As always, This Is Us was about family this week, with some secrets breaking through as flashbacks that brought the future to the forefront.
This started with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) steering his sons toward camaraderie by taking them camping. While out in the wild, he may have been thinking about how his days in seriously dangerous Vietnam formed important bonds with his fellow soldiers. More on that later.
As far as when little Kevin (Parker Bates) and little Randall (Lonnie Chavis) set out with their dad, their adventure was meant as an exercise in getting the boys to embrace their relationship in a real way.
It was a tough assignment but at least Randall was trying. He had made a list about how he and his bro could bond. Kevin found that list and showed he was willing to try to connect with his brother.
Meanwhile, flash forward to modern day when Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) attended a charity auction that Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) was chairing.
Kevin, one of the prizes, indicated to his sibling that he felt Randall was bothered by the attention he was getting. No. Not at all. In fact, this conversation brought about the best line of the episode: “No black man will ever be jealous of being auctioned. Hashtag American history.”
Anyway, Kevin had his mind on other things, like a growing addiction to painkillers and how to get more. He couldn’t so he substituted alcohol and got drunk at the gala which resulted in him missing his stage cue to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Then there was Kate (Chrissy Metz), who finally disclosed to Toby (Chris Sullivan) that she was eight weeks pregnant. He celebrated by going to a local hangout and telling the good news to everyone there to the tunes of Hootie & The Blowfish. He even did a take on the bucket scene from Flashdance. Hilarious!
And finally, back in Vietnam: Seems Jack served and so did his younger brother, Nicky. Say what? Yep! This Pearson has or had a sibling, who is keenly remembered when Jack learned that his alcoholic dad was at death’s door while he and the boys were out camping.
Jack refused to break up this getaway with Randall and Kevin, so Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and little Kate went to meet their father-in-law/grandfather in person for the very first time. Not fun.
This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., ET.