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S03.E05: Toby

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1 minute ago, notcreative enough said:

Lol at teenage Kate's pillow belly. They need to find a better way to make her look larger that isn’t the same way a soap opera makes someone pregnant.
I’m glad Toby explained to the pharmacist why he wasn’t taking his medication  because I was wondering why he didn’t get back on them after he made it with a cup.
Sorry Randall I don’t care about your political career. Looks like Beth is still putting Randall’s crazy ideas before her. She’s already trying for a new job.
Zoey is everything that I hate about people. Like how dare Kevin not know something that she isn’t willing to tell him. Her and the army guys wife being a poor stupid white boy seemed very mean spirited. And who randomly starts talking about their relationship with someone they just met. Maybe if she was talking to Beth it would seem organic. I hope that we see the end of her soon. 
 

And am I the only one that wants a Vietnamese Jack Jr with like 5 look a like mini Jacks. Just so Katie girl isn't the only one to pass a bit of daddy on.

Not a fan of Teen Kate's fat suit either.  Not looking forward to possibly seeing NOT!Rebecca next week either.

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Poor Toby. I knew there was a reason why I thought his parents were jerks -- well, maybe not the mom so much.

And poor Beth. The first interview after getting fired is always nerve-wrecking.

Ok, i really hope the woman in the photo isn't a Miss Saigon-esque secret love story with Jack.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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Randall, you don't need to fight so hard to stay somewhere you're not wanted.  And, Chichi was helping him?  I thought she more or less couldn't stand him.

1 minute ago, Spartan Girl said:

Poor Toby. I knew there was a reason why I thought his parents were jerks -- well, maybe not the mom so much.

Dan Lauria always plays a jerk. And why did I think he was dead?

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6 minutes ago, notcreative enough said:

And who randomly starts talking about their relationship with someone they just met.

Pearsons. And apparently anyone who joins, or may join, the family.

Teen Randall is adorable when he smiles. 

Oh, and singing Adele-o-gram. I want this to be a real thing. (A quick google suggests not, but then I didn't look that hard.)

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Just now, CleoCaesar said:

Kevin was sweet to get Zoe her damn pillowcase. God forbid she open her mouth and quickly explain in the car why she needed it instead of silently fuming and angsting about how He’ll Never Understand Her™.

Yeah...that really bugged me about her. It's odd as well because Zoe is Beth's cousin. She knows that Beth and Kevin have been in-laws for well over a decade. Who is she to say that Kevin has no idea and is just some rich white man? Did the writers of this episode forget about Zoe being Beth's cousin? I'm just not sure what they were trying to accomplish here, and it's odd because I did feel super bad for her in the convenience store. I immediately knew what was going on and figured out that she was likely racist toward Zoe. And sure, I didn't get the whole thing with the silk pillow, but it was a learning point for me tonight. But the conversation with Robinson's wife just bugged me and that feeling didn't go away, even with Zoe finally talking to Kevin because "he's worth it." I just couldn't muster up many feelings for her and I'm not sure whether that was because of shoddy writing or because, perhaps, I have a bias because I'm a white woman. Maybe a little of both? 

Meanwhile, I felt super bad for Beth and wanted to give her a hug. Randall is just....so narcissistic and Beth can't even be honest with him since she's trying to be supportive. And yes, I fully understand that Randall and Beth have seemed to lay out some things and that Randall said he'd quit the electoral race if she was uncomfortable. But Beth is, once again, sacrificing her happiness for Randall and he can't see it. If he did, I do think he'd drop out, even without her asking. 

I also felt super bad for Teenage Randall. I think even Teenage Kevin was shocked to see such racism in front of him. 

As for the Toby stuff, I did feel for him. His flashbacks were needed and I liked them. Plus, Kid and Teen Toby looked like Chris Sullivan, so another home run for the casting department, especially after the miss of Kid Jack #1 from last episode. 

No opinions about Kate. I'm glad she's pregnant, but I'm not really fond of her singing anymore, even though I felt a bit bad that she got typecast as an Adele impersonator, and didn't care much for her scene with the host of the party. 

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Also, I wanted to talk about Kevin's stuff in a separate post. I loved what we got, even if it was minimal. We only got a few short scenes. I wish it replaced either the Randall campaign stuff or the flashbacks, and we could have saved the flashbacks for another episode. I actually think the flashbacks weren't needed and we could have gotten more Kevin. C'mon, show! You're underusing Kevin this season! 

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1 minute ago, Lady Calypso said:

Also, I wanted to talk about Kevin's stuff in a separate post. I loved what we got, even if it was minimal. We only got a few short scenes. I wish it replaced either the Randall campaign stuff or the flashbacks, and we could have saved the flashbacks for another episode. I actually think the flashbacks weren't needed and we could have gotten more Kevin. C'mon, show! You're underusing Kevin this season! 

I think for a nominally Toby episode, he might have been more under used than Kevin.  We know Kevin will figure prominently going forward with the Vietnam story.  I did like him quite a bit in this episode, he has made a 180 turn for me in likeability from where he started. 

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11 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Dan Lauria always plays a jerk. And why did I think he was dead?

I thought he was dead too but it’s the dad from Dirty Dancing who died.

Edited by RedDelicious
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4 minutes ago, Lady Calypso said:

I did feel super bad for her in the convenience store. I immediately knew what was going on and figured out that she was likely racist toward Zoe

Somehow I completely missed this scene; I had no idea what she was talking about later.

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I liked the small moments. Miguel being a good guy and just trying to help out.  Makes me wonder why he moves to Arizona.

Liked Kevin being a caring guy and getting the pillowcase for Zoey, though sometimes wonder if she deserves it.

Felt bad for teen Randall, but I wanted adult Randall to change his mind about running for Councilman after the restaurant owners speech. Only because maybe he should remind the councilman what he use to do for the people of the area and how he's also become complacent along with neighborhood residents.  Just because he saved your business 20 years ago doesnt mean the councilman should stop fighting for you.

Edited by callmebetty
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1 minute ago, Lady Calypso said:

Oh, that does remind me. Miguel was trying to pull a Pearson and Teen Randall just walks away. Yes, he was upset so I fully understand. But if a Pearson was going full force into a Pearson-esque speech to try to help someone (or themselves), you bet the said victim of the speech wouldn't be allowed to walk away!

I gotta admit, I wanted to hear the end to Miguel's speech and I actually yelled at my TV...in favour of Miguel! 

But Teen Randall had a really shitty night so I'm more forgiving. 

You so know Miguel, Toby and Beth have talked and gif'd about that in their group chat.

 

But yeah I wanted to know the end of the story too.

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The racist stuff just seemed so contrived.  It would be so much more effective if it didn’t feel like a political agenda.

Wasn’t the restaurant owner the promoter guy from Rocky 5?

Edited by Laurie4H
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1 minute ago, Laurie4H said:

The racist stuff just seemed so contrived.  It would be so much more effective if it didn’t feel like a political agenda.

Wasn’t the restaurant owner the promoter guy from Rocky 5?

I agree. Between this show and NCIS, I was rolling my eyes. 

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15 minutes ago, SuzyLee said:

Finally, I don’t want to say that my interest in this show is waning, but it’s definitely not what it was.  

I feel ya, Suzylee.  There are still things I like a lot...(non-running for office)Randall, Beth and their girls, Jack, Rebecca, Miguel, the Young Pearsons and Teen Pearson’s  Don’t really care about Kevin or Toby.  Actively haaaating adult Kate. I am close to FF’g her scenes.  Boo fucking hoo.  You have a weight problem, you lost your dad, you have a self confidence issue, you have fertility struggles, and your life didn’t turn out exactly as you thought it would.  Welcome to what the rest of the globe’s population calls LIFE.  Every single stranger or casual acquaintance does not want to hear your sob stories immediately upon meeting you. You may think you are all alone walking in your shroud of melancholy, but you aren’t.  Everyone you dump your sadness all over has their own shit.

Has it been explained how Randall can run for a Council seat in a ward/city/STATE!!! in which he doesn’t live?  Because he’s a landlord in the district?  I hope this political story ends quickly.

Zoey can drop of the planet any time. 

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5 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

No it was a to highlight that Kevin, like most people can recognize obvious racism.  It is the microaggressive type he is oblivious to which was very clearly shown.  When she said the grocery store lady was racist, Kevin immediately returned with "what did she say" when racism isn't always in your face with people saying stuff.  It can be very subtle.  So no it wasn't to highlight her stupidity rather a nod to his ignorance  because even living with a black brother he still can't get the nuances.

Like the pillow.  The thing with Zoe and the pillow is like the tail end of a long conversation you are sick of having.  I immediately got where Zoe was coming from with the pillow because it is a accretion of a life to having to explain stuff to non-black folks about blackness & black experience.  If she has been sleeping with him for awhile and she has a been sleeping on a satin pillow his obviousness to its significance is its own little microaggression.  Also been there and done that with some really stupid ass conversations about black women hair. And it gets old real fast.

Kevin should have recognized what was going on with the cashier. But I'm not surprised he didn't, considering a) how oblivious he is in general, and b) how little he cared about the racism his brother faced growing up.

That said, I think it's understandable that a white man wouldn't know the significance of a pillowcase his new girlfriend uses, if she's never explained why she uses it.

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Poor Miguel, trying to have a Jack-style moment with Randall.  At least he tried.  It's poignant to see teen Kevin passed out on Miguel's bed.  Years later, Miguel says he knows that Kevin doesn't like him.  :(

LOL at Randall getting dismissed by the crowd.  He hasn't learned anything from his conversations with Deja.  As much as I wish this would be the end of it, I know Randall will just persist all the more to win this election.  I'm not looking forward to the dirty laundry that could be aired over this. And this was mentioned before, can Randall even run in this district if he doesn't live there?

Poor Beth, breaking down during the interview.  She's going through a major shift herself and she doesn't have anyone to talk to.  Time to start up that phone tree, Beth!  Maybe Miguel will listen.

I loved how that executive was all "Well, stay happy" when Kate told him her Sad, Sad Story.  I didn't blame him, I would have gotten the hell out of there.

Meh to everything else.

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My French White grandma always slept on a silk pillow case.  She brought it everywhere.  She said it prevented wrinkles and she didn’t have any lines on her face even in her seventies.  

   I really felt bad for Toby.  Kid Toby looked so much like adult Toby.  His humor is his defense.  Hopefully Kate will be there for him.  

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2 minutes ago, BusyOctober said:

Has it been explained how Randall can run for a Council seat in a ward/city/STATE!!! in which he doesn’t live?  Because he’s a landlord in the district?  I hope this political story ends quickly.

He said something about putting his name on William's lease when William came to live with them.

 

1 minute ago, Blakeston said:

That said, I think it's understandable that a white man wouldn't know the significance of a pillowcase his new girlfriend uses, if she's never explained why she uses it.

I knew it had something to do with her hair, but not the specific reason (white girl with fine mousy hair, here). Randall presumably didn't sleep on a silk pillowcase and I wouldn't assume Kevin would necessarily know Beth's nighttime hair habits just because she's married to his brother.

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6 minutes ago, BusyOctober said:

I feel ya, Suzylee.  There are still things I like a lot...(non-running for office)Randall, Beth and their girls, Jack, Rebecca, Miguel, the Young Pearsons and Teen Pearson’s  Don’t really care about Kevin or Toby.  Actively haaaating adult Kate. I am close to FF’g her scenes.  Boo fucking hoo.  You have a weight problem, you lost your dad, you have a self confidence issue, you have fertility struggles, and your life didn’t turn out exactly as you thought it would.  Welcome to what the rest of the globe’s population calls LIFE.  Every single stranger or casual acquaintance does not want to hear your sob stories immediately upon meeting you. You may think you are all alone walking in your shroud of melancholy, but you aren’t.  Everyone you dump your sadness all over has their own shit.

Has it been explained how Randall can run for a Council seat in a ward/city/STATE!!! in which he doesn’t live?  Because he’s a landlord in the district?  I hope this political story ends quickly.

Zoey can drop of the planet any time. 

There was a very obvious bit of exposition at the beginning about how he added himself to his dad’s lease when he was alive, so he was technically a “resident.”  That was a very clumsy few lines of dialogue for a show that usually gets it so right (with the exception of the Eeyore speeches).

Edited by SuzyLee
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I thought the Toby backstory was pretty good, so much so that I actually wanted to see more of it. I think his depression adds a lot more context to his big over the top antics, and manic pixie dream guy tendencies. Everyone leaves him when he "gets the sads" so he desperately tries to overcompensate by being super happy and exciting. Its really quite tragic. And now he has ended up with Kate, who is already moody and likes being the center of attention, so he can focus all his energy on her. I dont blame her for not noticing something was off with him, but i do hope we see her being a supportive spouse in future episodes, and not to get annoyed with him for being depressed like every other person apparently has. 

I like Zoe and Kevin, and I thought the stuff with the pillow was a nice gesture on his part, while also showing that he just didnt pick up on the cashier lady and her racism. He knows a decent amount about racism (as we saw in the flashback) but still didnt pick up on everything. Really, I think its kind of weird that he didnt notice. He grew up with Randall and has known his wife and daughters for years. I do wonder what that, and the conversation she had with the old soldiers wife, will lead to with their relationship?

Nice seeing Miguel helping the family, and Jack asking him to look out for his family if something happened to him. Trying to give Randall a Pearson speech, taking care of drunk Kevin, helping around the house. Guy has grown on me, what can I say? 

I like Randall, but he really can be just insufferable with his new cause every five freaking seconds. Glad that he didnt instantly win everyone over, and that this might actually be tough for him. What bugs me is that he still doesn't see these people as real people, he just sees projects so he can be closer to William. So he lectures people on their lives, talks at them instead of to them, and drags his family along for the ride. I cant imagine that he would ever notice that Beth was upset unless she spelled it out, he gets so caught up in being Super Randall and his new projects that take up so much of his time. I am seriously dreading when he tells the poor girls that he will be moving their family away to a totally new city and state for the sake of their dads midlife crisis. 

As I said earlier, Kate is such a never ending sad sack. I feel for her, I really do, but she just spends so much freaking time talking about how much her life sucks, that it makes me annoyed, not feel bad for her. Especially as her complaining is going on as things in her life are clearly looking up, and she is getting almost everything she wants. 

I wonder if the woman was the lady whos son tried to give Jack fish last week? I dont think he has a secret family, but maybe she or her kid died, and he felt guilty?

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18 minutes ago, After7Only said:

As selfish as young and teenaged Kevin has been portrayed, I don’t think we’ve ever seen him deal with issues surrounding Randall and racism.  It’s mainly been the parents who noticed it.  They didn’t show Kevin’s reaction to the racist prom date dad.  The only time I can think of him mentioning race was young Kevin complaining about being the forgotten kid because Kate was fat and Randall was too black.   As Randall was not one to complain especially to Kevin, Kevin may very well been living in his own bubble and that nuanced in the racist side eye.

Actually, I think they did show Teen Kevin's reaction a little bit. It was a very brief shot, but Teen Kevin did react to racist prom date dad. However, we don't know exactly what he thought so I guess it's ambiguous unless they explore it in a future episode, if he did notice these things. I know, pre-dead Jack, Kevin was very harsh about Randall and might have been a little racist himself (or just plain jealous). But post-dead Jack, I think Kevin started to notice things a little bit more. Maybe not to the extent that he'd see all the microaggressions, but I do think he became a little more aware, perhaps even more about his own jealousy about Randall. But that's just my interpretation and I could be totally wrong.

10 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

Right, which is where the "is he worth it" came from.  After the lady used the word "exhausting". 

An anecdote: When I worked in advising/counseling I got burned out because I always felt like I was saying the same thing over and over again.  And I was.  My boss would always give new counselors the "remember, although you are saying something for the 1000th time, they are hearing it for the first time" speech.

This is where Zoe and the old soldier's wife was coming from.  It can be exhausting to be an explainer in a relationship/friendship about your 'otherness' all the time.  So it become a question of do you even bother?  In the end if she and Kevin weren't going anywhere, then she just shrugs along letting him believe the pillowcase is just fancy affectation no need to explain and one less time you have to say the same thing.

This is a very good point. It has made me pause on my initial reaction. Although I still am bugged by Zoe for other reasons, such as her judging Kevin due to her own insecurities, I can see this side for her and the soldier's wife. So thanks for this post. I'm hoping that we can see Zoe also grow and change. I'm still unsure about Zoe and Kevin as a long-term couple, but that's mostly because I want to know Zoe as a person first, instead of thinking of her as Zoe-and-Kevin. Similarly like we've needed that with Beth, Miguel, and Toby. At least we're starting to with at least Toby this season and a little of Beth. 

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@Suzy Lee and BusyOctober....I came here to post the same exact sentiments but you two did it better than I could ever articulate. Excellent job! And Suzi Lee was the name of my beloved sister so thanks for that, too!

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