This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8 Review: In The Room

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It finally happened.

Kevin managed to make it to Madison's side in time for the twins' birth, while Kate got to hold her newborn daughter for the first time.

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8 featured the birth of the next generation's Big Three... and a few strangers who impacted their journey.

Madison Gives Birth/Tall - This Is Us

Unsurprisingly, this was one of the most emotional hours of This Is Us yet.

The three new babies' birth could have served as the pilot for a spinoff series just as easily as a standalone episode of This Is Us.

My goodness. The new Big Three.


A ton of viewers predicted that the new babies would be the next generation's Big Three, but it still made tears well up in my eyes when Kate said so.

That was probably second only to Kate telling Hailey Rose that she would always know her place in this crazy world as my favorite moment.

A Huge Milestone - This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8

The babies' births were perfectly juxtaposed with Rebecca and Jack's dealing with the original Big Three growing up.

Rebecca: Making fun of the kids together is our thing. It's our one defense against three sets of teenage hormones. So I don't understand. What's wrong?
Jack: They don't want to hang out with us. One minute they love us, the next they don't want anything to do with us.
Rebecca: They're teenagers It's normal for them to want to hang out with other teenagers over us.
Jack: I know, but we only have a few years together under the same roof. Then they're gonna grow up and move out and then what? We'll be lucky if they call us once a week to catch up on what's going on in their lives.

Jack's fears were made doubly poignant by viewers' knowledge that he literally did have only a few years left with his wife and kids before his untimely death.

I'm sure he was on Kevin and Kate's minds as they welcomed their new kids into the world, too.

Even though it wasn't explicitly stated, they must have wondered how he would have reacted to another set of three babies born at the same time into their family, one adopted and two biological.

From A Distance - This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8

Even though he's gone, he's still very much a part of the family, and that was one of the points of what Rebecca said about that painting.

She summarized This is Us' entire theme beautifully with the analogy of the blobs demonstrating that they were one family, interconnected over time and space no matter how much they changed.

I'd have loved it if Kevin or Kate had mentioned that Jack would have been thrilled or otherwise explicitly remembered him as they began this next chapter in their lives. But this was such an emotional hour that I can easily forgive the writers for skipping that.

The only other missing beat was the explanation of how Kevin managed to get to the hospital on time.

Planning an Adventure - This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8

Kevin semi-explained it. I assume he groveled enough and/or went above the TSA agent's head enough to secure a spot on that flight.

Maybe we'll get a flashback later on. At the moment Kevin arrived, it didn't matter that much. The important thing was that he was there.

Before I left, you asked me how this family was going to fit into my life. This family is my life. I quit the movie. Yeah, I don't want to take jobs that'll take me away from you. And these beautiful babies that we're about to meet... that's all I need.


I don't know which moment I loved more: Kevin's declaration that Madison and the twins were his life or his reconciliation with Randall.

Both Kevin and Randall displayed a ton of maturity and growth since that big fight over Rebecca's care, leading to a pure feel-good moment in a mostly feel-good episode.

New Daddy - This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8

Parenthood will undoubtedly be challenging for Kevin and Madison in the coming episodes, but for now, everything is in a positive place, and with all the craziness in the world, viewers needed that right now.

Rebecca got a break from her dementia storyline, too.

She seemed entirely "with it" while she was waiting for news about the babies. Her memories of the past were crystal clear, and she knew exactly what was going on in the present and couldn't wait to meet her new grandchildren.

Hopefully, her decision to drink won't come back to bite her, though it probably will since Miguel made such a big deal out of how she's not supposed to do that while on meds.

But again, for now, all is well on that front. I loved that This Is Us allowed everyone a moment to celebrate before going on with the drama.

Her New Grandchildren - This Is Us Season 5 Episode 8

I'm also thrilled that Kate and Toby got to take Hailey home.

When Ellie wanted to hold her baby, it seemed like This Is Us was going down the birth mother's predictable route, changing her mind at the last minute about giving up her baby.

That would have been heartbreaking, and I was relieved that This Is Us surprised us by having Ellie say both hello and goodbye to her baby before turning her over to Kate.

And didn't you know that Toby was going to choose to name her after that man's wife who was potentially dying of COVID? As soon as the man mentioned his wife's name, I had no doubt.

That whole parking lot sequence was part of This Is Us' theme about how strangers also touch people's lives and impact them in ways they never realize.

That chance encounter in the hospital parking lot could have turned ugly fast. Some people get extremely possessive and worked up when it comes to parking spots.

But instead, it turned into a rare moment of connection for two strangers, and Toby's presence no doubt brought comfort to the man while he awaited news about his wife's condition.

Interestingly, we never learned the man's name, only his wife's. He was merely an acquaintance that impacted Toby's life without the two as much as exchanging names.

A good third of the hour was also dedicated to another couple whose names we might never have known if it weren't for This Is Us: Nasir and Esther Ahmed.

For those who missed the endcap explaining it, the real Nasir Ahmed helped develop the technology that today allows us to share photos and videos over the Internet.

Without his contribution, there might not be the video chatting capability that has kept many of us safe and sane while we can't have in-person visits with family or friends.

I loved that This Is Us tracked down the real couple and that they honored an Internet pioneer of color that most of us have likely not heard of.

But it was confusing to dedicate so much of the hour to this couple when they were not related to the Big Three at all. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who wasted a lot of time trying to guess their connection!

Your turn, This Is Us fanatics.

What did you think of the birth of the next generation's Big Three?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

Want to refresh your memory first? Just watch This Is Us online right here on TV, Fanatic.

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

In The Room Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (23 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 5 Episode 8 Quotes

Uh uh. No group texts. If I can't be in the delivery room because of freaking Covid, then I want personalized updates.


Kevin: We all have sleepover plans this weekend. Parent approved.
Jack: Cancel them. We're going on a family vacation and -
Rebecca: Jack. Let me talk to you over here. Would it be the worst thing in the world if we went away for the weekend without the little grumps?