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Recap

Beth asks if Randall is all right. He says he's remembering the last time they were in New Orleans -- it was their anniversary.

Hai greets Randall and Beth. He is glad they agreed to quarantine first. He tells them that the land is Randall's. He invites them in and will them what he knows. Laurel was a Dubois, one of the most influential families in New Orleans.

In flashback, we see that Laurel's father was very strict. Laurel's brother agrees to help sneak her out and in to visit Aunt Mae.

Laurel has a nice visit with Mae but she gets caught by her father when she comes back in. He says she is never to go there again.

Laurel hides in her brother's room. She doesn't understand how her father can hate his own sister. 

Hai interjects that Laurel never got over it when Jackson was sent to Vietnam. We see young adult Laurel come downstairs as two uniformed officers come in. She goes to see Aunt Mae. Jackson is gone -- what is she gonna do without him?  Aunt Mae encourages her to let it all out in the water and then let it go. Laurel screams.

In the present, Randall looks sad. Beth asks if it is too much. Randall says he just met and lost an uncle in the course of five minutes. He asks how Hai knew her. She was the love of Hai's life.

Hai explains he was a refugee after the war ended. He came to New Orleans and became a fisherman.  

Young Hai is on his boat and hears Laurel scream. He dives into the water and swims toward her. He finds Laurel under the water and gets her back up. She screams at him that she's not drowning.

Hai couldn't stop thinking about her . He called her the woman who wasn't drowning.

Laurel goes to the market with Mae. She compalins about her boyfriend being at the bank. Mae tells her not to let Marcel pay for these vegetable. Laurel runs into Hai, who barely speaks English and imitates her head in the water. He gives her a fish but she's not much of a cook. He doesn't understand what she is saying at first. He offers to cook for her.

Hai says he still remembers the look in her eyes, being with her... it was the best time of his life.

Laurel brings her boyfriend Marshall to meet her parents. Later, she is in bed with Hai and says I love you in Viatnamese.

Hai smiles in the present, remembering.

Laurel is sneaking upstairs when her father calls her in. She says she was studying with Dorothy. He complains he hardly ever sees her. She says her studies have been keeping her busy. He offered Marshall the vice-president position at his bank. He's already given him his blessing to propose. Marshall will be coming over for dinner. She will need to say yes if he proposes. 

Laurel takes a taxi to see Hai. She wants to run away to Chicago with him.

Hai says he knew Laurel's father would not let them be together but his parents needed him. 

In the past, Hai begs Laurel to stay with him. She can't. 

Randall asks so she went to Chicago? No, she couldn't afford to go that far. She went to Pittsburgh and met William. Randall is impatient to know why William thought Laurel died.

Hai explains how William thought Laurel was dead. Randall says why didn't she try to find him? Hai says prison. 

Hai explains Laurel didn't go to prison right away. She woke up in the hospital.

Laurel asks the nurse where her baby is. The nurse tells her to relax. She's sedated and the nurses gossip about how she got high and the baby was better off without her.

The police came and arrested Laurel for drug possession.

Laurel calls her father from jail but says nothing. He knows it's her. She hangs up. She's handcuffed and taken to jail. Her lawyer made her plead guilty and she was sentenced to five years. She was sent to prison in California. She never told Hai about that time. He knew it was too painful. Hai says that Laurel said she dreamed about Randall every night.

Laurel was released in 1985. She only had enough money for a one way bus ticket. She wanted to find Randall but Hai says she was still punishing herself so she went to Mae's instead.

Laurel tells Mae she had a baby and she doesn't know where he is. Mae tells her a story about a guy she loved but she was too young and naive and thought a married man could be hers. She was happy when she got pregnant, but she lost both the man and the child. It changed her. Her parents sent her away. She found salvation here. She thinks they should call Laurel's parents. Laurel thinks her parents are better off without her. Her son will grow up thinking she didn't love him. Mae tells her to stop doing this to herself. 

Laurel goes to the lake and screams again.

A guy harasses Laurel at Mae's vegetable stand. He leaves and Mae says he's right that Laurel's smile is missing. Laurel can't find a reason to smile. She sees Hai across the way. They wave to each other.

Beth says wait, all you did was wave?

Hai says he was married and his wife was pregnant. For several years that's all they could do.

Randall thought Hai and Laurel were close when she died.

Hai says it took decades. After his wife passed away and his children left home, he was comforted by Laurel being nearby. Then one day she was gone.

Hai knocks on Laurel's door. She tells him she isn't having chemo and the tumor is too aggressive. He offers to cook for her.

Hai says Laurel lived another two years after that night. He learned her story and every day was perfect. If only they had had more time...

A weakened Laurel is in bed. She is thinking about her son. She wished she'd told him. Hai says she'll get a chance to.

Randall is crying.

Hai can still feel Laurel here even after all this time. He can hear her laughter when he swims in the lake. Beth thinks Hai should make a podcast or a book. Hai gives Randall the keys and says the place is his. Hai has been waiting to do this for Laurel. He leaves. Beth asks Randall how he is holding up. Randall says we own a farmhouse by a lake in New Orleans. 

Randall writes in his journal and then leaves Beth a note he's going for a drive. He goes to the farmhouse and looks at photos of his mother. Then he strips and goes into the lake.  He can hear Laurel. He imagines her saying "my baby" and putting her hands on his cheeks. She's sorry. She wishes she could change everything but she can't.  The sadness is weighing him down. He has her eyes but there's so much pain in them. She tells him to let the pain go. Randall doesn't know how. She says he does. Randall closes his eyes and screames the way Laurel did. She says I love you in Vietnamese 

On the way home Beth says Randall seems different, lighter. He knows his birth story. He wants to call Kevin, but Kevin is in a rush to get home because Madison is in labor.

 

Show:
This Is Us
Season:
Episode Number:
6
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This Is Us Season 5 Episode 6 Quotes

Laurel: I was no good as a daughter and no good as a mother. My son is going to grow up thinking I didn't love him. Why couldn't I be good for him?
Mae: You can't keep doing this to yourself. If you don't let the guilt go, it will strangle you.

Laurel: Jackson is gone. What am I gonna do without him?
Aunt Mae: God can take your pain, my sweet Laurel, but you gotta let it go.