This Is Us – Season 4 Episode 8 Recap & Review

Human Wrecking Ball

With the fall finale right around the corner, This Is Us offers up teasing glimpses of what’s to come for the future in an episode centred around Rebecca and Kevin in two separate storylines that interweave around the other subplots bubbling up this week. All the pieces are laid out here too and quite what this means for the Pearson family remains to be seen.

We begin with three different time periods for Rebecca putting on a duvet cover. Seeing her struggling post-Jack is put to the test when Kate heads off with her shady boyfriend and Randall offers to help with Rebecca’s resume.

Nicky confronts Kevin after sleeping with Cassidy, calling him a human wrecking ball. As he turns to face his Uncle again, the shadow of Jack takes his place. This hits Kevin hard too, as he hides away in his caravan for several days. However, when Nicky tries to apologize, it turns out he’s actually gone, prompting him to phone Cassidy and ask where he is. It turns out he’s in the bar and here he starts up trouble with the locals. After being beaten by a couple of men in the bar, Kevin wallows in self pity when Cassidy picks him up. He apologizes to her for what happened before she patches his face up.

Just in time too, as Nicky gets dressed in his suit and prepares for the scheduled hearing. He pours his heart out to the judge, delivering a beautifully poignant speech about his sickness and how Kevin has helped him out of it. It works too and he’s off the hook as long as he remains sober for 2 years.

Meanwhile Kate and Toby continue to deal with baby Jack, as we find out Toby’s gym obsession and work is beginning to prevent him seeing key baby moments. Kate heads over to Gregory’s and they share a hot drink together before he tries baby jack with avocado and likes it…unfortunately he does this when Toby isn’t present. However, Kate feigns surprise when he returns home, as Toby records the whole thing on his phone.

Randall and Rebecca head out together, both in the past and present. The former sees her head to a job interview while the latter has Rebecca arrive at the mayor’s office. In the past, Randall tries to convince the interviewer to sign her on while in the present, they share a sandwich together until she loses her phone, prompting Randall to go on the hunt for it.

Malik and Deja get into a fight during their date at her house, prompting Beth to get involved. It’s here she learns from Malik that Deja wants to go and visit her biological Mum. Thanks to them being so busy, it’s something that’s passed them by but not enough for Deja to forget about it. This brings Beth back to speak to Deja and promises her they’ll find time to visit her Mum. However, she wants to invite her to theirs for Thanksgiving instead, which Beth agrees to do.

As the episode closes out, Rebecca tells Randall how proud she is of him and how he reminds her of Jack. In the present however, Randall tries to convince her to go to the doctors but steps out of line, instantly regretting what he says despite having concerns there may be an underlying medical condition behind her forgetfulness – is this the early on-set of dementia?

This Is Us has been quite the rollercoaster ride this year and the new characters have certainly helped inject the series with an extra layer of depth. I’m a massive fan of Rebecca and have been since the first season and seeing her gradual deterioration from the lovable Mum there for the Big Three to the teary finale we received last time out is going to be a difficult deterioration to watch. Kate’s boyfriend is another topic of debate here too and given how healthily she was eating while with him, it’s fair to say he may have been the catalyst, not Jack, that set her off on her eating binge. There’s certainly something dark lying in wait here but quite what it is, remains hidden away for now.

As for Randall and Kevin though, we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for these two but given what we know in the future, could Rebecca’s mental health be the catalyst toward Randall and Beth’s relationship woes? Only time will tell of course but for now, the fall finale has set up plenty of plot threads to allow for a dramatic and explosive finish to this year before the show returns again for its second half.


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