This is Us 1×13 “Three Sentences”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Spoilers Ahead

Birthday parties are unbelievably special when we’re kids. I’ve had a number of memorable ones as an adult, but if you ask me, the ones my parents threw for me were unbeatable. There’s an undeniable sense of security present in our lives at that time — whatever goes wrong will be made right. This is Us’ 13th episode was as strong as ever making me ugly cry more than once at the marvel that’s been created through the eyes of the Pearson family. And after an episode like this, how does one possibly choose only three scenes?

“Three Sentences” was riveting. Jack and Rebecca’s solid teamwork continues to stand out as a masterful representation of a healthy married couple. This is Us’ means of storytelling through the flashback/present day format is perhaps one of the reasons why the show is so special — it allows the audience to see things in a way we would have otherwise not been able to understand and “Three Sentences” was perfect in the category. I especially adored how perfectly the final scene showcased the family’s closeness — the fact that wherever they go, they’ll always come home to each other.

Scene I: Jack comforts a lonely Kate

Jack’s relationship with each of the kids is special, but there’s something indescribable about his relationship with Kate. And that might be due to the fact that for me personally, it reminds me of my relationship with my late father as well. The person who swoops in like a superhero prepared with all the right words to say to make the darkest moments brighter. When Jack and Rebecca realize that all the girls have left Kate’s party for Kevin’s, Jack steps in for one of his world-famous dad talks. And while he makes Kate smile for a while, it doesn’t do the trick as it always has. You know those shows where literally every actor is great at what they do? This is the paradigm of that show. Because while it’s unfortunate that we’ll never be able to see Chrissy Metz and Milo Ventimiglia act with one another, the work we see with Mackenzie Hancsicsak is remarkable. Hancsicsak delivers Kate’s brokenness so beautifully, it struck hard. And when an adult Kate screamed after the memories, I was distraught. In a gorgeously filmed, cathartic moment noise exposed what pain truly is — an outcry that words will never come close to describing. I appreciated the juxtaposition of  a young Kate sitting silently by herself while adult Kate screamed with the aches that engulfed her. We push our loved ones away when we don’t know how to share pain, but there comes a time in our lives where their loss leaves an endless ache within us. And when we’re in need of comfort, all we can do is dig into our memories in order to rearrange the puzzle pieces for something new. At least that way our loved ones are still with us. 

Scene II: Randall tells his parents he’s happy with his friends

When more than half of the class doesn’t show up for Randall’s birthday party, Rebecca and Jack try to rally a few kids from Kate and Kevin’s. But what Randall says proves he’s the most precious kid in existence and I wish little me was friends with him. Randall states that he’s okay with the fact that only three kids showed up because that’s how many friends he has, and he’s grateful for them. You don’t need a million friends, but you need a few good ones, and when you find the few good ones, every little thing will be alright. And that’s what matters in life, a few good people who’ll be there through the darkest hours and the brightest. And much like Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Lonnie Chavis is outstanding as 10-year-old Randall. It’s fitting actually because in adult Randall’s life, his family is his world — a few good people.

Scene III: “I love her”.

I don’t know whose reaction to Kevin’s reveal was better, Rebecca’s or Jack’s. But while that was unexpected, I was moved only after the realization that Sophie and Kevin actually married. And now, I want them to work things out because adult Kevin’s speech broke me. Kevin is the one kid who doesn’t make me cry as often as the others, but when he has moments like this, he breaks me. And with adult Kevin especially, his moments of vulnerability are filled with such raw perplexity, it always feels right. Kevin isn’t good with words. Kevin isn’t good with his feelings. Kevin isn’t good at exploring his emotions so when he tries to, you genuinely feel for him.

The episode ending with Jack and Rebecca discussing the sadness they feel upon realizing there will come a time they won’t be able to help the kids broke me. And it was the perfect conversation to have after three birthday parties. Ventimiglia and Moore are astounding scene partners, and it’s scenes like this that become the most memorable scenes. “Three Sentences” was solid, and dare I say it, but my favorite episode to date. It’s incredibly fascinating to see this show unravel Jack’s death in the pace they’ve chosen because it makes each moment feel that much more cathartic. It gives the audience the opportunity to feel so much more.

Further Thoughts:

  • It’s breaking my heart to see William accept death, but it’s also remarkable to see him want to spend so much time with Randall in the meantime. And that form of bonding makes me wonder just how sudden Jack’s death was. In an episode that could’ve been a lot darker, this was a moment necessary to take the pain away from Kate’s breakthrough.
  • Kevin’s party theme was hilariously perfect and I loved hearing the “as you wish ” quote on my TV, but mainly, I loved the idea of these kids being arround when it aired.
  • I’m not exactly Toby’s biggest fan (apologies), but this new guy needs to find his chill and find it asap. And speaking of not being a Toby fan, I’ve never liked him more than I did in this episode.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode?

@GissaneSophia // @MGcircles

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