This put up contains spoilers for Season Four, Episode 18 of “This Is Us.”
If the Season Four finale of “This Is Us” had an unofficial theme, it could perhaps perhaps perhaps be medical doctors giving no doubt appropriate recommendation and folks no doubt taking it (how successfully timed and relevant!). But that’s appropriate the cream-stuffed heart of this episode, which packs in its gorgeous a part of emotional whiplash because the level to’s writers’ room continues its ongoing quest to remind us appropriate how advanced and heartbreaking and beautiful existence would possibly well perhaps additionally additionally be.
The episode finds the Pearson household gathering for Jack Damon’s first birthday. Kate and Toby, in a bigger residence after a rocky few months, are delighted to celebrate their son’s no longer easy-fought milestone. The toddler seems to be to be like a appropriate (and no doubt lovable) Pearson in his head-to-toe Steelers equipment. Kevin virtually straight offers Randall an olive branch following their annoying exchanges about pointers on how to cherish their mom in her early phases of Alzheimer’s illness.
Kevin, unaware that Randall guilted Rebecca into agreeing to create a medical trial in St. Louis, tells his brother he is aware of his coronary heart is within the good residence. But, he says, the medical trial is no longer what their mom needs.
In glimpses of the future, we take into legend Jack Damon and his essential other, Lucy, put collectively to welcome their first child. (It’s a reminder that the episode is a callback to the season premiere, which presented several fresh characters, including Deja’s boyfriend, Malik.) We additionally meet a pair fresh strangers who flip out to be integral to the Pearson household legend: a gallery docent who will be courting any person very worthy, and a particular person struggling to tame an unruly horse.
Within the level to timeline, Rebecca makes an impromptu announcement about her and Miguel’s impending circulate to Missouri. It doesn’t steal prolonged for Kevin to resolve out what — or who — modified her mind. Randall doubles down on doing without reference to he can to serve Rebecca, whether or no longer she or his siblings are on board; Kevin insists Randall’s motives are selfish and that they must soundless honor what Rebecca needs for herself.
The alternate turns no doubt grotesque. Kevin tells Randall he’s looking to set Rebecca out of guilt for no longer saving their father. “If I had been there I would accept as true with walked via literal fire and I would accept as true with pulled that man out,” Kevin says. Randall reminds Kevin that he wasn’t there the evening their father died, and means that Jack died “ashamed” of him. Then he insults Kevin’s acting. Kevin seems to be to be shrinking earlier than telling Randall that the worst day of his existence wasn’t the day their father died. “Hand to God, Randall,” he says, “the worst ingredient that ever took place to me used to be the day they brought you residence.”
Oof. Happily, this episode additionally capabilities an appearance by Dr. K, the good-natured obstetrician who delivered Kevin, Kate and the sibling they would never meet. In flashbacks to the Wide Three’s first birthday, Rebecca admits she’s struggling via her peril over the child she and Jack lost within the level to’s first episode. Jack admits he soundless thinks about their rather heaps of son, too. So, Rebecca and her husband create the shiny ingredient and seek recommendation from the man who once told Jack that “there’s no lemon so sour that it’s seemingly you’ll perhaps perhaps perhaps be additionally’t kind one thing similar to lemonade.”
A modest Dr. K insists he can’t offer one thing as large as his lemonade speech — whereby he recalled how losing his first child made him are looking to head into obstetrics — earlier than singing a pair of line of Willie Nelson’s “Blue Skies.” He tells Rebecca and Jack that this used to be the tune he sang to his unborn child within the course of his essential other’s first being pregnant; it used to be additionally the tune they listened to after they lost the toddler. “It made us so unhappy. It used to be like we were punishing ourselves,” Dr. K tells the Pearsons. But then his essential other purchased pregnant once more, and Dr. K once more sang “Blue Skies” to their unborn child. Twenty-5 years later, he and his daughter danced to the tune at her wedding.
“That tune made us pleased, it made us unhappy, made us pleased once more,” Dr. K says. “Your total human abilities appropriate wrapped up in that one tune.” He reasons that hospitals — which take into legend lives delivery and hand over day in and day out — are additionally like that. But within the crash, he says, “existence has a approach of shaking out to be extra pretty than tragic.” His shiny words draw us assist to what Jack and Rebecca’s musically inclined grandson is experiencing within the crash: the gallery handbook turns out to be the adopted daughter Kate and Toby mediate they need after taking a inform of Jack to the newborn intensive-care unit, where he spent his first days. Though Kate and Toby’s future will be in quiz — sadly, we create no longer salvage a resolution to the couple’s fate on this episode — we as a minimum know that Jack Damon has a sister.
The rather heaps of wanted stranger on this episode additionally happens to be a doctor, whose thoughtful recommendation brings us to the episode’s good bombshell: Madison is pregnant, following her and Kevin’s impulsive hookup a pair of episodes within the past. Madison tells the doctor that she and the father barely know every rather heaps of and she has no map of telling him. “He comes from a prolonged line of large cherish reviews,” she says. “This isn’t what he needs.”
The doctor pauses for a 2nd, earlier than telling Madison she must soundless as a minimum give him a chance to mediate. And that’s how Madison arrives at Jack Damon’s birthday social gathering with news that Kevin is the father of the twins (!) she is looking ahead to. For Kevin — who has to cope with this existence-altering news at some level of his fight with Randall — it’s an unexpected course to the household he’s spent most of Season Four dreaming about. He tells Madison he’s all in. We’re all in, too, on seeing how these two are trying and co-guardian — and the design in which Kate reacts to her brother having a child with her easiest friend.
This season has explored rifts internal the Pearson household all over generations — Jack and his estranged brother, Nicky; Kate and her mom; Randall and Kevin —— however within the hand over we take into legend Kevin build his hand on his brother’s shoulder as they rating to deliver goodbye to their mom in a bittersweet glimpse of the future. We briefly noticed Kevin’s son in final season’s finale; now we take into legend that he has a daughter as successfully. Nicky is there to consolation the nephew who helped him flip his existence around. Rebecca is seen in at ease heart of attention as historical household photos play on a shut-by projector.
The most unsettling a part of this scene is that Kate is nowhere to be realized. There’s one glaring (and heartbreaking) thought that can perhaps perhaps additionally demonstrate her absence, however the level to offers no hints about her fate. As a alternative, “This Is Us” encourages us to treasure the Pearson household lemonade and the lemons, nonetheless sour, that made it. Rebecca is cherished; she and Jack’s cherish will continue to exist via their kids and their kids, etc.
Even extra into the future, Kate and Toby’s daughter wonders what her fresh niece’s name is. Jack Damon, zeroing in on the episode’s appropriate theme, replies: “Hope.”