This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9 Review: So Long, Marianne

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Bad news, This Is Us fans: This Is Us is taking a hiatus of nearly two months after hitting viewers in the gut with one emotional scene after another

But the good news is that This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9 left us with a ton of stuff to talk about over the long break -- starting with the fact that nine months from now Kevin's engaged to a pregnant woman and not talking to Randall.

There's plenty to speculate about, but first viewers probably need to dry their eyes.

(TALL) Randall Worries - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

Rebecca's cognitive decline is going to be hard to watch.

What viewers got treated to during this hour was heartbreaking enough, and we already know she's going to get worse.

Mandy Moore really sold Rebecca's confusion, anger, and anxiety, which would be impressive enough if that was all she was doing, but is doubly so considering how often she plays two or three different versions of Rebecca per episode.

Kudos to her and to the entire This Is Us acting and writing teams.

Deja Isn't Happy - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

Judging from how well This Is Us has handled Nicky and Cassidy's PTSD, Randall's anxiety, and a host of other complex issues, Rebecca's cognitive decline storyline is sure to be realistic, raw, and painful.

Pensive Randall - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

One of the most emotional moments of the hour was Rebecca's admission to Randall that she realized she had a problem. 

Randall: Mom, I'm sorry about earlier.
Rebecca: I was sitting there halfway through the trailer for Cats when I realized I couldn't remember what movie I wanted to see. I think I need to see a doctor.

It took a lot for her to get to that moment.

She'd been angrily denying that she needed help, and the reason she left in the first place was because she didn't appreciate Randall suggesting she see someone about her memory issues.

It felt like it was too little too late, too, because we already know what the future has in store for her. 

She and Randall were assuming that once she went to the doctor, she could get things fixed. 

But there is no fixing it, and knowing that hurts. 

Sister-in-Laws Bond - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

Kevin and Randall bonded while they were waiting for Rebecca to return home. Randall even teased Kevin about Kevin needing to find a girlfriend.

So it's shocking that nine short months later, Kevin and Randall aren't on speaking terms. 

Chances are, their falling out has something to do with Rebecca's prognosis. 

That kind of disease can tear families apart, especially if family members disagree on how bad it is or how to take care of their loved one.

Could that have been what happened to Kevin and Randall? Or does their estrangement have to do with Kevin's pregnant fiancee?

Kate in Philly - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

Kevin and Randall aren't the only ones headed on the fast track to relationship disaster judging from Kate and Toby's issues throughout the Thanksgiving visit.

Beth: You should tell Toby how you feel.
Kate: I don't know how.
Beth: Honey, figure it out. Cause if you're only going to other people about what's happening in your marriage, it can be dangerous territory.

Beth gave Kate some great advice about needing to have a difficult conversation with Toby, which Kate didn't follow.

And Toby also seems to be talking to people other than Kate about his marriage woes.

That is not good. The way it's going, it's 50/50 whether Toby and Kate will make it through the rest of This Is Us Season 4 before breaking up.

Jack's First Thanksgiving - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

Right now, it seems like the only thing keeping them together is baby Jack, and even that's not a given because they can't get on the same page about things like how to deal with Toby missing some of Jack's milestones.

At least grown-up Jack Damon continued Uncle Nicky's tradition of getting five pounds of shrimp on Thanksgiving. Whatever happens with his parents, Jack will grow up with a sense of family.

That was one of the greatest things about This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9: despite how heavy it was, it wasn't depressing.

Maybe it's simpler for Randall. He's the only father she's ever known. But I see Deja and Shawna together watching home videos, sharing inside jokes... and where does that leave me?


Beth and Deja's complicated feelings about Shawna were intertwined with genuine happiness that she was doing well now, and Nicky eventually resolved his feelings of awkwardness over having not been part of the family for so many years.

Hanging out in the Kitchen - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9

Who didn't tear up when Nicky brought out the shrimp and made his speech about life getting in the way of his and Jack's plans to celebrate Thanksgiving together with shrimp from now on?

Or at Deja's upset that her mom couldn't be like this when she was raising Deja and Beth's advice to treasure the good times Deja and Shawna had too?

And Tess' feelings of empowerment after Kevin got her to come out to the drive-through clerk were a joy to watch.

Kevin's  suggestion seemed silly. In some ways, it's hard to come out to strangers. With family, you at least have an idea of how they're going to react, while strangers are unpredictable.

But once Tess took Kevin's advice, she was noticeably happier. It helped that the clerk's reaction was perfect, validating Tess' identity and getting on with business.

Tess' triumphant discovery that she had plenty of support on Instagram was fun to watch, too.

After everyone's struggles, viewers needed a happy ending -- and Tess got one, at least for now.

Your turn, This Is Us fanatics.

What did you think about Rebecca's cognitive issues, and how hard did that final twist hit you?

Why do you think Kevin and Randall stop talking to each other before Kevin's 40th birthday?

And what are you most looking forward to when This Is Us returns in 2020?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget you can watch This Is Us online if you missed anything.

This is Us will return on January 14, 2020, when it will continue to air on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.

So Long, Marianne Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (38 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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This Is Us Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

It's Thanksgiving. She wants to make up as much as you do. Go talk to her.


Kevin: Look at you. You look sharp.
Nicky: I look like a Viagra commercial.