This Is Us -- The Story of Beth
Beth takes a trip down memory lane...
Last time, Kevin started drinking again and Randall and Kate had conflicting memories of the day Jack came back from visiting Nick.
This week the regular leads take a backseat to Beth as we learn more about Beth's past before she met Randall.
Beth's mother is walking down the school hall. She's a school principal and she's giving a student a hard time. A student knocks her into the banister of the stairway and she gets hurt.
Beth and Zoe driving to Washington to see Beth's mother. Zoe says Beth can't stand up to her mother because she intimidates her. Zoe realizes Beth hasn't told her mother she got laid off at her job.
Young Beth dreamed of being a dancer. Beth thrilled she got into the dance academy. Beth's mom isn't thrilled Beth got chosen to be in an exclusive dance academy, but Beth's father convinces her to check it out. Beth's mother doesn't want to let Beth do it because there's small odds Beth might make it, but her father convinces her to let Beth do it.
In the present, Beth looks at all the pictures of her dancing. Zoe tries to suggest that her aunt retire and she starts reaming out Zoe because she didn't go to college like Beth and is pursuing her passion project, until Beth drops the bomb that she lost her job.
Young Beth in dance class. After four years her teacher has doubts she can make it and says if she really wants it she'll have to work ten times harder. When Beth and Zoe get home Beth's father tells them he's got lung cancer. Her father has to start chemotherapy. Her mother tells Beth not to cry and Zoe speaks up when her aunt wants them to act like nothing has changed.
In the present her mother says they'll work on Beth's resume and pick out which company's to send them to. In the past, Beth decides to quit dancing because she blames herself for her father being sick because he had to work so hard so she could take dance lessons. But her mother won't let her saying she's going to be the best.
Beth tells her father about a new girl in class whose better than she is. Her father tries to still her doubts talking about how she danced before she walked.
In the present, Zoe says she wants to show Beth something. She reveals where she stashed a couple of joints. Beth envies that Zoe doesn't take what her mother says to heart. Zoe says when she came to live with them that it was safe here and she was never afraid of Beth's mom. Zoe says her aunt went easier on her than she did Beth. Zoe says she feels there's something more going on with Beth and she needs to get it out before there's an explosion.
Beth looks at her father's chair and remembers him. In the present, she says she'll forget about that part of her and marry a man who reminds her so much of him it's scary.
Beth at dance school after her father dies. She doesn't get the solo. Her teacher says he wishes the solo could have been hers. Later Beth comes home and finds her mother sitting alone on the couch. She tells her mother she didn't get the solo even though she worked very hard. Beth says she's not going to give up.
Beth's mom gives her a book to choose a college. She says it's time for Beth to change a new path. She says she doesn't see dance as her future. She won't see her move to New York where she'll try out for companies she won't get into and she won't continue to pay for her school. It's setting her up to fail.
Beth finds her mother listing firms for Beth to apply to. Beth says they could have taken some time to mourn her father. She says she remembers feeling so free when she was a child and she didn't have to take that from her. Her mother says she went as far as she could go. Beth says her brother and sister don't come around her mother because there's no air around her mother to breathe. Beth says she's not good. Beth says Randall isn't ashamed to dream because she was made to be ashamed of her dreams. She says she wants to be that little girl that dances, again.
In the past Beth's mom makes her got to a college mixer. She also make her change her hair. She officially stops calling herself Bethany and calls herself Beth. She bumps into Randall and walks away. He looks instantly smitten.
Beth's mom says her mother was the smartest person she knew. Her father thought education was wasted on a girl but her mother fought for her to have an education. She says her mother and her fought when she met Beth's father. She says when she was with Beth's father she felt she could breathe. She says her mother came around when she saw her father feeding her while she crammed for exams. She was too serious and Beth's father wasn't serious enough. She says she doesn't know if she made the right decision for Beth and wants Beth to be okay.
Beth says her mom didn't fail her. She made her strong. Her mom says she's sorry she took dance away from her so quickly.
Beth comes home to Randall. Beth says she's going to be fine and she knows what she wants to do next. Beth says what she wants to do, people will think she's crazy, but Randall supports her. She goes into a dance studio and practices dancing. Beth tells the owner of the dance studio she wants to be a dance teacher.