This Is Us – Season 5 Episode 4 Recap & Review


Episode 4 of This Is Us Season 5 finally eases up on the virus themes and actually allows this familial drama to shine, just like it always has in the past.

In fact, the past is where we start with the latest episode of This Is Us. Jack and Rebecca enjoy some rare time alone in bed. Jack’s had 2 hours sleep – a whole 2 hours! – before telling Rebecca they should let Kevin get himself back to sleep.

Together, they agree to let little baby Kevin cry it out this upcoming night; for anyone that’s had kids and remembered those bleary-eyed feeds at 3am, that’s obviously easier said than done.

Issues with Kevin continue as we cut forward to him at school. An exhausted Kevin struggles to maintain his form and composure on the field.

Jack picks him up from practice but Coach tells him Kevin needs to work hard, admitting that he’s been riding the kids pretty hard on the field. Jack bigs-up his son, telling Coach he’ll do the work. When they head home, Kevin decides he’s had enough of football and wants to give up.

That evening, Jack and Rebecca disagree over the best way of dealing with Kevin’s behaviour. Even worse, he overhears Jack calling him soft and decides to prove him wrong. He asks Randall for help and together, they start using card for Kevin to learn his playbook.

When Rebecca returns down the stairs and speaks to Jack, he reveals that he wants to strive for greatness and does everything that he can to make sure his kids see the best from him. “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

In the present, Kevin arrives on set where the Director lavishes praise on his co-star, Ava. Kevin however, feels left out given he doesn’t receive any praise. This is made even worse when Foster grills him over line reading.

Afterwards, Kevin asks Foster for advice but receives some pretty solid, thought provoking ideas about following his dreams. Foster calls him a good actor…but promises that he could be great. Ironically, “good but not quite great” seems to be a recurring theme through his life, as we’ve seen from his past hobbies and endeavours.

This system of using notes like Randall taught him to do, continues for Kevin as he does his best to memorize the script. If that wasn’t encouragement enough, Foster sends him a gift that evening to keep his motivation up too.

Meanwhile, Toby and Kate try their best not to get their hopes up surrounding Ellie’s baby. A baby that Kate has decided to call Chloe. Unfortunately things take a turn for the worst when Ellie overhears Kate call the child Chloe too. It turns out, this is the same name shared by someone at her school.

Elsewhere, Malik arrives at the Pearson household as it turns out he’s shadowing Randall all day. Deja is obviously a little jittery and tells him to be careful. In true Dad form, Randall embarrasses everyone on the way out the door.

At the office, Malik struggles to keep awake until Randal gives him the responsibility of recording the community bulletin that day. He receives a call from his Mother at a crucial time, which distracts him and he forgets to turn off the livestream. Only, during that time Randall happens to be getting undressed ready for a run.

His dancing is broadcast to everyone who’s watching. Malik receives a call from Deja though and he scrambles over to the laptop and turns it off.

When Randall finds out, he tries his best to keep calm. Randall grills Malik until he finds out just how many sacrifices he makes for his family. Usually Malik gets up to 5am but factoring in the extra time to iron a shirt and be ready – he had to get up at 4.30am.

Although he’s dedicated, Janelle comes first and that means putting his own life on hold to do so. Randall smiles, given he too puts his family first. The pair have a proper heart to heart, with Randall telling him to make his dreams bigger not smaller.

It turns out Malik’s dreams are already pretty big given he wants to open a Michelin star restaurant in Philly. In order to do that he needs an internship at city hall. An internship that Randall is more than happy to facilitate.

Back home, it turns out Randall’s bulletin has gone viral and reached over 100,000 views…and also made it on the news too. Among those watching happens to be the man we saw last episode.

Meanwhile, Kate continues to stew over Randall’s words and it’s made worse by Ellie’s conversation. This brings up painful memories from the past which she shares with Toby. It turns out Mark got Kate pregnant after their time together.

The Episode Review

Wow, what a massive bombshell reveal at the end! And it’s sure to be something we’re going to explore in more detail later on in the season. More importantly, This Is Us is finally back on form.

After some crowbarred themes and awkward virus placements early on, This Is Us finally gets back to basics and plays on those familial vibes we’ve come to love so much over the years

Specifically, Father/Son relations are brought into full focus here with emphasis on Kevin’s mind-set over all these years.

Interestingly he happens to be adopting that same vibe Jack had, “A Jack of all trades, master of none”. This time though, it looks like Kevin may push on and make a success of his acting. There’s enough in here to suggest he will, using the fuel from Randall’s “tired acting” statement and Rebecca’s dementia to try and win an Oscar for her.

For now though, This is Us finally looks like it’s back on track and with the reveal at the end surrounding Randall’s viral video, his past could be catching up with him sooner rather than later.

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