This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Toby

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Big Three move aside because the Small Three are in town. 

That's right, after years of being pushed aside in favor of the Pearson clan, Toby, Beth, and Miguel finally got the spotlight they deserve.

It was more than expected that Toby would be a focal point on This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5 considering the title of the episode is his name, but what was a welcome surprise was that his fellow Small Three compatriots also got to bask in the spotlight alongside him. 

Toby - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

The Pearsons are a fragile bunch, and its been pretty much expected of their significant others to be the shoulder for them to cry on. While all of them have been great at this role so far, it's high time for the Pearsons to take care of them. 

While it doesn't look like Randall is going to be able to do that job, at least right now, Kate has stepped up to the plate, and hopefully, she doesn't strike out. 

Related: This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 Review: Vietnam 

"Toby" started just like other This Is Us episodes; Toby was trying to be a rock for a nervous Kate. They had one viable embryo, and one last chance for Kate to get pregnant. 

However, Toby has slowly been unwinding ever since he stopped taking his anti-depressants. 

Learning how Toby got to that place was extremely important for his character. He's been built up for two seasons as a big lovable goof who can fix make any problem he or Kate faces. 

Awaiting News - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

This has always been who Toby is though. He did the same for his mother when she was going through her depression. Cracking jokes and trying to make those he loves smile is in his DNA. 

Yet, when he was facing depression, things got dark to the point that he couldn't get out of bed. It was such a contrast to the Toby we've become accustomed. 

He was able to overcome his depression the first time around, but will he be able to do it again? 

Therapist: I do think the medications and our sessions are having an effect, Toby.
Toby: I concur doc, I feel good. Now if only we could find somebody who wanted to date a guy who looked like swallowed the Unabomber.

When Kate told Toby she was pregnant, it was tragic the happy moment turned dark so quickly. Toby's meltdown was heartbreaking and was an excellent portrayal of how depression works. 

Even the brightest moments in someone's life can turn into something dark and bleak when faced with depression. 

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However, I do have hope for Toby, and that's because of Kate. 

I've been crapping on Kate a lot since the beginning of This Is Us Season 3, but I adored her on this episode. It felt like the old Kate was back. Gone was the selfish, Debbie downer I've loathed. 

Rediscoveries - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

She's been replaced by an optimistic woman who loves music and is willing to work as hard as she must to make her dreams come true. 

If this version of Kate continues to shine, Toby is in excellent hands, and for the first time in their relationship, Kate will be the rock who stays strong for her man. 

While I believe in Kate, Randall as of now seems like a lost cause. As Beth puts it, Randall isn't one to shy away from his emotions. 

Beth: You cannot cry on the campaign trail.
Randall: I'm not going to cry.
Beth: You're an emotional man, Randall. You talk about fathers, you cry. You talk about daughters, you cry. You talk about the little brown boy on the corner who tried to sell lemonade in the winter, you cry.
Randall: The lemonade froze, Beth.
Beth: Yeah well he was stupid, baby.

Beth has always been able to tell if something is wrong with Randall. He has a problem, she listens and helps him fix it. This time, though, Beth is the one with a problem, but Randall isn't there for her to confide in. 

Instead, he's busy running for councilor in a community he doesn't even live in. Of course, Beth is supporting him as usual despite her fragile state. 

The Rock - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

Why can't Randall see the pain in her eyes? If he weren't so busy trying to fix things all the time, he would see that Beth needs her husband right now. 

It's like This Is Us needs me to be annoyed with one of the Pearson kids at all times. Smarten up, Randall! 

Related: This Is Us Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Katie Girls 

It's so upsetting since Randall and Beth have been such an amazing couple. Hopefully, Beth opens up to Randall soon, and he can put all his stuff aside and be there for her like she's always been there for him. 

Sadly, it looks like things are going to get worse for the two before they get any better. 

Support System - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

Beth's relationship may be a little rocky, but her cousin Zoe has finally agreed to embrace the wonderfulness that is Kevin Pearson.

During their trip to visit Mr. Robinson, Zoe remained hesitant to call Kevin her boyfriend. Like every other person in the world, I questioned this woman's mental state, but then it all made sense. 

Kevin: How do I introduce you anyway? My documentarian girlfriend, does that work?
Zoe: You introduce me as Zoe, human being whose a documentarian, who you happen to be dating.
Kevin: Kind of a mouthful, but we'll go with it.

Zoe's never dated a white guy before and explaining the black experience all the time seemed like an exhausting task. After a talk with Mrs. Robinson, she realized Kevin was worth keeping around. 

Finally, Kevin has found a woman who appreciates him! 

I like Zoe and Kevin together. She challenges him in a way no other woman has, and he challenges her, too. I'm excited to see their relationship blossom. 

Micro Racism - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

I'm also excited to see what Kevin uncovers about his dad. A lot of TV Fanatic commenters had a problem with This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 because it told Jack's Vietnam story through Jack's lens rather than Kevin's. 

Fortunately, that looks to be the story moving forward. Mr. Robinson was only able to provide Kevin with a few details about Jack, stuff we learned on "Vietnam." 

At the end of his visit though, Mr. Robinson gave Kevin letters that Jack wrote to him. With them was a photo of Jack with a Vietnamese woman who happened to be wearing the same pendant that Kevin wears. 

Answers - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

Obviously, she and Jack shared a relationship -- I assume a romantic one -- with this woman.

It'll be interesting to see how Kevin and the rest of the Big Three will react when they learn more about her. It's always weird for kids to imagine their parents with anyone other than their mom or dad, so I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin's a little freaked out by this revelation. 

I'm hoping that one of the upcoming episodes will allow Kevin's journey learning about his dad's Vietnam days to be a focal point because Justin Hartley will knock it out of the park if given the opportunity. 

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies! 

Speaking of knocking it out of the park, the teenage versions of Kevin, Kate, and Randall did just that. It's almost shameful to think how underrated these teen actors are. They are low-key delivering some of the best performances on the show. 

Teen Randall: Hey, can you take it with you into the shower Kev? We're going to be late for the Prom.
Teen Kevin: Prom's not for three hours, Randall.
Teen Kate: Which is about how long it takes you to do your hair.
Teen Kevin: And I exit.

The teen Pearsons got the chance to interact with another very underappreciated character, Miguel. It turns out Miguel played a major role in the Pearson family as soon as Jack died. 

Miguel once promised Jack that he would take care of his family if anything happened to him. It was a fairly nonchalant conversation between two pals, but it stayed with Miguel. 

BFFL - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5

Miguel did an excellent job, too. He helped Randall deal with Allison's racist father by giving him some advice, fixed Rebecca's refrigerator, and let a drunk Kevin crash at his place. 

It never once felt he was trying to replace Jack. He knew his place and wanted to keep a promise he made to his friend. It's understandable now why Rebecca eventually fell for the guy. He's a sweetheart. 

While "Vietnam" was an unorthodox episode, "Toby" brought This Is Us back to its roots. It centered around the core relationships and gave the Pearsons' significant others the focus they often don't receive. Hopefully, it isn't the last time it happens.   

What did you think of "Toby"? 

Which relationship do you have the most hope for and which one do you think is in the most trouble? 

What do you think Kevin is going to discover about Jack's time in Vietnam? 

Let us know in the comments below and if you need to catch up, make sure to watch This Is Us online right here on TV Fanatic! 

Toby Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Brandon Viera was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in May 2019..

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This Is Us Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

Beth: You cannot cry on the campaign trail.
Randall: I'm not going to cry.
Beth: You're an emotional man, Randall. You talk about fathers, you cry. You talk about daughters, you cry. You talk about the little brown boy on the corner who tried to sell lemonade in the winter, you cry.
Randall: The lemonade froze, Beth.
Beth: Yeah well he was stupid, baby.

Kevin: How do I introduce you anyway? My documentarian girlfriend, does that work?
Zoe: You introduce me as Zoe, human being whose a documentarian, who you happen to be dating.
Kevin: Kind of a mouthful, but we'll go with it.