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S05.E06: Birth Mother

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Just realized the orange jumpsuit. I wonder if it was a minor thing that Laurel got time for being poor. They do travel a lot on this show.  : )

Edited by debraran
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There is another promo somewhere that said that Laurel’s family was rich. She was a Dubois, and that the house Randall is walking up to is part of his inheritance. 
 

I see Laurel as someone filled with intense shame. Maybe she was arrested for the drugs in the apartment. Maybe it had to do with a future drug bust. Maybe Hai bailed her out. 
 

I am assuming that she was too ashamed of herself to search for William and Randall and thought that Randall was better off without her. 
 

I still believe that she meets Dr K when she is in the hospital. I wonder if he gave her the sourest lemon speech. Maybe Hai says it back to Randall. 
 

I am looking forward to this episode so much!

Edited by LeighLeigh
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Loved this episode!

(Just one thing - what about the gators?!)

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There was a lot of “that’s sort of convenient” when it came to her overbearing father, brother who died in the war (imagine that he may have served WITH Nicky and Jack!), and when she finally came back to find Hai, he was married. And my sister said Randall was really rude to Hai about the Notebook stuff.

but dammit, I am all in my feelings for the last 15 minutes and I’m in tears. Show, you magnificent bastard. 

Edited by mtlchick
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I enjoyed this because even though it was a Randall episode, there wasn’t that much Randall. Good acting all around. 

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Well, I found this an emotional episode...I especially liked the character of Hi(Hai?), both younger & older(the young version was a very handsome young man).  The actress who played young Laurel reminded me of Beth, their facial features were similar.  I am glad Randall is beginning to resolve some of his issues.

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Well my sap-o-meter is on overload, but even so, I really did enjoy that.  Maybe Randall can finally find some peace now. But that lake scene at the end almost sent me into a sap coma!  So glad that Randall called Kevin, but yikes!!

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47 minutes ago, nexxie said:

(Just one thing - what about the gators?!)

I grew up in Louisiana and those scenes of walking into the water freaked me out.  I had to remind myself that yes, I HAD swum in Louisiana rivers in my youth -- but only from a boat or a pier.  We never ever touched the muddy bottom.  And New Orleans lies sandwiched between the Mississippi River (which is HUGE at New Orleans) and Lake Pontchartrain (which is also huge).  So that nice, friendly little river he swam in made no geographic sense to me.

As for your question about gators -- now that I think about it the nice, friendly little river that ran in front of my Dad's fishing camp (which was about the same size as the river in the episode), was FULL of gators so, you raise a good question.

Once I got over the cognitive dissonance caused by all those geographic anomalies . . . it was a nice episode.  So many questions answered.

 

Edited by WatchrTina
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I cried at the lake scene at the end but overall thought Laurel ‘s story was too convoluted. Did Hai keep the lights on and keep the house exactly like it was in the hope of finding Randall? I wish Randall would have asked if Hai had somewhere else to live. Kevin better be OK.

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Man, you cannot have five minutes of peace as a character/viewer of this show. Glad Randall seemed at peace with his history. Stories in the past with non-main character focus seem better if I think of this show as more of an anthology.
 

Yeah, ghosts are real on this show.

Don’t hurt Kevin! And if you’re going to hurt Kevin, I need Kate to track him down like a bloodhound with their twin powers while awkwardly leaving Toby with Madison. 
 

How many episodes are in this season? How far along is Madison? I’m more confused than usual about the timeline.

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8 minutes ago, Madding crowd said:

I cried at the lake scene at the end but overall thought Laurel ‘s story was too convoluted. Did Hai keep the lights on and keep the house exactly like it was in the hope of finding Randall? I wish Randall would have asked if Hai had somewhere else to live. Kevin better be OK.

Exactly what my son and I wondered. And is this all going to make Randall not insufferable anymore? (Please)

Edited by Eureka
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All I was thinking in the lake at the end was he was naked talking to his mom. Was he hallucinating? Dreaming? I thought that was an odd scene, but it seems like Randall might have found some peace

Edited by nixgirl28
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Well, that happened. Randall didn't need therapy, he just needed to scream in a lake with the ghost of his dead biological mother!

I still don't know why she didn't try and find William, who was living in the same city (and has a super original name) between getting out of prison in 1985 and dying in 2015. At least after the internet was invented? When she found out that she didn't have much time left? Wouldn't that light a fire under a lot of people even if they'd been ashamed or whatever? I'm surprised she didn't say anything to her father on the phone when she was facing 5 years in prison. Seems like a good time to grovel even if her father was a hard ass. She came across as fairly passive in life besides running away instead of marrying Marshall. Even that was a little cowardly.

10 minutes ago, nexxie said:

(Just one thing - what about the gators?!)

I'm surprised there wasn't a shark!

Well everyone was right about Madison going into labor early. Kevin's going to end up in the same hospital fighting death while his kids are being born, right?

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Poor Hai's wife, spent her life with him loving him, working with him, having their children and Laurel is the love of his life. 

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I don't watch this show but stumbled on today's show and couldn't stop watching. As someone who knows nothing, I liked this episode. I'm a sap for tragic love stories.

That said, I hope Hai loved his wife and made her happy even though Laurel is the "love of his life."

Edited by Snow Apple · Reason: spelling
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Are we allowed to talk about the previews in the episode thread? Because:

Spoiler

They made it look like Kevin was driving a current Jaguar SUV. The car that crashed was a circa 2005 Lexus RX330. I wonder if it was Madison who crashed and only one twin survived. 

 

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18 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I’ve clearly watched WAY too many horror movies, because when Randall was in the lake and heard his moms laugh and saw her in the water, I thought for a second she was gonna pull him under. 

 

14 minutes ago, nixgirl28 said:

All I was thinking in the lake at the end was he was naked talking to his mom.

Exactly! How awkward to have his mother (especially the young version) hug him when he was totally naked. I wish he had kept his underwear on!

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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Just now, RedDelicious said:

Are we allowed to talk about the previews in the episode thread? Because:

  Reveal spoiler

They made it look like Kevin was driving a current Jaguar SUV. The car that crashed was a circa 2005 Lexus RX330. I wonder if it was Madison who crashed and only one twin survived. 

 

Spoiler

I’m pretty sure in the flash forwards we see Kevin has two kids, a boy and a girl. Could be one is a different kid than the twins but they look around the same age to me.

 

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Just now, Eureka said:
  Reveal spoiler

I’m pretty sure in the flash forwards we see Kevin has two kids, a boy and a girl. Could be one is a different kid than the twins but they look around the same age to me.

 

Spoiler

Aha - for some reason I thought Kevin only had one child.

 

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I was scared to death when Kevin was driving home talking to Randall, I was holding my breath waiting for a car to slam into him or for him to run off the road, but I thought we were safe...until the end! I know that Kevin will be alright, because we've seen him in the future, but I am still really worried about him. At least this should really finally get him and Randall to stop their stupid fight, nothing brings family together more than a near death experience. 

So we get another one of those "life story of someone connected to our main cast" episodes, and while those can be hit or miss I admit that they always wring a few feels out of me. I liked seeing Laurel's whole story, even if there were still some gaps I would have liked to have seen filled, and its yet another episode dedicated to Randall and his never ending soap opera of a life. I still don't really get why Laurel never tried to look William or Randall up, even in modern times when it would be easier for her to find William and then maybe Randall, but maybe she felt like too much time had passed? I also really wanted her to talk to her dad when she went to jail, maybe he could have found Randall while she still basically knew where William was. I mean, yeah her dad was a hard ass who was often disapproving oh her and he would certainly be pissed, but looking down five years in jail, drug addiction, and not knowing where your baby is, you would think that she would take option she could get. Really, did she ever really make up with her parents? We pretty much just saw her with her aunt. But even with those complaints and a big part of me wanting to get back to the main characters, I did still get swept up in her tragic story and lost love which she found again, big sap that I am. It really is terrible how much drugs an ruin lives. 

I really hope that Hai did also love his wife, it would really suck for her if her husband spent their whole relationship pining away for another women (who he considered the love of his life) and only stayed with her because he felt obligated. I even felt a little bad for her father approved boyfriend, even though we only saw him for a second. He was apparently serious enough about her to propose and she was having an affair for apparently most of their relationship, even if it was mostly a society marriage of convenience. 

Randall better take a long ass bath after getting into that dirty ass Louisiana water. I mostly felt for Randall this week, and I have a feeling that next week is going to be really rough on him, finding out this closure with his bio mom only for his brother to possibly be seriously hurt right after they talked and before they really got to apologize and talk everything out, but he was being super snippy with the whole "What is this The Notebook" crack? This guy reached out to you and invited you to his home then GAVE you his home, let him tell the story. Besides, no Pearson should ever tell someone to hurry up and get to the point while telling a story. 

Of course Madison is going into labor early, cookies for everyone who guessed that...so cookies for everyone!

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1 minute ago, Jeddah said:

When the aunt was talking about her baby, I thought she was about to say Laurel was her baby. I was expecting the 100 year old aunt to walk in and say she was Randall’s grandmother.

Yup. And the post-pregnant Mae was sent away to within walking distance of her older brother?  I didn't quite get that.

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24 minutes ago, bettername2come said:

How many episodes are in this season? 

This made me laugh. In 3 or 4 weeks the announcer will say THIS IS US will return in September. And this season will end with a huge cliffhanger, like a new actor we have never seen who turns out to be somebody we have heard about. 

I predict Randall's mom had another baby and his sister will show up. 

Edited by LoveLeigh
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So did Laurel ever reconcile with her parents?

Was Laurel actually the love child of her aunt and her married lover?

Do people really get charged for 5 years from ODing and possession of drugs?

 

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5 minutes ago, Jeddah said:

Hai said they quarantined and got tested before coming. So was that phone call two weeks ago?

I hope Deja hasn't been in charge of the other kids for 2 weeks by herself.  But who else is there?  And Randall took a full 2 weeks off from work during a pandemic? (I suppose he could have been working remotely, but the whole way of avoiding masks was just awkward.)

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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Did I really just sit through an hour of television where an actual plot point was that Randall went naked swimming with his ghost mom?     

On the positive side, I do appreciate the show did a reverse Annyong with Hai and Laurel's first meeting.

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6 minutes ago, nilyank said:

 

Do people really get charged for 5 years from ODing and possession of drugs?

 

It would depend upon how many other offenses Laurel has previously committed and sentenced. Also the amount of drugs found plays a part.  5 years for a first-time offender is a stretch especially if the amount of heroin found was small.   Also, that 5 years is not 5 calendar years.  Corrections uses their own math to determine how long a person is incarcerated.   The time spent in jail before trial and sentencing is part of that.  

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13 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I hope Deja hasn't been in charge of the other kids for 2 weeks by herself.  But who else is there?  And Randall took a full 2 weeks off from work during a pandemic? (I suppose he could have been working remotely, but the whole way of avoiding masks was just awkward.)

"Sorry girls, mom and dad have to leave again because your father is off on another self discovery spirit quest with a long lost relative, except this time you wont have to worry about getting attached because this one is already dead! Enjoy bringing this one up with your shrink one day!"

So was Laurel actually in jail for the full five years? They said she was sentenced to five years, but considering it was her first offense, she seemed to keep to herself in prison and didnt cause trouble, and she was charged with possession and not possession with intent to sell, I would think she could have gotten out earlier than five years. Granted, I don't know much about drug laws in Philadelphia in the 70s, so what do I know. 

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Mixed reviews here I see!  Personally, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  Probably because there was no Pearson speechifying or bemoaning their rather privileged lives, or wailing about the sling & arrows the Big 3 (Stooges) have suffered lo these 40 years, and no self obsession (minus Randall’s rudeness to Hai to speed up Laurel’s story and get to the part about “MEEEeee”).  I think I would rather have a spin off about Laurel , her brother, their parents, Aunt Mae, and Hai & his family than listen to Kate, Kevin or Randall whine about everything they don’t have when they actually should shut up and be grateful for what they do have.

I had a smile on my face and welled up a bit at the end of this lovely story of love lost and found. Then Randall called Kevin. All the oxygen got sucked out of the room because of course a Pearson is facing yet another life crisis next week.

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I thought it was mostly a good episode. The issue was that I didn't feel any emotional connection to it. Objectively, I can say that I enjoyed it more than a lot of the other episodes that centered around other characters. I liked Laurel and Hai's love story. I like how it led Randall to some healing on his end about his biological family issues. But I didn't connect to the scenes emotionally. The lake scene with Randall and his mother was more weird for me than anything. I get it was symbolic but it was weird for THIS show, even with how often this show plays with time. 

And, I guess, I also didn't see the total point in the episode. I wanted to know a bit more about Laurel. I didn't need a whole backstory five seasons in about her childhood and whatever. I just felt like it was a bit of a waste, just because Randall didn't REALLY get true closure. He got a story told from Hai's perspective, but not his mother's. It was still bittersweet because of that. 

I have enjoyed Randall, though, despite all of this. He has made strides this season that are going to hopefully lead him to become a better person. And I hope this journey does help him for future episodes. 

On a positive note, Beth's commentary was amazing. Laurel's backstory WAS tragic and I could sympathize with her and her reasons for not finding Randall, even though I disagree with them.

And now we jump to Kevin needing to get back to LA because of Madison being in labor! I forgot that there's been a two week time jump (at least, possibly a bit more) since the last episode, so I was thinking that it was rather quick for all of this to be happening.

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21 minutes ago, Quickbeam said:

I sure hope Hai had some place to go

I didn't think Hai actually lived there, but was acting as more of a caretaker.  When we first met him with his granddaughter, wasn't he living in a trailer? (or maybe I'm remembering it wrong).  Although it doesn't make much sense that he would just look after the place indefinitely on the off chance that Laurel's long lost progeny might show up one day.   Was there any paperwork at all associated with these property transfers?  Whose been paying the taxes, the upkeep, the insurance, etc?

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Damn, Laurel really had a rough go of things. Overbearing father, not knowing what happened to her baby, incarceration, cancer. I am glad she and Hai got to at least spend two years together before she died. It's good that Randall was able to get closure and to hear Laurel say she loves him, even if it was more or less a hallucination. It was sweet that she said it in Vietnamese, mirroring her saying it to Hai when they were young. 

Knowing this show, I'm not surprised Madison went into labor early, but it must be really early, because I swear that in the last episode, she said she wasn't due for five weeks after Kevin would return from his four weeks in Vancouver. 

Edited by phalange
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33 minutes ago, One Imaginary Girl said:

Did I miss how Hai knew that Randall was Laurel's son? He saw the viral video, but before that.

It seems Laurel told him William's name, so when he saw Randall say it in the video, he figured it out.  Not sure how he knew William only had one son, but maybe he Googled Randall's name and found the story about being left at a fire station.

I feel like they didn't explain a lot about Laurel's life. I don't want another episode focused on her, but it would have been nice to hear that she found some happiness in the years between 1985 and 2015.

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25 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

So was Laurel actually in jail for the full five years? They said she was sentenced to five years, but considering it was her first offense, she seemed to keep to herself in prison and didnt cause trouble, and she was charged with possession and not possession with intent to sell, I would think she could have gotten out earlier than five years. Granted, I don't know much about drug laws in Philadelphia in the 70s, so what do I know. 

Randall was born in '80, and she was released in '85, so she served the whole sentence or very close to it.

None of it makes much sense.

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What a beautiful episode. I’m a sucker for family history, so Laurel’s story was very interesting to me

I didn’t catch who played Laurel’s aunt. She looked very familiar but I couldn’t place her

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