Beth leaned on Carol after a fight with Tess, Nicky and Miguel had it out about Miguel's marrying Rebecca, and Kate and Toby adjusted to Kate's new job.
This Is Us Season 5 Episode 12 was all about characters adjusting to changing circumstances!
Our TV Fanatics Sarah Little, Christine Orlando, and Jack Ori discuss it all. Read on for our thoughts!
Do you think Carol and Beth are getting closer now that Carol is living with Beth and her family?
Sarah: I think so.
Especially now that Beth is struggling to connect with her own daughter, she's starting to realize how her mother felt when Beth was growing up. Having Carol in such proximity while the whole Beth and Tess ordeal is happening is forcing Beth to lean on her mother for support.
It's a nice parallel for the show to draw from to portray the two different relationships.
Christine: Yes, not only are they growing closer, but this may be the first time Beth sees her mother as an ally instead of the enemy.
Raising a teenager is hard, and getting another point of view is valuable.
Also, this may be the first time Beth can see some of their issues from her mother's perspective, which can only help them move forward.
Jack: I think so too.
I loved that moment where Beth lay her head on Carol's shoulder.
I thought that it was the first time Beth actually needed and wanted Carol's support as opposed to Carol offering an unsolicited opinion that irritated her.
Beth dealt with Tess' drama mostly on her own while Randall was at his group. How do you think Randall would have reacted to the situation with Tess if he'd been there?
Sarah: I think he would have stepped back and let Beth take the reins on this one.
He is not struggling with Tess' relationship with Alex, and he knows that Beth is.
Randall is the kind of guy that lets his wife work through her issues and be there to support her at every turn.
Christine: The issues here really seem to be between Beth and Tess, so I don't think Randall stepping in would have helped.
Honestly, I wasn't entirely sure how much Beth was struggling to come to terms with Tess and Alex or Tess projecting some of her discomfort over this new relationship and how it will be accepted onto Beth.
It seems like everyone is growing and changing, and they all need a little time to adjust.
Jack: It's hard to say how Randall would have reacted to this situation.
He's good at helping Beth step back when needed, but he also has his own control issues.
I think that might have caused more stress for Beth because she'd have another person in the mix offering opinions and possibly contradicting what she was trying to get through to Tess.
Miguel finally had the beginning of a backstory coaching Jack on how to propose to Rebecca and standing up to Rebecca's father. React!
Sarah: I loved that scene!
It was nice to see someone outside of Rebecca standing up for Jack. Plus, it was a great way to write around Mandy Moore's maternity leave and still feel her presence.
And Miguel has been severely underused on the show, so seeing more of him is always welcome.
Christine: I love Miguel! He's always been such a good friend to Jack, and it was great to see this moment where he not only helps Jack with the proposal but sets his future father-in-law straight.
Miguel has a quiet presence, but there seems to be an underlying strength that's easy to underestimate.
Jack: I was also thrilled with this.
I agree with Sarah that Miguel is severely underused, and there were several sweet moments in his backstory. I also especially loved him standing up to Rebecca's father.
I wish we'd skipped the stuck ring drama. It's such an overused trope!
What do you think the significance of Kevin's exes reading about his wedding news will be?
Sarah: I thought that was an interesting choice.
To me, it almost felt like This Is Us was letting go of Kevin's previous love interests in a way. They are declaring that Madison is the person Kevin will be with, and that's that.
But who knows? It could be them hinting at a reappearance of one of his exes to cause some trouble for the engaged couple. Anything is possible with this show.
Christine: That struck me as a bit odd.
Yes, they would all hear or read about Kevin, but I'm not sure why the audience needed to witness it.
The only one that concerned me was Kevin's ex-wife, Sophie, because she was his first love and still cared very much about one another.
But Sophie's smile seems to say that she was happy Kevin finally found love and started his own family…or at least that's what I hope that smile meant!
Jack: This was weird to me too.
There's a lot of fan speculation that Sophie is going to interfere with Kevin and Madison's wedding. I hope not!
I'd rather Kevin's exes be happy for him, and that be that.
Were Nicky and Miguel's clearing the air the beginning of a friendship between them?
Sarah: I hope so! Jack was an important person in both of their lives, and it would be so special if they could come together and form a bond from that.
We can't forget that Nicky was by Rebecca's bedside in the future, though. That is sure to have some importance down the line.
Christine: I think so.
I was proud of Miguel when he called Nicky out on his crap. It would be nice to see these two men, who were so important to Jack, become friends on their own.
I think Jack would have like that.
Jack: I don't know whether Nicky and Miguel will ever be friends -- Nicky doesn't seem to do friendships!
But they will at least be friendly and peaceful with each other from this point forward, I think,
Discuss anything not covered above.
Sarah: I am so, so nervous about next week.
Kevin and Randall have come such a long way from This Is Us Season 4 Episode 18, but their relationship is still so fragile.
The talk that they're about to have will no doubt be life-changing for both of them.
But it did bring a huge smile to my face when Randall accepted Kevin's best man proposal.
Christine: I appreciated the other teacher being so blunt with Kate.
Although her family is important, when she's at work, those kids are the ones that deserve her full attention.
And Randall's adoption group was heartbreaking.
Hearing that woman say how she wished she'd never been adopted…I had to wonder what made her feel that way and how horrible that must make her family feel.
I'm hoping that being exposed to other people's turmoil allows Randall to see how much he loves and appreciates his family.
Jack: I'm concerned about Toby/Kate. Madison overcame her fear and told Kevin what she really felt, but Toby did not.
I'm afraid his resentments about being a stay-at-home dad are going to boil over in the worst possible way, and then what?
What was your favorite scene, storyline, or quote from this weeks This Is Us?
Sarah: I think my favorite scene was between Carol and Beth, especially when Beth laid her head on her mom's shoulder.
Their relationship has been rocky for a while now, and it's sweet to see them have a meaningful heart-to-heart conversation.
They are learning a lot about one another, and I hope to see them become even closer as the episodes continue.
Christine: I had two favorites.
The first was Miguel standing up for himself with Nicky.
Miguel seems to come last with the Pearson family far too often, and he doesn't deserve that.
However, I did wish we got a little more insight into what Kevin was thinking during that scene.
Second was Toby and Madison at the playground. What's said at the playground stays at the playground!
These two need someone they can confide in outside of their significant others, and, unfortunately, Kate might be too close to Kevin for Madison to feel comfortable sharing with her.
I was proud of Madison for finding her voice with Kevin; now, if Toby can do that with Kate...
Jack: I second Sarah's favorite scene. I absolutely loved Carol's advice, and Beth putting her head on Carol's shoulder was one of the most emotional moments of the hour for me.
Your turn, This Is Us fanatics.
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.