Toby came home for the weekend with disastrous results, while Kevin regretted missing Frannie's first steps, and Randall learned that Deja had gone to Boston to visit Malik.
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 3 jumped from timeline to timeline and father to father, all connected by the dads' desire to communicate with their children.
Our TV Fanatics Christine, Laura, and Jack join the This Is Us Round Table to discuss how Kevin's past impacted his present, whether Deja has a plan to visit Malik again, and more.
Jack was worried that Kevin's experience at the mall would traumatize him forever. How do you think that day related to Kevin's own frustration with not being there for Frannie's first steps?
Christine: I think young Kevin was upset but not traumatized. But adult Kevin desperately wants to be there for his kids and have the family his parents provided him.
I really wish that he and Madison could work things out, but right now, he's so focused on what he's missing out with his kids that he only sees Madison as their mom.
Laura: Adult Kevin has strived to be a hands-on dad since he remembers the times his dad was there no matter what. He still measures everything to Jack.
Jack: I had similar thoughts to you, Laura. It seemed like since Jack strove to make positive memories with the kids, Kevin got the idea that his father was perfect and doesn't even remember any of the bad stuff.
Kevin really needs to stop holding himself to an impossible standard. I hope that's where his journey takes him as we wrap the series up.
When Deja said not seeing Malik would be a problem, was that just her teenage determination to be with her boyfriend, or has she already made some sort of plan that makes it impossible?
Christine: Both. That was definitely a look of determination on her face, so it wouldn't surprise me if there's already a plan.
Beth is right. Deja will find a way to see Malik again, whether they like it or not, so it's probably best to come up with some sort of a compromise.
Laura: She's a teenager in love. I suspect she already has a plan in place. Beth was correct. They need a compromise, and they need to keep her safe.
Jack: I had a feeling there was some sort of plan in place, too. Deja is used to doing things independently and is determined to be with Malik, so I'd be more surprised if there weren't something in the works.
What do you think happens because of the smoker that causes Toby and Kate's marriage to implode?
Christine: It's clear that Jack gets hurt, and that can be the kind of incident that can fracture an already stressed marriage, especially if one parent blames the other.
We already saw the fracture lines forming.
Toby didn't listen to Kate's advice about nap time, and Kate couldn't see how important playing with Jack was to Toby. The more time they spend apart, the worse it's going to get.
Laura: It's obvious from the scar that Jack got hurt, and it can be the sort of accident that stresses parents out, and they say things they don't mean.
Their marriage is already showing signs of issues. Toby didn't listen to Kate's routine. He wants to be the fun weekend dad.
Jack: Fun weekend dad is the perfect way to describe it.
I also felt like even though Kate and Toby aren't divorced at this point, Toby is like the stereotypical divorced dad who shows up for the fun stuff and disrupts the kids' routines.
The marriage doesn't literally blow up just because of the smoker. But Toby's idea that purchasing it would solve anything was a band-aid at best.
As soon as something goes seriously wrong, he and Kate are going to end up exploding about all the resentments they've been holding back since Toby started working in San Francisco.
What did you think of Rebecca's advice to Jack?
Christine: It was perfect. Kids don't always remember the things we think they will or in the way we think they will. And if you keep a good attitude and keep trying, there's always a chance you can turn a day around.
Laura: It was wonderful. Kids, especially young kids, generally only remember the good details.
Jack: I loved her story of the ladybug. I couldn't help wondering whether the Big Three could take a similar positive attitude toward caring for Rebecca as she begins to decline.
Your turn! Share anything that hasn't been covered above.
Christine: I was so relieved when Kevin didn't backslide and drink or call his much younger costar.
This is a tough time for Kevin. He's dissatisfied at work and at home. Hopefully, talking to Cassidy can help give him some perspective, or at least provide him with someone to talk to who isn't family.
Laura: I really enjoyed Toby and Kevin's talk about parenthood.
Kevin especially seemed to think families include two parents and kids around a dinner table. They needed to let go of their ideas and deal with what was.
Jack: I thought Nicky was on his way back to help Kevin break ground on the cabin. But the cabin isn't even on Kevin's radar at the moment.
I kept expecting Nicky to knock on the door and announce he was back in the middle of Kevin and Madison's argument!
What was your favorite scene, quote, or storyline from this week's This Is Us?
Christine: I love how Beth handled Deja and Randall.
Randall needed to cool off before he made a difficult situation worse.
Deja lied to them and did something that could have been dangerous, so there should be consequences for that. But Beth realizes that there's no way they can keep Deja and Malik apart.
They're in love, and they've already slept together.
I was relieved that Beth said she was taking Deja to get birth control. Having a child right now would completely derail Deja's life, and if Deja's having sex, she needs to do everything possible to make sure that won't happen.
Laura: I also loved how Beth remained the cool-headed one and realized that Deja and Malik were in love and similar to her and Randall when they began dating.
I only wished that we could have seen part of Beth and Deja's talk. While I adore Randall and Deja, Beth and Deja have something special too.
Jack: I also loved Randall and Beth's discussion about what to do about Deja.
It was funny as well as realistic. I loved when Beth said that only one of them could go crazy about this at a time. And Randall's suggestion that they punish all the girls pre-emptively cracked me up too.
I would have liked to have seen the conversation between Beth and Deja too.
I also wondered where Tess and Annie were and how Beth and Randall managed to keep them from finding out what was going on and putting their two cents in.
Your turn, This Is Us fanatics! Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us your answers to these questions!
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.