In Korean, kamsahamnida means “thank you.” It’s an interesting choice for an episode title. However, after watching the episode, I must admit it makes sense. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the younger Big Three, but this episode finally took us back to the early nineties. Paralleling Randall’s past with his present, we learn that sometimes dad’s lessons may take a long time to sink in, but when they do they always make sense.
Randall’s campaign is finally heating up
After telling his father about a bully at school, Randall asks Jack to teach him to defend himself. Truth is, there is no bully. Randall just wanted to be more like dad, who was as tough as they come in his eyes. Jack reminds his son that he doesn’t need to learn to fight to prove he’s his son. He just needs to be himself.
In the present, Randall’s campaign trail hasn’t been the smoothest. We’ve watched him unsuccessfully try to win over the community where he is currently running for city councilman. This week, he finally comes up with a game plan that could actually work.
While hanging out with Kevin in Korean Town, he realizes that this base has been mostly ignored by politicians in the past. Using his brother’s celebrity status, he hits the streets and starts registering people to vote. While there, he comes face to face with a young man named Jae-Won who calls him out on his “plan.” The brown people in the community are voting for the other guy, so he’s trying to win the Korean vote instead.
It’s a humbling moment for Randall. The thing is, Randall is a genuinely good person who wants to make a difference, and people can see that. With a moving speech, Randall wins over 200 people who register to vote. Jae-won later shows up at Randall’s campaign office to tell him a story about his grandmother who has never voted in her life. Jae-won tells Randall what he said inspired his 75 year old grandmother to vote for the first time in her life. This motivates Jae-won to help Randall after realizing he might be the real deal and he offers his services as campaign manager.
And that lesson that his father taught him when he was a kid? Well, Jack once told him that his secret weapon would be his brain. And that sometimes, even after you get hit, you have to smile so your opponent doesn’t know how hard he’s hit you. Randall does that when he visits his opponent in the race to let him know that he’s not giving up because he’s going to win Korean Town. And he’s going to win the election. He finally believes that he can. The power of Jack Pearson’s words, ladies and gentlemen.
Beth and Randall: The Ultimate Power Couple
Beth’s been struggling ever since she got laid off. She hasn’t been able to find a job and this week, she finally exploded. Blowing up on her daughters, Beth realizes that she’s not “fine.” After talking to Deja, she finally comes to terms with what she has to do, which is tell her husband the truth about how she’s feeling.
I don’t know how Deja got so wise but I love it. I remember when this character first showed up, I didn’t care about her. Then, I struggled to like her because she was a brat. Now, she’s one of my favorite characters on the show. She may not be a Pearson by blood, but she’s definitely a Pearson where it counts.
Beth finally tells Randal how she’s been struggling to be okay. He’s the world’s most supportive husband of course. But he also comes up with a great idea. He asks Beth to join his campaign. He needs a good team and he has twenty years of experience knowing that Beth Pearson is the best team he’s ever had.
First, she asks if this is a pity job. It’s not. Then, she agrees to help him win the election. This is turning into a family affair and I’m finally here for it.
Toby makes a breakthrough
I really liked how they showed the family finding out about Kate’s pregnancy and Toby’s depression in one swoop. Through a series of phone calls, everyone was all caught up with what was going on with Kate and Toby on the west coast.
It’s been weeks and Toby’s back on his anti-depressants, but it’s taking a while for them to kick in. Kate is struggling with how to handle everything and she’s constantly calling her mom for advice. It isn’t until her mom tells her she needs to stop being afraid to make decisions for herself, her relationship and her future family that Kate finally gets a handle on what is going on with Toby.
When we saw Toby in the future, he seemed to be alone. He also wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. Many believe Kate and Toby are no longer married in the future. In this episode, Toby voiced his fears about Kate leaving him because of his depression. She told him she wouldn’t but it’s hard not to be worried about Katoby right now. Time will tell if they make it or not.
Kevin and Zoe are heading to Vietnam
The writers did tell us that this season would focus heavily on Jack’s tour in Vietnam. We haven’t seen much of that story, except for the one episode that focused the entire hour on him in the war. That is definitely about to change because Kevin and Zoe are flying to Vietnam is search of answers.
I loved Kevin’s monologue about wallpaper in this episode. It reminded me of his monologue in season one when he told his nieces about the painting he’d drawn. He tells his brother that finding out about his father feels like that time when they were kids and they peeled back the wallpaper in their house. They were shocked to learn that there was something behind that wallpaper but they kept peeling because they wanted to see everything that was back there.
That’s how Kevin feels about finding out about this mystery woman from the photo he’s been given. He needs to know who she is and if his father loved her. With Randall’s blessing, he obtains a work visa for Vietnam and asks Zoe to go with him. It’s not a surprise that she says yes because we knew that she would since last season.
I’m excited to see what Kevin finds out on this journey. He’s convinced his father and the mystery woman were in love. If that’s the case and there’s another Pearson out there somewhere, that could change the landscape of the entire series. It’s always been about “the big three.” What happens if there’s a fourth that no one knew about?
I’m not entirely sure this is the case, but I’m not against it either. Right now, like Zoe, I’m just going along for the ride. I really do hope Kevin finds whatever he’s looking for.
- The entire telephone sequence was laugh out loud funny. Randall’s reaction to finding out that Kate is pregnant is my favorite. He’s going to be the best uncle in the world.
- Kate has spent her whole life dependent on someone and this is her first time where someone is dependent on her. I’m curious to see how she handles that and I hope it helps her grow as a character.
- Deja is the MVP of inspirational speeches in this episode. She learned from Randall and he’s the best because he learned from his father who was the King of moving speeches.
- Beth’s emotional explosion broke my heart. She’s always been so put together so to see her fall apart was tough.
- Kevin is really famous in Korea. The Nanny is a hit over there under the title The Baby Guy. That’s amazing. Kevin even inspired a K-Pop song. I don’t know how that fake show got better but somehow, it did.
- The scene where Randall meets Jae-won has to be one of my favorites of the season, if not the series. I already love this new character. I also loved that this pivotal moment is the one that inspired the episode’s title.
- Beth joining Randall’s campaign is all I needed to support this arc. I always knew he’d make a great councilman but I needed him to have his family backing him up. I feel like he might finally have that.
- As if I needed more reasons to ship Zoe and Kevin. Their trip to Vietnam is going to provide me with so much content. I can’t wait!
- Jack’s explanation.
- Rebecca doesn’t approve of Jack boxing, especially after he comes home with a black eye. I like that she finally gets it in the end though and buys him headgear so he can at least be protected.
- Randall using the advice his dad gave him as a kid to handle his opponent was awesome. Those lessons never lose relevance.
- Kevin and Randall campaigning. All their scenes were great. The brothers hanging out are always some of my favorite moments on this show.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9PM on NBC. Watch the trailer for the next episode that will be airing in two weeks on November 13th: