survives.  I too have wondered why nobody ever makes any reference to him.  Rebecca and Jack were both looking forward to having all three children; they gave them names.  During my own pregnancies I remember that I felt "in communication" with my babies, especially in the later months when they started moving around.  Kyle would have been a real person to Rebecca, and probably to Jack too.  Maybe the three babies they did have kept them too busy to mourn him, but it's hard to believe that nobody - not Rebecca nor Jack nor either of his surviving womb-mates - ever mentions him.

I didn't realize I wanted this until you mentioned it but I want this too. I'm curious to see how Kate and Kevin would have turned out without Randall and vice versa especially after Randall's claim to the therapist that he's the one everyone needs in his family (which actually I think is Kevin and deep down, Randall know it. Hence their issues).

 

It would also be interesting to see what would happen if Randall's birth mother had lived (or just anything more about her really). I'd also like to see more about Rebecca and he sister. But anyway. I digress.

This episode was a little... unsettling.  Especially Randall's end conversation with his mother. I can't wait for next week because I think I need to see where it goes before I fully unpack it. 

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I've been trying to put myself in Randall's panicked mind to find a way to deal with the situation.

No matter how hard I try to put on my Randall sympathy glasses, that final emotional blackmail will never be okay.  He's gambling with Rebecca's life.  

And then there's the rest of the fallout independent of the risk to Rebecca:
- He's clearly stating his opinion/needs are more important that theirs.
- Miguel has been very respectful of the memory of Jack but this is, in fact, HIS wife.  Rebecca and he should talk this out first.
- He puts a strain between Rebecca and the rest of the family -- because apparently Randall DOES matter more than anyone else.
- He's likely cheesed off Beth with this "control freak" drama.

And it is blatantly stated as being done for HIM.  HE can't lose another parent. 

There is no good here.

So...what SHOULD Randall have done?  If he truly believes this is the ONLY chance to prolong her life and Rebecca won't even talk to him. It is NOT in his nature to just let it go.  And in this crisis moment - in his hyper-stressed state of mind -- about the ONLY thing I can think of is for him to write a note to Rebecca to at least express his thoughts.  Have Beth edit it.  And then show up at her door, hand her the note, and go for a walk in the park.  He at least lays out his 'case' - thus at least he 'tried' - and provided her the information in a way that she's likely to read  without the Pearson Patented Big Speech.  It's the Big Speech she wanted to avoid.  And her 'not listening' IS like gasoline on Randall's mental fire.  That's Randall's issue but it is true.  

So... find another way beyond Big Speech to make your case so at least you feel you tried and were heard. 

BUT... this goes right to the codependency that Randall AND Rebecca fostered shortly after Jack's death.  Randall, who always had Rebecca on a pedestal, stepped up and Rebecca let him.  Kevin DID drop out - and Rebecca let him.  Kate DID emotionally detach (at some point) - and Rebecca let her.  Letting her children go their own way isn't bad.  But letting Randall become so enmeshed was an issue.  It plays right into the weaknesses she had all along as a parent with her three children.  

I'm NOT saying this is Rebecca's fault, Randall is a grown-ass man who should be capable of dealing with this.  But I am saying she enabled the entitlement Randall is now pushing.  It was just EASIER.  She made a mistake.  But that doesn't mean she has to CONTINUE to make that mistake.  It would be better for Rebecca to own that now and tell Randall 'no' than to just let him control her.  


 

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3 hours ago, Higgins said:

Some people are obese unrelated to some significant psychological damage. They just are

Absolutely. But in Kate's case, she was never bigger than chubby until she underwent huge trauma (losing her father and believing it was her fault, and then being in an abusive relationship). And then she became superobese (the level above morbidly obese) in a fairly short period of time.

Re: the stillborn triplet - did Rebecca and Jack ever actually name him? They came up with the idea of "K" names in honor of Dr. K (who they didn't meet until the day she gave birth). And they chose the name Kyle for Randall, until Rebecca talked to William and changed her mind.

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I think that Kate is a food addict.  Lots of addicts in the family.  She has tried to come up with different reasons for her obesity but she has always overate it seems.   

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6 minutes ago, lexiexx said:

I think that Kate is a food addict.  Lots of addicts in the family.  She has tried to come up with different reasons for her obesity but she has always overate it seems.   

When she was little, Jack gave her lots of treats to make her happy, like people who overindulge their obese pets.

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1 hour ago, Blakeston said:

Re: the stillborn triplet - did Rebecca and Jack ever actually name him? They came up with the idea of "K" names in honor of Dr. K (who they didn't meet until the day she gave birth). And they chose the name Kyle for Randall, until Rebecca talked to William and changed her mind.

I think Kyle was supposed to be the third triplet's name, and they just gave it to Randall instead. William's advice was something along the lines of "give him his own name" because Kyle wasn't supposed to be "his."

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This episode pretty much reinforced, to me, that Randall is a dick in his real life and in his imagined lives. LOL that in his made-up life, Kate is married to a hot guy and has two beautiful daughters, and Kevin is working construction with Dad. That sums it up for me about how Randall feels about his family.

Oh, yeah, and he was a dick to the therapist too. And now he's going to eff up the rest of Rebecca's life ... because he can. Jerk.

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I have a very bad memory, so here's some questions.

Randall is possessive of his mom to unhealthy degree.  Almost as if he became the replacement for Jack.   Did he have a problem with his mom marrying Miguel?  Miguel should have been the one to take over that role, but for some reason it seems to still fall on Randall.  Miguel must be okay with that, otherwise he would have stepped forward long ago.  Unless, he feels as though he has no role in that family because he isn't a Pearson.   Which brings up another question.

Why did Miguel marry Rebecca in the first place?  He has never stopped being an outsider.   It seems like he is a non-factor whenever he is around the Big Three.   He has no role in decision making.  None.  Is he really that afraid of them, that he can't step up and take control or give any input at all?   Is he afraid that Rebecca would have dumped him if he did?

I don't think the therapist should be confrontational, but I do think she should have asked Randall for a complete description of his relationship with his mom.  And then after he gives his long winded three hour response, she should say to him, "Like a married couple, without the sex."  That right there should have been enough to cause Randall to reassess his thought process, that he should have taken a step back and empower Miguel to handle things.

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