This is Us Episode 21 RECAP: “There’s No Such Thing As a Long Time Ago”

Us Teen TripletsWho saw Mandy Moore on the “Today Show” this morning? (That DRESS! Verdant, winsome and crisp!)

Anyhoo, Mandy said something interesting, that there were three “clues” regarding everyone’s story line: Teenage Kate with a dog, teenage Randall with a red-haired girl, and teenage Kevin with a cast.

AHA! Well, actually, not AHA! More like aha in lower caps. 

I looked for those clues in this episode and found two out of three: the scruffy, adorable mutt entered the scene (the same dog with Kate in the flashback), and Kevin had flashbacks about Jack visiting him in the hospital with his injured leg. Not sure what any of it means yet but at least we know those are some clues, according to Mandy in her bright green dress with pom poms.

US Mandy Moore

Recap of Episode 21:

1. Jack goes to an AA meeting and shares a bit of his heart. Later, Rebecca announces she is “Jack Pearsoning” him and whisks him off for takeout and maybe even some paradise by the dashboard lights. They don’t end up knowing each other in a biblical way, but they do end up talking and bonding.

2. Teen Randall secretly posts a classified ad looking for his birth parents. The scene triggered a memory of me at the library in downtown Winnipeg, looking up old phone books on freaking microfiche (and I did find my birth mother’s address and place of work –a Catholic school–for the year I was born, which was a start). As I say in my memoir, one’s birth family are like missing persons no one is looking for but you. 

3. After three weeks of waiting anxiously, Beth and Randall get the call they’ve been waiting for: 12-year-old Deja, whose mother has been arrested, is their foster care placement. First gut punch of the show? When that poor girl walked numbly into that big, strange house. How hard it must have been for her!

4. I adored the scenes with Chrissy Metz and Sylvester “Call me Sly” Stallone. “I’m going to check out the frittatta situation,” he said. For some reason, I thought that was a cute thing to say. Meanwhile, if any one of us met Chrissy Metz, we’d behave like she did with Stallone–just a half a bubble off of plumb, bless our hearts!

5. Sly again, being so sage: “There’s no such thing as a long time ago,” he tells Kevin, who had just shrugged off his dad’s death. “There are only memories that mean something and memories that don’t.” (This show is stinking grief THERAPY!)

6. The scene where Beth tries to help Deja settle in by unpacking her pitiful plastic bag half full of her worldly possessions–ugh! And also bravo to the show for showing it like it is: Foster kids don’t come with nice luggage, or usually any luggage. And then when Deja flinches, thinking Randall is going to hit her…! My jaw dropped. It really did. Poor baby girl.

7. Kate to Kevin, on how he can’t seem to handle talking about Jack or his death: “It kinda seems like (talking about it) always throws you, no matter who brings it up or when.” Uh oh.

8. Omigosh, how CUTE is that little Annie Pearson? Her mission: to keep ambivalent people IN her house! My favorite scene of the night was how Deja saying “This house is crazy” sparked a memory for Annie of her grandpa William. I am so happy every time they work William onto the canvas. I love that man!

9. There are definitely some tough times ahead for Beth and Randall and the girls as they welcome Deja into their home. Dear girl just doesn’t want to be there. My second favorite scene of the night was Randall, gently telling Deja about his big, crazy family and how he, too, felt split. I get it. I felt split too. Not all the time, or even most of the time, but that pull to one’s beginnings is strong. Still, the pull to love and belonging is stronger, at least it was for me.

Well, what’d you guys think?

Favorite scene? Favorite line?

Comment below for your chance to win a This is Us Season #1 soundtrack!

Us soundtrack

There’s just so much good stuff to chew on here. I think I’ll go to bed and try and work it all out as I fall asleep! G’ night, Us buddies!

(Oh, and Check out last week’s recap here.)


  1. says

    Sooo many good moments. The progress we see in Kate and her maturity with Kevin band that she didn’t blow up and fight him, and then Randall and Beth how I love them and can’t wait to see how they grow together in this, and the girls I too loved the scene with Annie! And Sly, what a perfect character to bring in for this. I cried at the flashbacks with Kevin!

    • Lorilee says

      Oh, Kevin! I don’t have a crush on him, honest! :) But I love his character and his scenes often have me in unexpected tears.

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