This Is Us, Season 5, episode 13

“Brotherly Love”

Dir. Kay Onyegun

Wri. Jon Dorsey

There’s an unspoken truth about — about the series as a whole, about the diegesis that we see before us, about the inciting incident that kicked off all of this action, that pulled us viewers in in the first place: that it all started with William Hill.

Sure, there are aspects of the show’s universe that predate Randall Pearson, that predate his abandonment at a fire station, that predate even William Hill. …


This Is Us: “Both Things Can Be True”

Dir. Chris Koch

Wri. Danielle Bauman

6.9/10

Every now and then, has an episode that is perhaps not the most emotionally driven episode or one that is all that essential to the plot, but is a crucial part of keeping the plot moving, bringing us back to the present after too many meandering flashbacks and answering key questions. This is especially true for this season, when key questions include things like “Will Rebecca and Miguel ever be allowed to be in the same room as their kids again?”

This was one of those episodes — and it also delivered on a few much-needed emotional…


This Is Us: “I’ve Got This”

Dir. Yasu Tanida

Wri. Lauren Kenar

8.9/10

Let the Griffin Dunne Emmy watch begin.

Last week I was relieved that brought back characters — and character dynamics — we’ve been missing all season. This week brought us not only a character who has been conspicuously absent from the action this year, but also a story we’ve been anticipating for more than two years now.

We have always known just enough about Nicky — we’ve known about the protective relationship Jack has had of him their whole lives. We’ve known about how the trauma of war broke him as a young man. But trauma is…


This Is Us: “I’ve Got This”

Dir. Ken Olin

Wri. Casey Johnson & David Winsor

8.3/10

I’ve gone from lukewarm to all-in on this season of and this episode really solidified that. I can’t help but credit stalwart director Ken Olin and writers Casey Johnson and David Windsor for both a well-paced episode and a tight script that packs

In such a truncated season, we spent the first few episodes with things then sent the Big Three out on their own for a bit, then seemingly had to spend several episodes re-centering everything in order to even remind people who they’re watching. This episode managed to do…


This Is Us

“The Ride”

Dir. John Huertas

Wri. Julia Brownell

6.8/10

I don’t want to beat this dead horse too much — has been hampered by a lot this season. The COVID-accommodating rewrites can be damaging enough to the kind of show that relies on intricate plots that converge at a central point. …


This Is Us

“In The Room”

Dir. Ken Olin

Wri. Vera Herbert

8.5/10

has been accused of being a toothless show — of taking the most obvious, cowardly non-swerves under the guise of real-stakes drama. It occasionally parades as a specialty cable show of the HBO/AMC variety with a prestige cast and nuanced, ambiguous morals. But it is ultimately a 9 p.m. Tuesday night ABC (or in my case, CTV) drama meant to be easily digestible. Even when it’s tackling issues like infant death, the Vietnam war or, believe it or not, COVID-19, is careful not to alienate.

Yet I was still a little bit surprised that…


This Is Us

“There”

Dir. Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Wri. Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger

7.2/10

I give credit for a lot of things, but one thing I don’t know if I’ve acknowledged before — or even realized — is its ability to play classic family dramedy/sitcom tropes straight while still adding a few elements of subversion on the side.

Here we have a classic scenario — a young father-to-be, desperate to prove to his partner that he will be the man he promised to be, is forced to walk through fire to be there for the birth, with every curveball possible thrown his way. We knew that this was coming — not…


This Is Us

“Birth Mother”

Dir. Kay Oyegun

Wri. Eboni Freeman and Kay Oyegun

8.5/10

I won’t lie — there is a lot one could dislike about last night’s episode of

I seemed to be in the minority last week of being barely lukewarm on an episode most people seemed to enjoy, so I have a feeling I will be back in the minority this week, loving an episode that I know in my heart is not among the series best.

After all, this episode seems to be solidifying an unlikeable pattern that is emerging this season. Last week, Kate’s post-Marc trauma was lifted off her almost as quickly as her pregnancy…


This Is Us
“A Long Road Home”

Dir. Anne Fletcher
Wri. K.J. Steinberg
6.0/10

knew that after more than a month away, it had to do big work to advance the plot. And, to be fair, this episode really did. While has a tendency to occasionally meander in nothingness and stretch 42-minute episodes into an eternity of morose montages in which nothing is accomplished, writer K.J. Steinberg managed to cram in a lot here. We have Randall learning about Laurel, worrying that William betrayed him, talking to his therapist and learning that William did betray him all in one episode. We have Kate telling the story of…


This Is Us
“Changes”
7.8/10

Dir. Ken Olin
Wri.: Elan Mastai

When I think of the perfect episode of I picture myself like a grandmother passing down a family recipe that she never wrote down, but is nevertheless extremely picky about. It should have It should make me cringe, but never for more than 40 seconds. It should have not a sprinkle, but a of Rebecca, even if she isn’t the main dish.

And, for me, the perfect episode is one where Kevin is the focus.

Last week my major complaint with an otherwise…

Bree Rody, professional hate-watcher

I have a lot of feelings about movies and TV shows that would be embarrassing if it weren’t 2020.

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