It’s us fans, it looks like we’ve arrived at our heartbreaking final destination.
This week’s episode brings the show’s current action up to the Rebecca-centric flash-forward that began in Season 2. And while the Pearson family matriarch is still alive at the end of the hour, as Kevin warns Randall as he summons him to their mother, “They say it won’t be long now.”
Read on for highlights from “Family Reunion.”
IT’S TIME TO MAKE A DECISION | After a brief flashback montage of moments from the Big Three’s childhood in which Rebecca had to wake up and take care of her children while Jack snored, we cut to Rebecca, the present-day old woman, as ‘she wakes up and calls Miguel. Her confusion over her absence is heartbreaking, as is her agitation when she doesn’t recognize the nurse who comes to help her. Kate finally manages to calm her mother down, but Rebecca’s sadness at Miguel’s absence doesn’t go away.
It’s been about a week since Miguel passed away, and Randall and Kate, along with their loved ones, are still in town. Madison and Eli arrive home with the twins, and Nicky and Edie – who live in the old cabin – drag them away for fun. As Kate, Kevin and Randall chat, we learn that the Manny the reboot series final table reading is coming up and Kate’s kids are staying in California with Toby and his wife, Laura. Randall finally says what they’re all thinking, on some level: They need to come up with a plan for Rebecca’s care in the wake of Miguel’s death.
“I built this house. That was the plan,” Kevin says, immediately switching to the defensive stance he’ll be in for most of the episode. Randall points out that Rebecca should have family, and each of the siblings visiting a few days a month — realistically what their schedule will allow — won’t cut it.
In the midst of it all, Sophie, Beth, and Philip — who had gone into town to look for food — return and realize “They finally have the chat ‘what’s next with our mom,'” Beth says knowingly. (Side note: Susan Kelechi Watson, who is always so good and funny, is on absolute FIRE in this scene and the last one in the cabin. World TV series creators: Please build a series around this woman! look!) Then Randall’s better half announces that she, Sophie and Philip are going to hang out at Nicky’s cabin while the Big Three do their difficult, controversial, probably heartbreaking thing. And it turns out to be a very smart decision.
REBECCA THROUGHOUT THE YEARS | Let’s break this heavy and sad story with a heavy and sad flashback, cool? We jump back to the month after Jack’s death, when another mother summons Rebecca to pick up the kids from a party that’s just been canceled. Randall fought to defend Kate’s honor. Then, a clearly unwell Kate tells her mom not to care because she’s the disposable sister, “two winners, one miss, kind of like Hanson.” And a drunk Kevin refused to see the big deal, prompting Rebecca to yell at him, ‘Don’t bring your brother and sister with you. Get together, Kevin. (And you all know how much I love it when Rebecca speaks harshly to her children.)
Other snapshots of Rebecca’s early motherhood include: accidentally falling asleep one night when Jack was away and baby Kate didn’t want to go to bed, then fearing she had damaged her child irrevocably when Kate fell out of bed in the bedroom. Rebecca and Jack’s room. She even left a tearful voicemail for Dr. K! (Unfortunately, we didn’t get a Gerald McRaney cameo, though)…letting Randall find out the truth about the Tooth Fairy – and swearing him to secrecy – when he was too freaked out to fall asleep…and the night Jack and Rebecca realized she was pregnant, during which they consoled each other by saying, “It’s just a tiny little baby, the two of us.” (He h.)
“THIS IS NOT OUR MOM” | Nowadays the Big Three get Chinese food and have their meeting. Randall thinks Rebecca should move in with him and Beth in Philadelphia. Kevin, who admits he feels the need to repay Rebecca for being ‘a pain in the ass all her life’, wants to keep her where she is because building the house she asked for ‘was the only good thing I have made”.
Even though Rebecca wanted Kate to make the decisions for her in Miguel’s absence, the female third of the Big Three is pretty quiet during this discussion, especially as Kevin and Randall continue to get angry as they dig deeper. their positions. When Laila, the nurse, brings Rebecca to tell her that they are going for a walk, the three children are a little taken aback: their mother wanted to do her make-up, and she looks like a little girl who has put on her mother’s toilet bag . As Kate tells Laila she will take Rebecca for a walk, Kevin and Randall are surprised instead. “She’s not our mother, Kev,” Randall says, and Kevin agrees. Still, they’re no closer to a compromise: “He’s a wonderful housekeeper, but I’m not going to leave her alone,” Randall tells her. “And nothing you say will change my mind.”
TOBY HELPS AT A CRUCIAL TIME | At Nicky’s, Philip wonders if maybe they shouldn’t be in the big house, offering to help in some way. “Dear, sweet and naive Philip,” Beth says. “We can’t help those three. Nobody can.” Then she and Sophie launch into a perfect (and very accurate) recap of what happens at the family reunion, complete with killer impressions from Randall and Kevin of Beth and Sophie, respectively. is hilarious, but Philip doesn’t mean it. He shames his sisters-in-law for joking about “the miserable events that unfold as they debate his care. What a hoot. Uh, Philip, who basically introduced himself five minutes ago KNOW YOUR LOCATION.
Meanwhile, after returning from her walk with Mom, Kate calls Toby and updates him. He reminds her that Rebecca named his guardian, then — after asking permission to override, a subtlety that seems to indicate he’s grown up a bit since their split — he reminds her that she’s amazing “but when you bypass your brothers, you become this unstable version from yourself.” Back at the big house, Beth sneaks out to get some food but gets caught by Randall. As they chat, she gently reminds him that the versions of Kate and Kevin in her head (irresponsible and outdated, respectively) are “versions of them that no longer exist.”
Then, a strengthened Kate gathers her brothers together and says she’ll make the decision, but first she wants them to watch and be close to Rebecca – something they’ve avoided as her illness progresses. So Randall brushes Rebecca’s hair and Kevin rubs lotion into his mother’s dry hands, and that seems to change something among the siblings.
“Maybe that was the reason all along” | The next morning, all the adults – including the spouses – gather in the big house and eat Chinese for breakfast while the children play outside. Kate says she has decided that she and Philip will move Rebecca to Los Angeles and figure out the best way to care for her there, either at home or in a facility. Kevin tells her that he respects her decision, but that he has another option: he and Sophie, along with Madison and Eli, will move to the East Coast full-time, and he and Sophie will live with Rebecca in the big house. . . “To be honest, Kevin was pretty much the only thing holding us back in LA,” Madison says. Randall is on board and he sincerely thanks his brother for intervening. “Maybe that was the reason all along…that there were three of us,” Kate mused.
Then we get a montage of the time passing under the new arrangement. Kevin takes care of his mother. Visit from Randall and Kate. Madison, Eli, Nicky, Edie and the twins are there. As the years pass, Kevin’s hair becomes grayer and Rebecca’s hair grows longer. Finally, one night after putting Rebecca to bed, Kevin calls Randall and asks him to get Beth and the girls home as soon as possible: “They say it won’t be long now.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Can you believe there are only two more It’s us episodes already? Sound off in the comments!