This Is Us Season 4 Episode 3 Review: Unhinged

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Thank God Randall fired that annoying staffer!

Twelve-year-old Randall would have had a panic attack about doing the "wrong" thing, but adult Randall put his doubts aside and stood up for what he believed in.

Randall wasn't the only one struggling with tough choices on This Is Us Season 4 Episode 3. But he definitely made the right decision!

(TALL) A Romantic Evening - This is Us Season 4 Episode 3

Bernice criticized Randall for not acting like a typical politician who cared more about schmoozing with his fellow council members than his constiuents' needs.

But if that's a typical politician, then Philadelphia (and everyplace else) needs more atypical politicians.

Ultimately, his job is to help make life better for voters.

Yes, he will need the help of others on the council to get policies passed. But learning what the people need is the first step and it's ridiculous that Bernice thought otherwise.

Related: This Is Us Round Table: Did Randall Overreact?

Bernice's constant negativity was irritating, and it was clear she didn't get what Randall was trying to do. Instead, she was trying to make her boss fit her mold instead of helping him succeed. 

Whether or not Randall's ideas are practical, that was never going to work, and he was right to fire her. 

Breakfast Time - This is Us

It took strength and courage for Randall to stick to his convictions.

It was interesting that this conflict was juxtaposed with 12-year-old Randall having a panic attack after being punished for wearing sneakers instead of the dress shoes he was required to wear to school.

I was trying to figure out how that experience influenced his choices in the present. 

Teacher: This your first year too?
Randall: No, my third.
Teacher: Then you know better than to wear those shoes. I'll have to give you a yellow slip for not following the dress code.
Randall: But they're Air Jordans, like Michael Jordan wears.
Teacher: Michael Jordan doesn't have to abide by a dress code.. If you're gonna be in a place like this, you gotta dress the part.

Randall still suffers from anxiety, and perhaps that experience was related to his tendency to doubt whether his literal open-door policy made people think he was crazy.

Tess' New Haircut - This is Us Season 4 Episode 3

But maybe the adult Randall also realized that the adults he looked up to weren't always right and that that teacher's opinion of what was important certainly wasn't.

Tess' struggle with whether or not to admit to her new friend that she likes girls mirrored Randall's first-day-of-school woes nicely.

Related:13 Gay Female Characters That Are Great Role Models

Like the younger Randall, she was eager to make a good impression and leaned on a sibling for help.

Of course, Kevin decided for Randall that he was a better choice to confide in than Rebecca, while Tess willingly confided in Deja, but the parallel still worked.

Tess' situation was relatable for me as a trans person.

Even though sexual orientation and gender identity are different, there's still this question of whether to disclose your true identity every time you meet someone.

Coming out feels like it should be a one-time thing, but it's a lifetime thing, and it is especially confusing to a young teenager. This Is Us has always tackled Tess' sexual orientation in an honest, realistic manner and this was no exception.

Deja: Boy I like has a baby.
Tess: Damn. Do you still like him?
Deja: I don't know. It's complicated.
Tess: You know, you were pretty complicated when you first showed up.

I love the relationship between Tess and Deja, too. They're real with each other, and Deja offers a unique perspective on their parents because she's a foster child.

Deja's Love Interest - This is Us Season 4 Episode 3

I was glad Malik told her the truth about his baby.

Hopefully, after she gets over the shock, Deja will give him a chance anyway.

She seems happier and more relaxed around him, and her history may help her be more accepting of a teenager who chose to raise his baby himself than most girls her age.

Related: Get Great Selection of New & Classic Movies with the Lifetime Movie Club via Prime Video Channels!

Besides, Randall's reaction to all of this will be fun to watch, and we can't get that unless Deja gives Malik a chance.

Out With Her Baby - This is Us Season 4 Episode 3

Kate and Toby made up pretty quickly after Kate realized Toby had gone to the gym behind her back, but this probably isn't the end of this conflict.

Kate's had a lifelong struggle with body acceptance and weight loss.

As a 12-year-old, she was disappointed that one workout with Rebecca didn't make her shed the pounds, and as an adult, she was mortified that she had to ask for a table at the restaurant because she was too large to fit in a booth.

Toby: Look, I had a heart attack at age 38. Jack's life is going to be challenging enough without having a dad that drops dead helping him tie his shoes.
Kate: Oh, like his mom might?

So even though she's happy for Toby that he's getting fit and healthy, and undoubtedly her attraction to the new, muscular Toby is real, Kate will likely continue to struggle with feelings of inadequacy around her weight.

Young Kate Sits - This is Us Season 4 Episode 3

Her new neighbor was... interesting.

Now that the two have struck up a friendship of sorts, Gregory's physical limitations because of his stroke may make Kate feel she can confide in him about baby Jack's blindness.

If she begins to feel Gregory understands better than Toby does, that could lead to more problems for Kate and Toby.

Post-Workout Kiss - This is Us Season 4 Episode 3

We also got some more insight into Jack and Miguel's backstory, but the story everyone wanted to see was Kevin's.

Many fans predicted that Cassidy might be the love interest that Kevin has in the flash-forward at the end of This Is Us Season 3 Episode 18.

Judging from the way Cassidy went from hating Kevin to laughing hysterically with him and Nicky at the AA meeting, we might be right.

 

The things that happened, you can't go back from. They make you less human.

Nicky

Kevin doling out tough love to Nicky was powerful too, and Kevin's struggle to find purpose in his life is compelling. 

Here's to a lot more of this story unfolding.

Your turn, This Is Us fanatics.

What'd you think of Kevin and Cassidy's first meeting?

Do you think Randall made the right decision?

And am I the only one who's expecting rocky times ahead for Kate and Toby?

Share your thoughts below, and don't forget that if you missed anything, you can  watch This Is Us online here on TV Fanatic.

This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.

Unhinged Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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This Is Us Season 4 Episode 3 Quotes

Teacher: This your first year too?
Randall: No, my third.
Teacher: Then you know better than to wear those shoes. I'll have to give you a yellow slip for not following the dress code.
Randall: But they're Air Jordans, like Michael Jordan wears.
Teacher: Michael Jordan doesn't have to abide by a dress code.. If you're gonna be in a place like this, you gotta dress the part.

The things that happened, you can't go back from. They make you less human.

Nicky