We've all been waiting for a taste of Rebecca's dating life after Jack's death, but it didn't start as sunny as one could hope.
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 5 brought Rebecca to a local speed dating event, Miguel the thoughtful catalyst. It seemed like this would be the start of Rebecca's love story with Miguel.
I have to say; it was disappointing that it wasn't.
Watching Rebecca and Miguel interact at the event showed off their undeniable chemistry. Sure, some could call it platonic energy, but luckily we already know where their story goes.
Miguel: What do you think? Hat or no hat?
Rebecca: No hat. Guys in hats are usually trying to hide their hair and you have great hair.
Yes, Rebecca and Jack make up a fan-favorite pairing (though Beth and Randall will always be superior in my mind), but Jack's dead, so why not be happy that Rebecca finds love again? It's perfectly acceptable to have a vast sea of TV 'ships.
Alas, Rebecca's night does not end with Miguel; it ends with Matt.
Rebecca and Matt worked surprisingly well together. Their conversation was genuine and easy. It's entirely possible that Rebecca has chemistry with everyone, save for the long-haired fellow who bored her with chatter about his pet ferret.
It was delightful to see Rebecca's happiness, as short-lived as it was. Her giddiness after getting dropped off by Matt was like a teenager coming home from a first date.
Rebecca's relationship with Kate was at the forefront of this episode, more than Rebecca's flirtation with Matt. It is one we all know to be tumultuous, so to delve into more of their history proved illuminating, especially as time dwindles for them in the present, given Rebecca's mental degradation.
Grief does a number on its victims, and Rebecca and Kate are no exception. Kate struggling with Rebecca dating again was normal and expected, but frustrating because we saw both sides: Rebecca finally trying to move on and Kate seeing that moving on as a betrayal.
Rebecca: Look, Kate, I know it’s weird, but I have to start to try to move on.
Kate: Right, move on from Dad because he’s dead, yeah, I’m aware.
Both sides are valid, but I sympathized more with Rebecca, who must carry her grief, and Kate's.
For Rebecca, this date was a big deal. It took everything in her to put on her lipstick and walk out the door. Kate immediately squashed Rebecca's efforts by throwing around words like "slut," which stung.
Music is a long thread throughout the entire show, being integral to both Rebecca and Kate's lives, so it felt right to have music be the style of communication for reconciliation.
Angsty teen Kate said sorry to her mom at the piano. Adult Kate apologized in conjunction with a musical request, that being that Rebecca taught baby Jack how to play the piano.
It always comes back to piano with that pair. Hopefully, the lessons go well and give Rebecca a creative outlet as her mind fails.
Let's talk about Kevin. Oh, Kev. Does anyone else feel like he's always late to his own life, not knowing what he wants until it's no longer a possibility?
Randall had a great line about Kevin's odd romantic patterns. He comes across as a player. He breaks hearts. Yet, all he wants is love with one woman at the end of the day.
Randall: You try to have a one-night stand and you end up with twins. You are the world’s strangest serial monogamist.
Kevin: Okay, well, I’m here, so thank you for the most useless conversation ever.
Randall: Yeah, man, you have fun at your couple’s retreat, and do me a favor, try not to propose, okay? You know how you get.
This time, that woman was Cassidy, too bleak for Kevin, ever sullen, but who made fair points about his tendency to blow up people's lives when Kevin tried to hold her hand.
Kevin should look to Uncle Nicky for a love role model. (Never thought I would write those words.) Edie is a catch -- a permanent one.
When's the wedding? I hope we get to attend!
Regardless of Kevin's sordid past, his steady growth into fatherhood is beautiful to witness, as is his adjustment to co-parenting with Madison.
What started rocky is now still rocky but slightly less so. This time, Kevin got to be the parent to catch a milestone moment of the twins. Seeing Eli directly after said moment was a downer, but he handled it with more tact than he had previously.
Kevin's selfless text-turned-phone call with Eli on his drive home from the cabin was the icing on the cake. This Is Us prides itself on full-circle moments and never wasting minute details, so it was not surprising when Madison declined Eli's smoothie offer at the beginning of the episode came back at the end.
What was surprising -- though I do love him -- was that Kevin not only picked up on it but meditated on it enough to bring it up to Eli. Eli even recognized the sincerity and heart of the exchange. The episode is called "Heart and Soul" after all.
The highlight of this episode -- and every episode -- was Beth and Randall's household drama. Like Beth and Randall, we were guessing about Deja and Malik's dinner. The brown butter gnocchi looked delicious, but the tea was much better.
Tess: Mom, how’s it going at the dance studio? I’d love to hear about it.
Randall: That’s very nice, Tess.
Beth: What? That’s unusually nice, Tess. Yeah, work is fine, busy, finding my way, but you know, it’s good. Thanks for asking for the very first time ever.
After rooting for Randalls' theory that Malik would ask him for his blessing in a meaningful way, Deja's "move to Boston" bomb hit hard. You could practically hear Beth's jaw drop.
Randall crossed a line when he asked Malik to break up with Deja so she could find her own path. Beth's likely correct that they'd lose Deja if that happened, though the Romeo and Juliet comparison might have been hyperbolic.
For whom to root? That is the tricky question. Malik is a sweetheart with a big brain and heart, but I don't want Deja to leave her family behind. Time will tell.
Deja is young, but her words rung true when she said she'd lived more than people twice her age and that she's wise because of all she's experienced. I think her words resonated with Randall, too, pushing him to retaliate by going to Malik.
It is as if Randall wants to force Deja to finish out a childhood that's never really entirely been hers since she grew up so fast.
All in all, this episode was a refreshing return to what centers This Is Us: The Big Three.
What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.
Ashley Myers retired from TV Fanatic in May 2022..