Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
ElectricBoogaloo

S05.E13: Brotherly Love

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, smartymarty said:

Of course Randall is not responsible for educating his siblings. But when one comes to you because you're upset with him, you kinda hafta tell him WHY you are mad at him. The Big Three is what, 40 years old now? Kevin was supposed to figure out what he did either last year, or 6 years ago, or when they were 6 years old, what it was he did that made Randall mad at him? I have no problem with what Randall eventualllllly revealed was bothering him -- my issue is that he did not do that until the last quarter of the episode. His sullenness and "I don't accept your apology; you have to guess what I'm mad about" was just infuriating.

That's not what Randall was saying. Randall was showing Kevin how clueless he is about race. Kevin is not a racist but he, like everyone in a society, absorbs what is in the systems. It wasn't "all of a sudden". It started way before, they had a fight, and Kevin thought, as people with privileges do, that an apology would be enough. It is not, at least not anymore. The point is not that Kevin should have figure out what happened several years ago. The point is, if Kevin had really invested in trying to understand why things got so bad between them, he would not have concocted a plan where he apologizes, does the right thing, and all is good. His good intentions are clouded by those ills he picked up, despite himself. I also don't think it is a question of being mad at someone, it is a more nuanced thing

  • Like 7
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post

13 minutes ago, circumvent said:

That's not what Randall was saying. Randall was showing Kevin how clueless he is about race. Kevin is not a racist but he, like everyone in a society, absorbs what is in the systems. It wasn't "all of a sudden". It started way before, they had a fight, and Kevin thought, as people with privileges do, that an apology would be enough. It is not, at least not anymore. The point is not that Kevin should have figure out what happened several years ago. The point is, if Kevin had really invested in trying to understand why things got so bad between them, he would not have concocted a plan where he apologizes, does the right thing, and all is good. His good intentions are clouded by those ills he picked up, despite himself. I also don't think it is a question of being mad at someone, it is a more nuanced thing

Randall is clueless about Kevin's pain. You know, everyone experiences discrimination.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

Randall is clueless about Kevin's pain. You know, everyone experiences discrimination.

that is like saying everyone gets sick when comparing my cold to someone else's brain cancer.  

As a white person, I have always found it to be funny (in a sick twisted way) how white people are so quick to tell people of color to just get over any discrimination because it happens to everybody.

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Why don't they address Randall's mico-agressions toward Kevin (for instance call him stupid on numerous occasions).

Quote

Because this is not a micro-aggression, because Kevin is not oppressed in any way by a system.

It's also not a micro-aggression because Randall wasn't being subtle or unintentional. He was being blatant and fully intentional in trying to make Kevin feel bad about himself for being less intelligent. Randall was naturally intelligent while Kevin wasn't, so he punched down. Whether Randall would have done that if the relationship with Kevin was better, is debatable. We've certainly seen Randall look down his nose at Beth's dancing and Malik's dad, so his disdain for the less intellectual or less academic pursuits is now pretty much a part of his chemistry. 

Kevin also intended to hurt Randall with his comments. Kevin was taught by his parents that he was not special and of tertiary importance in his family and he lashed out at the golden child. Once Kevin learned that he had much better social intelligence than Randall, he punched down at Randall (e.g. calling him a Nerd and connecting better with Randall's friends). It becomes a micro aggression because Randall is part of a marginalized group and Kevin was unintentionally racist. I think that was Randall's and the show's point with the cab driver - while Kevin may be obnoxious to all cab drivers, it's even more obnoxious (a micro-agression) when he does it to cab drivers who are members of marginalized groups? If Randall was white and Kevin asked him to sing the next line of a popular song he knew he didn't know, Kevin would have just been ragging on his brother.  Kevin may not have intended it, but it can be perceived differently by Randall because it was a rap song, the friends they were singing with were Black and Randall himself is Black.

And, I've probably explained it all wrong.

 

Edited by kili
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

Randall is clueless about Kevin's pain.

I agree. As a child I don't think Randall recognized Kevin was being made to feel like he was second best. And as an adult I don't think Randall understood Kevin still had issues from their childhood.  Which is ironic since Randall still has issues from their childhood. 

And by the way where is Kate in all of this?  

  • Like 9
  • Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post

I think Randall should have gone over with his therapist how to approach Kevin on this topic. He has a therapist and specifically a Black male therapist so you'd think that would be an excellent resource he could tap into for discussing his feelings and childhood experiences with Kevin. He knew Kevin was coming to discuss just those things so he could have prepared himself through therapy. I think he did a better job articulating his feelings when Kate blindsided him than he did with Kevin who he knew was coming. I think seeing Randall and his therapist have even a short conversation would have really helped the audience see where Randall was coming from as well.

  • Like 17

Share this post


Link to post

The sad thing about Kevin and Randall is that they are both rather blind to each others problems and think that the other one is being whiny. Kevin never noticed the microaggressions that Randall had to deal with being the only black person in their family and in their life in general (because that black family they bonded with and that black martial arts class have been retconned out of existence) or feeling like he doesn't belong in his family, and thought that Randall lived a charmed life as the center of their families attention with perfect grades and going to a fancy college, while Randall never noticed how massively insecure Kevin was and how overlooked he felt by his family and thought he had a perfect life being the big man on campus and looking like the rest of his family. Kevin thought that Randall's anxiety was just him wanting even more attention instead of being an actual medical problem while Randall saw Kevin's attention seeking as him being just a privileged jerk when it was really mostly based on his own self esteem issues because he feels like he's never good enough. In fact, both of them struggle with that, they are both really insecure and no matter how much they succeed in life, they are always really obsessive about proving their own personal worth and trying to be "better" and it often leads them to make bad choices and lash out at people they love. 

Even as adults, Kevin is really only getting how much being black and a trans racial adoptee has affected Randall now, and even here he was still like "dude, your childhood was awesome, I was there, your being dramatic*" until he really got it and understood how many ways Randall was hurt by feeling like the other in his own family. He sees Randall as having a charmed life and that he always has to be better than him no matter what. Meanwhile, when Kevin was in rehab, Randall was very dismissive of his problems and acted like him getting addicted to drugs was just this huge moral failing and the inevitable result of Kevin's shallow life of acting and generally being a fuckup, and had nothing to do with their families long history of addiction and his massive inferiority complex. Its taken a long time for them to really see each other problems as real and that they were having different experiences in their shared childhood and that those things deeply affected them as adults. They spent a lot of time unintentionally and sometimes intentionally hurting each other because they just couldn't see what was really going on with each other. It seems like Kevin finally got it this week at least. 

*Randall really is very dramatic, but that's just a Pearson trait, and he certainly has every right to feel dramatic about that* 

Edited by tennisgurl
  • Like 24

Share this post


Link to post
39 minutes ago, Goldfish77 said:

that is like saying everyone gets sick when comparing my cold to someone else's brain cancer.  

As a white person, I have always found it to be funny (in a sick twisted way) how white people are so quick to tell people of color to just get over any discrimination because it happens to everybody.

You only know your experience, you have no idea about mine. I would have loved to have Randall's opportunities.

 

 

Edited by OdinO.
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
49 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

Randall is clueless about Kevin's pain. You know, everyone experiences discrimination.

That's sarcasm, right?

 

35 minutes ago, kili said:

It's also not a micro-aggression because Randall wasn't being subtle or unintentional. He was being blatant and fully intentional in trying to make Kevin feel bad about himself for being less intelligent.

Not sure if the intention was to make Kevin feel like he was less intelligent but yes, it was aggression intent on hurting Kevin. People have reasons for getting into personal conflicts that have nothing to do with how the system privileges some and not others

 

33 minutes ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

He knew Kevin was coming to discuss just those things so he could have prepared himself through therapy.

That is putting the burden of a final understanding on Randall

 

18 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Even as adults, Kevin is really only getting how much being black and a trans racial adoptee has affected Randall now, and even here he was still like "dude, your childhood was awesome, I was there, your being dramatic*" until he really got it and understood how many ways Randall was hurt by feeling like the other in his own family. He sees Randall as having a charmed life and that he always has to be better than him no matter what. Meanwhile, when Kevin was in rehab, Randall was very dismissive of his problems and acted like him getting addicted to drugs was just this huge moral failing and the inevitable result of Kevin's shallow life of acting and generally being a fuckup, and had nothing to do with their families long history of addiction and his massive inferiority complex. Its taken a long time for them to really see each other problems as real and that they were having different experiences in their shared childhood and that those things deeply affected them as adults. They spent a lot of time unintentionally and sometimes intentionally hurting each other because they just couldn't see what was really going on with each other. It seems like Kevin finally got it this week at least. 

And that summarizes how racism is ingrained. A black person who is "successful" and "an example" still has to deal with racism in different forms, and the white people around them cannot see that they still experience all the micro aggressions and bigger discrimination. When they do, they are "dramatic" or "overreacting" (I agree that Randall is a drama king Pearson style). I think that the writers idea was to have Kevin finally understanding how all the "little" things in Randall's life are just boiling over, as Randall is beginning to understand himself and reclaiming what he thought he lost - as in the end when his dream were not two random people anymore. I appreciate that the writers didn't have the parents in the dream being Jack and Rebecca. I understood this to be a step forward for Randall.

6 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

You only know your experience, you have no idea about mine. I would have loved to have Randall's opportunities.

 

 

I guess many of us would love that. But our race would definitely determine how we would benefit from the experience and the emotional toll, if any, in our lives

Edited by circumvent
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, circumvent said:

That's sarcasm, right?

 

Not sure if the intention was to make Kevin feel like he was less intelligent but yes, it was aggression intent on hurting Kevin. People have reasons for getting into personal conflicts that have nothing to do with how the system privileges some and not others

 

That is putting the burden of a final understanding on Randall

 

And that summarizes how racism is ingrained. A black person who is "successful" and "an example" still has to deal with racism in different forms, and the white people around them cannot see that they still experience all the micro aggressions and bigger discrimination. When they do, they are "dramatic" or "overreacting" (I agree that Randall is a drama king Pearson style). I think that the writers idea was to have Kevin finally understanding how all the "little" things in Randall's life are just boiling over, as Randall is beginning to understand himself and reclaiming what he thought he lost - as in the end when his dream were not two random people anymore. I appreciate that the writers didn't have the parents in the dream being Jack and Rebecca. I understood this to be a step forward for Randall.

No sarcasm. Pain is pain.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, circumvent said:

That's sarcasm, right?

 

Not sure if the intention was to make Kevin feel like he was less intelligent but yes, it was aggression intent on hurting Kevin. People have reasons for getting into personal conflicts that have nothing to do with how the system privileges some and not others

 

That is putting the burden of a final understanding on Randall

 

And that summarizes how racism is ingrained. A black person who is "successful" and "an example" still has to deal with racism in different forms, and the white people around them cannot see that they still experience all the micro aggressions and bigger discrimination. When they do, they are "dramatic" or "overreacting" (I agree that Randall is a drama king Pearson style). I think that the writers idea was to have Kevin finally understanding how all the "little" things in Randall's life are just boiling over, as Randall is beginning to understand himself and reclaiming what he thought he lost - as in the end when his dream were not two random people anymore. I appreciate that the writers didn't have the parents in the dream being Jack and Rebecca. I understood this to be a step forward for Randall.

We ignore the fact that microaggressions can come from all demographics.  They may not have portrayed it on the show, but Randall can very well get them from Black communities, especially now that he's a councilman.  People who tell him that he doesn't really "get it" because of his economically privileged upbringing/life, for example.  Or simply because he's not REALLY from Philly.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, OdinO. said:

No sarcasm. Pain is pain.

True, but what discrimination does Kevin experience? As in systemic discrimination that affects every of his life?

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

3 minutes ago, PRgal said:

We ignore the fact that microaggressions can come from all demographics.  They may not have portrayed it on the show, but Randall can very well get them from Black communities, especially now that he's a councilman.  People who tell him that he doesn't really "get it" because of his economically privileged upbringing/life, for example.  Or simply because he's not REALLY from Philly.

True, but that wold be class discrimination

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, circumvent said:

True, but what discrimination does Kevin experience? As in systemic discrimination that affects every of his life?

There is plenty of individuals who discriminate against white men. It's everywhere. Also Kate, in the real world, would experience much more discrimination than Randall does.

1 minute ago, circumvent said:

True, but that wold be class discrimination

Why is that okay?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

It amuses me that Kevin and Randall's fight in the flashback was quite a bit like their fight in season one. They both start trying to fight but it quickly becomes really lame and embarrassing and they both just end up sitting there awkwardly after they get a hit, while some onlooker watches in bafflement. 

  • Like 6
  • Laugh 4

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, OdinO. said:

There is plenty of individuals who discriminate against white men. It's everywhere. Also Kate, in the real world, would experience much more discrimination than Randall does.

Still don't know what discrimination Kevin experiences. There are many forms of discrimination and if you are a woman, you probably have many examples, I know I do. Kate would definitely experience that in ways not as ingrained in the system as racial discrimination though. Not that one is "more" than the other, but her life wouldn't be at risk at a traffic light, or a young Kate wouldn't be thought to not be Jack's daughter because she was chubbier than the other kid (young Kate wasn't, but just an example)

In the race issue, there is an interesting documentary series form the UK on Hulu - The School That Tried to End Racism - and it is about those micro aggressions that kids pick up as they grow up and don't even notice.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, marceline said:

It's been about a year. They had their fight the same day Madison told Kevin she was pregnant. He waited until now to see Randall because he's getting married and wants Randall to be his best man.

It's still so ridiculous that a year later, they are having this talk. How do you go 1 year w/o having a conversation about some really horrible things both siblings said. It would've only made sense to me if they stopped talking altogether for a year.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
17 minutes ago, circumvent said:

True, but that wold be class discrimination

Discrimination is discrimination.  And it happens EVERY DAY.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

12 minutes ago, circumvent said:

That is putting the burden of a final understanding on Randall

Yes and no? Randall is a Black man existing in a racist culture. That is a burden. He was adopted into a White family who definitely wasn't perfect when it came to dealing with race issues. That is also a burden. He did not choose either of those burdens. However, he does have to deal with them in one way or another. Those were the cards he was dealt regardless of how fair it is. I suppose it would be completely fair if he decided not to engage with his brother on this topic. But, if he wants a real relationship with Kevin I can't see how processing his feelings with a therapist is such a terrible idea. Is it a burden in a sense? Sure. But it's also something that can help Randall too. If he chooses to have a real conversation with Kevin on the topic, he can only articulate his own feelings and experiences--he has no control over whether Kevin chooses to really listen. So it that sense, the "final understanding" can only be a two way street which is a "burden" on both brothers. I'd prefer not to think of that as a burden but as a way to connect with another person that results in a better relationship and a more rewarding experience in life.

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

There is plenty of individuals who discriminate against white men. It's everywhere. Also Kate, in the real world, would experience much more discrimination than Randall does.

 

I know poor oppressed white christian males

  • Like 2
  • Laugh 6
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, circumvent said:

Still don't know what discrimination Kevin experiences. There are many forms of discrimination and if you are a woman, you probably have many examples, I know I do. Kate would definitely experience that in ways not as ingrained in the system as racial discrimination though. Not that one is "more" than the other, but her life wouldn't be at risk at a traffic light, or a young Kate wouldn't be thought to not be Jack's daughter because she was chubbier than the other kid (young Kate wasn't, but just an example)

In the race issue, there is an interesting documentary series form the UK on Hulu - The School That Tried to End Racism - and it is about those micro aggressions that kids pick up as they grow up and don't even notice.

While the discrimination Kate faces is not as ingrained into our system as racial discrimination, fatphobia is real and has deadly consequences.  She isn't going to die at a traffic stop, but the medical establishment can kill her.  So many doctors and nurses take one look at a person Kate's size and tell her to lose weight regardless of her medical issues.  She could have cancer that goes untreated because her doctor sees an obese person and doesn't do any other testing for example.  Macro and micro aggressions happen to technically obese people in medicine on a daily basis.  And then she has to move around in a world designed for people who fit into a very narrow description.  So many products and furniture are only tested for adults weighing up to 250 pounds.  

  • Like 9
  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, circumvent said:

Maybe because he didn't identify them as micro aggressions?

If he didn’t recognize them as micro aggressions, why would he expect Kevin to do so?

The thing I didn’t like about Randall’s apology was his smile, like he was proud of Kevin for earning the apology.  Whether or not Kevin was going to understand and regret how he “othered” Randall, Randall still owed him an apology.  In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s a minor quibble and I am just happy we can all move forward now with the brothers getting along.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
51 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

Why is that okay?

Not ok, just pointing out that discrimination within the black population is not about race but about class - although there is also colorism within the black population

 

35 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Discrimination is discrimination.  And it happens EVERY DAY.

Again: true. But it should not be used as an excuse for being discriminatory or grading the discrimination. Kevin is not systemically

discriminated against, to put into context the reason for the conversation going this way

37 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

While the discrimination Kate faces is not as ingrained into our system as racial discrimination, fatphobia is real and has deadly consequences.  She isn't going to die at a traffic stop, but the medical establishment can kill her.  So many doctors and nurses take one look at a person Kate's size and tell her to lose weight regardless of her medical issues.  She could have cancer that goes untreated because her doctor sees an obese person and doesn't do any other testing for example.  Macro and micro aggressions happen to technically obese people in medicine on a daily basis.  And then she has to move around in a world designed for people who fit into a very narrow description.  So many products and furniture are only tested for adults weighing up to 250 pounds.  

That's all true but the reason why this conversation went from racial bias and racial micro aggressions to discrimination in general shows why we are still miles away from any understanding on racial disparities and systemic racism. It is whataboutism. It is the "but..." that denies the previous statement. It is white people still not willing to stop reacting and stop to analyze. The theme was race, now it is yeah, race but...how about the other people. Well, the other people, the other biases are for another episode? It is fair to discuss them as long as it doesn't function as a form of diminishing the reality of someone n Randall's position. It is hard to see such a theme addressed in a fair way, I guess this was a pretty good episode. 

25 minutes ago, Crs97 said:

If he didn’t recognize them as micro aggressions, why would he expect Kevin to do so?

I don't think he expected Kevin to know everything, I think he was indicating to Kevin that simply apologizing without trying to really understanding why the relationship was at that place was pointless, because it would be just a performative thing. As I said way upthread, Kevin recognized that he was wrong, but took the easy route without even considering why Randall was acting like that. Maybe if he said:" I apologize for being a dick but I am having trouble understanding why thing s got so bad between us, andI know you are seeing a therapist, maybe I was a little insensitive, can you help me understand this?" That would have been Kevin doing the job of asking for guidance instead of simply expecting Randall to see he that he loves him, he is a good guy (he is) and they should just let bygones be bygones. It doesn't work that way. Healing requires so much more

31 minutes ago, Crs97 said:

The thing I didn’t like about Randall’s apology was his smile

That's  a ompletely different thing, it is a personal preference, or lack of preference. Although it does inform bias. You are being biased because something in Randall that you don't like. You can still be biased and see the validity of Randall's argument - if you want to

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

Kevin went to Randall and in the most sincere, heartfelt way said he didn't and couldn't understand what Randall experienced as a black child in a white family, but he tried to apologize for not understanding, even though he was a child himself and shouldn't have been expected to understand such a complex situation. But Kevin was trying. He flew across the country to say it in person. He admitted up front that his vision was limited; he wasn't trying to say "I understand what you went through." 

Yet Randall's reaction was a smug dismisssal of everything Kevin was trying to say. Sterling K. Brown must have taken extra acting classes to perfect "smug." Kevin was being humble, not trying to say he understood everything but trying to express that his intentions now, today, were for the best. Randall does the smug grin and rolls his eyes. And people on here wonder why we don't like Randall?

Years ago my wife and I were considering adoption. One of the concerns I had was that our adopted child would reject us in favor of some idealized fantasy of what their birth parents were. I chastised myself at the time for even worrying about such a thing. But This Is Us promotes that so strongly that if I were in that position today, this show would seriously make me question adoption.

Randall doesn't need to sit in a group session with other transracial adoptees. He needs to sit in a group session with people who grew up in terrible households of addiction and abuse, or shuffled through the foster care system for 18 years.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post

   As the one who was never my parents favorite I always understood Kevin resentment with Randall.  Even though he was not Randall’s fault.  Young Kevin knew what words to use that would hurt Randall.  He may not have known the terminology but he deep down knew his words hurt.  He lashed out. 
I did find it very odd that young Kevin and Randall would hang out together.  Really did not think that happened without Kate.  
   Randall addressed his issues and I hope they can move forward. 
Kevin will just need to accept his family will never see him and put him last all the time.   At least he has a really good relationship with his nieces. Hopefully he won’t make the same mistakes with his children.  
 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

I think the humble thing for Kevin to do would have been to let Randall talk first. Kevin assumed that his only failing was about missing things, when he had to know that (among other things) he spent his childhood making Randall feel bad about not being "Black enough."

After Kevin's first apology, Randall should have explained to Kevin why the apology was insufficient. I would ordinarily agree that it's not a Black person's responsibility to educate a white person about race, but in this case Randall agreed to have the conversation. Staring at Kevin in judgment without an explanation wasn't the right move. (And I think it was mostly a contrivance by the writers to amp up the drama.) Fortunately, Randall got to the point eventually.

Kevin's been very likable lately, so I think it's easy to forget that he was a massive jerk to Randall throughout their childhoods, and that he didn't start to become a better person until he was 36. And I think it's also easy to forget that while we've heard Randall obsess about his childhood a lot lately, Randall hasn't said much to Kevin about it until this episode.

 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, circumvent said:

That's  a ompletely different thing, it is a personal preference, or lack of preference. Although it does inform bias. You are being biased because something in Randall that you don't like. You can still be biased and see the validity of Randall's argument - if you want to

It was an acting choice I disagreed with.  I considered the two apologies as separate.  Each needed to apologize to the other; Kevin didn’t need to earn his first.  
 

Randall totally had valid gripes.  I don’t have issues with his thinking the first apology wasn’t good enough.  I don’t think that black people are required to educate white people on every issue, though I would think one might make the extra effort for a sibling trying to understand, however late he is to the table.  YMMV

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Janie430 said:

While I agree that in theory, it is never on one person to "educate" the other person on issues of discrimination, especially racial discrimination, we have to remember that this is a show about a family, and what works in a broader society is not what works in a family.  In broader society, Kevin and Randall wouldn't have to ever talk again if they didn't want to, which would make it a lot easier to say "If I don't get xyz from the person in this conversation, I'm walking".  Families are more complicated.  In a family, it is reasonable to go to your therapist and say "my brother who pushes xyz buttons is coming, and this is what I want from them" and have a therapist walk them through the discussion.

As for the genesis of the fight, it didn't start about race.  It started with Randall manipulating Rebecca into doing a drug trial throwing a huge guilt fit, behind Kate's and Kevin's back.  It evolved into a fight about their back issues, of which race was a big one, and we knew from episode two was a big one - but also involved Randall's complete dismissal over the years of Kevin and Kevin's career, martyring himself over being the good son, Kevin not being there enough for Rebecca and leaving home, and everything else under the sun.

I think the reason that people here are having a problem with the hashout, is that it only really touched on the race issues.  It didn't touch on the fact that Kevin in fact has to be grateful every day because of the amazing life the Manny gave him, even when he doesn't want to, and that Randall expects that from him too.  It didn't touch really on the fact that Randall never saw an episode of the Manny while Kevin was on the show and routinely called Kevin stupid and has always at heart pictured Kevin as a loser (remember, we had Randall's fantasies about what life could have been like if Jack had lived, and in both of them, Kevin was working with their dad in a "Only Dad would hire Kevin" way.)  They talked a lot about how much it hurt Randall as a child that Kevin had issues with Randall's race and used it against him.  But nothing about why Kevin would feel jealous of Randall and how Randall played into it.

The other thing, is that with one more season to go, and a shorter season here, I think we're all starting to worry that none of the Big Three are going to get past "Saint Jack" to realize who "Just Jack" was.  "Saint Jack" was the guy with the great rhetoric and the big gestures, and the charisma that made everyone else feel special just for being around him, and the guy who came across as being everyone's biggest fan.  He was the guy that could love and open his home to a child just after losing his son.

Just Jack was the guy who refused to talk to his brother again after both of them f--ked up and a child died (everyone told Jack he couldn't rehab Nicky, which as the son of a drunk he should have known) and he couldn't fix it for everyone, so he just pretended it didn't happen because god forbid anyone know he wasn't perfect.  Just Jack was the guy that pushed a new baby on his grieving post-partum wife because he felt like that would "fix it".  Just Jack was the guy who couldn't deal with his own insecurities and made Rebecca reassure him whenever he felt not good enough.  Just Jack was the selfish jerk who insisted that everything in his family happen the way he wanted it and was the addict with a ton of issues he never dealt with.

The problem is, Miguel, Nicky and Rebecca are all pretty invested in Saint Jack - Nicky still wanting his approval, Miguel still missing his best friend, the love of Rebecca's life and the reason they had Randall, her favorite child.  There's no one in their life who saw Jack another way, and so the only way the kids are going to get to "Just Jack" is through therapy, and really looking at their childhood, and I think I was hoping this fight and discussion would really go into that, and they didn't.  It told one side of the story, not both.  I didn't want a continuation of the fight, I wanted an hour long discussion about how complicated it's all become.

This is brilliant analysis!  Thank you for this.  I agree with every word.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, circumvent said:

That's sarcasm, right?

 

Not sure if the intention was to make Kevin feel like he was less intelligent but yes, it was aggression intent on hurting Kevin. People have reasons for getting into personal conflicts that have nothing to do with how the system privileges some and not others

 

That is putting the burden of a final understanding on Randall

 

And that summarizes how racism is ingrained. A black person who is "successful" and "an example" still has to deal with racism in different forms, and the white people around them cannot see that they still experience all the micro aggressions and bigger discrimination. When they do, they are "dramatic" or "overreacting" (I agree that Randall is a drama king Pearson style). I think that the writers idea was to have Kevin finally understanding how all the "little" things in Randall's life are just boiling over, as Randall is beginning to understand himself and reclaiming what he thought he lost - as in the end when his dream were not two random people anymore. I appreciate that the writers didn't have the parents in the dream being Jack and Rebecca. I understood this to be a step forward for Randall.

I guess many of us would love that. But our race would definitely determine how we would benefit from the experience and the emotional toll, if any, in our lives

And many other factors determine how I benefit or  emotional tolls I've to pay. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

5 hours ago, circumvent said:

Still don't know what discrimination Kevin experiences. There are many forms of discrimination and if you are a woman, you probably have many examples, I know I do. Kate would definitely experience that in ways not as ingrained in the system as racial discrimination though. Not that one is "more" than the other, but her life wouldn't be at risk at a traffic light, or a young Kate wouldn't be thought to not be Jack's daughter because she was chubbier than the other kid (young Kate wasn't, but just an example)

In the race issue, there is an interesting documentary series form the UK on Hulu - The School That Tried to End Racism - and it is about those micro aggressions that kids pick up as they grow up and don't even notice.

But, everyone experiences micro aggressions daily. Really, they do.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Tango64 said:

Randall doesn't need to sit in a group session with other transracial adoptees. He needs to sit in a group session with people who grew up in terrible households of addiction and abuse, or shuffled through the foster care system for 18 years.

Or he can just look at Deja.

  • Like 7
  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, OdinO. said:

But, everyone experiences micro aggressions daily. Really, they do.

Of course they do. But the point some posters are trying to make is there are degrees and there can be vast differences in these degrees. The analogy of comparing one person's cold to another's cancer is a good one. White privilege doesn't mean nothing bad ever happens to you because you're white. It means race is not a factor in those bad things. Imagine this. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
23 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

Or he can just look at Deja.

People need to be heard for themselves. One thing my children taught me in trying to compare a situation they had with another persons is that it tends to in a way try to minimalize that person’s feelings. It doesn’t matter if another adoptee like Randall felt the same way or not. This is how he feels and how he internalized it. If a black person notices that eyes follow him more than others in stores or on street and he waits longer for waiter and a white woman says to him how she is invisible because she is fat or that she is shunned by boutique owners who don’t think she fits their shopper, she doesn’t hear him, she is trying to normalize it. I told  my daughter I thought I was sharing but she was right.  I can just hear sometimes and understand and learn without my agenda or feelings . I would also never compare an experience white to black even if same scenario.

Edited by debraran
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, circumvent said: "Randall seems to think his feelings trumps everyone else's" is the type of rationalization that keeps white people from really working on the micro aggression. It is a diversion from where the real problem lies. It is also, usually, a immediate reaction, without any thought or consideration of why someone like Randall would say/act in a certain way

Nah, I’m quite comfortable saying Randall basically only thinks of himself. That’s what the story has been telling us. 
Does that not mean I don’t understand micro aggressions & who bears responsibility for what in the real world? Nope. I’m responding to character Randall & am as tired of being accused of things as you are tired of hearing things, all stemming from a story not well told. 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, maggiemae said:

Good grief - Kevin has new twins and HE needs to travel across country?

 

AND In a pandemic?? I know they are playing fast and lose with this. (or maybe its just because where I live we wouldn't be flying across the country to visit anyone yet)

 

I have a fantasy about my local weatherman too, its a little different though 😉

Referring back to a previous episode where Randal accidentally undressed in front of his live webcast, this actual happened in the Canadian parliament this week!!!

 

  • Like 2
  • Laugh 5

Share this post


Link to post

12 hours ago, circumvent said:

Because it is not the job of oppressed minorities to get the non-oppressed to see their bias. I mean, if people want to understand and do better, they have to do the job. I guess it was the point Randall was trying to make. Kevin just assumed that after a "sorry" he was off the hook, no more work, not more soul searching, if you will. Moreover, there is plenty of educating out there. If people still don't understand why black boys are seen as man, while white man are seeing as boys, it is not because black people have not tried to educate us, it is because we are too comfortable just expressing outrage without really doing the work of learning.

Because this is not a micro-aggression, because Kevin is not oppressed in any way by a system.

Sorry, but no. You can’t expect people to read your mind all the time. Kevin was constantly overlooked in favor of his siblings, but you want him to reflect back on his entire life and wonder how everything that ever happened made Randall feel? Because Kevin should know it’s still all about Randall?

Randall isn’t oppressed by any system. He was doted on by two loving parents (including a father who gave up his dream so Randall could go to a private school). He became insanely wealthy and became a councilman for a district he didn’t live in. Some guy saw him in a video and reached out to him, then told him all about his mom and gave him another house. 

Edited by Runningwild
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Runningwild said:

Randall isn’t oppressed by any system

How is this possible? What bubble do you think he grew up in? Think back to Season 1, Kevin and Randall fight on the street, they hear sirens and Randall says "I'm still Black!" And they run so he didn't have to face the cops. They weren't running to keep Kevin safe.

That's like 3 episodes into the series. How about needing a different barber because the affordable, accessible ones aren't trained on Black hair. Or you can watch he and William shop at a J Crew style store where the staff choose to only follow the two Black men around.

Randall isn't safe going on runs, he can't just do whatever he wants. He has to ensure every room he enters that he is the "safe Black man" before he begins to be seen with any respect.

Nothing will ever get better with people covering their eyes to the truth of this country... errr planet. The system is set up for Randall to fail. I'd love to send you some books on systemic racism. 

  • Like 22

Share this post


Link to post
50 minutes ago, BoogieBurns said:

The system is set up for Randall to fail. 

But his family set him up to succeed, and he did.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/14/2021 at 10:39 PM, circumvent said:

Agree. I thought it was a really hard episode to watch, and it was done pretty well. Kevin, with all his good intentions, had it all planned: I will apologize, he will understand me, everything will be fine. The moment Randall challenged him, he became defensive wondering why Randall couldn't see his side of things. That's is privilege. Kevin is only starting to see the bigger picture. 

An analogy: Kevin is dealing with racism by painting Black Lives Matter on a wall while what is needed is a whole change in the system. Painting a slogan is nice and well intentioned, but it is also virtue signaling - people do that, then go back to their regular schedule, proud of their "action". Change requires way more investment and a lot of changes in attitude, plus a whole understanding of context and history. 

 

I'm not sure why it's always assumed that white people are uneducated about the history of racism, but let's say Kevin is, so he spends the next year doing a reading list set up by Randall, then undergoes extensive therapy in order to remember every moment of his childhood, not with a focus on his own left to drown issues, but to try and see their shared experiences from Randall's point of view.   Kevin still wouldn't be able to undo history or erase every bad moment of Randall's life and anything he does to try to atone for it all will just be viewed as virtue signaling.   Got it.

Maybe Kevin should just go home and get on with his life if Randall is going to withhold forgiveness toward him (and Kate) until racism no longer exists.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
36 minutes ago, JudyObscure said:

I'm not sure why it's always assumed that white people are uneducated about the history of racism, but let's say Kevin is, so he spends the next year doing a reading list set up by Randall, then undergoes extensive therapy in order to remember every moment of his childhood, not with a focus on his own left to drown issues, but to try and see their shared experiences from Randall's point of view.   Kevin still wouldn't be able to undo history or erase every bad moment of Randall's life and anything he does to try to atone for it all will just be viewed as virtue signaling.   Got it.

Maybe Kevin should just go home and get on with his life if Randall is going to withhold forgiveness toward him (and Kate) until racism no longer exists.

Kevin did have his own issues and he can talk about them but one doesn't erase the other. Kevin still doesn't live Randall's life. If they were both white and Randall adopted and the same thing happened just because he was adopted, it would be less charged re the ignoring him but just as real. Kevin wouldn't be turning a blind eye to the racism.  There is something odd that you grew up with someone and through your own pain, never could see another even as an adult. They both need to see each other and when Kevin tried to tell his mom at therapy, she didn't want to hear it. That was real and he had the right to talk about. Randall did stay with her and she was angry after Jack died, but she shouldn't have done that to Randall either. She should have been stronger and let him live his life and not judge her other children for not babysitting her after time passed.  We all have our bubbles. What the Pearson's did for Randall was kind in some ways and not so kind in others. They denied him a voice even knowing about his crippling anxiety and never wondered why. They never talked to him about is adoption it seems or how he felt when others treated him differently. They never asked or cared it seems that he might come across racism and that he felt a fish out of water outside of his home.  It's a TV show but I feel for both of them and Kate who was coddled and not given a strong sense of self either. She was always about weight, you never really knew her. Like a lot of families, they looked good in pictures, but had a lot of issues and problems. I'm glad they can talk about it more now. Randall can't erase racism and he knows it will always exist. He just wants to know that his family sees him and knows certain things in his life and in the news effects him differently. We all want to be seen.

Edited by debraran
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

I always tease my (for the record, white, unadopted, dad is still alive) GF because when she was a young'un she fantasized about Andy Williams and/or Danny Kaye being her father.  We watched this last night and she said, "I have Ghost Fathers" and I was like, "Yeah, no....not quite the same".  She would have been happy with Mr. Rogers too, I suspect.

I wonder if there are support groups for white people who were raised in loving families who fantasize about having celebrity parents.  Like the kid who wanted Elvis Presley for a dad because Elvis could mix him up a milkshake by shaking it on his hips, and Marilyn Monroe for a mom because when she kissed him goodnight....hubba hubba.  Henny Youngman, ladies & gents, circa 1959.

 

 

Edited by Lone Wolf
  • Laugh 3

Share this post


Link to post

9 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

I'm not sure why it's always assumed that white people are uneducated about the history of racism, but let's say Kevin is, so he spends the next year doing a reading list set up by Randall, then undergoes extensive therapy in order to remember every moment of his childhood, not with a focus on his own left to drown issues, but to try and see their shared experiences from Randall's point of view.   Kevin still wouldn't be able to undo history or erase every bad moment of Randall's life and anything he does to try to atone for it all will just be viewed as virtue signaling.   Got it.

Maybe Kevin should just go home and get on with his life if Randall is going to withhold forgiveness toward him (and Kate) until racism no longer exists.

Randall showed forgiveness in the end, without Kevin undoing history or erasing moments of Randall's life.

I don't think Randall expected any of that. He just wanted a better apology than "sorry if I missed things."

Kevin had a chip on his shoulder throughout their childhood about Randall's race, so the original apology wasn't going to cut it. It was a big sign of growth for Kevin to acknowledge it.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

I hate Randall. He’s such a smug prick. The writers are so obsessed with Sterling K Brown too. I’m so sick of Randall and his issues. Even if his parents kept him it wouldn’t be some dream scenario, but the show is obsessed with painting William and Randall’s bio mom as some saints. I know it was hard for Randall but he’s such a douche.

I don’t buy Kevin resenting Randall because he’s black.

Kevin was treated as a 2nd class citizen his whole life by his parents and Randall doesn’t care or understand how that probably made him feel. 

I hate how Sterling K Brown talks too I feel like I can hear his saliva and him swallowing or something it annoys the shit out of me.

Do real life siblings have big talks like this? I know I’ve never had these epic talks with any of my siblings lol.

Where was Beths mom during this whole epic talk was she just hiding in her room.

Glad they made up tho so we can move onto something else hopefully.

 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/15/2021 at 2:32 PM, tennisgurl said:

The sad thing about Kevin and Randall are both rather blind to each others problems and think that the other one is being whiny. Kevin never noticed the microaggressions that Randall had to deal with being the only black person in their family and in their life in general (because that black family they bonded with and that black martial arts class have been retconned out of existence) or feeling like he doesn't belong in his family, and thought that Randall lived a charmed life as the center of their families attention with perfect grades and going to a fancy college, while Randall never noticed how massively insecure Kevin was and how overlooked he felt by his family and thought he had a perfect life being the big man on campus and looking like the rest of his family. Kevin thought that Randall's anxiety was just him wanting even more attention instead of being an actual medical problem while Randall saw Kevin's attention seeking as him being just a privileged jerk when it was really mostly based on his own self esteem issues because he feels like he's never good enough. In fact, both of them struggle with that, they are both really insecure and no matter how much they succeed in life, they are always really obsessive about proving their own personal worth and trying to be "better" and it often leads them to make bad choices and lash out at people they love. 

Even as adults, Kevin is really only getting how much being black and a trans racial adoptee has affected Randall now, and even here he was still like "dude, your childhood was awesome, I was there, your being dramatic*" until he really got it and understood how many ways Randall was hurt by feeling like the other in his own family. He sees Randall as having a charmed life and that he always has to be better than him no matter what. Meanwhile, when Kevin was in rehab, Randall was very dismissive of his problems and acted like him getting addicted to drugs was just this huge moral failing and the inevitable result of Kevin's shallow life of acting and generally being a fuckup, and had nothing to do with their families long history of addiction and his massive inferiority complex. Its taken a long time for them to really see each other problems as real and that they were having different experiences in their shared childhood and that those things deeply affected them as adults. They spent a lot of time unintentionally and sometimes intentionally hurting each other because they just couldn't see what was really going on with each other. It seems like Kevin finally got it this week at least. 

*Randall really is very dramatic, but that's just a Pearson trait, and he certainly has every right to feel dramatic about that* 

Wow! Yes!  You explained it so good....both brothers had insecurities and neither one understood how the other one felt.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

While watching this, I was wondering what exactly propelled Kevin to stop being an ass? I know he was drinking a lot and I know he was a bit of a punk in his teens and early 20's but I am hoping we get to see when exactly he really grew up into the emotional and caring guy that he is. I think the Pilot showed a bit of selfishness but not the dickishness that was his teen years. 

They can "Randalize" this show til the cows come home and my heart and attention will always be with Kevin as his growth has been the most notable while Randall has actually regressed.

 

  • Like 9
  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/15/2021 at 8:18 PM, OdinO. said:

But, everyone experiences micro aggressions daily. Really, they do.

No, they don't. Definition of micro aggression:

a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Kevin certainly has trauma/issues carried over from his childhood as a result of Jack and Rebecca's mistakes as parents. They are valid, and they've affected him. But he hasn't experienced micro aggressions. White people aren't marginalized. Men aren't marginalized. Kevin is a white man. He's not a part of a religious minority, he's straight, he's cis-gendered, he grew up relatively privileged and is incredibly financially stable as an adult. Yes, he may have had difficulties in his life. But they're not due to micro aggressions or systemic oppression.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
25 minutes ago, Natalie25 said:

No, they don't. Definition of micro aggression:

a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

So every time a guy asks a woman to smile or whistles at her when she's crossing the street or is told "Damn, you hit hard for a girl" that's not a micro aggression? 

I agree that Kevin really hasn't experienced them as a white cis male, but to say that it's only against racial or ethnic minorities, as you have bolded, is incorrect.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
34 minutes ago, madmax said:

So every time a guy asks a woman to smile or whistles at her when she's crossing the street or is told "Damn, you hit hard for a girl" that's not a micro aggression? 

I agree that Kevin really hasn't experienced them as a white cis male, but to say that it's only against racial or ethnic minorities, as you have bolded, is incorrect.

When it comes to gender, some of what you listed can be microaggression or something more serious and actionable.  Context matters.  But, whistling at a woman while she crosses the street is catcalling and catcalling is aggression.  There is nothing micro about it.  

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size