Television – Head Over Feels We Just Have A Lot Of Feelings Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:48:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 47147277 “We don’t get a lot of families in here that look like yours.” – This Is Us Recap – The Most Disappointed Man Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:48:03 +0000

This Is Us Season 2, Episode 7
“The Most Disappointed Man” 
Posted by Shannon


Disappointment and hope are intrinsically linked; in a heartbreaking, complicated way, it’s almost impossible to have one without the other. “The Most Disappointed Man” could be any or all of us on the wrong day, and each and every character this week has had a day like that themselves. But there’s beauty in all of those stories too; a persistence, a drive to keep going, to see some hope ahead when disappointment feels like it’s closing in. This week, the Pearson’s (and Pearson-adjacent) each find themselves on one side of the fence between disappointment and hope.   

Jack and Rebecca


The Big Three have just arrived home, and amongst the chaos and clamour of three infants, Jack and Rebecca are fielding visits from baby Randall’s social worker, Paula. They’re anxious and prepared for the planned visits (and anxious and terrified for the unexpected ones) but regardless of the schedule, each time Paula shows up it’s clear how much they love all three of their children. After a year of successful check-ins and a glowing recommendation, they should be a shoo-in for an easy adoption. Paula doesn’t even bother attending the hearing, certain that it will be an open and shut case. For Judge Bradley, though, it’s not that simple.

Initially, Judge Bradley asks that Jack and Rebecca come back in three weeks with Paula, but when they find him in the hallway and ask to speak with him, it becomes clear that things won’t be that simple. The Judge firmly believes that Randall should not be raised by a white family, and he insists that he will not change his mind. In many ways, his arguments are the same ones that Jack presents to Rebecca when Randall starts asking questions about his birth family. Judge Bradley insists that without a Black family around him, there will be no one to help him “see himself, understand who he is.”  Judge Bradley knows first-hand the necessity of a role model who shares the same experience as your own, and informs Jack and Rebecca that “what you have in your possession is a Black child who will grow up to become a Black man, and my fear is that he won’t have the tools he needs in his life if he stays in your home.”


Rebecca is ready to fight right then and there, but it’s telling that Jack, even all those years earlier, stayed silent. It’s not that he doesn’t want to fight for Randall; he does. And I’m not suggesting that the Judge is in the right here. But the basic core of Judge Bradley’s fears are justified, and Jack knows it. For Rebecca, there’s no question that she and Jack will find a way to get Randall the support he needs, no matter the challenge. She’s already faced one hurdle; to celebrate the assumed adoption, Jack and Rebecca took the kids to get formal photos taken. For the kid behind the camera, exposure is a nightmare; he can’t figure out how to balance all five skin tones, so instead, he makes a thoughtless side comment and tries for various exposures in an effort to make the best of it. With the photos back from the store, Rebecca can see a tangible representation of the difficulties they’ll all face. Rather than accept a photo where one (or four) of them look unbalanced, she cuts out Randall’s best photo and pastes it into Kevin and Kate’s – and sends it off to Judge Bradley as proof of their persistence. Three weeks later, Jack, Rebecca, and the Big Three all show back up to the courthouse, ready to face Judge Bradley yet again. But knowing that he would be unable to make the ruling, knowing that his bias couldn’t be shaken and that Rebecca wouldn’t be shaken either, he recused himself from the case.

Randall, Beth and William

Deja’s stay with Randall and Beth has started to even out; her hair is tidied and she’s even amused by his jokes. But the time has come for Deja to go on a visit with her mom, and Randall’s protective side is on full blast. Turns out, at the time of her arrest, Deja’s mom had been driving with an unlicensed gun in the glove compartment next to her daughter. Instead of seeing a complex situation for what it is, all Randall can see is Deja in danger, and he’s in no mood to bring her to the visit. But he knows she’s been looking forward to this, compliments her dress, and hears Beth out when she reminds him that this isn’t some random criminal they’re visiting. And besides, Randall hasn’t done this before, but Deja certainly has. Once there, Randall makes another jumpy move to cover her eyes at the sight of a person in handcuffs. It’s a massive sign of how far they’ve come that Deja doesn’t push him away, but reminds him that “you can’t do that,” and nearly even teases him at having only seen someone in handcuffs on TV.

This visit is meant to be a special one; Linda, Deja’s social worker, announces happily that they won’t need to be behind glass and that today, “you can hug your mom.”  Randall puts his own feelings aside to calm Deja’s excited nerves, getting them through all the necessary checkpoints and assuring her that “your mom’s gonna love” her new hair. But when Linda pulls Randall aside and tells him that Shauna has opted out of the visit, the stress of it all gets to him. This is the first time we’ve really seen Randall be thoughtless, even cruel; he knows better than to ask Linda “if anyone here’s looking out for these kids,” and he’s so rarely careless that it felt like a slap in the face. Linda handles him calmly, but she’s shaken too; instead of reprimanding him directly, she tells him of another foster child she cares for who, after suffering from an untreated ear infection, is now deaf. Foster family after foster family doesn’t want the challenge, and Linda’s now an expert at saying “‘sorry sweetie, we still haven’t found a family for you’ in sign language.”

The sad fact remains, though, that Randall has to go back to Deja and tell her the news. They both take it in stride; he doesn’t tell her that her mom opted out, while Deja quietly asks for her purse so she can give her mom the allowance money she’s saved up for her.  

Of course, Randall’s not the only one who’s protective streak has opened up to include Deja. Once they get home and Randall tells her the news, Beth demands that they cut Shauna out of Deja’s life entirely. (“I am done letting that woman hurt that child.”) Randall knows that’s not the way out either, but part of me still half expected him to go into his own meeting with Shauna as if he were going to battle. And maybe he intended to. But when he gets there, behind the glass, and sees Shauna’s wrecked face, his better instincts kick in. Mostly.

This scene is complicated as hell, and I don’t pretend to know how any of it would feel. But I do know that Randall misses many of Shauna’s points, misunderstanding the difference between drill team and cheerleading, assuming that Shauna’s history makes her a fundamentally bad mother (and that his financial privilege will make him a better parent). I know that Shauna’s assumption that Randall’s wife is white is complicated and messy. And more often than not, I kept thinking again that Randall should know better. He should know that while personal responsibility is important, the system is set up so dramatically against women of color that to say Shauna’s choices alone landed her in prison shows a fundamental lack of understanding. When Shauna reminds him that “you wound up over there no doubt cuz things broke your way,” she mirrors a sentiment that William shared, too.


Randall has been brought to this point in his journey by both his fathers, and as is so often the case, they’re the ones he needs right now. William would have known exactly where Shauna was coming from because in so many ways, he came from the same place. After losing everyone he loved, William spiraled into addiction, and was ultimately arrested in what would have been the Reagan era’s “war on drugs.” (The history of the war on drugs should not be lost on us as viewers. William Hill would have landed in jail along with so many other young Black men charged with nonviolent crimes, and there are multiple books, documentaries, and articles written on the issues that I can’t summarize here. Please do read them.)

With no record of any kind, the Judge admits his “disappointment” at William’s transgression. And rather than stand there and listen to that, William asks his own question – “what would you have me do, your honor?” He’s lost everyone, he barely recognizes himself, and he honestly doesn’t care if he’s thrown in jail or not. And in William’s own case of things breaking his way, the Judge sees a light in him, asks to speak to him alone, and decides to rule an acquittal. On one condition. Not that William be perfect (“I know you’ll make mistakes just like the rest of us”) – that he remember the Judge’s face, his “too tired, too old, too fat face” and that he remember that face every time he’s faced with a bad choice. And William being William, he’s true to his word for years – decades, even. Whenever confronted with his addiction, he makes the choice to stay sober, to stay safe. Until his diagnosis. He still sees the Judge’s face, but he’s ready to end his sobriety anyway. And we learn, finally, that this is what kept William so long when Randall was knocking on the door during their first meeting. Randall’s knock stopped him from making a terrible call, and now his son is faced with a potentially bad call of his own.

Randall knows that he and Beth have done exactly what all the books warn against; they’ve taken Deja as their own already. And while Randall is ready and willing to fight for custody if Shauna so chooses, he also knows the more people in her life that love her, the better. With William, Jack, and Rebecca in his own mind, he makes the right call for Deja, and gives Shauna their home number so she can speak to her daughter.



Kevin’s downward spiral shows no signs of stopping. For the third time in a row, he pushes off a trip to see Sophie, opting instead to lie about meetings with directors and stay in bed surrounded by pain pills and empty bottles. He’s a more depressed version of the Kevin we met early in the first season; clueless, checked out, waking up confused and brushing off responsibilities. But this time, instead of snapping out of it by quitting a job he hated, he leans in and throws his relationships into chaos and disarray. On the phone, Sophie reiterates what she said at the benefit; she didn’t ask for this. (“You came to me, you showed up at MY door. I was doing just fine.”) And from Kate’s point of view, something is definitely “off” with him, but she’s understandably too focused on her own life changes to click in with her brother emotionally right now.

Before completely self-destructing, Kevin gives his relationship one last desperate attempt at a save. He books a red-eye and stops by a jewelry store, asking the attendant to “show me whatever’s the most sparkly.” Kevin’s addiction has completely taken over here. He’s not paying attention to his own feelings, and he’s certainly not paying attention to the feelings of those around him. But none of that matters to him in the moment; all he sees is a way to mimic his father’s grand gestures. He avoids all possible decisions, buys three rings and gets himself to Manhattan General as fast as humanly possible.


When he arrives at the hospital, Sophie’s just left for a transport, and while Kevin wanders the maternity ward waiting for her to come back, he takes even more pain pills and falls into a nightmare vision of his life as a father and husband. And here’s the real problem with that vision. It’s not that Kevin doesn’t want to get married and have kids; a lot of people don’t want that and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. The problem is that I genuinely don’t know what he wants. Kevin is blundering but well-meaning, occasionally cold and more than occasionally clueless, he’s personable, good at the occasional speech, and superficial as hell. But beyond that? His hopes, his dreams? We don’t know what they are. And neither does he. Which brings us to this.


Jetlagged, sweating, and out of his mind, Kevin tries to leave Sophie’s life the same way he came back into it: appearing unannounced on her doorstep. And I can only imagine the betrayal that Sophie must have felt while listening to Kevin blather on about how  “there’s nothing inside me to give to you.” The “grand gestures” version of Kevin who appeared on her door a year ago might not have been him, but neither is the guy who says “when I dream of our future together, Sophie, it’s a nightmare.” But no matter which guy he really is, Sophie’s reaction is the right one; she slams the door in his face.

Kate and Toby


Now that Kate has told Madison about her pregnancy, the dam has broken and she’s ready to tell her family. They start with Kevin, of course, and even while he’s spiraling in his own mess, Kate and Toby’s giddiness is infectious. Next up is Toby’s mom; but as a severely practicing Catholic, she won’t be as entertained by their hoodie-zipper-shirt-reveal. Toby’s too freaked out to call her, much less during her “Judge block – Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Divorce Court” and tries to avoid the conversation as much as possible. Toby’s mom was heartbroken when they decided to move in without being married, and when Kate pushes the call button, Toby nearly has a panic attack. The severity of his reaction gets to her, and Kate, knowing that “nothing about our relationship has been traditional,” suggests that they just go to the courthouse and get married.

It’s all well and good at first, but none of this feels like Kate and Toby. The reality here is that a courthouse wedding would mean that they’re both avoiding something; Toby would be avoiding his mother’s wrath, and Kate would be avoiding multiple personal nightmares. From dress shopping to facing guests repeatedly bringing up Jack, Kate is all too happy to dodge the whole thing with a “Whoosh, you’re married.” When she goes so far as to say a courthouse wedding would “get it over with,” Toby clicks in and realizes that her heart wouldn’t be in this.

Back at home, watching his own Judge block, Toby needs to talk out the problem. But Kevin is checked out, he has a complicated relationship with Rebecca, and he frankly barely knows Randall. So instead, Toby starts talking to himself – and to Jack. He knows Kate loves weddings. Knows she watches “Say Yes to the Dress” with a special notebook. And he knows that a part of both of them would always be disappointed if they didn’t have a celebration – with the wedding itself, but also with the engagement.  So instead, he calls his mother to tell her about the pregnancy, buys five hoodies and waits for Kate to get home.


I love a lot of this proposal. I loved “If there is any part of you that wants the big wedding… I think you deserve that, kid.” I loved that he mentioned Jack. And I love that he did the right thing. When Toby comes through, he comes through.

Colors of the Painting

  • “Good morning, Destiny’s Children.”
  • I really love that the Pearson family photo countdown word is “Steelers.”
  • Toby’s right, Kate’s two brothers are “stupidly handsome.”
  • It was a tiny moment, but Randall asking Deja who was driving to the meeting with her mom killed me. It’s so casual, so lovely, and a sign of how far they’ve come that she’s amused by his dad jokes even at a time like that.
  • It’s standard This Is Us symmetry to have both William and Rebecca’s judges in the same courthouse, but I’m still touched and haunted by the possibility that William was in the building the same time as the Pearsons.
  • A moment for Beth’s outfit on the way to work, honestly that woman is killing it on the regular.
  • Speaking of outfits, baby Randall and baby Kevin are wearing MATCHING SHIRTS to the first courthouse hearing.

What are your thoughts on “The Most Disappointed Man”? Let us know in the comments! 

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“I’m not the same as I was.” – This Is Us Recap – The 20s Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:43:32 +0000

This Is Us Season 2, Episode 6
“The 20s”
Posted by Shannon

When my quarter life crisis hit, I had just moved to New York City, finally achieving a goal I’d had for the entirety of my young life. Sure, I made it to the town of my dreams, but that felt like it was the beginning and the end of my victory list. Imposter Syndrome ran rampant in my professional life, which was made up entirely of best guesses and lucky breaks, while my personal life was really nothing short of a disaster. Basically, it wasn’t going well. The thing is, everyone I know has a version of that story – and our fictional Pearson counterparts are no different. Kevin and Kate spend those hellacious years professionally and emotionally stalled, while Randall, crushed by the weight of his own expectations, is thrown into his first nervous breakdown. The Big Three just aren’t doing great here, and who can blame them? No matter what you call it (quarter life crisis for most, Saturn return for the astrologically minded), that stretch of years from the mid-twenties until the early thirties is weird and horrible. But at least they have each other.

Jack and Rebecca


Homegrown Halloweens are always the way to go, and from Rebecca behind the sewing kit to Randall’s hand-drawn map, the Pearson’s are doing it right. But that doesn’t mean it’s done early; Rebecca is finishing up the costumes the night before Halloween, and while the boys are happy as Michael Jackson and a hobo respectively, Kate wants to make a last-minute change from a veterinarian to Sandy from Grease. It’s all well and good in theory, but in practice, Jack and Rebecca’s favoritism is running rampant this Halloween. Jack immediately cedes to Kate’s request for a whole new costume on a moment’s notice, and Rebecca leaps to Randall’s defense when Kevin and Kate start questioning his map. Jack and Rebecca are decent but flawed parents (really, isn’t everyone) and my thinking here jumped right to Kevin. Is it any wonder that the child who was so clearly no one’s favorite grew up to be self-involved and emotionally cut off? And in yet another blow to their parenting skills – how do NONE of their children recognize Sonny and Cher?!? Shameful.

While Jack and Rebecca lack behavioral self-awareness, they at least recognize the favoritism in each other. Rebecca is worried for Kate, who she knows will have a “nothing but no’s” in her twenties, while Jack rightly points out that Randall is “too rigid, and it’s getting worse.”  But neither one of them makes a change immediately. Kate gets her new Sandy costume, and Randall gets to split off from Kate and Kevin so he can stick to his strict full-size candy bar priorities. With the party split in two, Jack takes Kevin and Kate to the neighborhood haunted house, but soon Kate jumps ship as well. She’s hoping to go through the house with Billy, a kid from their class who’s “almost as popular” as Kevin. When Jack questions Kevin, he immediately divulges Kate’s crush, and while Jack thinks it’s ridiculous because Kate is only 10, Kevin worries that “it’s ridiculous because he’s Billy Palmer.” Jack follows them outside of the house, worried the whole time for Kate, hoping that she doesn’t emerge with a broken heart. Instead, she runs out holding Billy’s hand. Jack and Kate celebrate, but out of the corner of his eye, Jack watches Kevin dump his entire bag of candy into Billy’s pillow case. He’s not the only one who’s always looking out for her.

For her part, Rebecca is at least trying to address Jack’s concerns. Randall IS getting too rigid, and it’s not healthy for a 10 year old to be so completely opposed to any change in his plans. She sees an opening at the Larson’s house, which is right on Randall’s route and doesn’t have a line. Randall isn’t interested in improvising here, since the Larsons talk too much and give out licorice, (TRULY, who likes licorice, that stuff is awful) but Rebecca gently insists. When Randall returns in a huff, Rebecca is worried that he’s reacted badly to the spontaneity; instead, it’s a whole lot worse. The Larsons, unprompted and with truly astounding carelessness, had called Randall a “miracle,” opening to a conversation about their lost triplet. While Randall knew he was adopted, he didn’t know the circumstances; Rebecca and Jack had been planning to tell him the full story one day, but thanks to the thoughtlessness of suburban neighbors, Rebecca is stuck on a sidewalk telling Randall his history alone. She makes the best of it; Rebecca normalizes Kyle’s death in a healthy and thoughtful way, while making it clear to Randall that “yeah, you are a miracle, but you are not instead of anything.” For Randall, the pieces all begin to fall into place. He asks for his brother’s name, and realizes out loud that “Kyle’d probably look like you and Daddy.” It makes so much sense that Randall would become fixated on his origin story; in his 10 year old mind, it must have felt like everyone knew his whole past except for him.


Back at home, Rebecca’s clearly shaken. In a matter of moments, Jack knows that something’s off, and Rebecca tells him about the evening’s dramatic change of direction. Jack’s focus instantly lands on Rebecca’s emotional state. After all, she just had to re-live that trauma all by herself while navigating the shock of her story being told without her knowledge AND losing any semblance of control as to how her son learned a pivotal piece of his history. It’s a heavy lift in the best of circumstances, but Rebecca’s priority here was keeping Randall safe. Any flashbacks to that night from her own perspective had to wait. At least, until the birth of her first granddaughter.

Randall and Beth


The year is 2008, and it’s just two months since Randall’s first nervous breakdown. While he fixates on installing a ceiling fan for the baby’s room, Beth is a week and a half past her due date, with an induction scheduled for the following day. Randall and Beth’s relationship is strained, to say the least. Their usual banter is nowhere to be seen. Instead, he nitpicks her Halloween candy purchase (“I wanted to be the house with the full size candy”) and insists on discussing crib death. At least Rebecca is on her way; Beth is visibly relieved at the prospect of some support in the house, not to mention some backup in handling Randall’s emotional state.

I can’t say enough about Beth and Rebecca’s relationship here. Like so many female bonds, mother-in-laws are often treated with an eyeroll, something to be dismissed or joked about. Instead, Beth sees Rebecca as a point of comfort, context, and as a trusted confidant. After Randall takes off to the hardware store to let them talk about him in peace (“You two are really loud whisperers”), Beth opens up about Randall’s recovery and the toll it’s taken on their relationship. Rather than being honest with each other, rather than hashing things out with their signature quick wit and honesty, Randall and Beth are tiptoeing around each other, scared that any wrong move could trigger another breakdown. Rebecca tells Beth that Randall is stronger than he seems, and while that might be true, Beth’s also got a point. Rebecca wasn’t there, she didn’t see Randall “blind, weeping, and a million miles away.” There’s no easy solution for either of them, but it’s a comfort for Beth to get this off her chest, and to hear Rebecca assure her that “you’re gonna believe him again.” Soon they switch gears, talking instead about the pregnancy and impending string of baby photos. While Beth assures Rebecca that she isn’t going to be one of those moms who Facebooks every moment of her child’s life, she can see that Rebecca is looking for connection, and agrees to help Rebecca set up a Facebook account.


Meanwhile, at the hardware store, Randall is staring intently at the ceiling fan section. When an associate comes over to check on him, Randall, with all of his walls broken down by sheer exhaustion, launches into the reality of his life and his recent past. Two months ago, he was doing research on the brain development of a fetus (because of course he was). When he discovered that dreaming starts at six months, everything started to crash down around him. Dreams aren’t scientific, they’re not planned, they can’t be prepared for. In essence, dreams represent everything that Randall is most afraid of. Work is one thing, and even his own dreams are another, but the universe of a whole other person’s hopes? It’s too much. It’s heartbreaking and perfect that this was the cause of his first breakdown, and he picked a truly patient and kind-hearted retail professional to open up to. Randall admits that he started talking to Garuda in equal parts because of his “ask me how I can help” badge and his turban (“Eastern wisdom?” “East Trenton.”), but Garuda more than humors him. As a father of five, Garuda knows Randall’s fears. And he knows that with the baby comes the answers. He won’t feel ready until he has no choice but to BE ready. With a final suggestion for the best ceiling fan on the market, Garuda tells Randall he’ll meet him at exchanges. But his time is up; Rebecca calls Randall’s cell with the news that Beth is in labor. Now.

Randall allows himself a few panic-blinks before taking off from the hardware store, making it home in record time. Sure enough, Garuda was right. The moment Randall really needed to come through, really needed to be the reliable, steady partner Beth knows him to be, he snaps back into reality. With his eyes locked on Beth the whole time, and his mother by his side, Randall delivers his first daughter right in his own living room.


When the chips are down, the Pearsons always come through. And as the matriarch of the family, Rebecca embodies that mindset. I was so proud of her during this delivery. And I was floored by how touched I was that she was a part of Tess’s birth. And of course, the show leans right in. This is Parenthood-esque manipulation at its BEST, and I am here for it. After the dust has settled (and after she breaks a ceramic in the living room) Rebecca finally breaks, too. It’s been eight years since Jack’s death, and she’s still very much in mourning. While she must have had similar feelings at Beth and Randall’s wedding, the birth of her first granddaughter is shadowed by the fact that her partner isn’t there to share the moment. Randall feels the loss too – of course he does – and while he and Beth had been planning to name their baby Jack or Jasmine, the girl name just isn’t sitting perfectly with him. Rebecca assures him that “it doesn’t have to be a J name, Randall,” and instead, they remember Jack with a joke, laughing about how he would have tried to take biological credit for the baby having so much hair.

Once she arrives at the nursery, Rebecca welcomes Tess to the world, and walks her through the outline of their lives. Middles are hard; no one knows that more than Rebecca. Beginnings, though, have a magic and a history to them, all at the same time. After all, Tess “began a long time ago,” with another gorgeous baby in another nursery, that time with Jack behind the glass, watching the bond begin between a mother and son. And sometimes, a beginning gets snuck into a middle, and the cycle begins again. Once she’s back home, getting all set up on Facebook by posting a picture of her new granddaughter (named after, of course, Garuda’s suggested ceiling fan), Rebecca gets a message to her inbox. It’s Miguel, checking in to see how she is. And she’s good.

Kevin and Kate


Kevin and Kate’s 20s are not particularly kind to them. Kevin, relatively new to LA, is spending his days washing hair and boring his customers to tears by complaining about his inability to get an audition that doesn’t end in him being compared to Tom Cruise. At least Kevin’s roommate, Zeke (HI CHARLEY KOONTZ, I HEAR YOU WERE ON COMMUNITY, IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE), has been covering the rent. Zeke’s an actor too, and he’s overwhelmingly supportive of Kevin. After Zeke gets cast in what’s very likely his big break, rather than leaving Kevin in the dust, he brings his roommate along to party, hoping to help make a connection. And how does Kevin repay Zeke? By following the director to the men’s room, cornering him, asking about casting and – when none of that works – questioning Zeke’s ability to perform in the movie. After all, Zeke is a character actor, not nearly “all-American” or “handsome” enough for the role.  To be clear, this is sleazy and horrible and might be Kevin’s most irredeemably selfish moment. The director doesn’t take kindly to it either. He lets Kevin fully dig his own grave before absolutely decimating him, calling Kevin out as an “actor, waiter, talent-optional” and assuring him that he’ll never be cast in one of his projects. Ever. “Not even carrying a tray.”

Back on the East coast, Kate’s waiting tables by day and attending classes by night. She’s got a favorite customer, though; Kate knows Steve’s schedule and his favorite order by heart, and when he mentions his plans to go out to a bar later that night, Kate sees her opportunity. Dressed as “a girl taking a chance,” Kate arrives at his neighborhood bar for Halloween. I love her taking this shot, but something felt off from the beginning – when Steve’s friends notice her, they exchange meaningful glances, and he pretty much immediately asks if they can go somewhere “quieter.” They land in Kate’s apartment and hook up, and while the initial giggles are cute, the guy makes moves to leave pretty much immediately. Kate’s got an optimistic streak, but that doesn’t make her dumb. She worked out that Steve was married ages ago, but she’s just deeply tired – “tired of waiting for things to feel right” – and I for one can definitely relate to that. But hopping into bed with a married dude doesn’t seem like an emotionally safe way to work through those feelings, and sure enough, this hasn’t helped her the way she hoped.

But taking Steve home means she was there to get Rebecca’s call. Hearing that Randall and Beth had their baby immediately throws Kate into action. She calls Kevin, who hops on a plane (having been properly told off by Zeke, he certainly has no obligations in LA at the moment) and in a blink, the two of them are at Randall’s side, ready to meet their first niece. It’s all hugs and new baby excitement for a while, but when they’re alone, Kevin and Kate split a bottle of wine and start to commiserate. It doesn’t take long for both of them to admit that they’re each a mess. Kevin hasn’t had an audition in a year, Kate’s “new guy” is married and she’s regularly driving to the old house, staring at where the Pearson family home used to be. Kevin and Kate are still very much in mourning; especially Kate. These two need each other right now. And they need new projects, something to shake them out of their quarter life crisis malaise. For Kevin, it’s joining an improv troupe. For Kate, it’s finally leaving town and heading out to California to get a fresh start. And hey, they both still have five years to catch up to their brother and get their shit together.

Colors of the Painting

  • Using the Obama ‘08 campaign as a timestamp was real effective and real upsetting at the same time. I miss you, Barack, come back to us. (And character wise, it makes sense for Kevin to be the only one of the Big Three not paying attention to politics, but don’t think I’m not judging him because I most definitely am.)
  • The soundtrack for This Is Us is reliably great but between the “I Got You Babe” and “Jesus, Etc.” covers, this episode really killed it.
  • Speaking of music, Rebecca’s Halloween costume meant two fantastic, blink-and-you-missed-’em Cher shout outs: “I’ll be the one with the devoted fan base!” and “What’s Sonny without Cher?” “I think it’s the other way around.”
  • Also, the moonwalk.

  • Miguel is living in Houston when he reaches out to Rebecca on Facebook, which means they reconnected long-distance. Why is Miguel in Houston to begin with? Did he promptly move back when he and Rebecca got together? That little line opens up a whole host of questions.
  • Sterling K. Brown coming through with the SINGLE TEAR again after he hears Garuda talking about his family. Give that man more awards right the hell now.

What are your thoughts on “The 20s”? Let us know in the comments!

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“I need for you to not be gone.” – Will & Grace Recap – Rosario’s Quinceañera Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:30:59 +0000

Will & Grace Season 1, Episode 6
“Rosario’s Quinceañera”
Posted by Sarah

If I’m being completely honest, I was dreading this episode. I saw the promo photos, I read that interview where Megan Mullally said Karen would be at her most vulnerable and raw, I heard the cast saying how this was going to be an important episode, and I connected the dots. I realized that since Shelley Morrison wouldn’t be returning, they could do just about anything with Rosario at this point, but for some reason, this never crossed my mind until all of the promotional stuff for the episode started coming out. I always assumed she would join the ranks of Stan and not be seen or heard but still be this fully present character (that little bit at the top of “Who’s Your Daddy” gave me hope). I can’t believe we’re here. But, my god…the way this show took something I was absolutely dreading and made it one of their best episodes is astounding. The way they balanced comedy with the weight of the situation is astounding. Megan Mullally is astounding.

But most of all, this farewell to such a big part of the Will & Grace universe was stunning in its beauty and its heartbreak.

Source: will-and-grace

I usually talk about the main story before diving into the smaller stories of each episode, but in this case, it doesn’t feel right to end it on the tiny bit of B-story we got. Throughout “Rosario’s Quinceañera,” we learn that Will signed the lease on the empty office space next to Grace Adler Designs so that they could expand, but he didn’t tell Grace until he received a text confirming that the space was his. While logically, this is a really good idea, Grace can’t see anything but a betrayal because he did this without at least talking with her first. Once Will eventually apologizes about not consulting her, he suggests that he run everything by her and she run everything by him. Which, of course, sets off a whole new issue in Grace, because she was under the impression that Will worked for her instead of with her. This issue isn’t resolved in this episode (and really, as they’ve said so many times before continuing with their argument anyway, this is neither the time nor the place), and I’m sure that disagreement is only going to fuel the storyline. Grace Adler Designs has been solely Grace’s for so long that it’s natural for her to have a hard time bringing a partner into the fold, even if it is her best friend. That mixed with the unintentional selfishness that seems to plague her from time to time is definitely the setup for some insane tension and butting of heads in this business venture. But we’ve got the rest of the season to resolve that (or potentially make it worse); this is not why we’re here.

We’re here for Rosario.

Karen got a late start to her work day (so, you know…typical work day) because she spent the better part of the morning trying to figure out where Rosario is. While the group is trying to determine where exactly she would go, Karen gets a call from Rosario that solves the mystery: she’s in the hospital. When they arrive at the hospital, Jack stays in Rosario’s room with her while Will fills Grace in on everything in the waiting room. She suffered a heart attack, but, for the time being, it seems like she’ll pull through. Which leads the group to start to focus on other things: Will and Grace on their newfound business partnership, Jack on Rosario’s cup of Jell-O that she said he could have, and Karen on the quinceañera she’ll throw for Rosario once she’s cleared to leave the hospital, because her parents never threw her one. I have to wonder if Karen’s plan to throw Rosario a quinceañera was because deep down, she was worried about whether or not she would make it. Maybe it was because I figured where this episode was going, but it didn’t strike me as a “we dodged a bullet, let’s celebrate” kind of thing so much as an “if I plan this, she has to pull through” kind of thing. What really fueled this line of thinking for me was Karen’s reactions when the nurse came out, asking to talk to Karen. Karen immediately declines and refuses to look the nurse straight in the eye like she knows what she’s about to hear. The nurse tells her that there were some unexpected complications, and Rosario is gone. Because Karen’s walls are usually so strong, she makes a joke to deflect, but when Grace tries to clarify, Karen snaps at her and storms off.

Two days later, Karen has thrown a quinceañera for Rosario, and the group is now putting together a funeral for her. Everyone is rallying around Karen, but Karen is frustrated to no end that everyone is asking her if she needs anything, because she is of the firm opinion that she needs nothing. And she’s taking her frustrations out on Jack. He’s running around the church to make sure everything is in order — the right picture of Rosario next to the casket, a Bible in every pew — but when the slightest thing is not up to Karen’s standards, she’ll make damn sure it’s rectified, and it’s driving Jack crazy. This is a side of her that no one is used to, and it has Jack wondering if this is what Karen’s really like when she’s sad. But before he can get too deep into that debate, someone ends up crashing the service before it even begins (sidebar: is it too early to call best line of the season? Because damn).

While I will absolutely take Lorraine popping up wherever, I can’t help but feel like her character could have been better used in a different episode. Don’t get me wrong; she was hilarious and the epitome of the Lorraine I know and love and missed so much, and she provided some insane comic relief. Her back and forth with Karen about what constitutes a family is amazing — “You married my father, I slept with your husband, that makes us family” — and her swift jewelry theft made for some excellent visual comedy. But when I heard that she was making a return to the show, I had always pictured a bigger presence in whatever storyline she happened to be in. Petition for Minnie Driver to get another convenient break from Speechless to come play with the Will & Grace crew again. Because I did not get enough Lorraine, and I don’t think it’s right to deprive us.

After Will and Grace have a moment with Rosario, Jack tells them that the priest wants to start the service. He tries to figure out a seating arrangement for the funeral that won’t have him sitting next to Karen, and when he can’t figure out a way to make that work, he loses his damn mind. Oddly enough, Grace is the one to reel him in from this meltdown and remind him of the point of today: they need to get Karen through this. That’s the only thing that matters. Jack concedes, but there’s just one problem…Karen has disappeared. Once they figure out that she’s retreated to the bar next door, Grace offers to be the one to try to get her to come back to the service. After all, she knows exactly what Karen is going through, because she went through it, too.

I was wondering when Bobbi’s death would be mentioned, and I figured it would be earlier in the season rather than later because people would be expecting some sort of tribute. It’s not something that you can just drop in the middle of a random storyline, so to have this be the thing Grace uses to connect to Karen in this moment works so well. Grace’s heartbreak is so real as she tells Karen about her own grief — “On the day of her funeral, my sister had to dress me” — that for a moment you think you’re getting a serious heart-to-heart between two women who just lost someone vital to the life they had always known. But in traditional Grace fashion, it quickly becomes about her, and the fact that she was definitely Bobbi’s favorite daughter, okay? Grace does nail the point of it all — “It doesn’t change how much it hurts” — but you can’t help but laugh at the way she tries to relate to Karen (“I WAS THE LIGHT OF HER LIIIIIIFE”). I’ve read that there will be a tribute to Bobbi in a future episode, but I loved this moment, and I loved how fitting it was to the overall tone of the series…even if it didn’t get Karen to come back to the church.

Back at the church, Jack is giving a eulogy to a packed house, reminiscing about his marriage to Rosario. But since said packed house largely consists of nuns — and they ARE in a church — he’s filling his memories of Rosario with white lies about bickering in the middle of Ikea and thinking about starting a family…you know, the traditional heterosexual marriage they never had. When he tries to pass the torch to Karen, Will lets him know that she’s still not there. Grace comes back from the bar to inform them that Karen’s not coming despite her efforts, and Jack takes his turn at the bat. He’s still super sensitive to Karen’s nitpicking so as not to upset her further, and he tells her that all he wants to do is help. Karen, however, sees this as an opportunity and asks Jack to sing her a little something. And when Jack’s rendition of “Happy” isn’t enough, she starts shouting out dance moves to enhance the performance. This bit is the kind of physical comedy that makes Will & Grace shine, and it makes for a wonderful little reprieve from the heaviness of this storyline. As delightful as it is for us, though, it’s not enough for Karen to return to the funeral. And this is where Will comes in.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Will and Karen are the unsung brOTP of this show. Where Grace and Jack try to get her to feel something, or outwardly make an effort to help, Will knows how Karen operates and he’s not about to contradict that. When he meets her at the bar, he’s not going to tell her how to feel or how to grieve; she thinks she has it handled, and he’s not going to mess with that, because everyone grieves differently. He will, however, let her know that he’s there for her. He’ll hug her even though she keeps saying she doesn’t need anybody. And although she’ll initially play it off, her walls will start to come down with him, because they always come down with him. Where she told Jack not to touch her, she clings to Will when he tries to break the hug. And it’s here where Will tells her the thing she needed to hear the most: “I’m so sorry.” Not an offer of help. Not asking how she’s feeling. Not an attempt to get her to do anything that he thinks may help her. Just an acknowledgement of how truly terrible this situation is. Will tells her that the funeral is over and everyone left. He lets her know that there’s still a chance to say goodbye to Rosario if she wants to, before he adds possibly the most important thing to tell Karen in this moment: “But it’s okay if you can’t.” He is all about letting Karen mourn the way she needs to while letting her know that she’s not alone, and that is the best kind of support to give her.

After her talk with Will, Karen musters the strength to head back to the church to see Rosario one last time. Her “Hi, honey” is so casual that that alone is heartbreaking in its own right. She still has a little bit of her wall intact, trying to reason away her inability to attend the funeral, before finally decimating those last few bricks and getting to the heart of her grief:

Every once in a while, there will be a moment from Karen — like taking one last look at the nursery in “Forbidden Fruit” or telling Stan how she doesn’t think she can do this anymore in “A Buncha White Chicks Sittin’ Around Talkin’” — that takes me by complete surprise with its gut punch to my emotions, and will forever be etched in my mind. And out of everything from her farewell to Rosario, the moment where she sees a spot on the casket, picks up the bottle of cleaner from inside and starts to clean it got me the way those other moments did. It got laughs when it happened, but it struck me as an incredibly beautiful full circle moment. For so many years, Karen had Rosario clean up her messes, made her do ridiculous things without much of an outward sense of appreciation most of the time. But she sees that spot on the casket, and even though it will soon be in the ground, Karen will not have her girl resting in anything that isn’t perfect. It’s one last thing she can do for her. I don’t know if they’re going to address Karen coping with this loss, but I do know this: Karen Walker is one hell of a strong woman. And she has her family in her corner no matter what; Will, Grace and Jack are watching the whole thing with tears in their eyes as Jack realizes: “That’s Karen sad.” And while they give Karen her space, they look on as they hold each other a little bit closer.

This episode is exactly why Megan Mullally has had my heart for so many years. Her comedic timing is so on point and unparalleled; it brings so much not only to Will & Grace, but also to every other comedic work she touches. Give her the opportunity, though, and she will turn around and shatter your heart with a brilliant dramatic performance. And because you’re so used to her making you laugh, it hits you that much harder. There were moments peppered throughout the original run where this happened — they make up a decent portion of my top 20 — but there has never been anything like Karen’s goodbye to Rosario. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that Rosario has passed, but I really don’t think there would have been any other appropriate time to take Karen to this place, because nobody has affected her life the way Rosario has. I have always been so in awe of what Megan does, but she absolutely floored me in this episode. This is, without a doubt, some of her most extraordinary work as an actress.

In anticipation of the revival’s premiere, I had written a celebration of Rosario — everything I loved, and everything I was going to miss about her. I don’t want to repeat myself here, but I do think it’s important to reiterate how much she contributed to the show, and how she truly was the fifth member of our Fab Four. After the episode, Maggie told me that Karen and Rosario are proof that your soulmate doesn’t have to be romantic, and I could not have described their relationship better than that. Long before Jack first waltzed into Grace Adler Designs, before she built this family she has with Jack and Will and Grace, even before she and Stan married, Rosario was there for Karen. She was Karen’s person. She was her constant. I wholeheartedly believe that Rosario knew her better than anyone else in her life, and she fully accepted Karen for the woman that she is. To have a person like that in your life is an incredible gift, and losing that person undoubtedly creates a void that is difficult to overcome. But the impact Rosario had on Karen’s life—and, really, on everyone else as well—is so evident in her mourning that it becomes a powerful tribute to a powerful character. And just as Karen would not have been the same without Rosario, Will & Grace would not have been the same without her. I am devastated that this is Rosario’s fate, but I could not have asked for a more loving and thoughtful farewell.

Honey…What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On?

  • “Sorry I’m late, but I got here as soon as I wanted to.” Using it.
  • Jack running around the hospital here was essentially like Jack running around the hospital in “The Hospital Show” — not to mention, his freak-out about the Jell-O was essentially Karen’s freak-out over Stan’s pills in that episode — and it made me so happy.
  • “I have been on my own since I was nine months old. I breastfed myself.” Highlighting this moment partly for the comedy of it, and partly for this punctuation:

  • Source: likeafantasy
  • I am personally outraged we never got a Rosie at Burning Man episode.
  • I am so thrilled they brought Smitty back for this. His bits with Karen are always so amazing, but just on a comfort level, I’m sure it was nice for Karen to see a familiar face while she sorted through her feelings.
  • Bless you, Lorraine Finster.

  • “I have never been so humiliated without specifically asking for it.” Jack, I have questions, do you have answers?
  • The sign in the church welcoming everyone to the service had Rosario’s full name as “Rosario Inés Consuelo Yolanda Salazar McFarland,” and the fact that they kept Jack’s last name in there meant so much to me.
  • I threw Emmys at Sean Hayes the other week for “Grandpa Jack,” and this week, I really think Megan Mullally is due for her third. Also, let’s throw more dramatic roles her way, because she can do WONDERS with them. And personally, I just want to see her do everything.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of an emotional wreck did “Rosario’s Quinceañera” make you? Let’s chat in the comments. And remember, the show is off for a few weeks because sportz, but I’ll be back for the December 5th Christmas episode, and I can’t wait to get my holiday on.

Featured Image Source: NBC

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“These people are not your friends.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Josh Is A Liar & Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy Mon, 06 Nov 2017 01:11:28 +0000
Source: crazyexedits

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3, Episode 3 & 4
“To Josh, With Love” & “Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy”
Posted by Sage

It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. If it ever DOES get better.

In “Josh Is A Liar,” young Rebecca manifests in Rebecca’s psyche as a representation of her anxiety over the information that she just let fly to Josh Chan (and a church full of parishioners.) Rebecca talks to the version of herself that’s exactly the age where she was left by her dad as she expects her friends to all jump ship and leave her as soon as word trickles down to them about these events. (And she doesn’t even know about the Trent file yet!) At best, Rebecca’s zaniness helps the people around her discover things about themselves and lean more fully into their own uniqueness. At worst, she’s a toxic friend who’ll throw you over as soon as the other shoe starts to drop. And that shoe hit the ground with a resounding sonic boom in this first episode. There are going to be a lot of casualties in the wake of this one shoe.

First up, Paula’s dignity. Little Rebecca spells out for adult Rebecca that if she and Paula REALLY take Josh Chan to court, he’ll certainly air the details about everything she did for him that he didn’t ask for. And she knows that the fastest way to get Paula to drop the topic is to make her doubt herself. After everything these two went through last year to get over their first major fight, this betrayal really stings. Rebecca condescendingly tells Paula that she doesn’t think they’re ready – and puts that blame mostly on Paula’s relative inexperience. To an objective person, that criticism is ridiculous. It’s universally accepted that Paula is THE most capable person at this branch of Plimpton x 3. But her insecurities are being poked and prodded – insecurities that Rebecca has the privilege of knowing about, as Paula’s bestie. It’s nasty and desperate, and we’re relatively used to Rebecca just being the latter. But the worst thing that she can imagine, next to never being loved, is being considered crazy. And she’ll do literally anything to stop this spread of information, even purposely and remorselessly hurt her best friend.

Heather deals with a different kind of friendship crime: neglect. Rebecca is concerned with people only as they apply to her and whatever her objective is at the time. Heather’s whole thing right now – only the consideration of her very future, the trajectory of her life – is so far out of the realm of Rebecca-land that she can’t even bothered to pay any attention to it. Heather tries. She even tries to get Rebecca interested in their “third roommate” Estrella. But there’s no piercing that bubble, and Heather is forced to contend with the unthinkable idea that she won’t be a student forever. I feel like Pasek and Paul are in the crosshairs of this one, what say you?

Rebecca’s other scheme involves discrediting Josh before he can start telling people what she told him. So instead of talking to a feminist blogger about their lawsuit as planned, Rebecca spreads a bunch of lies about Josh stealing from the church, being a racist in other ways besides calling Hector “amigo,” and doing other unforgivable things. And while it may be a stopgap, unsubstantiated rumors (even if they do find a foothold) can’t hold a candle to a criminal record. This is far from over.

Oblivious to all of this is Nathaniel, who’s having an oh-my-god-I-think-I-like-her moment. And that’s a moment he’s tried to avoid with every fiber of his being. He’s so desperately in like with Rebecca that he takes advice from GEORGE (who’s living his best life with this). He gets a slow-jam club track that owes more than a little to the Chainsmokers to tell us all about the place where he can just reflect and be himself. Nathaniel loves the zoo (except for the zebras), and it’s such a perfectly wholesome, weird thing for a stunted adult who wasn’t permitted to have a childhood to find comforting. But neither the zoo or aquarium can help him get over Rebecca; instead they bring him a little clarity.

And while it should be cause for celebration that Nathaniel is finally admitting to himself that he cares – yes, cares – about another person more than he cares about his image, his timing could not be worse. (“The sex-making.”) Rebecca is in no position to process his feelings, let along reciprocate them. But she will use him as a white-ish horse out of this mess. (“Obviously, there’s something going on between you two. I mean, you’re doing an Officer and a Gentleman type of thing.”) Her insecurities have literally been talking in her ear all episode about how no one in her life really wants anything to do with her – how they’ve all just fallen for this picture that she’s painted for them and if they ever knew what she was REALLY about, they’d laugh in her face and abandon her. That’s all in her mind when Paula, fresh from her meeting with Josh and Father Brah, shows up at Rebecca’s place to confront her with the truth and offer her help. Rebecca would rather go start over with MORE brand new pals and ANOTHER new career in Rome, with Nathaniel (if she can get him out the door before he hears her dark secret). It’s one of the show’s most insane cliffhangers so far and the reason why I didn’t feel so bad doubling up these recaps.

I’ve talked before about what rock bottom means to Rebecca. And I think rock bottom is only rock bottom if you face it. It’s the process of looking at yourself and saying “how have I become this?” that creates that moment. Otherwise, you’ll just shrug your shoulders, move on, then do something worse/more degrading. So the arson wasn’t that for Rebecca, because she never fully dealt with what she did. She tried to run from it; that’s what was creeping up behind her as the New York City promotion loomed. And even with Paula holding the proof in her hands, Rebecca can’t acknowledge it. As the rest of her friends show up to support this makeshift intervention convention of loved ones, Rebecca deflects in a truly heinous and heartbreaking way.

Part of having true friends is knowing what they’re ashamed of and what scares them. That’s powerful ammunition to have. Rebecca knows now that they’ve all got it on her, and she just can’t hear it. She can’t. So she gets them before they can get her. Everything she says rings of truth – Rebecca has never been dumb. But it’s all presented without context and without humanity. She strips these judgments of anything that might soften them and it was so hard to watch that I couldn’t do it again, even to take notes. Not everyone with a mental illness lashes out like this, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend looks at the toll that Rebecca’s untreated condition takes on the people who love her and, yes, have enabled her.

But bless their hearts, none of these people washes their hands of Rebecca. When she escapes out into the night, they go looking, in spite of her verbal attacks. Those revelations provoke some awkward conversations, particularly the one between Valencia and Paula. I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t eventually made friends with a person they thought was nasty and shallow based on who she was with or how she looked. And Valencia has to swallow that her girl group – really, the first group she ever had – first came together, in part, through dutifully hating her. But I love that Paula doesn’t try to wriggle out of it. She says they were wrong, and that what she feels for Valencia now is real. It’s the first time we’ve seen a heart to heart like this with the two of them, and it’s a good reminder that Rebecca’s arrival in West Covina brought some people together who may not have found each other otherwise.

Meanwhile, Heather, who’s bad at making decisions and taking risks, throws caution to the wind and does a little flirting with Hector and his smooth arms. (“Just naturally silky. Good for surfing.”) And White Josh and Darryl wait until the search party is over, but eventually face the fact that their lives are moving in different directions. I’m all for hard truths, except in this case. If even WhiJo and Darryl can’t make it work, then what hope is there for anyone? I expected this episode to be dark, but threatening this pair in such an immediate and inescapable way is a bridge too far, Bunch.

By successfully pushing her friends away, Rebecca has freed herself to go out and get the revenge she feels like she needs. And she’s encouraged in this endeavor by a backpacker named Jarl and his obsession with the actress Erika Christensen. You know we love us some trashy thrillers, so the extended Swimfan reference went over like gangbusters. (How appropriate to this show’s audience too. No one outside of that older millennial age group has probably ever seen it.) If she’s the crazy ex-girlfriend, then Rebecca is going to be good enough for the big screen. She changes her own narrative to horror this time, and just leans right in to what she thinks the world expects of her. (“That’s what I’ve been needing to do this whole time. Go full Christensen!”) While Josh, who spent two more weeks pursuing the priesthood than I expected, tries to get his job at Aloha back, Rebecca uses his rapport with Lourdes (she gives good parent, remember) to drag her to one of the creepiest locations in suburban USA: a traveling carnival.

Since Rebecca already sabotaged him professionally, Josh doesn’t think it’s outside of the realm of possibility that she would really hurt his mom too. But taking Lourdes out was just bait; Rebecca’s calls and texts and facetimes were all going unanswered, and all she’s ever wanted from Josh really is his undivided attention. Like Jarl says (and her rabbi and Dr. Akopian and many others), he isn’t the source of or the solution to her problems. Josh represents something that Rebecca feels is missing from her life. It’s something she’s not good or loved enough to have. That ease, that almost generic normalcy. And I know I’m hard on Josh a lot, but there’s really nothing that he can do to save her, except by grasping her hand before she falls into that hole. (Such a good moment, because neither of them are monsters. Just profoundly fucked up people.)

There’s no where else to turn at that point but to a symbol of her safety net. Rebecca goes to the bar where Greg used to do his binge drinking. And maybe it’s because she knows her friends would be looking for her in Home Base, but I think it’s for other reasons too. I held my breath when she saw his name on her caller ID, even though I knew that the show wouldn’t give Rebecca a convenient out like that. But he’s the last person she can think of who’s left to validate her. And the set-up for her ACTUAL rock bottom moment is when Marco Serrano tells her that Greg has fully moved on. Out of options and in a metaphorical hole, Rebecca does something WILDLY inappropriate with the next person who’s kind to her. Imma try to keep the Team Greg hope alive, but damn, my girl fucked his DAD. It’s as if Rebecca needed there to be another reason why she and Greg were completely done other than him just loving someone else more. He killed it, she had to set it on fire and stomp on the ashes.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend moves through plot at a clip. Here we are after episode 4 with Rebecca’s secrets exposed, friendships in the crapper, and two relationships past the point of no return. There’s a weird sense of hope to all of this, however. Because Rebecca finally has to stop lying to herself. All of her carefully crafted delusions are gone, save one. As she walks home, she fantasizes about one of our greatest living vocalists serenading her about this revelatory moment. Nothing’s better than an inspired use of Josh Groban, and “The End of the Movie” is certainly that. Rebecca’s mistakes can be tracked back to her obsession with writing and selling her own story. But she’s applying screenwriting conventions to her existence and that of others, and that’s only going to lead to more disappointment. She has to let go of the idea that everything will make sense or mean something; that no one she loves will ever hurt her, either accidentally or on purpose; and that she herself has to always be one thing or another, as opposed to a real human being with complicated emotions that will sometimes change without warning.

She also has to realize that she doesn’t deserve Paula. Then again, how many of us are always 100% deserving of the kindness and concern of our friends? Sometimes people just do stuff for you because they want to, whether you’re fulfilling your ideal of yourself or not. Regardless, it’s Paula, who Rebecca saved her worst accusations for, who cares enough to set her up for some tough love. She may be a pill, but besides Rebecca, Naomi is the only other person who knows what her daughter went through. And when Rebecca returns from Scarsdale, we’ll probably be watching an entirely different show.

The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • “And I thought maybe you threw your back out, and I have a massager. Actually, I have two: one, two.”
  • Corset is my favorite Crazy Ex-Girlfriend analog to anything.
  • I don’t know what Home Base Bacon Boppers are, but I want.
  • “Are you sitting down? It’s about Crichton.”
  • “Ah, the smells of a man’s boyhood. I am that man. And that boy. And I have a hood. God, I love it when sentences work out.”
  • Chris is like a MAN.
  • “I re-read The Art of War last night George, we’re way past all that.”
  • “Let sleeping Chans lie.”
  • “Wearing high heels, and a short skirt made of murder.”
  • “Wow. I have crazy relatives, but all we do is talk about them when they leave, like a normal family.”
  • Susie Reynolds reference, drink!
  • “Truth? You’re not the most attentive parent. Brendan’s my weed guy.”
  • “Hey, can you guys keep it down? Penny and George are asleep. They’re so beat.”
  • “What’s, um, what’s her first and last name, and just in case it’s common, what’s her middle name?”

Are you SHOOK or what? How are you feeling after Rebecca’s rock bottom faceplant? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image source: CW

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“I try not to feel anything at all.” – This Is Us Recap – Brothers Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:45:12 +0000

This Is Us Season 2, Episode 5

Posted by Shannon

The Pearson family has a few calling cards. Steelers fandom, a knack for performance, and an attachment to unique traditions all signify their familial bond. But they also share a deeper, more problematic trait; the all-too-common impulse to ignore what they’re feeling, to bury their anxieties down within their psyches, cover them up with addiction, or hide their worst memories away in the attic. This week, Jack, Kate, and Kevin alike all find themselves ignoring something they ought not ignore – painful pasts, frightening futures, and rampaging addiction. Randall, ever the outlier, is the only one who lets himself truly FEEL something – now that the constant distraction of his office job is at an end. I, for one, would like to take up a collection to get each and every one of them into therapy. But in lieu of that, there’s always camping.

Jack and Rebecca

While we’ve yet to see a particularly great time in the relationship of young Randall and Kevin, “Brothers” takes us back to one of their most challenging years. With Randall at a new school, Kevin is consistently horrible to his brother, avoiding him at all costs, making fun of everything that comes out of his mouth, and opting to hide alone with his Gameboy at every opportunity. Jack can’t let this stand, and decides to take the boys camping for the weekend, in the hopes that the time alone will break them down and create some kind of bond. Kevin definitely isn’t making it easy. From the moment they get into the car, he wants nothing to do with Randall, and the only time he has a modicum of fun at the campsite is when he’s laughing at his brother for getting trapped inside a collapsed tent.

Jack’s at his wit’s end. And while he’s got the right idea with his speech to Kevin, he also pushes the kid a little too far, leaning into his worst habit of being too emotionally open with his children and airing his frustration with their unique needs. (“All you kids, you need something different!” Maybe because kids are people and people are not all the same? C’mon, Jack.) There’s something deep and intense about Kevin’s reaction to Jack pushing him; right before Jack leaves him alone, it almost looked like Kevin was on the verge of a panic attack. Regardless, he completely shuts down, and Jack leaves, frustrated. Whatever’s going on here, Kevin isn’t able to express it; he might not even understand it. But when he finds Randall’s notebook, filled with ways to try to get on Kevin’s good side, he begins to understand that their dad is right. All Randall wants is to be friends with his brother.

Something in that list gets through to Kevin, and he ventures out of the tent to make s’mores with Randall. But Kevin isn’t the only Pearson wrestling with complex emotions on the camping trip. Jack is fixated on the faltering relationship between his sons, and fixated on being the best, most supportive father he can possibly be, in no small part because of the dramatic difference in his own upbringing. Throughout the camping trip, Jack has glimmers of flashbacks to being roughly the same age as Randall and Kevin, on a fishing trip with his father. We’ve known that Stanley Pearson was an alcoholic, and an emotionally and physically abusive figure in Jack’s past. The image of a young Jack, quietly convincing himself that his father hasn’t abandoned him, is heartbreaking – but it’s thrown into a new light when his little brother, Nicky, emerges from the backseat. Even at that young age, Jack’s internal drive to care for those around him, to protect them from anything and everything, was paramount. And yet, we haven’t heard a word about this brother before. At the close of the episode, we learn that Nicky signed up to go to Vietnam with his older brother, and there’s no way that story ends well. There’s something bad here, something that Jack is ignoring, and it has manifested into a desperate drive for his sons to get along.

With the boys out of the house for the weekend, Rebecca had planned to spend some quality time with Kate, taking in a double feature of Turner & Hooch and Honey I Shrunk the Kids before ending their mother/daughter day with a manicure. But it all goes out the window when a representative from Stanley Pearson’s nursing home calls, warning his next of kin that Stanley is close to death. Rebecca tries, to no avail, to get in touch with Jack, before finally heading off to the nursing home with Kate in tow. I suspect that the last time Jack saw his father, it was to ask for the house loan, and Jack had memorably slipped off his wedding ring before walking in the door. As a result, Rebecca and Stanley have never met; he certainly hasn’t met any of the grandkids.

When Rebecca finally does get in touch with Jack, thanks to a park ranger with a car radio, he has no interest in coming home, and doesn’t even ask Rebecca to pass along a message to his father. That father and son relationship is far past the breaking point, and Jack’s priority is the family he’s built with Rebecca. Nothing else matters.


Tensions are still high at Randall and Beth’s breakfast table, but with Kevin back in the basement (for all of one night, but still), the issue of Deja’s hair has been shelved. Still, Randall and Beth are both on high alert for any and all comments about Deja’s appearance, and Kevin is all too happy to ignore their concerns and generally act like his oblivious self. When he invites Randall and Beth to join him at Sophie’s charity gala, they decline, but Deja quietly asks to join instead. Beth has some legitimate concerns about this plan; not only is a “swanky, Manhattan charity ball” an intimidating place to bring Deja, Beth can see the real reason for Deja’s interest – her burgeoning crush on Kevin. After all, as Beth reminds Randall, “your brother is smoking hot.”

Not even that mortifying piece of evidence can sway Randall in his efforts to connect with Deja. He’s just happy that, for the first time in her stay, she’s excited about something, and he can’t let that opportunity pass him by. Beth does want it to go well, and besides consistently reminding him not to discuss her appearance, she also gives Randall a strict set of dad joke guidelines – which he promptly throws out the window. (“Cool means normal.” “No it doesn’t. Cool means cool.”) Throughout the car ride and their arrival at the party, Randall is in fine form, making endearingly cringe-worthy jokes ranging in subject matter from Dairy Queen to Star Trek and everything in between. (Petition to have Sterling K. Brown recite the entire opening monologue of Star Trek: The Next Generation, please and thank you.)  As always, though, Randall’s efforts have a deeper, thoughtful motivation. He remembers his first day at private school, looking out into a sea of white faces not unlike the one he and Deja find themselves in now, and he wants her to feel at home. But Kevin does that in a heartbeat, with all the ease and humor that Randall always envied in his brother.

Despite Deja almost completely ignoring Randall, their attendance at the gala gets off to a decent start. She’s enjoying herself, carrying herself with poise beyond her years, and generally looks a hell of a lot more comfortable at her first non-profit gala than I did at mine. Randall is so impressed with her, and watches her out of the corner of his eye while she takes in her surroundings and enjoys some shrimp cocktail. He’s happy to keep a distance and let her have this experience, but when Deja goes to eat the tail of her shrimp, he jumps, grabbing at her shoulder to stop her from choking. Once again, Randall is well-intentioned but clueless about Deja’s reactions to his physicality. He pulls back quickly when she jumps, and lets her leave for the restroom without visibly following her, but still – he should have seen this coming.

Randall and Kevin’s relationship has settled since their time living together last year, but there’s still so much tension and envy between the two of them that it’s hard to know when it might rear its head. And when Kevin finds Randall waiting in front of the ladies room, trying to talk himself out of going in to talk to Deja, the two get to the emotional core of their differences. Randall cares deeply about his emotional well being, and that of the people around him. But showing his loved ones that he cares, and expressing those feelings outside of his own swirling turmoil, has never come easily to Randall. Kevin doesn’t express those feelings well either – but that’s because he ignores them, relying instead on his considerable charm to get him through. I was reminded of how easy it seemed for Randall to connect with his newfound cousins back in the jazz bar in Memphis; when he does get out of his head, when he lets himself be comfortable and at ease, he’s just as socially natural as Kevin. But getting to that point takes a whole lot more out of Randall than it does his brother.

Barging in on Deja in the women’s room could have gone either way. She could have seen his standing in front of her stall as a trap, or taken it as an order to share a story she wasn’t ready to share. It could have backfired, and it could have backfired badly. But instead, Deja almost seems to be grateful for Randall’s steady, quiet energy, and so she opens up. It’s been clear that Deja was a survivor of abuse, and she tells Randall that the second to last foster home was the worst yet; she was regularly beaten by her foster mother’s boyfriend, along with all the other foster kids at the home. Randall hears her out, doesn’t ask questions, and doesn’t demand any further information. He’s just there to listen, and when Deja is done talking, he lets her leave with dignity before taking her home for the night.



Kevin’s back on the East coast for a long weekend, and even after spending a night regaling Tess and Annie with set stories about Ron Howard and Sylvester Stallone, he does not look great. The film has wrapped, but Kevin’s not in town to celebrate: Sophie’s hospital is having their annual charity benefit, and Kevin has agreed to be auctioned off for a date to help raise funds. Instead, he spends all of his time fixated and self-medicating. When he can’t find extra pain pills in Randall’s guest bathroom, he leaves message after message at his LA doctor’s office, asking for yet another Vicodin refill. In between phone calls, he guzzles beer, and even though he hasn’t seen his girlfriend in weeks, Kevin is distracted and disinterested at her apartment. He’s lying to her constantly; he never once mentions his knee, even though Sophie knew about the injury, and he pretends all his calls for pain meds are just calls to Kate, helping her with a universal remote crisis.

Kevin holds it together at the beginning of the gala, and at least he isn’t a mess in front of Deja, but before long he’s a complete drunken disaster. Kevin downs bourbon after bourbon, finally reaching his LA doctor only to scream at him when his request for more Vicodin is turned down. Kevin is too wrapped up in his own pain and addiction to notice when Sophie announces him from the stage; he misses the auction entirely, stumbling back into the ballroom long after the ceremony has ended. Kevin has no clue that he’s missed it, and while he knows he’s fucked up, he won’t truly own his mistake. Sophie has the look of a woman who has been through all this before, and who can’t believe she’s back here again. I’m willing to bet that she knows Kevin has something else going on, and that she doesn’t buy his claims that Ron Howard needs to do re-shoots. Whatever Kevin’s excuse, she doesn’t really want to hear it, and I can’t say I blame her.

I’ll say this for Kevin’s addiction; it’s certainly spiraled out fast. This storyline feels tired and predictable, but I’m hopeful that it acts as a launching point to get us to his actual emotional core. To the reason for his divorce with Sophie, the reason for his shutting down after Jack’s death, even the reason for him refusing to click into his emotions while he was camping with Randall all those years ago. There is SOMETHING in Kevin’s center that’s driving all of this, and I hope that the current storyline is just a way to get us to something deeper.   


Having spent the last two weeks getting accustomed to her pregnancy, Kate decides it’s time to tell Toby what’s going on. The way she goes about it, though, is incredibly telling. Rather than sit Toby down at home, privately, Kate shows up at his office unannounced and asks to talk in his office. Toby being Toby, he assumes Kate wants to have office sex and clears off his desk before she even gets a word out. (Please know, Toby, that I do not hate you because you watch porn. I hate you because you assume this visit is about you, and therefore the only purpose for the visit could be sex, and therefore you are terrible. I digress.)  When Kate breaks the news, Toby is thrilled and ready to break out his happy dance, but Kate’s just not there emotionally. Kate is doing all she can to keep from feeling the weight of this news; it’s no wonder she decided to tell him at work. It’s not that she’s concerned about “jinxing” anything; it’s that she’s TERRIFIED. And considering the fact that any pregnancy at 37 is considered geriatric (“That’s literally what it’s called!”), combined with potential complications due to her weight, Kate has every reason to be cautious.

Obviously it’s Kate’s call when and how to share this news, and it’s still early for her and Toby to start telling people about the pregnancy regardless. But demanding that Toby not even talk to her about it, not share any of his hopes for their pregnancy with her, is pretty extreme. Kate’s on edge at every moment, and when she shows up to group only to listen to Madison complain about meeting a new guy during a mini-pizza party, it’s just a matter of time until she snaps. Full disclosure, I cracked up at Chrissy Metz’s performance here. And it’s very possible that Kate’s on to something when she accuses Madison of being the group’s Marla Singer. But also, where was the moderator during Kate’s outburst? And for that matter, where’s the moderator with Madison in general? I have a lot of questions about this group.

When Madison and Kate finally confront each other in the parking lot, they both make some valid points. Madison’s right to call Kate out for giggling her way through meetings with Toby. (I’ll never forgive them for that note-passing situation MID-MEETING last season.) Our sympathies are meant to be with Kate, and again, this entire scene really rides on Chrissy Metz’s performance. When Kate and Madison get into their inevitable fender bender, leading Kate, shocked, to share the news with Madison, she immediately drops any and all animosity to be there for Kate. Her happiness for Kate’s pregnancy, and her relief that she’s not hurt, is so genuine. Is it too much to hope that these two can become pals? Because Kate needs a good girlfriend in her life and that window-hug was charming.

Safe and sound at home, Kate makes a deal with Toby; he can tell anyone in a random restaurant that Kate is pregnant, as long as they never go back to that restaurant ever again. And again, Toby being Toby, he somehow “charms” the manager into plugging in his phone and playing his happy song for his celebration. It’s Hootie & the Blowfish. Of course it is.

Colors of the Painting

  • Shout out to Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, who were acting their faces off during that phone call/car radio scene.
  • Kate and Rebecca’s relationship was so genuine and loving at this point in their lives. It’s no wonder Rebecca can’t figure out what went wrong.

  • I spent so long on the Chuck Noll wikipedia page and I still don’t get this reference. Help, sportz people. 


  • Is it just that I’m desperate for any and all references to House, M.D. or does Kevin’s bad leg and Vicodin addiction make anyone else wish he was Hugh Laurie?
  • I was going to try to pick a favorite Manny title, but when the options include Iron Manny, Manny Get Your Gun, and Of Mice And Mannies, it’s impossible to go wrong.
  • KEV-ENT.

Are you as wary of the Kevin addiction story as we are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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“Grace and Will…now that sounds like a thing.” – Will & Grace Recap – How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying Mon, 30 Oct 2017 13:00:50 +0000
Source: stuckinreversemode

Will & Grace Season 1, Episode 5
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying”
Posted by Sarah

Why, Beverley Leslie, you teacup poodle/finger puppet/insert other Karen Walker-ism here. This week marked the return of one of Karen’s greatest frenemies, complete with a morphine-induced confession, a surprisingly alive wife, and Benji 2: The Sequel. And that was just the B-story! We’ve also got a pastiche of original run plot points that set the scene for a potentially major story arc for Will and Grace, and Jack putting all the money he doesn’t have into a fierce-ass denim jacket. There’s a whole lot of story crammed into these thirty minutes, so let’s get down to business! (Oh…I see what I did there.)

It’s a big day for both Will and Grace; while Grace has a meeting with Eli Wolff (hi, Max Greenfield!) for a once-in-a-lifetime gig designing fifteen boutique hotels, Will needs to get through a review before potentially becoming a senior partner at his law firm. After helping each other pick out the perfect outfit, they’re on their way to potential greatness. Grace is giving the pitch of her life to Eli, and she seems to be doing a pretty great job; after she states her case, Eli lets her know that it’s between her and one other designer. All she needs is that one thing she can offer that no one else can. And when Will calls Grace in the middle of her meeting, Eli makes it crystal clear that if Grace is going to be offered this opportunity, she, in turn, needs to offer up her best friend for a date.



And here’s where we reach our first stop on Memory Lane. I had an inkling when Tony had that awkward interaction with Eli before Grace asked him to grab their layouts, but the second Will called Grace at the office, I knew we were about to do “Saving Grace” again (not to be confused with “Saving Grace, Again”). In the first season of the original run, Grace is in the running to design the apartment of publicist Nathan Berry (hi, Miguel Ferrer, I miss you), and needs something to one up her competition. And when Nathan comes over to take a look at her own apartment and meets her roommate, it becomes glaringly obvious what Grace has that the other designers don’t: Will. She convinces Will to go on a couple of dates with him, but Will hates him, and when he can’t take it anymore, he potentially jeopardizes Grace’s job. It all works out in the end, because of course it does, we’re in Sitcom Land, but we’re definitely heading into familiar territory with “How to Succeed.” Honestly, when Will asked if Grace was trying to pimp him out, I was half expecting him to say “AGAIN?!” because damn, girl, how many times are you going to find yourself in this predicament? Where Nathan Berry annoyed the hell out of him, though, once Will finds out that Eli Wolff wants a date, he’s super into it. He is, after all, a power gay that a potential senior partner totally deserves to be with. But the question remains: did Will make senior partner?



Will’s been on edge ever since his review, waiting for the phone call that will determine the course of the rest of his life. And when he finally gets summoned by the other senior partners of the firm, his fate is seemingly decided: he made it. But when he looks around at his new colleagues, he doesn’t really like what he sees: “Charles has so much suppressed rage, he’s gnawed off all his nail beds. I think Eileen’s dead. Goldblatt…god, he’s always hated me.” Not to mention, the partner seated next to him tells him to run. It’s here that Will makes a life-altering realization: this job makes him miserable, and he doesn’t want what he’s worked so hard to achieve. Which brings us to our next stop on the Original Plotlines Tour ’17. Will’s already done the midlife crisis thing from the end of season seven to the middle of season eight. After trying to rewrite his will, realizing he doesn’t have much to show for his life, and almost getting hit by a bus with Grace by his side, he decides to quit his job to try his hand at writing. And when that’s a bust, he starts working for the Coalition for Justice in order to try to do some good in the world, before ultimately going back to Doucette and Stein. At least this new midlife crisis can’t be used as a device to bring Stan back into the picture.

Needless to say, being faced with his unhappiness makes Will’s date with Eli a disaster. He’s crying his eyes out while he’s pouring the wine, trying to make this fun for Eli when all he can do is talk about how much he hates his job. Eli splits and texts Grace that the evening was ruined, which causes Grace to freak out over the fact that Will potentially blew her chances at getting her dream job. She’s so focused on the ruins her career was just possibly reduced to that she doesn’t factor in Will’s sadness, even when Will prompts her for a little empathy. And instead of sitting herself down on the couch next to her best friend and listening to his problems, she races out the door in the hopes of catching Eli before he flies off in his helicopter.



Grace does have the tendency to make things about herself when Will is in a bit of a crisis; it’s all over the original run, but ESPECIALLY in season two’s “He’s Come Undone,” where—in addition to a number of other things—she ends up sleeping with his therapist after joining him for a session. So her fixation on the fact that she might have lost this job isn’t surprising, nor is the fact that it takes Eli to tell her that Will’s miserable—once he informs her that she’s got the job—to wake her up. But eventually, Grace reassesses the situation. Eventually, she always comes back to Will’s side to be there for him. And that’s exactly what she does here. She listens to him as he tells her that he doesn’t want to be a corporate lawyer anymore, that despite all of his prior assertions to the contrary, he wants a few surprises in his life. And Grace gives him a doozy: she wants him to come work with her. Now that Eli’s hired her and requested that he be her only client during this process, Grace is straight up terrified of the job; she’s working on a massive scale that she is in no way used to handling on her own. She needs Will’s help. And although Will recognizes that this is by far the biggest risk he’s ever taken, that’s what makes it impossible to pass up. Welcome to the Grace Adler Designs family, Mr. Truman.

And welcome to our final stop on our trip to plotlines past! In season six, Grace renovated an apartment for Karen’s mom, but instead of living there, Lois decided to turn a profit and sell the place. Which gives Will and Grace the idea to start flipping apartments together. The Flippers Who Care lasted about four episodes and the business was never spoken of again after that, but it created some pretty great moments (“East Side Story” was fantastic, fight me on that). Listen, I really loved the apartment flipping story arc, so I’m hopeful for what this new venture for Will and Grace is going to be. There is so much potential for this path, and although it was great the first time, I feel like it could be explored so much further. And since this time, Will quit his job, it seems like their business outing is going to be a little more permanent. I just wish this didn’t dash all my possibly unreasonable hopes of Lily Tomlin making a triumphant (albeit unlikely) return to the show. Margot, we hardly knew ye.

Meanwhile, Karen’s taking a break from office life in favor of a little golf and relaxation at the country club. She walks into the hospitality suite to find a morphine drip next to the bed and immediately thinks someone sent it to her suite as a gift (because why give Karen Walker flowers when you can give her something she actually wants?). And since it’s always polite to thank the person who gives you such a thoughtful present, and there’s no card attached to the machine, Karen calls downstairs to find out who to thank. But she’s in for a terrible surprise; even though she booked the suite months in advance, someone recovering from recent plastic surgery is currently occupying her room. And as she’s wondering who could have possibly swiped the hospitality suite from underneath her, enter Beverley Leslie—who, now that the series finale is no longer in play, absolutely did not meet his maker by getting swept up in a gentle breeze—in the arms of…wait a minute, that’s not Benji.



Apparently, Original Benji aged out of the position of “business associate,” but never fear, new Benji is here! Once he puts Beverley down and gives Karen and him a moment alone, Beverley tells Karen he’s not giving up the room; he’s just had plastic surgery (where, exactly?) and needs his rest. He just needs help getting into bed and getting hooked up to the morphine drip. Karen grudgingly complies, throwing him on the bed like a bag of Gardener’s peat moss and helping herself to a few drops of morphine in her martini (god, that was such a perfect Karen move).



The morphine’s got Beverley feeling pretty good and honest, and he’s ready to fill his dear friend in on a little “secret.” Something that he’s been “keeping to himself” for years. Something that “no one else knows.” Yes, friends, his moment has finally arrived: Beverley Leslie is a homosexual (ATTENTION, REPUBLICANS). Of course, the news doesn’t have the Earth-shattering effect on Karen he’s expecting it to have (see the aforementioned “ATTENTION, REPUBLICANS” incident), but it’s freaking him out nonetheless, because he knows he has to tell his wife, Crystal. And since it’s her 90th birthday, he’s not sure that now is the right time to tell her.

Um…I’m sorry, what? Did the retcon in “11 Years Later” go THAT far into the final season of the original run? Because in “Birds of a Feather Boa,” she definitely died, Beverley definitely had a funeral for her, and Grace and Karen were definitely in attendance. Remember, Bev? Grace tried on one of Crystal’s gowns and couldn’t get out of it, and Karen got caught in its zipper when she tried to help? Hilarity ensued? Remember? So I’m a little confused. And so is Karen (I literally shouted “THANK YOU” when she called him out on this). Beverley’s got us covered, though, clearing everything up by telling Karen, “The first shovel of dirt on the coffin revived her,” and…okay, you know what? If we let Stan coming back from the dead slide in the original run, really, what’s one more? It’s like this show’s thing now. Regardless, Karen agrees to help him come out to Crystal in exchange for the hospitality suite, and it seems like after all these years, Beverley will finally live his truth out in the open.

Oh please…like they were really going to let go of 90% of his schtick. Once Karen returns to the hospitality suite to help him out, Bev has sobered up and has no recollection of their little chat. No, of course he’s not gay, and he’s got a very manly laugh to prove it (that moment was so deliciously hilarious, you guys). And giving the hospitality suite to Karen? You can forget about that. Karen eventually concedes the suite, but not before shooting off a little text to Crystal encouraging her to celebrate her birthday in a special way…special, in this case, meaning making love from the front. Karen leaves with a bit of advice for a terrified Beverley: “Think of it like golf. Just keep hacking away at the sand trap, and hope you get it close to the hole.” I am just in awe; Karen’s innuendo game has been ON FIRE this entire season, and we are not worthy of her genius. I’m hopeful this won’t be the last we see of Beverley Leslie in the revival (Leslie Jordan alluded to more appearances in this week’s After Party episode, so yay). His dynamic with Karen is so amazing, and I can’t imagine it will be a one-and-done thing in the revival. So bring it on; he can waltz onto the scene in New Benji’s arms any day.

And then there’s Jack. He gave Theodore from work a dollar to buy a scratch-off lottery ticket that resulted in a $2,000 payoff, and he is so excited that he’s finally a thousandaire. After Theodore tells an incredibly enthusiastic Jack the story of exactly how he scratched that scratcher, and how he already spent some of the money on a mini espresso maker, he gives Jack the money he thinks he deserves: the dollar that helped buy the ticket. Jack is outraged; he is, after all, the one who put money down for the ticket, and he feels entitled to about 999 more dollars than he was given. And it’s the principle of it, right? He contributed to the purchase of a winning lotto ticket, he should at least get SOMETHING more than the Washington he gave up. More than this, though, Jack needs that grand something awful; he just bought an expensive jean jacket with Karen’s face emblazoned on it, and there is no way he can pay for it without his share of the money. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re going to blow some unexpected money on an extravagance, that’s a pretty solid choice. But more so than the principle of the matter, I’m almost certain Jack was driven by the fact that he needs that money, dammit. It doesn’t matter that he misread the text Theodore sent him saying that Theo and Theo alone won two grand. Jack has his eye on half the prize, and he will stop at nothing to get it. He’ll hold Theodore’s mini espresso maker hostage in the girl’s bathroom when it’s delivered, all the while helping himself to its sweet, caffeinated goodness. And when Theodore figures out the hiding place, he’ll make a beeline for the cash hidden in the cigar box in the shoebox in Theodore’s desk drawer. Both of them are set in their corners of the argument, and neither of them look like they’re going to budge anytime soon.



In the middle of this showdown, Tasha walks into the office to ask Jack to walk her to the subway; her dad’s car died, and he won’t be able to pick her up. Adding to the blow is the fact that her dad makes a living as a Lyft driver, and since the repairs are definitely out of their price range—a whopping $1,800—he won’t be able to work. Cue the lightbulb going off in Jack’s head, making him not so subtly prompt Theodore to give Tasha the lotto winnings. We could have just left it at that, a heartwarming moment where good conquers greed. Here’s the thing about Jack sometimes, though: he has a big heart…but he also likes recognition. A lot. He swipes the remaining lotto winnings from Theodore’s pocket, hands it over to Tasha, and happily accepts any and all credit. So the motives might not have been 100% great, but the money did end up going to the right place. And since Jack can’t take back his premature purchase, he’s resigned to keeping a high-quality garment with a pinch of credit card debt.

But honestly, that jacket is worth every penny. And I’ll take one, please. Put it on Jack’s card.


Honey…What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On?

  • Allow me to be a dork about the episode title for a second, because this is the first one of the revival that really feels like one of those old-school Will & Grace wordplay titles to me. Also, since it’s a play on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention the fact that Megan Mullally played Rosemary in the 1995 Broadway revival AND the musical’s book was co-written by Abe Burrows, father of Will & Grace’s director, James Burrows. I really needed to tell you those connections, and I’m okay with being that person.
  • I need Jack to channel his inner Katya and thwoorp the shit out of that fan every damn day.



  • Officially adding “Conflama” to my vocabulary.
  • “Oh, for god’s sake, don’t cry. You look like Jeff Sessions watching a black man vote.” I was wondering if they were going to use Leslie Jordan’s resemblance to their advantage, and they did not let me down.
  • Sad Will pours wine like Everyday Me pours wine.
  • Honestly, I kind of wanted more of Jhanvi, Nirmalan, and their mother’s calls to Will.
  • Hey, if Tasha’s going to be a recurring character, can we at least fit Karen into whatever storyline comes out of it? But wait a little bit…I still haven’t fully recovered from Karen Walker feeling things during “Emergency Contact.”
  • Grace’s helicopter hair instantly took me back to her “Simba looks angry” look from season eight’s “I Second That Emotion,” and apparently I am not the only one who went there:

Source: will-and-grace

  • Look, all I’m saying is that if the NBC store can sell “I Loves Me Kitty” sweatshirts, they can definitely work out a deal with whoever made Jack’s jacket. Please direct me to their suggestion box.

What did you think of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying?” Let’s chat in the comments!

Featured Image Source: NBC

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“Are you Command or are you someone’s girl?” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Lost Girls Mon, 30 Oct 2017 12:30:42 +0000

Scandal Season 7, Episode 4
“Lost Girls”
Posted by Sage

Last week, Scandal showed us what Fitz was up to during Mellie’s first 100 days. (Making turkey sandwiches, saying racist things to Marcus.) “Lost Girls” picks up right where both of the last two episodes left off: with Fitz standing in front of Liv’s door, ruining her first non-anonymous tryst with Curtis. (BOO.) It’s physically impossible for Fitz not to make everything about him, but I swear to God, if he steals Mellie’s thunder on this nuclear summit…

“I actually was hoping for your help on some institute business, but if this is a bad time.” Fitz says, WELL AWARE that he’s King of the Cockblock. Curtis leaves.

Fitz hands Olivia a folder regarding 200+ cases of missing black girls. OF COURSE this is a worthy and desperately urgent cause, but Fitz also handpicked it because he knew Olivia would listen.

“100 days is over, I kept my head down but now I have work to do.” GO AWAY.

“I don’t want Quinn Perkins, I want you.” “Well you CAN’T HAVE ME.” I’m so tired. I want off this ride.

“So is there? Anything else you need?” It’s nuclear summit day and Mellie and Rashad are working VERY closely together.

Olivia KNOWS.

“We are making history today Liv. You and me, I can feel it.”

“What could that man have possibly be thinking?” “Umm…”

QPA have to pick a “poster girl” for the missing girls story. And yes, they have to market her mainly to the whites.

“It doesn’t feel right.” Olivia asks Jake to look into why Fitz showed up all of a sudden.

“We need a name that sounds right.” “Anyone else grossed out by this?”

“My point is this case is not the bait, you are…You are the cheese, Mr. President. You.” Her own father sent in the man he hates more than anyone to dickmatize Liv into dissolving B613.

“Well that’s too bad, I really wanted you to have it.” Cyrus can’t legally accept Fenton’s gift, so he tries to return it. In person.

“Wanna try?” Then they have a VR DATE. Is this Cyrus’s endgame?? I like.

“I do have a nice smile.”

Fenton is DEF into him, and making moves.

“In fact, whenever Mr. Pryce calls, I’m not available.” When Fitz is around, you best forget it.

Olivia won’t let Marcus see Mellie, because she knows it’s actually real.

“How is Vermont?” “Cold, white.” “No, I mean, how is Fitz in Vermont?” “Cold. White.”

“You don’t need a story, you need a storyteller.” Liv tells Quinn et al that they need a mother to be the spokesperson for this issue.

“What kind of fool do you think I am?” “I would tell you but a woman is present.” Much dick measuring at the nuclear summit.

“Then tell me I’m wrong.” “There’s nothing to tell.” Mellie won’t say what Olivia already knows, which is that it’s not just business with Bashrani anymore.

“I’ve been fighting this whole time. It’s about time you showed up.” At least, every time Fitz thinks he’s being a hero, some woman will knock him down a few pegs.

“If it’s a national crisis now, then it was a national crisis when you were still present.” A comment later at QPA indicates that this confrontation was staged but ummmm, there’s definitely still some gross fighting over Olivia behind their words.

Ugh, he’s staying.

“Has anyone ever told you you have the most bracing taste in alcohol?” She’s from the SOUTH.

“I think I can stand a little more.” Getting the fuck me eyes in the oval, must be Scandal.

“He wants you! Cyrus he wants you bad.” Mellie kicks off shoes and jumps into the “pajama party position” in Cyrus’s office. She calls him and Fenton a “power couple.”

“That man is beneath me.” “HE GAVE YOU A CEZANNE.” More Cyrus and Mellie talking about boys, please!

“It’s intoxicating, everyone always doing what I say. I start to think, I can do whatever I want, whoever I want. But that’s exactly what they all thought, all those dead guys with their mistresses and their child brides, the pigs. And now it’s happening to me. It’s a nightmare.”

“You’re asking if it’s possible to be Command and share your life with someone.” Ask a loaded question, get a loaded answer.

“Olivia, look at you, you’re asking ME for boy advice. THAT’S how alone you are.”

Mellie comes clean about the spies at the next summit meeting. INTRIGUE.

Secret service bursts in. Rebels have taken the Bashrani capital. It’s a coup. It takes over the news, eclipsing the story of the missing girls.

“You need to make up your mind, Liv: are you Command or are you someone’s girl?” Don’t test Rowan’s savagery.

“My hands are tied.” “Well you need to untie them.” “By going to WAR?” Mellie’s ready to go to bat for Rashad.

Fitz wants Mellie to make a statement about the missing girls. So he asks Olivia, because he sucks.

“Why are you here?” “BECAUSE YOU ARE HERE.” UGH. Keep it in your pants, dummies.

“I am the one who has to stand before the American people and OWN those calls.” Mellie is weary of Olivia’s POOR ME, I AM THE POWER speeches. (Side note, every single scene with the two of them this season has been gay af.)

“Of course you have feelings for him and of course we will restore Rashad’s presidency.” Hit it, TLC.

“My baby?” Zoey is alive and well. Quinn gets to tell her mom.

Cyrus buys the painting from Fenton for 20 bucks. And he’ll teach him about politics.

Olivia and Mellie established a Special Division of the FBI for investigating the cases of missing persons of color. Can we get one of those here on Earth-1??

“You were wrong about Fitz. He did what he was supposed to do.” Jake shows Olivia photos of Rowan coming to Fitz’s house to lure him to DC. So she cleans out Annie the T-Rex as punishment.

Did Mellivia just start a war? Will Rowan finally give up on making Olivia “good” again? (LET HER DO WHAT SHE WANTS, LIKE YOU DID.) What’s Marcus going to think about Mellie’s head-of-state/head-of-state love affair? Did Charlie and Quinn get married without telling us?? Come back next week for more el scandalo.

Featured Image Source: ABC

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“You have the heart of a weak, dying kitten.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – To Josh, With Love Wed, 25 Oct 2017 13:00:02 +0000
Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3, Episode 2
“To Josh, With Love”
Posted by Sage

In The Office, Pam has a method for cutting down on the number of times per day that Michael embarrasses himself. She gives him a trial run at a phone greeting before she really patches through his call. Once Michael gets his attempt at folksy comedy out of his system, he’s less mortifying. “He usually does better on the second attempt,” Pam explains to the camera.

The analogy isn’t perfect, but that’s Rebecca Bunch and her schemes. The first attempt usually involves Rebecca trying to be anybody but herself. And she doesn’t realize until it’s too late that role-playing her way through life is probably only satisfying when she’s in bed with Nathaniel. (Ayyyye.) The rest of the time, it has way less than a 39% success rate. If only the world could set up trial runs for Rebecca. The second try is the first time we see the real her.

When last we left them, Paula was invigorated by the idea of suing Josh Chan, and Rebecca was listlessly going through the motions. Neither of their positions have changed. Paula loves the part of her job that doesn’t involve her other coworkers, and she’s super psyched to be using her powers for rational business for once. But especially after she hears the unimpressive dollar amount of the fee Paula thinks they can get a judge to hand down to Josh (“That’s a pair of shoes.” “Maybe to you, bitch!”), Rebecca is determined to do something more. Something “savage.”

Paula is still indulgent to the point of lunacy, but she really has stuck to her pledge to stop enabling Rebecca’s self-destruction. But when Paula shuts down her request to plan something way more sinister than a 20-minute visit to municipal court, who’s Rebecca to turn to? Fortunately for the side of her who wants so much to be bad, Nathaniel is making a promise to himself too. He’s disappointed the water polo gladiator inside by getting all moony over Rebecca, and the only way he thinks he can get a grip on himself is to recommit to being the unscrupulous WASP his father raised him to be. This is bad news for the local Korean market, whose destruction will be Nathaniel’s avenue to getting his groove back, but catnip to Rebecca, who needs a scheme partner who will let her indulge her worst reveeenge fantasies. Suddenly Nathaniel is interesting to her again, just as he’s decided to quash his attraction to her completely, or at least ignore it until it dies. But then Rebecca shows up at his door in her best Velma Kelly lewk, and he goes from irritated to intrigued REAL quick. And that’s why God invented Bob Fosse.

I continue to be amazed at what Crazy Ex-Girlfriend can get away with on the CW. We all know the show was first developed at Showtime, but I have to admit that I get a kick out of watching it duck and dodge the network censors. Last season, during “We Tapped That Ass,” Rebecca answers Ghost Josh and Greg’s question about where they “should finish” by pleading, “Please, not on my chest.” (A strategically placed dresser was all it took to get that one through.) “Strip Away My Conscience,” is all innuendo, but I had to clutch my pearls when Rebecca asks to “choke on [Nathaniel’s] cocksuredness.” (I have no idea how they swung that.)

As is the usual with CXG, the lyrics in this song are more than just funny. They reveal that Rebecca thinks of her goodness as weakness, and that she feels like she has to borrow Nathaniel’s personality to be strong enough to get what she wants. He calls her out on it. “You have a heart like a weak, dying kitten,” Nathaniel tells her, because he’s known her for long enough to know that she doesn’t try to hurt people on purpose. (In song, she blames her “Jew guilt” for this.) But she makes him an indecent proposal, and LBR, he’s not about to turn that down. She’s been doing tricep dips. And she’ll even do that thing that just crossed his mind. Yes, that.

Once their sexy alliance is forged, the show embarks on a send-up of generic paperback romance, particularly the Fifty Shades trilogy. Rebecca squeals with delight when she opens the package Nathaniel has messengered to her (even though they work in the same office?), but has to donate the dress to a middle school drama apartment because his sensual gifts are nowhere near her size. She meets him on the noof, as instructed, and he’s waiting with a chilled bottle of champagne. (And the tux and the stance are A LOT. This fantasy is not all bad.) Rebecca keeps slipping out of character; she can’t wait to tell her date that the panties he gave her “sliced [her] muffin top into hamburger bun.” And the helicopter landing isn’t quite as pristine and classy as it is in that terrible movie that I couldn’t even get through with an entire bottle of wine. None of this would be working on either of them if there weren’t real feelings underneath it. Nathaniel can barely sell his perormance when he tells Rebecca that he’s orchestrated all of this for the “simple transaction” of the sex she promised him. By helping her “destroy Josh Chan,” he gets to be with Rebecca but also be the heartless power player he still imagines himself to be. (GOOEY CENTER, NATHANIEL. YOU HAVE ONE.)

At the masquerade at the spin-lates gym with only the most powerful people from South Pasadena (and Craig) in attendance, Nathaniel is in his element. Meanwhile, Rebecca can’t stay in character, either regarding her aloof sexiness (“I get to be the tiiiger.”) or her support of public education. Still, Nathaniel tells her she performed “flawlessly” and asks her to dance. It’s not a part of the plan, he just felt like it.

When the deeds are done, it’s time for the deed to be done. Even though he told her that the only reason he’d assembled these local luminaries is because he wanted the sex, Nathaniel tells Rebecca before they go through with it that she doesn’t have to do anything. (EXPOSED.) But she’s not doing anything she doesn’t want to. And I must point out that they’re making out in the same position that they were in Nathaniel’s sex dream from Season 2. This show’s continuity is unparalleled.

It’s so confusing in the morning, because Nathaniel is all cuddly and pushing Rebecca’s hair out of her face. But when she asks, he’s also shockingly nonchalant when he lists off the punishments he and his friends are doling out to Josh. The color drains from Rebecca’s face as soon as he says “family.” And one has to wonder exactly what she meant by “destroying Josh’s life” if she’s so (understandably) squeamish about Nathaniel’s contact murdering Josh’s Lolo in cold blood because Rebecca wanted it.

Josh is supposed to pay Rebecca’s price, not his Lolo, his sister, or his dad. And the other half of the episode tells me that he still has it coming. The show circles back to the moment that Josh lands on Father Rodrigo’s doorstep and clues us into what’s been going on with him over the last three weeks. As we all probably guessed, Josh’s rebirth comes with a rude awakening. But first, while Door Father fetches Father Rodrigo, Josh has a few moments to celebrate his chill, simpler life. It is some Gene Kelly realness.

Anyway, you can’t just sign up for the priesthood and start immediately handing out the wafers and looking cool. Josh has an academic course of study ahead of him, plus a mission and some silent prayer. He’s bored by the curriculum and so far out of his depth that his reasons for not quitting become obvious to everyone around him. “Are you really going to become a priest just because you don’t want to have an awkward conversation?” Hector asks when he and White Josh visit, and yeah, that’s pretty much the deal. To their credit, the boys are horrified to learn that Josh hasn’t spoken to Rebecca at all, aside from that email that’s still sitting in his drafts. “You father, son, and holy ghosted your entire life,” White Josh accuses. (And a moment to remember that Josh pictures the holy ghost like a guy wearing a sheet.)

Josh needs to man up and reach out to the woman he jilted, as much as neither of the other boys believed that their marriage was a good idea in the first place. But one of Josh’s defining characteristics is how much he hates responsibility, negativity, and any less-than-carefree moment that gets his thought bubbles popping. So he defiantly announces his plans to stick it out. But since he’s contributing nothing but a few unauthorized “my sons,” he’s really just wasting everyone’s time. (“This friggin’ guy.” – Father Rodrigo.)

The two exes finally come face-to-face when Nathaniel’s machinations force Rebecca to voice what she actually wants from Josh. She knows him, for as little as she’s let him know her. (Or as ignorant he forced himself to be about her.) And she knows that he couldn’t ghost his life without feeling guilt, nor would he be able to stand in front of her without feeling the shame and embarrassment of what he did. Punishing Josh from afar isn’t going to give her the closure she seeks, so she ditches tactile, sleepy Nathaniel (*cries*) to get her head right. Staring down her wedding dress at her kitchen table, Rebecca gets an idea. She puts it on to go get her righteous justice. She throws open the doors of the church and finally gets to see Josh’s face when his choices catch up to him. It’s been bothering Rebecca since camp that Josh has never tried as hard or done as much for her as she’s done for him, whether he was aware of those indignities or not. So she decides to spell them out for him in song, in front of the congregation, with a little number she borrows from Season 1 Paula. You know what? Let’s just watch it again.

It’s a lot to take in (especially all the traumatic toilet sex moments), but Josh’s prevailing reaction is the same one he had when Greg told his friends about his drinking problem: “I didn’t do anything wrong! Yes!” For as sweet as he can be, Josh is a complete coward with a perfect life. There’s nothing wrong with being an optimist, and not everyone had to start coping with the unfairness of reality as a child, when their callous father let them alone with their self-centered, overbearing mother. But Josh shows zero compassion in these moments. All he cares about is whether or not he’ll have to deal with something unpleasant or if his concept of himself will have to change. Hating Rebecca after her tirade would be a better reaction than this. Or, as Kim chatted to me during the episode: “Josh is such a piece of shit, honestly.”

He could take a little cue from Tim, actually. In one of the show’s best-ever C-stories, Rebecca’s coworker gets schooled on the orgasm gap from the women of Plimpton Plimpton & Plimpton. Despite his initial confusion about both percentages and where female orgasms actually COME from, Tim eventually faces up to his humiliation. Because you’ve got to assume, though he’s completely oblivious to how she’s making out in the “marital relations” department, that he loves his wife. But before he can change his technique from “in, in in in, up up up, and then back back back,” Tim has to work that falsetto via an “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”-style song about his inability to satisfy, even in “their” favorite position. (“Me on top, goin’ a mile a minute.”)

It’s super-real that his first inclination is to mansplain female anatomy to actual women (I mean), but Tim eventually comes around, and the reaction he gets is so positive that he has to go and thank Paula for savagely opening his eyes to reality to begin with. (“Tim, you have never given your wife an orgasm. Ever. Not even once.”) Paula doesn’t have the time to remember every time she’s changes someone’s life with a mean comment, but she does let Tim know something else, for better or for worse: the orgasm thing wasn’t all his fault. His wife should have taken some responsibility for her own experience and told him. And now Tim has to contend with why his wife thought it was easier to just hit that vibe in the bathroom every night than to tell her husband the truth. Marriage!

For Rebecca, the truth is that thing she THINKS she wants, until she finally lets it fly. Her euphoria over spilling ever gross, invasive, embarrassing thing she’s done in pursuit of a happy life with Josh to the man’s face is shortlived. What she wants even more than Josh’s discomfort is to never be called “crazy” ever again. But she’s left her ex-fiancee with a whole lot of ammo, and it’s too late to put the genie back into the bottle.

The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • It’s always guac-a-clock, Tim.
  • “Oh come on, this guy grows a hobo a salad and you think he’s exempt from capitalism.”
  • The Professor Snape reference in “Strip Away My Conscience” is a direct callback to their elevator bonding and Nathaniel being an unapologetic Slytherin, it’s fiiiiiine.
  • “I watched Cruel Intentions on the way over here.”
    *turned on* “That is SUCH a good movie.”
  • Rebecca’s dress is hotter, honestly.
  • David Hull’s delivery of “Wooooowwwww, you HATE this.” He’s such a gem.
  • “Four people in this room have the ability to ruin Josh Chan’s life forever. And one can just make it super annoying, so we’ll skip him.”
  • “So picky, sounds like you don’t like anyone’s porridge, Goldilocks.”
  • Maya with the SEX ED, go girl.
  • Love kernels don’t make people crazy, but they certainly don’t help the situation.

Featured image source: The CW

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“This place can’t fix you, because you’re not broken.” – Will & Grace Recap – Grandpa Jack Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:30:14 +0000

Source: serieholic

Will & Grace Season 1, Episode 4
“Grandpa Jack”
Posted by Sarah

Wow. Just…wow. This episode was A LOT. I wasn’t expecting Elliot’s return to reduce me to a puddle of tears, but here we are. This is the thing about Will & Grace: the show can give you the deepest belly laughs you’ve ever had in your life one moment, and then turn around to take you to a very real place and shatter your heart in the next; “Grandpa Jack” happens to be the latest shining example of this. On one hand, we’ve got a storyline from Grace and Karen that is pure comedic gold. On the other hand, Will and Jack are part of a plot that highlights how vital this show is and has always been. This episode was absolutely beautiful, and I think I’ve collected myself well enough to unpack it with you (although, let’s be real, I’m still emotional about it), so let’s get to it.

An unexpected visitor happens upon Will’s door in search of Jack, which is super convenient, because Jack just got done hijacking Grace’s shower. Right off the bat here, I got flashbacks to the original run’s “Sons and Lovers,” Elliot walking into Grace Adler Designs asking for his father…except this time, Karen’s not there to fall out of her chair at the news. And this time, it’s a boy named Skip asking Jack if he has a son named Elliot. Jack confirms, tells Skip that he had a falling out with his son a few years back, and immediately gets a bomb dropped on him: Skip — visiting the city with his parents — found the letters Jack wrote and tracked him down to tell him that Jack’s his grandfather. (I had a feeling this was going to be the storyline when Elliot came back, do I win a prize?)

For someone who only two weeks ago was freaking out that someone called him a daddy at the Cockpit, Jack’s handling the fact that he’s old enough to have a grandson pretty well; it’s the fact that Elliot never bothered to tell him about Skip that sends him into a tailspin, and rightly so. When Will follows Jack to the terrace to comfort him after letting Skip’s parents know where he is, we soon find out why Elliot and Jack had a falling out and therefore why Jack was left in the dark about his grandson: Elliot moved to Texas, married an extremely conservative woman named Emma and didn’t invite Jack to the wedding. Jack’s worried that he won’t be able to connect with Skip because of where he’s growing up: “I can’t fish or hunt or tell a woman what to do with her fetus.” As soon as they head back inside, though, Jack quickly realizes that there’s no barrier; Skip sits in the Pajama Party Position and is absolutely enamored by Karen in the same way Jack was when he first met her, so it looks like the two have much more in common than Jack originally thought.

Jack immediately starts bonding with his grandson, and when he finds out that Skip is in town because he’s on his way to a camp upstate, he automatically assumes it’s a theater camp and races across the hall to grab some props for Skip to take with him (HE’S SUCH A GOOD GRANDFATHER ALREADY, YOU GUYS). It’s then that Elliot—in full-on cowboy mode—and his wife, Emma, show up to get Skip. We basically get all we need to know about present-day Elliot in a one-sentence update — “I drank the Kool Aid and can no longer separate church and state” — before Jack makes his grand re-entrance in full costume, complete with a wig that is equal parts Sia, Cruella de Vil, and indecisive Anna Wintour. Thus, Elliot and Jack are reunited in a way that neither of them likely pictured when they pictured this moment. The tension between father and son is PALPABLE. They don’t even really have a conversation; they just acknowledge each other’s presence and leave it at that. Skip asks to say a proper goodbye to Will and Jack, and when Elliot and his wife head out, Jack asks what camp Skip will be at so he can write him during Skip’s stay (SUCH. A GOOD. GRANDFATHER). Skip tells them that he’ll be at Camp Straighten Arrow, and it’s exactly what you think it is; “It’s a camp my parents found to fix me.” If your heart isn’t immediately shattered by a little kid saying that his parents are trying to fix him, I don’t know what to do.

Jack and Will know that they can’t let Skip endure one minute of Straighten Arrow, and immediately travel upstate to spring him from the camp. After a bit of spying on the welcome session, the plan is simple: Will creates a diversion to sneak Skip outside, where Jack will be able to tell Skip what the camp really is and offer to help get him out of there. Will bites the bullet and makes his way inside, where Roberta and Reggie—the newlywed, we’re-totally-not-gay-anymore-okay-trust-us couple—are singing camp songs about heteronormativity and showing the kids how they used to implement the shock collar method. Considering their role in this story, Jane Lynch and Andrew Rannells were amazing, but Andrew Rannells especially crushed it. His accidental celebratory dance moves, his assertion that he’s definitely in love with Roberta, okay? And his impossible to hide thirst for Will was priceless (“ROBERTA, LET THE BEAUTIFUL MAN SPEAK”). Will, of course, uses this to his advantage, and while Skip makes his escape, he masquerades as a counselor from a rival ex-gay camp, Kick-a-Mo (oh my god). He’s saying how Kick-a-Mo is way more successful than Straighten Arrow, and to prove it, he proposes a kiss-off. And Reggie GOES FOR IT. Seriously, it may or may not have dethroned Taye Diggs in “I Love L. Gay” for hottest Will kiss of the show in my mind? And that’s extremely difficult to do.

While this was SUCH a great moment, though, we all knew we were in for a serious, heavy-hitting scene to come and absolutely decimate us. And you know what? Mission accomplished.

Remember a couple weeks ago, when I said that things are definitely better but are in no way perfect? “Grandpa Jack” highlights a contributing factor to the “in no way perfect” part. When Blake was under the assumption that everything’s good now in “Who’s Your Daddy,” he glossed over things like Camp Straighten Arrow. But these things exist. The appalling notion that the LGBTQ+ community needs to be “fixed” still exists. Our current vice-president even believes that conversion therapy works, when it actually does nothing but greatly harm those who are subjected to it (his picture hanging up at Straighten Arrow is no coincidence). Elliot even adds a little bit to this when he finds Jack outside of Straighten Arrow (“We just don’t want him to…” “Turn out like me?”). To tackle a subject like this is not an easy feat for an average sitcom; luckily, Will & Grace is not your average sitcom. Will & Grace is not afraid to go there and illuminate the wrongs of the world to turn the volume up on the conversation, all under the guise of comedy. Yes, there are funny moments throughout this story, but they don’t take away from the weight of it, and the show knows when to cut the comedy to let the message shine through. When Skip meets Jack outside, Jack lets him know, “This place can’t fix you, because you’re not broken.” And when Skip doesn’t fully understand (how goddamn heartbreaking is it that he doesn’t fully understand that he’s not broken?), Jack dives into a heart-to-heart that made me cry all over myself:

This. This is what I’ve always seen in Jack. This is who he is at his core. If you’re a more casual viewer, it can be so easy to keep him in his zany sidekick corner, where he’s always on, always adorable, and always the comic relief. He’ll go from career to career to career like it’s nothing, jump from one relationship to the next without a sense of being emotionally invested. But he is so much more than that. Right out of the gate, Jack cares so much about Skip when he’s only known him for a few hours; that bond is incredibly strong and you can tell he genuinely loves his grandson the second he sees him. And he cares about Elliot too, even after the falling out; when Skip says he found some of the letters Jack wrote to Elliot, it broke my heart knowing that he never gave up on his relationship with his son, even if it seemed like Elliot did. Deep down, he is fiercely loyal to his family — both blood and chosen — and will do what he can for them. This side of him gets to you when you least expect it. And it gets to Elliot, too; back in the city, he visits Will and Jack to let them know that Skip was pulled out of Straighten Arrow once he finally looked around the place and came to his senses. And he also stood up for Jack for what very well may have been the first time in his relationship with Emma:

Elliot: In the car on the way back to the city, Emma and I got into a pretty big fight, and she said, “Do you really want Skip to end up like Jack?” And I said, “You mean someone who’d drop everything to help someone he cares for live their truth? Yeah, I do.”

Elliot tells Jack that Emma agreed to let Skip leave Straighten Arrow before telling him how much Jack really means to him, despite the distance they’ve experienced over the years. By the end of the episode, it honestly feels like that distance is a thing of the past; it feels like Elliot and Jack are finally on the right track again, and it feels like Grandpa is going to be a much bigger part of Skip’s life than he has been.

I have to say, I had a really hard time wrapping my head around Elliot’s trajectory throughout this episode. When, prior to the episode, I read about Jane Lynch and Andrew Rannells’ roles in the show, I was racking my brain trying to figure out how this was going to be introduced. And once it was revealed that it was Elliot and his wife sending their son to this camp, it hurt because I never in a million years would have expected it from him. As we learned in “Dyeing Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard” in the original run, both of his parents are gay (hi, Rosie O’Donnell). Anything is possible, beliefs can change, and we haven’t seen Elliot since he was trying to decide on college, but I just can’t believe the kid we came to know in the original series would grow up to turn his back on both Jack and Bonnie (assuming, of course, that she eventually came out to him) in favor of a more closed-minded way of living. Yes, eventually he sees the error of sending Skip to Straighten Arrow. Eventually, he stands up for Jack when his wife tears him down and gets her to agree to pulling Skip out of camp; that more involved conversation between them is at least started. Eventually, he and Jack make amends, and eventually Elliot apologizes. I’m so happy that’s where Elliot ends up in this episode, but although the storyline really did produce a beautiful moment between Jack and Skip, it was just difficult to see this version of Elliot. By the end of the episode, though, we’re left with hope that he will re-evaluate his newfound beliefs, for the sake of his relationship with his dad, and for the sake of his son.

And topping it off by asking Jack to take Skip to his first Broadway show? My heart was bursting. What a beautiful episode to air on Spirit Day. We should all be so lucky to have a Grandpa Jack.

With a heavy A-story comes a more light-hearted B-story, and my girls did not fail me on this one. Karen’s annoyed that Grace is making them work on a Saturday before she quickly realizes that all of this overtime is the result of Grace throwing herself too much into her work and not enough into her dating life. ESPECIALLY when you compare her to Karen, who — in addition to making love to Stan and watching cartoons on Saturdays — tries to dim the lights of the office for some alone time with Tony before Mom (Grace) shows up, and starts casually grinding on Grace when she does show up. Grace immediately tries to rectify the situation and scolds Karen, but Karen knows that something is up with her boss…namely, “Your snootch died.” Granted, Karen’s behavior in the office isn’t necessarily appropriate and maybe she should reconsider trying to seduce the new employee, but when has she ever been office appropriate? She knows that the reason Grace is so uptight is because she hasn’t given her sex life a second thought since her divorce from Leo, and she is more than happy to let her boss know what’s up.

When Tony returns to the office, he tries to apologize to Grace for his part in Karen’s fun, saying that he was just singing Karen’s favorite song to her, and it snowballed from there. As we know from last week’s episode (and literally every other season of this show), when you drop something like “Your relationship with Will was the cause of our divorce” or “Your snootch is dead” on her, it will dominate her mind. So that had to be part of her motivation for her interactions with Tony here. After she sings her awkward song to him (is it sad that I really missed the tone-deaf chanteuse part of her?), he offers to show her how to sing from her diaphragm, and it’s here that Grace discovers that her snootch is definitely not dead. And it’s here that I profess my undying love for Debra Messing and her comic abilities.

Grace is mortified by her behavior around Tony—he is, after all, her employee—and turns to Karen for a little heart-to-heart over a couple of martinis. Karen tells her to go easy on herself; the only reason Grace went a little overboard was because she’s been completely neglecting an important part of her. Yes, it’s totally natural to go through a grieving period after a divorce, but to close yourself off for good is nuts (or, in yet another instance of Karen Walker dropping very necessary truth bombs, “Crazy things happen when you ignore your hoo-ha”). And Grace finally realizes it: “My marriage died, but the rest of me didn’t.” She resolves to get back into the dating scene and start paying a little more attention to her needs. I always love when Karen and Grace sit down like this, whether in a more comedic arena like this, or in a more serious manner like the end of the original run’s “Field of Queens.” Obviously we know their relationship goes far beyond that of boss/employee, but to see them get together like that, to see them being there for one another, always warms my heart. They get the kind of quality time together they don’t usually get with their guys. The kind of quality time that allows them to connect as women. The kind of quality time that has the potential to lead to this:

Plus, it’s only a matter of time before “Ohhhh My God It Feels So Good to Have a Man’s Hands on My Bodyyyyyy” drops on iTunes.

Honey…What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On?

  • If you want to see how Will & Grace tackled the ex-gay thing with adults and a bonus Neil Patrick Harris, check out “Girls, Interrupted” from season two of the original run.
  • This is the first time in the show’s history (that I can recall) where they announced that it was filmed before a live studio audience. I guess they finally got sick of people assuming it was a laugh track? It was such an old-school sitcom move, it made me want to watch eight episodes of Cheers afterward.
  • Jack in his robe gave me “Gypsies, Tramps and Weed” flashbacks in the best way; I was kind of waiting for him to say he used Will’s tub and his Ylang Ylang (y’like y’like?).
  • 10/10 would watch Law & Order: LGBTQ.
  • Welp, looks like my ship is alive and well.

  • Maggie pointed out to me that Grace had a bunch of cats on her skirt during this storyline about her sexuality, and god I hope that was intentional. I see you, costume department. I see you.
  • Seeing Jane Lynch singing with a guitar in hand put me in a definite A Mighty Wind kind of mood…except here, there’s a lot more denial and a lot more Jesus.
  • I really need a report on the number of homes this show has affected every time someone says “Okay, Google.”
  • “I have NEVER been 100% clear what irony is, but I’m pretty sure that’s it.” Jack McFarland, you have my heart.
  • *In my best Will imitating Regis Philbin* GIVE SEAN HAYES THE DAMN EMMY ALREADY. (But seriously, it’s about time he got another one of those.)

What did you think of “Grandpa Jack?” Let us know in the comments!

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“You shouldn’t have to try.” – This Is Us Recap – Still There Sun, 22 Oct 2017 17:51:35 +0000

This Is Us Season 2, Episode 4
“Still There”
Posted by Shannon

There certainly is a lot going on this week. Thematically, “Still There” is all over the place; the episode splits its focus between race, parenthood and illness, bouncing around between time periods and influences just as quickly. But no matter the time or the subject at hand, the Pearsons as an intergenerational unit are struggling here. Struggling to do the right thing, to share secrets or to keep them, to protect each other or leave each other alone. And it all builds to the first genuine shock we’ve had yet this season; for better or for worse, here we go.

Jack and Rebecca


A blizzard is coming, and the Pearsons are preparing with a staple of my own childhood: the pre-snowstorm video store run. Randall couldn’t care less, since he’s got a science fair project to finish, but Jack, Rebecca and Kate run around grabbing the classics. Kevin’s dismayed to find that none of the Karate Kids are available, and while I’m not convinced he wouldn’t have had this reaction regardless of his health, he has a bit of a meltdown. When Rebecca checks his forehead, she finds that he’s running a fever. Kate’s quietly scratching in the background, and before they know it, the whole family is at the doctor’s dealing with the chicken pox. Rebecca suffers through a phone call with her mother to confirm that she did, in fact, have chicken pox herself as a kid, which leaves Randall as the only family member who still needs to catch it. And bless that child for looking at the rest of his family like they’re insane when he realizes he needs to spend his precious snow days actively TRYING to get sick.

That call to her mother, while necessary for the doctor, put the family at emotional risk; Rebecca’s mother, Janet, whom we’ve only ever encountered as a general nightmare before now, shows up unannounced to “help.” In reality, she starts making demands; for Jack to salt the driveway, for Randall to put on a shirt. Things start off bad and only get worse; Janet presents Kate with a Little Mermaid outfit easily two sizes too small, and suggests that she use it as a “goal dress.” Yikes. Kevin’s present is a football helmet, to protect his looks (double yikes), and while my immediate fear was that Janet hadn’t brought anything for Randall at all, she did one worse. She presents him with a basketball; the third she’s given him already. There was something in Janet’s eyes, something about the disdainful way she tossed it at Randall, that confirmed the worst implications of this gift.

It just spirals out from here. Randall is the kind of kid who just wants adults to talk to him like a person, to show off his science fair project and to treat him like he knows what he’s talking about. That doesn’t get him anywhere with his grandmother; when he tries to talk to her about his project, she listens half-heartedly before saying “why don’t you show me when it works?”  She’s problematic or callous with the other kids too, telling Kate that she needs to learn how to cook if she wants to land a husband, and shutting down Jack and Kevin’s chicken pox battle cries because she had a headache. But there’s something in her dismissal of Randall that felt pointed, hateful, and racist.

With Jack sick too (turns out he’d had the measles, and honestly who can tell the difference) Rebecca is left alone with her mother. Rebecca holds it together well for a while, even when her mom starts prodding at why Rebecca doesn’t seem like herself and asking why it is that the family doesn’t visit for the holidays anymore. The breaking point comes when Janet, flipping through the kid’s photo albums, mutters “who would’ve thought that Randall would be the one to get into private school?”

TAKE NOTES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. This is how you call out a family member for subtle racism. Rebecca outlines exactly how Janet’s problematic behavior towards herself, her husband and Kevin and Kate are complex-inducing and terrible, but ultimately excusable, before diving into the differences in how she treats Randall. Janet consistently separates Randall from Kate and Kevin, she refuses to listen to what he’s actually interested in and instead throws stereotypical bullshit at him, and always keeps him at an arm’s length. Rebecca puts this together with patterns from own childhood; that they changed churches when a pastor from Ghana came in, that Janet would constantly demean their 50-year old maid Dora, treating her like a child instead of a capable, experienced mother. My personal favorite thing about this scene is that Rebecca gives absolutely no leeway to the standard defenses white people cling to when confronted with their racism; that it was about the pastor’s accent, that Rebecca is being hysterical, that Janet is “appalled” by these accusations. Rebecca blows past all of that, and plainly calls her mother what she is: racist.

The blessing and the curse in Rebecca’s confrontation with her mother is that Randall, having finally found the first signs of chickenpox, came downstairs and heard the whole thing. Jack and Rebecca sit him down to talk about the different, covert ways that racism appears. No, his grandmother never said anything directly, aggressively racist. But dog-whistle racism is insidious and way, way more common. It’s all too common for white family members to ignore the subtly racist attacks made by their loved ones; we hide behind the guise of it not being too overt to ignore. The reality is that Jack and Rebecca handle this exactly as they should; they protect their child from any and all types of racist attacks, and they don’t shy away from telling him what’s really happening here. When the reality settles in for Randall, he’s heartbroken, and heads off to bed.


With the confrontation behind them, all five Pearsons are hiding upstairs, waiting for Janet’s car to get dug out so she can leave. Jack can’t allow his family to be held hostage, and he and Kevin head downstairs to dig out her car. While Janet tries to grapple with the reality of her behavior, Rebecca stays firm; she hears out Janet, but doesn’t excuse her. Rebecca does let Janet say goodbye to Randall, and while I frankly have no interest in a redemption arc for this woman, it was good to see her finally recognize Randall as the brilliant, special, science-ie kid he is. After all, what other kid in the house knows Newton’s laws of physics as well as he does?

Randall and Beth


Even before he was staying home to be the primary caregiver, Randall spent any morning he could at the dinner table, doing Tess and Annie’s hair. Now that Deja has moved in, he’s particularly focused on this ritual, trying to tempt her with new jewel tone barrettes. But his efforts are all for naught; not only does Deja continually turn down his offers, she’s refusing to wash her hair at all. After the girls take off for school, Beth broaches the subject with Randall. Sooner or later, they need to have a sit-down conversation with her as a matter of hygiene. Randall is desperate to take the lead; he loves that Beth is the one out working while he stays home, and he wants to take the opportunity to steer their childcare decisions. It’s not just that Randall wants to be the first in line to kiss a scratch; he wants to connect with Deja, hoping that she’ll become comfortable enough to wash her hair on her own, without having a difficult discussion first. Beth agrees to let Randall take the lead, as long as something changes sooner rather than later.

But Randall being Randall, his big idea is to take all three girls bowling. He only had to think this through just a little bit to realize it was a terrible idea, but the reality doesn’t set in until they’re in line for rental bowling shoes. Deja refuses to exchange her shoes, and her resistance inspires Annie to join the mini-rebellion. None of Randall’s panic-induced suggestions help, but things go from bad to worse quickly when a girl behind them in line makes a snide comment about Deja’s hair. Deja confronts her and gives her a shove; the other girl’s father immediately steps in, gets in Randall’s face, and starts making demands. We haven’t really seen Randall get protective of his brood yet, but it’s no surprise that he’s ready to take off his glasses and throw down the moment an outsider starts rebuking Deja. Ultimately she puts an end to the scene herself, having been referred to as Randall’s daughter one too many times. Deja finally mutters “I’m not his daughter” and takes off. Randall throws one last disgusted look at the now-bewildered bowling alley dad before taking off himself, bringing Tess and Annie along with him.


Once he’s back at home, (with Beth trying to get to sleep, but when’s that ever stopped him from launching a serious conversation) Randall keeps repeating his errors over and over again in his mind. He’s wallowing in his mistake, and wallowing in his perception that Beth is just better at connecting than he is. He’s still desperate to bond with Deja, but Randall knows when he’s past a point of no return, and he hands the hair issue off to Beth.

The next morning, Beth finds Deja packing, assuming that after shoving a girl at the bowling alley, she won’t be welcome at the Pearsons’ anymore. Consequences are a big point of issue for Deja; it was the first thing she asked about when she finally spoke to Tess and Annie, and she radiates disbelief when Beth clarifies that the consequences for something like this would be grounding, but certainly not getting kicked out of the house. Finally, Beth starts to talk about her own upbringing; with three sisters and their mom, loving yelling matches were frequent, battles over lipstick seemed massive, and siblings were constantly promising that they’d never speak to each other again. And yet, they “always came together to do each other’s hair.” Beth uses her mother’s mantra, that how you present on the outside is a reflection of how you feel on the inside, to pivot to Deja. There’s got to be a larger, emotional reason why she’s not washing her hair. And Beth knows that, and doesn’t demand that Deja tells her what it is. But she does gently insist that they “get it taken care of,” either at her own salon or at home.


I can’t speak to how it would feel to watch this scene from the perspective of a woman of color, and I don’t know these experiences personally. But watching Beth do Deja’s hair, watching her discover the alopecia patches and assure Deja that it’s perfectly normal for black hair, felt important on so many levels. Deja didn’t know that her hair was nothing to be ashamed of, didn’t know that there was a name for the patches that flare up during her most stressful life moments. Beth normalizes Deja’s experience immediately, assuring her that no one else is around, and that her own sister had this too. She braids Deja’s hair to cover up the spots, and is overwhelmed with emotion when Deja quietly comments that her “mom’s hair is beautiful.” She’s happy with how she looks, happy to sit in the mirror and admire her braids the next morning. But Randall gets blinded by the opening here. He’s grateful that Beth handled it, and grateful that the family made an in-road with Deja at all. But at the same time, all he really hears is common ground between himself and Deja.


He just isn’t thinking. He’s not thinking about how quickly Deja recoiled from him when he raised his voice, he’s not thinking about how tentative the bond between Deja and Beth is. Randall saw a way in, a way to offer Deja support that he could understand – to handle her stress by running. In and of itself, it’s not a bad idea, but Deja doesn’t hear any of this. All she hears is that Beth, who had essentially promised Deja that no one was around before opened up to her, had turned around and told Randall the first true piece of private information that Deja had shared. She feels deeply betrayed, and shows that betrayal the only way she knows how; by chopping off her new braids, and sitting at breakfast daring anyone to speak of it. They don’t.



Kevin went down hard on set, and while he took some time to ice his knee, he hasn’t done a thing to take care of it since. He also hasn’t taken any time off, but surely he’s been showing signs of pain from time to time, prompting executive producer Brian Grazer (just that guy, no biggie) to take a look. He finds Kevin’s knee badly swollen and generally banged to hell. There’s no hiding this anymore – Grazer demands that Kevin visit the medic, who sends him to a doctor, who gives him the bad news. Maybe if he’d come in after re-injuring himself, the diagnosis would be different, but as it stands now Kevin needs surgery to repair a tear in his meniscus.

With Sophie working through the weekend, Kate and Toby take Kevin to surgery and put him up for the week. Kevin begins pushing his recovery the moment he gets in the door; he immediately removes his brace, insisting that he can push through. Twice, Kevin declines pain medication – once when it’s offered by the doctor, and again when Toby offers to make him a quesadilla so he doesn’t take his meds on an empty stomach. Kevin’s reasoning is the same both times; “I don’t like how they make me feel.”  There’s clearly a history here. Sophie asking for Kevin to report on his pain scale didn’t feel like it came just from the perspective of a nurse, but Kate doesn’t seem particularly concerned about anything being triggered. If you’ll humour me for a rare prediction: I wonder if this is the one thing in Kevin’s life that Kate doesn’t know about. If Kevin first encountered pain meds right after Jack’s death, it would make sense that Sophie was there to see it. AND it would make sense that he kept it from Kate, to spare her during a traumatic time. It’s a lot for a kid to hide, but underestimating Kevin is an easy mistake to make. It certainly would explain a lot about Kevin’s reaction to his injury.


In the face of the revised pages that came along with the movie production’s care package, Kevin kicks into high gear. Toby finds him limping on the the treadmill, clearly pushing his body beyond a reasonable degree, and Toby finally has to unplug the machine to get him to stop. Kevin admits that his initial injury had been a life changing one; his original career path was to be a football player. College scouts had started coming to his games, and Jack had been making reels for his application. His injury stopped all that, and without a purpose or a way to spend his days, Kevin began acting. His distraction turned into love, and now that he’s on the precipice of another career breakthrough, he’s stuck with his bad knee again. Sure, Ron Howard is being understanding, but he’s also being pragmatic. Kevin knows that this could rob him of his remaining action sequences and re-assign his lines, and he can’t allow that to happen.

There’s clearly something deeper hidden in Kevin’s reaction to his injury. We’ve known that he had his leg in a cast when Jack dies, but beyond that, the details on how he hurt it in the first place are scarce. And what about young Kevin, facing the chicken pox without any of the quiet determination that he has now? What is it about watching his old college reel, and hearing Jack proclaim how strong he is, that leads to Kevin finally taking his prescription? We don’t get that answer this week; but we do see Kevin driving back into the lot, not a limp in sight, ready to jump back into action.


Well, Toby acting like a decent partner was nice while it lasted. He’s back to his usual self this week, turning off Kate’s workout videos with only 15 minutes left, complaining that she got rid of all the food in the house again, and insisting that she loosen up and eat the muffin he made. (Did Toby place the muffin in front of her, knowing that she was mid-work out? Or did Kate take it to shut him up and then not eat it? Discuss.) Kate is pushing herself, yes, under the guise of needing to get ready for her first paid gig. She’s got a dress in mind for the occasion, and wants to be sure it fits.

Kate isn’t acting unhealthily here, she’s acting focused. Leaving Kevin with Toby after he gets out of surgery to make her afternoon yoga class is meant to be a sign that she’s gone too far, but I don’t see that at all. Kate knows when her brother needs her and when he’s fine, and Kevin in that moment couldn’t care less if his sister was around to watch him get settled. (Also, sir, you were JUST angry that she and Kevin were too close. Make up your mind.)  There were only two things that actually concerned me: Kate’s walk down the pharmacy aisle and her despondent look after trying on her dress. So yes, something was up.

OKAY. Okay. Okay. First off, I did not see this coming, so I will give them that. But Kate getting pregnant and Kevin’s probably-impending addiction to pain pills means we’re mirroring two of the Big Three’s modern story lines directly after their parents. Just like Rebecca, Kate will be faced with ending her singing career to focus on motherhood. If she makes a different professional choice, then she’ll lord it over Rebecca for seasons to come, and if not, then we’re running dangerously close to repeating stories. And those are just the external issues. Toby had asked to slow things down, which certainly doesn’t include having a baby. Neither of them are in a solid emotional place to take this on, their relationship is still very new, and other than Kevin, the whole family is on the other side of the country. Realistically, we’re in for Toby expanding his control issues to Kate’s pregnancy and continuing his reign of terror. I’m going to need a whole lot more William flashbacks to bear it.

Colors of the Painting

  • It was great to spend time with Jack and Rebecca in their relationship heyday. The bantering this week was top-notch and it’s been too long since we’ve seen them at their best.
  • So far, Annie’s dreams have involved flying around with William and accompanying Queen Latifah on a search for puppies. My heart for this child.
  • There is one misstep in how Jack and Rebecca handled Janet’s racism; while they were right to talk to Randall first, and alone, they also needed to talk to Kate and Kevin. Kate and Kevin should also know this reality, know what their brother is up against, and know that all forms of racism are inexcusable. Their grandmother’s racism shouldn’t just be Randall’s weight to bear.
  • Big, important talks never happen without inadvertently suggesting something equal parts horrible and hilarious, and Rebecca and Jack’s talk with Randall offered up this gem:

  • What was up with Kevin knocking Toby for binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale? Toxic masculinity runs amuck, part eleven billion.
  • I demand to hear all three of Randall’s verses on the benefits of antibiotic ointment.
  • Throw all the awards at Susan Kelechi Watson. All of them. Post haste.

How did you feel about this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments.