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This is Us 2×10 “Number Three”

Big Three Moments of the Week

It is the age-old fact that every choice we make changes the course of our lives. There’s a reason we shouldn’t challenge the “what ifs” and simultaneously, a reason why we always will. Whether we understand the concept that things happen for a reason or not, we’ll continue questioning it until there’s a tangible answer in front of us. An answer, we may never even get in the way we want. There’s not a single decision that doesn’t change something – whether a drastic change or a small, often unnoticeable one. And choices are especially pivotal in the Pearson family. “Number Three” concluded the emotional trilogy in a way so heart shattering, it’s left me, and Randall with nothing to say. A stammering attempt to break down the questions into seemingly tangible answers. And that’s perhaps the most interesting thing about this life, some emotions, some events are so hard to describe you rummage through every corridor within your brain trying to find the perfect description. Sometimes, in the midst of those attempts, a genius motto is born, other times, Pac-Man – something simple, something bizarre, but nevertheless, oddly comforting.

Scene I: What Could’ve Been

I knew that when we’d eventually get a scene like this, it’d crush me, and it did so almost effortlessly. The vision of William present all through the vital events in Randall’s life was so painful, so unbearably realistic that it just plainly, simply left a mark. The reality is that as much as life can be perfect, it never will be. And not to be bleak, but life is never going to be just how we want it, or rather, how we see fit. There will always be bicycles in a person’s path ready to help them their change mind about something. If we stop to think about it, there’s always something that drastically alters our fate. What if that flight wasn’t delayed and something happened to the plane? Every step matters. If the kids had perhaps left the bicycles in the garage, William may have made another decision. He may have knocked. Rebecca may have said yes.

To be frank, the reason episodes featuring Randall tend to be my favorite is because his means of analysis make me feel a little less odd for constantly thinking things through. There’s a reason why I can’t deny myself to chance to write about this show because every episode makes me ponder things in my own life. It makes me think things through and find comfort in what isn’t going right. Because there will never come a time where the balance is permanent. There will never come a time where the what ifs don’t haunt us, even when we believe we’ve moved forward.

Scene II: Randall and Jack’s conversation

“You’re going to find your balance, and then you’re going to lose it, and then you’re going to find it again. That’s the ride.”

Jack Pearson is the absolute king of speeches and Milo Ventimiglia made me ugly cry so hard in this scene. Because if that’s not the truth in life then I don’t know what is. Balance is so difficult to find, but it isn’t impossible, it’s just fleeting. You find it for a while but then life quickly brings in something else. No matter how often we recognize that there will be another problem tomorrow, we can never seem to prepare for it. And for someone who over analyzes like Randall (and myself), speeches like this are necessary to slow us down sometimes. To help us eventually come to the conclusion that it’s okay to never to be prepared.

And it’s also nice that Randall can find comfort in his father because these are the kind of conversations people need to have when they aren’t at their strongest. The kind of conversations they need to hold onto when the person is no longer around. These are the kind of conversations people need to have in order to find the balance. And the best part of it is the fact that he isn’t condemned for feeling the way he does. Because that’s just it, no matter how great a person’s life seems to be or the extent to which they should be grateful for, when that balance isn’t there, when a person feels out-of-place or uneasy, those emotions are valid. They’re valid and they need to be expressed more often, thereby, I love the fact that Randall is able to express these types of emotions to his father — a man who’ll turn around and find the best way to comfort him. A man who’ll never once resent him or question him. Additionally, to reassure him of the fact that he’s going to go far in life because he’s capable of it is another thing we need to remind people of more often — their value, their worth. Jack Pearson deserves the ultimate dad award.

Scene III: The Pearsons say goodbye to Deja

Am I the only one who didn’t think Deja would be a temporary member of the Pearson household? I knew that maybe, eventually her mother would clean up her act and make things right, but I figured that’d be years down the line. Though this scene was a little rough, it was an absolute gorgeous reminder of the impact they Pearsons have made, and the importance of their choices. Randall and Beth needed to let Deja go in order for her to know that at the end of the day, she has a trusting, loving home in them. Her agency matters to them. And that goodbye meant that they trust her, too. They trust that she knows what’s right and what’s wrong, but at the end of the day, who are they to take her away from her mother? At the end of the day, Randall had to make the very same decision William did because blood or no blood, the history that was involved played a crucial part in inspiring both their decisions. But that tearful goodbye from Randall? Is there any scene where Sterling K. Brown doesn’t do the absolute best job of depicting the most gut wrenching form of pain? Here’s to hoping we can see Deja again — or at least hear from her.

In its first half of the second season This is Us has once again been indescribable. It’s the one show where in spite of the fact that I have very little time on my hands, I cannot stop writing about it. There’s no way. After every episode, there’s always something I need to talk about. Something to get off my own chest, and if a series is able to find its way into a person’s life so effortlessly, then it’s downright revolutionary. And “Number Three” especially was something else. There’s something for everyone. But perhaps, what made this episode so astonishing was just how acutely it tied everything together. Randall will always be searching for balance. Kate is learning how to be okay. And Kevin needs help. Every path, every moment is tied together in some universal way that forces us to unravel our lives every now and then. And this episode makes it clear that “us” is a term that’ll always connect  — as human beings, it’s always about all of us. We aren’t in this world as a sole being meant to thrive alone, we are in this world to grow, and we cannot grow without those we love. We cannot grow unless our choices are for the good of others.

Further Thoughts

  • Here’s your daily reminder that Randall and Beth are GOALS. The scene about rose-colored glasses floored me. I mean, really no other couple compares.
  • The episode ending with Tess crying in the car as Kevin is arrested for a DUI is so much better than what I imagined would happen once Kevin started driving. The fact that he wasn’t in an accident with her in the car is everything. It’s not going to be easy for Randall and Beth to trust him again, but I hope that Tess at least mentions that she’s the one who chose to sneak up on him, because in spite of how drunk he was, I’m confident in the fact that Kevin wouldn’t drive if he knew his niece was in it? At least that’s what I’m hoping would’ve happened if he saw her. But my oh my is that going to open up a can of worms, but finally he could get the help that he needs, and perhaps, the brothers can find a way to talk to one another that actually works.
  • Also, I love the idea of Randall and Beth adopting a boy. And when we saw that little boy talking to the social worker? I’m here for it. It’s only a matter of time. I cannot wait.
  • The final flashback with everyone playing Pac-Man was so nice — there’s something so bizarre about that game, but when you start it, you have to finish it, and while you’re finishing it, it helps when there are people cheering you on.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss and we shall do so in the comments section below. We’ll see you all back here in the new year! Happy Holidays! Thank you for a fantastic fall season.

ByGissane Sophia
Check us out on Twitter@MGcircles

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