This Is Us -- This Is Randall & Beth
"You're trying to turn me into your mother..."
Last time, Kate helped Toby deal with having a baby in the NECU. Kevin sought out Sophie when Zoe said she never wanted kids, but chose Zoe in the end. And things reached critical mass between Randall and Beth.
This episode could be entitled…This Is Randall and Beth…
The show picks up where it left off with Randall refusing to wait until morning to hash things out and Beth is like, “You wanna do this now? BRING IT ON!”
We flashback to how Randall and Beth met. He saw her and he was immediately smitten while Beth as not so much. Afterwards Randall was freaking out on how to ask Beth out. He actually got some long distance help from Kevin. It seems living away from home has made Kevin more brotherly to Randall now he doesn’t get a daily dose of Rebeca always putting Randall before him. Kevin actually helps Randall score his first date with Beth.
Randall takes her to an expensive restaurant where she’s underdressed and they’re the old African-Americans in the restaurant. The waiter won’t serve them unless Randall pays first and Beth is having none of this. She calls the waiter out and decides this whole thing was a mistake. Randall follows her and she tells him this is all too much for a first date. Instead, she gets him to take her to a more casual restaurant where they have nachos and ginger beer. Afterwards, Randall declares he’s going to marry Beth.
Fast forward a few years and Randall and Beth are living together and he’d proposed a few times and she’s said no. She tries to make him understand that she’s not ready, yet. Then when Randall wants them to spend their regular Sunday with Rebecca, Beth suggests they go miniature golfing instead. She’s hoping for just the two of them to have a fun afternoon, but he insists Mom come with them. During Beth’s date with Randall and Rebecca she learns he’s been telling Mom all the intimate details of their relationship. Then Randall storms off saying she doesn’t have to worry about him asking to marry her because he’s done. Rebecca has a chat with Beth and she goes after Randall, she gets him to take her to their favorite nacho joint and tells him to ask her again and she finally agrees to marry him.
On their wedding day Beth is feeling stressed, feeling she’s had to plan the whole thing herself without any help from Randall. He’s been too busy trying to write the perfect vows that is a dissertation to love but doesn’t even mention Beth, which Kevin points out to him. So he wants to delay the wedding to rewrite his vows. Beth has been so busy she hasn’t had a chance to write her own. Standing back-to-back Beth helps Randall write their vows and the wedding goes on as scheduled.
Then we flash ahead to when William was living with them and Kevin was staying in the basement. Beth wasn’t thrilled by it, and she claims she has an out-of-town meeting. Unfortunately, Randall and William decide to go grocery shopping and run into Beth. She’s loading up on junk food and she plans to check into a hotel room for the night, watch her favorite show and just get some breathing room. However, when Randall talks about one of the episodes Beth drops her plans and says she’ll come home with him.
Then we flash to another moment when Randall makes her nachos and she says that Randall always takes all the best nachos with all the gooey cheese on them while she gets what’s left over. When he asks if she really feels that way. She tells him to forget what she said.
In the present Beth accuses Randall of trying to turn her into his mother. We see a flashback of Jack and Rebecca fighting because she wanted to have a singing career. She says when they married they promised to be equal partners, but she’s the one whose always doing the giving. She brings up how he quit his job and she had to work more to make up for his loss of a paycheck, how he bought William’s building and she had to make that work, as well. And now he’s a councilman and she won’t turn herself into a politician’s wife for him. She wonders if he’ll want to hold a higher office after this. She says she’s not giving up being a dance teacher.
Randall’s having none of that and accuses of revisionist history, whenever she said is true. He says Beth could have done what she wanted at anytime and Beth goes low, like below the belt, and asks when she could do that when she was helping him through his anxiety attacks. She’s immediately sorry about what she said, but he’s having none of that. He says he doesn’t want to be around her and he’s going to Philly to sleep in his office, which was what Beth wanted him to do originally, and storms out making Beth feel lower than a snake’s belly for what she said to him.
Randall has some problems he won’t admit to. One is his obsessive need to be number one and to come first. We saw that with the prom and him ditching his date to study all because a kid in class was a tenth of a grade point average above him keeping him from being number one. I don’t know if Rebecca is to blame for always putting Randall first, but it’s becoming a big problem. It’s turned into an obsessive need to always be number one. He couldn’t stand for William to take the spotlight from him when he was playing the piano and singing, so Randall decided to have a recital to compete with him and he was a flop. And he always needs to put Kevin’s job as an actor down because Kevin can’t shine brighter than him.
His other problem is his refusal to accept the truth when someone gives it to him. He denies when Kevin says Rebecca always put him first and she did. And he denies Beth having to give up her wants and desires for his.
Randall wanted to run for councilman to help the people in William’s neighborhood. It’s a noble thing. And if you compare all the people he could help to Beth’s job his job seems more important. But before this job Beth was drinking a lot. If she continued as she was she could have easily turned into an alcoholic. After she was fired she lost her way and this job is her lifeline. She needs it and if she can’t keep it I’m not sure what might happen to her.
Overall, I thought this was perhaps the best episode the show has ever produced. I feel like with this episode Beth and Randall have surpassed Jack and Rebecca as a couple. And I could actually watch a show that just featured Beth and Randall they were that good.