‘This Is Us’ 3×12 Review: ‘Songbird Road: Part Two’

After a few weeks’ hiatus, the Pearsons are finally back to pick up where they left off. The Big Three learned their uncle was alive and set out on a road trip to find him. What they found was a drunk veteran with serious PTSD, about to end it all.

This hour was as heartbreaking as the first part but for completely different reasons. Dive in to check out why I have such a love/hate relationship with this particular episode.

Should Kevin try to save Nicky even though he didn’t ask to be saved?

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The answer to this question will probably be divisive. On the one hand, Kevin is doing what he thinks is right. He’s trying to help someone who clearly needs it. On the other,  Nicky is a grown man who isn’t looking to change at this stage in his life.

Kevin’s experience finding his long lost uncle is worlds apart from Randall’s experience seeking out his long lost father. If you remember, Randall was actually afraid this might happen. What makes this so difficult is that I can’t get mad at Kevin, Nicky or Jack because the entire situation is so complicated. And for the first time, the one character brave enough to treat this situation in a way that makes sense is Rebecca.

By the end of the episode, Nicky accepts Kevin’s help in fixing the mold of his trailer’s roof, and he promises to go to one AA meeting at a nearby Vet center.

I’m not sure if we’ll see Nicky again but I know that this road trip will have serious repercussions for the whole family, especially Kevin.

Sometimes two people will remember things differently and that’s okay

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While driving back, Randall and Kate reminisced about the weekend Jack went to see Nicky. Their memories drove them back to their childhood home, where Randall and Kate both admitted remembering the day Jack got back from his road trip differently.

Randall remembered his father being really upset, yelling at them about making a mess and throwing a plate in frustration. Kate remembered their dad laughing, their invention of the “Pearson Pizza” and a sequin fight.

Through a series of flashbacks, we saw that everything they remembered did happen. Jack was upset. He did yell. He threw a plate. But there was also pizza and a sequin fight.

I love that Randall comforted his sister by telling her that their dad did the best he could. That the fact that Kate remembered only the good about that day means their dad did a good job parenting them.

This entire moment spoke to me because I’ve recently reconnected with people from my past and sometimes we remember things differently when we reminisce. It can be frustrating to question your memory the way Kate did in this episode. It’s okay if you only remember the good, the bad, both or even none of it. It’s allowed.

Rebecca Pearson is not messing around

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After finding out the truth about Nicky, Rebecca vowed to get the truth once and for all. As soon as she got a call from her son to let her know where they were, she hopped in the car and drove to get the answers she wanted.

I don’t think she found what she was expecting though. I’m the first to admit that it took me a while to have any kind of sympathy for Nicky Pearson. The last couple episodes, however, I have found myself feeling sorry for Jack’s younger brother.

First we learned the tragedy that drove the brothers apart was an accident. Now we’re learning the extent of his PTSD. I can’t imagine what living alone is like. Nicky isolated himself from his entire family after Vietnam. Its completely understandable that after all these years, he can’t consider Jack’s family to be his.

I do like that he was able to give Rebecca one good memory from Jack’s childhood. It’s not much, but it’s a start. There’s always a chance that eventually, Nicky will come around so he can become part of his estranged family the way that William did.

Kevin fell off the wagon

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This was probably the most heartbreaking moment of the episode for me. After everything, Kevin had his first drop of alcohol since rehab in Nicky’s trailer and I’m very upset. I’m borderline angry because this guy can’t seem to catch a break.

All he wanted was to help his uncle, but instead his uncle ended up dragging him down instead.

I know there will be some serious repercussions going forward but I’m not looking forward to them. And that’s that on that.

Highlights

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  • The Big Three fighting over who was going to call mom was hilarious. There aren’t enough scenes with these three together.
  • Kevin’s conversation with the baseball player. That kid has always had a big heart. He’s becoming my favorite this season.
  • Kevin doing research to help Nicky. I don’t think he’s done homework a day in his life. This was sweet.
  • Randall and Kate’s part of the road trip was so sad. Kate remembers only the good about their dad. Randall and Kevin remember everything.
  • “You guys were all he ever wanted.” Cue the tears. My heart is broken.
  • Randall calls his three girls Angelica, Eliza and Peggy. Little Annie’s “I’m Peggy?” was perfect.
  • Kevin called Zoe before he took that drink and I wish she’d answered the phone. This isn’t me blaming her. I just think she may have stopped him.
  • The sequin fight and Pearson Pizza was really cute and I love seeing little moments like that from this family. We all have our traditions.
  • I’m super upset Kevin fell off the wagon. I’m not letting this go anytime soon. Ya hear?

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9PM on NBC. Check out the promo for next week’s episode below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFTAA1g7R28