This Is Us -- Graduation Day
Can Kevin keep his drinking a secret?
This week, it’s graduation in both the past and the present. In the past the kids are graduating and Rebecca is having a hard time facing it without Jack. And in the present Toby is throwing a graduation party for Kate because she’s finally earned her college degree. Meanwhile Deja is having problems with school.
In the past Kate is having a hard time and not planning to go to graduation. She hasn’t been talking to Kevin because right after graduation he’s going to follow Sophie to New York to try and make it as an actor and she’s upset about him leaving her.
Rebecca has to pick out a new video camera since the old one was destroyed in the fire. She remembers picking out the first one when the kids were just babies with Jack. When Kevin and Kate start fussing in the store they have to sit them next to each other so they calm down. A man Rebecca knows helps her pick out one but she’s appalled when he asks her out.
Since Randall goes to a different school then the twins Rebecca has to video tape and attend Randall’s graduation first. During it she runs out and starts hyperventilating. Miguel comforts her and tells her to just watch Randall graduating and he’ll film it for her. He suggests she needs to go to grief counseling and she adamantly rejects that idea, until she comes home after the graduations and the kids are all out and she’s all by herself. She calls Miguel about finding her a grief counseling session and he drives her there. You can see from this episode how Miguel and Rebecca went from friends to husband and wife, since he was always there when she needed him.
Kate spends graduation watching old videos of her and Kevin as kids. Later she shows up at the party he’s at and tells him it’s okay for him to go when he offers to stay with her. Randall predicts one day Kevin and Kate will be sharing an apartment and he says he wants no part of their thing, and Kevin points out that Randall has his own twin thing going on with Rebecca.
In the present Kevin has been doing nothing but drinking and he lies to Zoe when she calls him and stops her from coming to his hotel room so she won’t see the place littered with liquor bottles. He tries to get himself together for Kate’s graduation party and meets Zoe there.
Kate’s twin radar makes her pick up on the fact all is not well with Kevin. She tries talking to him about what went down with Uncle Nick but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Then Zoe shows up and repeats the lies Kevin told her about spending time at a spa with Kate and that’s why he wasn’t able to spend time with Zoe and he lies he was planning that but business called. Kate sees that for the lie it is, too. Then he jumps up to make a toast to Kate and half-way through it he’s distracted by all the alcohol around him while he’s being force to drink a non-alcoholic drink. After that he fakes a business call and makes his excuses and leaves. But Kate isn’t fooled. She knows somethings wrong with Kevin.
Rebecca tells Kate she wants to finally have a graduation picture with her and says Kate is like her and doesn’t like things to happen until she’s ready. She says Kate is graduating and having a baby at the right time for her.
Kate leaves her party and makes a beeline for Kevin. She keeps knocking on his hotel room, but he won’t answer. She isn’t fooled. She says she knows he’s inside and to let her in. Once he does it doesn’t take her long to notice the liquor bottles. She tells Kevin he needs to get help. He begs her not to tell Zoe. He’s afraid she’ll leave him if she finds out. Kate says he has to tell Zoe, himself, and this time he needs to get himself a sponsor in AA that he can turn to when he wants to drink. She looks up a meeting taking a place and she tells him she’s driving him there. While Kate is driving her water breaks. Kevin is forced to call Toby and tell him to call an ambulance to get them to the hospital because he can’t drive because he’s been drinking all day. When Kevin and Kate arrive at the hospital Toby stares daggers at Kevin. If anything happens to the baby it’s obvious Toby will blame Kevin even though it was Kate’s decision to seek him out. Just as Kevin will blame himself, as well.
Beth is really happy for the first time now that she’s a dance teacher but her schedule and Randall’s are causing problems on whose going to look after the kids. Randall assures her it’ll all work out. Unfortunately, he changes his tune when Beth comes home euphoric from having had the perfect day. He says it’ll cost too much money to hire help and he wants her to put her dreams on hold for awhile so she can be home to take care of the kids. When Randall started the conversation I thought he might offer giving up being councilman. But then, Randall has always had someone making sacrifices for him so he probably just assumes Beth will be fine with it. She doesn’t appear to be fine with it at all, but right in the middle of the conversation Randall gets the call about Kate being rushed to the hospital and takes off to catch a flight to go be with Kate.
It's really not fair of Randall to ask Beth to give this up. He can see how happy she is for the first time in a long time. This is a dream she had since she was a child. For most of Randall’s life someone has sacrificed what they wanted so he can have what he wants. Jack wanted to start his own company which was his dream and he sacrificed that to send Randall to an expensive school. It’s time that Randall finally do some of the sacrificing for a change. Randall didn’t dream all of his life of being a councilman like Beth dreamed of being a dancer. She gave it up when her father died because her family couldn’t afford it and now Randall wants her to do it again, only Beth isn’t willingly doing it for her family, he’s demanding she do it. She shouldn’t have to wait because Randall is too selfish to do the sacrificing for once.
Before that Randall got a call from Deja’s school. She felt betrayed because a teacher published her essay about living in a car with her mother without telling her and now all the kids at school are bullying her calling her Pontiac. When Randall goes to confront the teacher she tells him she thinks Deja can skip the eighth grade and start in ninth grade, but Deja isn’t happy when she hears that. For once in her life she has a routine and stability and she doesn’t want to give that up to skip a grade.
At the end of the episode the Big Three reunite at Kate’s hospital bed and she asks her brothers to promise her she’s not going to lose the baby since she’s only seven months pregnant and it’s too soon for her to give birth. The doctor’s have given Kate something to try and stop her from going into labor even though her water has broken.
There was a lot of exposition and parallels in this episode between the past and the present. Both Rebecca and Kevin are in need of help but don’t want to get it; Rebecca comes to the realization she needs it, while Kate forces Kevin to do it. Miguel and Kate drive them to a meeting, only Kevin and Kate don’t make it to the meeting. And the show saying Rebecca and Randall’s close relationship is akin to Kevin and Kate explains a lot of what happened when Jack was gone. He was the glue that held the two separate parts of the family together so they were all one, but when Jack was gone they splintered apart with Kate leaving and following Kevin to be with him and Randall stayed close to be with Rebecca. And there’s some parallels between Deja and Randall. Like when Randall was young, she could change schools, but unlike him she doesn’t want to do it. Even though she’s being bullied by the other kids she wants to stay where she is.
Finally, why does Beth have to give up her dream. Why can’t Deja take care of the kids at night. She’s old enough and it would show her that Randall and Beth trust her. As previously mentioned, Jack was about to achieve his dream of starting his own company when he had to give it up to send Randall to an expensive private school and now Randall expects Beth to give up her dream of being a dance teacher for him. And in Beth’s case it’s not even necessary. Deja is old enough to take care of the kids on the nights Beth has a class. Problem solved.