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This is Us 2×04 “Still There”

Big Three Moments of the Week

When human beings are put into uncomfortable situations we are forced one of two things. Either we fight for our happiness, better ourselves, and move forward or we allow the uncomfortable situations to consume us. It is harder to fight than to merely accept things for what they are. This Is Us has reached the pinnacle of all the shows I am currently watching because of its constant promotion of self encouragement. Throughout the show, we have seen these characters fight for themselves and for those they love. Whether it was Jack fighting his addition to alcohol, Randall fighting his anxiety, Kate fighting her insecurities, or Kevin fighting his grief, this show has shown its viewers the beauty of humility and courage. The courage to fight for one another is beautiful because it shows the stubbornness that people have within when it comes to giving up on those they love. But to fight for oneself is empowering.

Scene I: Randall and Beth make progress with Deja

Randall’s character has grown on me the quickest because he has so much light in him and it feels as if he spreads love wherever he goes. When he decided to adopt Deja he intended to recreate the love that his parents gifted him with. Randall was adamant about styling Deja’s hair so when his tactics failed with Deja, he asked Beth to step in and help him get through to her. When Beth told Deja, “How you present yourself on the outside reflects how you feel about yourself on the inside” I automatically understood what she meant.

Have you ever woken up in a not so chipper mood and taken it  out on your outfit/hair/lack of makeup—yeah me too.  Beth’s talk with Deja must have struck a chord  with her because she asked Beth to style her hair. What’s beautiful about this scene is that she opened up to Beth about how the stress in her life caused her hair to fall out. And if we know Deja we know that she has skyscrapers built around her heart.  I think that because Deja speaks so fondly of her birth mother, it made it easier for her to connect with Beth rather than with Randall. While in the comfort of Beth, Deja smiles to herself—which makes me believe she yearns for that motherly connection that she lost once again in her life.

Scene II: Rebecca confronts her mother

Rebecca has always had problems with her mother and although we have seen bits and pieces of those issues, this episode highlighted the core of their differences. It is mind boggling to me that in this day and age racism still exists. But racism towards your own grandson!? As Jack and Rebecca beautifully explained to Randall, sometimes racism isn’t this obvious act of hatred, but sometimes subtle gestures. When his grandmother gifts Randall with a stereotypical basketball and ignores his science fair project, the expression on Randall’s face shows such disappointment because it is clear that she has not taken the time to get to know Randall as well as she knows “the twins” (I hate that she calls them that). Not only does she display a clear lack of affection towards Randall, but she insults him by being shocked that out of the three siblings it was he who was accepted into a private school. This comment sets Rebecca off and prompted her to call her mother what she is—a racist. It was a powerful moment for a mother to stand up for her adopted son and gives us the courage to stand up for others when we observe acts of hatred.

Towards the end of the scene, Randall’s grandmother sits in his room as he explains his science project, showing that even she has the ability to grow and better herself. For a child to feel lesser than his siblings because of the color of his skin is gut wrenching. This scene brought to light an important fact that some of us still seem to forget, racism still exists. This Is Us sometimes hits home, not personally, but with whats going on in the world right now.

Scene III: Kate’s big news

OH EM GEE. KATE IS PREGNANT. This show and its ability to never run out of cliffhangers. Though we all assumed she was going through the insecurities of her weight loss journey, the ending of the show revealed a sweet surprise. With the baby on the way, we see a change in Kate from worrying about her weight to focusing on the health of her baby. Whereas most mothers cannot wait to share the news with their husbands and families, Kate was more reserved and detached herself from Toby. Perhaps this ties in with the insecurities of weight gain or the fear that he would not be excited to hear the news. It will be interesting to watch how Kate grows from this experience and if she will fight harder for herself because of her baby.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? Remember, if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, let us know in the comments below.

By: Arsineh Sarkisian
Check us out on Twitter: @MGcircles


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