This Is Us – Season 5 Episode 6 Recap & Review

Birth Mother 

Episode 6 of This Is Us Season 5 begins with Randall and Beth visiting Hai at his house; a beautiful, tranquil patch of land that apparently belongs to Randall. It’s here we jump back in time and see more of Laurel’s past.

A young Laurel Dubois disobeys her Father who’s not happy about his daughter sneaking out to visit Aunt May. Thankfully, Laurel has her brother Jackson to rely on… until he fights in Vietnam. When officers arrive at the front door some time later, it confirms the worst.

Consumed by her emotions, Laurel is encouraged to scream in the middle of the lake. Hai happens to hear her though while out fishing, and dives in to try and save her. Only, she obviously doesn’t need to be saved.

Anyway, when she and Hai meet again in town they decide to have dinner together and start to grow closer. Things seem to be going well, with Laurel and Hai eventually professing their love for one another. Unfortunately, Laurel’s Father has other ideas and sets Laurel up with a man named Marshall who works at the bank. Marshall is going to propose to her and Laurel is being forced into saying yes.

Unable to cope with this, Laurel decides to run away to America. She asks Hai to go with her but because of his family, he’s not able to do so. Instead of Chicago, Laurel ends up in Pittsburgh.

After meeting William and having Randall, we catch up to the moments where Laurel was declared dead in the apartment. When Laurel recovered, she was arrested for drug possession. Unfortunately she was sent to a prison in California for 5 years.

When Laurel was finally released in 1985, she felt like she forfeited her right to be Randall’s Father and instead went back to her childhood home again.

That also brought her back to Hai, who’s still in town but married now. The pair exchange pleasantries on a daily basis, waving across the market at their respective stalls until one day Laurel failed to show. Eventually Hai showed up at her door and the rest is history, with Hai staying by Laurel during her last days until she died.

Back in the present, Hai finishes his story and hands over keys to Laurel’s house. It belongs to Randall now but he struggles to comprehend what he’s just found out.

Symbolically, he heads out into the lake naked where he sees his Mother in a vision. Laurel tells him to let the pain go. And just like Laurel did all those years ago, Randall begins screaming. Eventually he tells his Mother he loves her as the weight of the world seems to lift slightly from Randall’s shoulders.

As Randall and Beth head back home, Randall phones Kevin but his brother is in no mood to talk. He’s stressed, up in Vancouver, and racing down to be with Madison who’s in labour.

The Episode Review

This Is Us returns this week with a beautiful episode about Laurel’s past and how Hai ties into everything. With thin wisps of voice over narration, Laurel’s upbringing and subsequent romances with Hai and William are brought into focus.

The episode is a good one too, a wonderful detour from the usual drama consuming the Pearson’s and focusing on Laurel’s past and what happened to her all this time.

Water is generally symbolic of emotion too so the decision to include it here for both Laurel and then Randall while screaming is a nice touch that helps to add a little more meaning to these scenes.

And what about that ending? It seems like we’re gearing up for a very dramatic episode next week as Madison goes into labour and Kevin prepares to head back to be with her. Judging by that crashed car it seems like Kevin may be seriously injured but then again it may also be a red herring. We’ll have to wait and see.

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