‘This Is Us’ 3×13 Review: ‘Our Little Island Girl’

Beth Pearson’s back story finally comes to light in an all new episode of This Is Us. Through a series of flashbacks, we finally learned more about this fan favorite character.

This episode has been teased for a while and there was definitely hype surrounding it, but did the writers deliver? Yes, they absolutely did! Find out why below.

Our little island girl who could dance before she could walk

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From the beginning, Beth has always been one of my favorite characters on this show. Despite not knowing a whole lot about her or her family, fans have always gravitated toward her. We’ve been dying to know more about her. This week we finally got an entire episode centering on her and her family.

It turns out Beth was a dancer. She’d dreamed of being a little ballerina from the time she was eight years old. And she was really good too. But then how is it that Beth is no longer dancing if she was so good?

Her father passed away from lung cancer and her mother put her on a different path. This one decision has led to Beth holding resentment for her mother throughout her entire life. But if things hadn’t played out that way, she definitely wouldn’t have the life she has now. And I can’t imagine Beth without Randall, Tess, Annie or Deja. Neither can she.

But it’s good that her mother finally acknowledged that she took her daughter’s dream away too soon. I think their heart to heart is finally going to put them on the path to a much needed reconciliation.

The best guest stars on TV are on this show

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I feel we don’t talk about this show’s guest stars enough. Which is really unfortunate because they always seem to sneak in some of the best names on television. This week was no exception. Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) and Carl Lumbly (Alias, Supergirl) are wonderful as Beth’s parents. And Goran Visnijic (Timeless) is swoon-worthy as Beth’s dance instructor.

I’ll be honest. If Phylicia Rashad isn’t nominated for an Emmy for her performance in this episode, I will shout from the rooftops that she was robbed. For the record, Michael Angarano also deserves a nomination for part one of “Songbird Road,” but that’s another conversation for the next award season.

The beauty of this series is that they are able to introduce these new characters with familiar faces and we’re already invested. I love that its been that way since the pilot and I hope that never changes.

I also hope that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Beth’s parents or her instructor. There’s still so much story to tell there. And now that Beth is re-entering the world of dance, she may even cross paths with her former teacher. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Beth and Randall’s meet cute is officially my favorite

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From the moment Beth’s mom put her on the path to a conventional college, I knew she was about to meet Randall. I didn’t know if it would happen in this episode but then she was dropped off at a Freshman mixer and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the inevitable.

Their first meeting was so simple and yet so perfect. The two kids bumped into each other before saying excuse me and walking away from each other. But the way Randall watched her walk away, you could see that he’d already fallen in love with her. It truly was love at first sight much like it was with his dad meeting his mom decades earlier.

For a moment, I was confused about why we didn’t see Jack or Rebecca taking Randall to the mixer. I realized that this was the first episode Milo Ventimiglia did not appear in. Then it hit me that this was right after Jack’s death. Beth and Randall both lost their dads around the same time and that realization drowned me in sadness. I really can’t wait to see them bond over that and fall in love because you know that’s coming next. There’s no way that this show won’t give us that.

Beth’s new path

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Since she was laid off, we’ve kind of watched Beth walk aimlessly without any sense of purpose. She’s tried to be a stay at home mom and work on Randall’s campaign, while still putting out feelers in her career field. She hasn’t really gotten far on any front. Not that anyone can blame her though because it is tough out there.

All that is about to change, though, because in the final moments of this episode, Beth finally tells Randall what she wants to do next.

She’s going back to her first love: dance.

But she doesn’t want to return to this world as a student. Instead, Beth Pearson wants to teach. This is why I don’t think it’s so far fetched that she could eventually cross paths with her former teacher if he’s still alive. I think it would be great for him to see that one of his favorite students turned out great. And Beth could use that validation after everything she’s been through.

Time will tell, but right now Beth and Randall are in a really great place. This is such a stark difference from the flash forwards we’ve already seen where it seems like they’re on the outs. Is Beth’s new path to blame? I’m almost afraid to find out.


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  • Beth and Zoe getting high in her mom’s laundry room. I love the two sister cousins. I love them even more when they’re stoned together.
  • Zoe’s bad attitude as a teenager was hilarious. Am I the only one that attitude reminded them of teenage Kevin? Imagine those two meeting during that time. The freaking fireworks would’ve been seen from space. Sophie, who???
  • Every flashback with Beth’s father. My heart melted. He reminded me so much of Jack. I wish the two men had a chance to meet each other. They would have gotten along so beautifully.
  • Randall as Beth’s hype man. I want my own hype man.
  • I love how much Randall reminds Beth of her father.
  • Beth and Randall bumping into each other is the best tease for what’s to come. Its the beginning of their love story. I’m a little worried that they’re going to mirror the beginning of their relationship with the end of it like they did with Jack and Rebecca.
  • That cover of ‘Say A Little Prayer For You’ was beautiful and NBC needs to release it so I can add it to my playlist pronto.

This Is Us is going on a one week hiatus and will return Tuesday, March 5th at 9PM on NBC.


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