This is Us Recap #3: “I Really Want My Arm Back”

plrc-us-blog-1Well, on the bright side, at least I didn’t cry buckets this week–maybe a little, but not buckets! (“This is Us”: Brought to you by Kleenex and Puffs Plus in Their First Ever Joint Sponsorship”)

Still, it was the beginning of the end for Jack, which is NOT OKAY! Ugh. Seeing those funeral cards with his face on them was hard to take! I mean, we know he dies, but to see shots from his funeral means it’s real. Did we know how old the triplets were before yesterday? I feel like maybe we did, or it was hinted at.

I really dug yesterday’s episode, though. Several things hit a nerve with me, prompting me to be grateful anew at the show’s astounding writing and its profound insights into human nature.

I’ve heard recently that in young adult literature, books are sometimes classified as “windows” or “mirrors.” Windows to open up new vantage points and view new worlds. Mirrors to hold up and understand our own stories better.  

For me, #Us is a window into Kevin’s life as a sibling of an adopted child. He helps me understand my boys better. And Kate is definitely a window into world of obesity. Recently I was on a plane and a lady with Kate’s girth sat beside me, very apologetic and ashamed. Because of Kate, I had new compassion for her situation, and, I would like to think, bore my discomfort (because I am a little claustrophobic) with a dose of extra grace. I smiled and said “no problem” when my seat mate apologized. How hard it must be to face such embarrassing situations, all the time! Thanks, Chrissy Metz, for showing me the way. 

So here’s my recap for Episode #13, which I am calling “I Really Want My Arm Back”:

1. Good for you, Sloane, for not taking that rapscallion Kevin back, at least not yet (and probably never, as this episode revealed). Referring to his description of dating her as “the right thing to do,” Sloane shot back: “It’s like I was the girl equivalent of wearing a seat belt in a cab!” Great line.

2. Kate backs out of bariatric surgery and decides to try an “immersive weight loss experience,” aka Fat Camp. I liked how the camp was meant to get at the root issues of weight, the sadness, loneliness, rage etc. And when Kate got in touch with her rage over her dad’s death (and other issues) during that drumming class? Spot on. That’s when I had tears. Because I understood her anger/grief mash up so well. 

3. Jack: “We’re never going to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey ever again!” Ouch, Sigh. Every parent has felt this way. My youngest is 12, and I am hanging on to every last shred of her childhood!

4. Toby, to Kevin: “It’s hard to believe we are in the same species.” Ha!

5. Not to be nitpicky, but allow me to pick a nit: People did not say “I’m good” in response to a question in 1989. My 80 yo mom still has no idea what you mean when you say that to her now. :) “I asked if you were all done with the potato chips. What do you mean you’re ‘good’”? she’ll say, baffled.

6. Rebecca turns inside out with anxiety and sadness when she can’t “fix” both Randall’s low birthday party attendance and the fact that Kate’s party goers ditched Kate in favor of Kevin. SUCH IS PARENTHOOD! One of the hardest things ever is when your child faces rejection. I could go on…Even Jack couldn’t make it all better for his sad princess.

7. Jack + Vogueing = Me + melting.

8. William! I missed him last week. The man has such a gentle, loving vibe. How sweet to see him realize his lifelong dream of driving a cool car, wearing shades and drinking his favorite drink!

9. Will Kevin choose Sloane or Olivia? Apparently, Sophie! Sophie who, now? We find out Kevin had an ex-wife, and not only that, one whom he considers his one true love. #Plottwist

10. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadda, here I am at Camp Grenada…otherwise known as a dreamy place in the Adirondacks where one gets in touch with her underlying weight issues, and engages in a “love triangle.” Wait-WHAT?


What was your favorite part of the episode? Least favorite? What storyline are you most excited to see play out? Comment below and we’ll discuss!

(Here’s Recap One and Recap Two if you missed them. Also, my first #Us post, “10 Adoption Thoughts About This is Us.”)



  1. Sue Laitinen says

    My daughter and I were discussing the show today, and we both agree that the storyline with Kate and the love triangle is a gut cruncher. In the first episode, Kate broke down and we saw her on the floor talking to Kevin, telling him how, if she stayed fat, she was going to die alone and lonely. And she didn’t want to. That leads you to believe that she hasn’t had much success in the love department, which she blames on her weight. She met Toby at a weightwatcher-esque meeting where they hit it off and well, we all know the rest of that story. The worry is….because kate didn’t have any sort of a love life before Toby, once she has someone else interested in her, is she going to begin wondering if she just “settled” for Toby because he was the first to show interest in her? Is she going to wonder if there’s more out there, so to speak? It would kill my heart. I love Toby! And I love them together. I foresee Toby going to visit and meeting the antagonist who tells him he’s interested in kate (in so many words) and Toby will begin to question where Kate’s feelings, and therefore her loyalty lies. This in turn may cause a big fight and will it spell the end? I know, reading too much into it. But am I?
    In other news, lol, I really enjoyed the interaction with Kevin and Toby at the bar, and finding out that Kevin had been married at one time…and she’s the one he sees himself with, even after everything…what seems to be many other women. And his speech to her? Awww, I had tears it was so sweet!
    The storyline of Jack and Rebecca throwing the birthday party was really good. Or should I say “parties” I guess? When jack realized he could not longer make everything better for his children (like kissing a booboo), that really pulled at the heartstrings because it’s something I remember feeling. They grow and so do the problems. Our simple antidotes no longer work and you hate to see your child going through what they are, but it’s the sobering reality that you can’t fix everything anymore that hurts.
    The flashbacks of the funeral were like a punch in the gu . We all know he died, we all want to know what happened, but are we really ready to see it? I may need a drink first, lol.
    All in all it was a good episode. Most of it much lighter than the previous. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here.
    Have I mentioned I love this show?
    (And any typos brought to you by my autocorrect. Lol.)

  2. Christy Dam says

    There was something else very not 80s they said, but I can’t remember now what it was.

    I liked the Jack and Rebecca storyline, but I’m worried something bad will happen with Randall’s job.

    I have many not-deep, nit-picky questions: what is Toby’s job? Did he move to New York? Where are he and Kate living and what are they doing on a daily basis?? It didn’t look very wintry at camp. Wasn’t it just Christmas? Is it summer already? So confused.

    • Lorilee says

      What IS Toby’s job??? You are right. I think Kate has that job with that actress, Jamie Somebody. The one with the rude daughter. And you’re right about Christmas just having happened. Why WAS it so green and warm at the camp? Oh, Wow! Now you have me picking more nits! Ha!

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