This Is Us begins this season exactly where it left off. Randall, Kate and Kevin are approaching their 37th birthdays with insecurities, arguments, and introspective conversations that present more moments leading up to last season’s cliffhanger – the reason their father died.
Randall (played by Sterling K. Brown) wants to adopt a boy to mirror his own upbringing, except he didn’t really spend much time discussing it with his wife (Susan Kelechi Watson). While those two deal with their lack of communication and whether to push or to not push, Kate (Chrissy Metz) goes out for an audition.
She, initially, bails on the opportunity to compete against her slimmer competitors, but after seeing her brother Kevin (played by Justin Hartley) and her beau (Chris Sullivan) fight over who get’s to be her sturdy rock, Kate gets the courage to go back to the audition. While Kate’s two leading men wait for her outside the venue, we get insight into Kate and Kevin’s bond. It turns out, Kate was the one who delivered the news about their father’s death. The admission conjures up a scene of a young Kate and Randall sobbing in the home of a family friend deciding who will break the tragic news to their brother Kevin.
We still won’t find out how their father (played by Milo Ventimiglia) died, yet. Although, this season’s premiere drops another hint. In the final minutes of the episode, we see the mother, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), driving by herself with possibly her husband’s things neatly sealed in a plastic bag. She then pulls up to her home and breaks down into a sob at the sight of the family’s completely burned house.
It’s not certain whether this season will stretch out Jack Pearson’s death or not. But it’s pretty clear that the characters haven’t changed and the tear-jerking scenes are here to stay. The mother is still holding onto appeasing versions of memories of the family, and the Big 3 (Randall, Kate and Kevin) are still reliving moments from their childhood.
Season 2 looks promising, but not progressive. The show has a tear-jerking formula that works for them and they’re predictably going to stick to it this season. This Is Us has tapped into an emotion that has gone unmarketed to for a while, and that’s a good ‘ol emotional cry. This episode, plays up to that formula, but I didn’t see much outside of that.
Rating: 7 out of 10
This Is Us is on NBC on Tuesday nights at 9 pm ET.