‘This Is Us’ 3×09 Review: ‘The Beginning Is the End Is The Beginning’

The This Is Us fall finale finally gave us some answers to the questions that have been plaguing us all season. However, with some answers come new questions. Let’s dive right in to see what we now know and what we’re hoping to find out about in the new year when the show returns.

We finally know who the family is going to visit in the future

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After months of speculation, the series gave us the answer to the mystery of “her.” There were a lot of theories surrounding these flash forwards. Many fans believed they were going to see Kate or Annie. Some thought they might be seeing Deja in prison. But it’s the ones who correctly guessed Rebecca that came out on top.

We still don’t know what is wrong with her or why Tess didn’t want to go see her grandmother. We can only assume that Rebecca is not doing too well because she’s obviously older. However, it doesn’t look like the family is doing too well either in what could very well be the Pearson matriarch’s last days on earth.

This week’s flash forward featured Tess calling her mom to make sure she was going to see Rebecca too. Randall didn’t make the call to his wife, which was an obvious red flag. Another red flag was when Beth spoke about going to see Randall’s mother. There was no fondness in her voice. She just seemed like she was doing this because it was expected of her. Are Beth and Randall still together at this point? Has Beth completely had a falling out with the Pearsons? Only time will tell.

Beth and Randall aren’t doing well and my heart hurts

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Since the start of the series, Beth and Randall have been the ultimate power couple and relationship goals for a lot of people. This episode doesn’t negate any of that. Even leading up to his big debate, Beth was still the best wife and partner he could ever have. It wasn’t until the final moments of the episode when the two finally stopped seeing eye to eye that it all started going downhill.

Beth wants Randall to stop the campaign but he doesn’t want to give up despite being so behind in the polls. He can’t win this and it’s pointless to continue. He also made a promise to her earlier this season that he has now broken. He told her that if at any point, him running was no longer in the best interest of his family, he would stop. Beth is trying to tell him that he can’t continue to run for the sake of his family but he’s not listening.

In the final moments of the episode, Beth set up the couch for Randall. I’m guessing it’s probably not the first time he’s been kicked out of their bedroom. But it’s the first time we’re seeing it. And it feels different. Will Randall sleep outside of their bedroom the way Jack did all those years ago when Rebecca kicked him out of their room? I really hope so but I’m not entirely sure that he will.

The way Tess came out to her parents was one of the most beautiful moments of the series

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After hinting to her aunt that she might be gay, Tess had a very awkward conversation with Rebecca about her sexuality. It turns out that Kate told her mom in hopes that Tess would have someone close that she could talk to. But Rebecca was as subtle as a gun and it blew up in her face.

She redeemed herself later when she talked to Tess about the toll that keeping secrets has had on her. With the support of her aunt and grandma, Tess finally had the courage to tell her parents about what she was feeling.

And they handled it beautifully. The way Beth and Randall reacted to finding out that their daughter might be gay is exactly how you’d hope every parent would react. Sadly, they don’t. And I’m sure a lot of people watching the show will not like this arc for Tess. But I think that’s the point. We need more stories like these that show tolerance and acceptance.

Despite what is going on in their marriage, Beth and Randall are still two of the best parents on television and for that I am grateful.

Toby and Kate are having a…..

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At first, Toby didn’t want to learn the sex of the baby. It’s understandable considering the trauma they both suffered when they lost the first one. But when Kate called him out on it, he finally agreed to finding out. I love that they both came to realize that living like this pregnancy wouldn’t last was doing a tremendous disservice to their unborn child.

In this episode we found out that they’re having a boy. I’m super excited because I have a strong feeling that Kate will want to name him Jack and Toby will completely be on board with that.

I can already picture a young boy in the future scenes named Jack at Rebecca’s bedside. I really hope this pregnancy works out because I’m going to be really devastated if it doesn’t.

The Nicky Pearson Cliffhanger we did not see coming

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Jack’s younger brother isn’t exactly the easiest character to like. He’s a jerk to anyone he comes into contact with. But it seems like he didn’t actually die in Vietnam and that suddenly made him a lot more interesting.

We still don’t know what happened in the war or why Jack told everyone his brother died. I have a feeling Nicky faked his own death. But if that is the case, then how is he collecting checks? So it’s pretty unlikely that he went AWOL.

The mystery of Vietnam continues to unravel and Kevin is at the center of it all. Is he the one who’s going to find his long lost uncle? How is he going to feel when he finds out that he’s alive after all these years? This story line continues to get more and more interesting and I’m really excited to see it all unfold when the show returns.

Kevin Pearson, you are your father’s son

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If there was ever a doubt in anyone’s mind about Kevin being like Jack, then please tell me this episode ended all that. Walking the same streets that his father did decades earlier, Kevin started to understand that he’s never going to get all the answers he’s looking for. And some of those answers might not be the ones he wants.

I’m not entirely sure what Kevin was hoping to find in Vietnam and I don’t think he knows that himself. But Zoe said it best. This is not the end of the story. It’s only the middle. And after he finds out about his uncle, I think that’s when Kevin will start to find out more about his family history than he bargained for.

Highlights

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  • Randall’s debate speech was epic. He’s the man this city needs but not the one it deserves right now.
  • Tess telling her parents about he sexuality will always be a favorite moment for me.
  • Toby finding out about gender reveals via baked goods was hilarious. That cake looked super delicious!
  • Beth’s pep talk to Randall before his debate was incredible. I want a life partner like that.
  • Who else thought that the person Kevin was going to see was going to be the little boy his father saved during the war? I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t.
  • What was up with that explosion at the end of the episode? Is that how Nicky got out of Vietnam?
  • Beth looked fierce in the future scenes but if she’s not with Randall, I’m not ready for that heartbreak.
  • Deja continues to break my heart. She misses her mom and I get it. But she really shouldn’t have kept that from Beth and Randall.
  • Kate is going back to school and I couldn’t be prouder! Go get that education girl!
  • Apparently everyone is going to see Rebecca in the future and I’m desperate to know why. Is she dying? And if she does die, can we get a Titanic like moment where a younger Jack is waiting for her in their family home that burned up?

This Is Us will return Tuesday, Jan. 15th at 9PM on NBC. Here is the promo teasing the new episodes: