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This is Us 2×06 “The 20’s”

Big Three Moments of the Week

“The 20’s” gave us some of the most beautiful scenes with Rebecca that simultaneously showcased what an absolute star Mandy Moore is. We’ve had a number of episodes giving Jack the platform to shine as a parent, and we’ve had each of the kids given similar opportunities, but with Rebecca it’s always been limited to moments that forced audiences not to side with her, and that’s probably been the most frustrating aspect of the series because I’ve hated having to justify how incredibly human her behavior is when fans began disliking her. But this episode gave her the perfect situations to expose just how much love fuels her, and how hard she tries to be the kind of parent who’s helping her kids grow. Through her struggles and mistakes, Rebecca is the kind of character who’s ceaselessly learning thereby, allowing the audience to understand that perfection is unachievable while flaws are inevitable. (Mostly, I just want to gush about the spectacular performance Mandy Moore put on that made me ugly cry more than once.)

Scene I: Rebecca talks to Randall and Tess

We knew that an exhausted, pain stricken Rebecca wasn’t entirely on board with adopting a child after they’d just lost one, but it was gorgeous to see the moment she truly became Randall’s mother. And to have that scene side by side with the moment she met her granddaughter Tess for the first time made for a truly breathtaking moment. The conversation she had with both kids were so raw, so profoundly honest and pure, that only an actress as expressive as Moore could’ve evoked the vast capacity of emotions that were within Rebecca. In that moment with baby Randall, not only could we understand the endearing appreciation she has for another human she’s only just meeting, but we could feel the profound adoration and gratitude for Jack who’s always a few steps ahead of her. This was a grieving woman standing in front of the kind of miracle who’s truly indescribable and unbelievable — forcing her into a place with heightened emotions governed by inexpressible love. And that’s precisely what made the scene so beautiful — in that moment, you knew that even though she’s spoken to the twins before, she loved this baby in the same way. In that moment, he became her son.

That’s why Rebecca speaking to a newborn Tess made for such a remarkable parallel, because now, this little girl is adored in a whole new way — the miracle of her miracle. The child born from the son whose birth changed her life for the better. A child whose life is only just beginning and the gratitude Rebecca feels to be apart of it cannot be put to words, but somehow Moore managed to do so with an expression so pure, so endearing, you felt it all. And the choice to once again praise Jack speaks so highly of how much she adored her partner in the world. Because of him, her life is so much more and everyone needs to hear that. She’ll honor him and keeping him alive for as long as she breathes, and that’s a fact we can be certain of because though he’s gone, as long as she’s there, he’ll be there, too. In spirit, in their hearts, and their stories — she’s still dancing along to their song.

Scene II: Randall and Rebecca talk about his adoption

Sorry not sorry to put this so rudely, but which idiot adult thinks it’s okay to tell a kid that they’re adopted? Even if it’s subtly mentioning it? When Randall came out to reveal what the Larsons had told him about him being a miracle, I was fuming. Common sense isn’t so common in the world today. That said, Rebecca handled the conversation beautifully by reminding Randall of the fact that fate had other plans for them. Sure, he isn’t their biological son, but he is, in every sense of the word, the child they were meant to be parents to. The child whose heart captivated theirs with an everlasting grip of purity and goodness.

And the pain Moore projected as she tried to ease Randall’s heart was every bit as evocative as the moment they brought him home. This was a boy they loved so deeply, so fervently that any ounce of pain he faced broke them beyond repair. And it broke her in a way that was so unbearable, facing it alone made it that much difficult. At least with Jack’s presence, it would’ve been a little easier — the belief that he can handle anything speaks so beautifully of their relationship and the faith she has in him.

Scene III: Rebecca breaks down to Randall about Jack

Anytime we’ve seen hints of Jack’s death this season, Rebecca’s appeared to be too numb for us to determine any sort of marital status prior to his death. But I think after this episode, it’s most likely safe to assume they were together than not. Because when Rebecca breaks down to Randall about how much she wishes he could be there to meet their grandchild, it leaves us on a hopeful note that things were good. It was also a moment that showed us just how grateful she was to have had a husband as loving and as giving as Jack. This was an excellent episode for the illumination of that fact.

The thought of having to confront huge life obstacles without him pained her. They were a team — a great team, and together, they were always stronger than they were apart. And it was so interesting to see how much credit she gives him. It’s the one thing that I feel people often condemn Rebecca for not doing, but the reality is, she knows her husband’s worth and goodness better than anyone else. She values and treasures it in a way no other soul in the world does.

Additionally, the scene reflected just how good Randall and Beth are together because it forced Randall to get out of his head in order to be a partner to Beth before Tess’ arrival. No one’s perfect — couples are meant to conquer life together and even when they mess up, their unity makes things better. And as Rebecca tells Beth, he’ll come out of it, a task he does so remarkably when it’s most important proving that if anyone in the world can be an oustanding father, it’s Randall Pearson.

Rebecca Pearson is an incredibly complex, real woman and that’s why this episode was so important for viewers. It brought to life so much of the pain and darkness she’s faced only to reveal that it’s made her that much more loving. The sole fact that she’s so kind to Beth is everything that needs to be acknowledged. How often do you see a supportive, wonderfully devoted mother-in-law on television? It’s rare. And while Rebecca may have had her moments, the reality is that she’d give the world for her children. She’d bend and break backwards for them more times than not. And when she messes up, she’ll carry it with her forever because in hurting them, she hurts herself terribly. “The 20s” gave Mandy Moore such raw and riveting material to work with — a task she went above and beyond with. Moore’s ability to deliver adoration is awe-inspiring, she never missed a beat in making sure the audience could see how much love she carries in spite of the hardships that have attempted to weight her down. You knew without a shadow of doubt that Rebecca would give the world for her children and family.

Further Thoughts:

  • The 20s were definitely hard on Kevin and Kate, but unfortunately, there storylines fell a little flat this week. It broke my heart to see that Kate was used, but also, being reminded of how awful Kevin used to be, wasn’t fun. And this week especially, 20s Kevin wasn’t even a little admirable.
  • How gorgeous was Beth’s delivery scene? It was beautiful to see how supportive Randall was in that moment and how quickly everything became about his family.
  • Again, I really appreciated Beth and Rebecca’s relationship. I want to see more of it in present day.
  • The relationship between Miguel and Rebecca is still the weirdest thing ever, but it’s nice to know that it wasn’t something that happened right away. I had never imagined that it’d be eight years, but wow. Also, how adorable was new Facebook user Rebecca? The picture of Tess? Too precious.

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.

ByGissane Sophia
Check us out on Twitter@MGcircles


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