this is us

‘This Is Us’ Season 2 Recap: Rebuilding Relationships

As we take a look at the second season of NBC‘s hit drama series This Is Us, we pick up from where Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) left off in Season 1: reconciling and working to rebuild their relationship.

thisisus season 2 recap

Rebecca does not like the way they left things: “This is not us.” Jack and Rebecca love each other too much to walk away from each other and be apart. They do not give up on each other – they help each other. However hard Jack falls, Rebecca will be there to help him get back on his feet. I love this scene.

Jack tells young Kate about his drinking problem and the real reason why Rebecca wanted him out of the house. It takes a really good and strong man to admit when he’s wrong and express his need for support.

As an adult, Kate (Chrissy Metz) has taken great steps to work on herself and finally put herself first – including her dreams of being a singer. Kate’s rocky relationship with her mother boils to a head in this scene. Rebecca still cannot understand what she did wrong and turns to Toby (Chris Sullivan) for clarity. That’s when we know for sure that he is a keeper…forever.

Toby and Kate’s strong bond helps them get through one of the hardest tragedies a couple could ever face. The experience also brings Kate and Rebecca closer together:

It takes a while before they eventually have the cathartic talk they both desperately need:

Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), and their girls went on an emotional roller coaster this season too. They decided to adopt a teenager and foster Deja (Lyric Ross) – a girl who had a series of troubling experiences in her life, bouncing around abusive foster homes. When her mother loses custody again, she’s placed with Randall. She has a love/hate relationship with them and it takes her a long time to let her guard down. By the time her mom takes her back, Deja realizes the Pearsons will always be there for her:

Kevin (Justin Hartley) also had an incredibly tumultuous season full of breakdowns and breakthroughs. His addiction started taking a toll, so he went to rehab and started working through his issues in therapy. Kevin lost all sense of self. While people cheered for him on the football field or on stage – he was hurting inside and losing himself. He never came to terms with Jack’s death, never asked questions or talked about his feelings. Kevin just kept it all bottled up…until now.

Yeah, I wasn’t pleased with Kevin’s behavior throughout the season. He was reckless, selfish, and hurt the people he loved the most. During the family therapy session, we see the resentment Kevin carries inside and start to understand why he is harsh on the ones who love him, care for him, and always try to support him.

The season’s confrontations turn out to be good for the family. By season’s end, they have cause to celebrate: Toby and Kate’s wedding. They also take a moment to let go of the past, so that they can better embrace the future. Of course, letting go of the past, means we need to first face it head-on.

*Deep breaths*

We finally learn about the fire…

…and the cause of Jack’s death.

Rebecca, Kevin, Randall, Kate – even Miguel (Jon Huertas) and Toby – try emulating Jack. They carry his legacy and memory in their hearts always. Toby even had a chat about Kate with Jack’s urn. The Pearson patriarch is still very much alive in the family and friendships he built.

Kevin and Randall’s toasts at Toby and Kate’s wedding honor their father and open themselves up to what the future may hold for them:

Flash-forwards tease some big ups and downs ahead going into season 3 – so stay tuned to see how it all unfolds!

NBC’s This Is Us Season 3 returns on Tuesday, January 15 at 9 p.m. EST.

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