TV Reviews

This is Up Episode 9 – The Trip

PLEASE NOTE:   This post will contain spoilers about last night’s episode of This is Us.  If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’ve watched last night’s episode.  If you haven’t, you may want to come back and read it later.  You’ve been forewarned:)

This week’s episode picks up where last week’s left off. Randall is still devastated over the revelation that Rebecca has known about Randall her whole life.  Randall keeps pacing the floor, and pausing to write down reasons he’s angry with Rebecca.  He’s at 22 reasons.  He also tells Beth and William that he’s angry with them, but not as angry as he is at Rebecca.

Randall mentions to Kate and Kevin that Rebecca is planning on selling their family cabin. Kate is upset by this news, and suggests to her brothers that they take a trip to the cabin for old times’ sake.  They arrive at the cabin, and Randall immediately starts packing stuff up.


Unbeknownst to Randall and Kate, Kevin has invited Olivia to the cabin. Olivia doesn’t arrive alone.  She brings Asher, her ex-boyfriend, and Sloane, the playwright (better known as Lilly from the AT&T commercials).  Kate is none to pleased with the situation.  She chastises Kevin for inviting Olivia; he in turn tells her he had no idea she wouldn’t be alone.

In the past, Randall is 9 and starting to ask questions about his biological parents. He asks random African Americans if they can roll their tongue like he can, hoping to find his birth parents.  Jack mentions to Yvette that Randall is getting curious – he’s been talking to the mail man, the janitor – jobs an African American may have.  Yvette suggests to them that they take Randall to an all black karate class.

Rebecca is very opposed to finding Randall’s birth parents. Jack (shirtless, yum) asks her why she’s opposed.  She admits that she’s worried they may be better than them.  She’s terrified of losing her son.

Back to the present, at the cabin, Asher asks who drank his mushroom smoothie. Turns out it was Randall, and he’s stoned.  Hysterically.  Randall goes outside, and sees Jack on a ladder cleaning off the roof of the cabin.


Randall starts going off to Jack about how upset he is with Rebecca. He asks Jack if he knew about William.  Jack says no (and I believe that).  Jack jumps to Rebecca’s defense, saying she was trying to protect her family.

Meanwhile, Kate, Kevin and the play bunch are playing a game and Kevin is acting like a different person in front of Olivia. Kate confronts Olivia, telling her she knows “girls like her.”  Olivia asks Kate point blank – what if you get the surgery and nothing changes?  This clearly freaks Kate out.

Kate then confronts Kevin about his behavior, and he ponders if she is deflecting due to her breakup with Toby and upcoming surgery. Kate informs Kevin that she “almost died”. Kevin disagrees, saying she “hit turbulence and spilled her peanuts.”  Kate gets mad and goes for a walk, on which she calls Toby.  Toby answers, and sounds very upset.  Kate starts telling him about Randall, and Kevin’s behavior.  Toby asks if they are still broken up.  Kate says yes, and Toby politely ends the call.

Meanwhile, stoned Randall is having a talk with Jack. Randall tells Jack that he was “only a replacement for the baby they lost.”  Going to be honest – that was a real dick thing for Randall to say and completely not true.  I get that Randall is pissed off, but he had a great life, and Jack was an amazing father, so this comment really pissed me off.  Jack informs Randall that he was no replacement, and reminds him that he was very loved.


In the past, Rebecca goes to William’s apartment, hoping he still lives there. He does.  He informs Rebecca that he has been sober for 5 years, and has a good job in a bookstore.  Rebecca informs William that Randall has been asking about his birth parents.  William gets very excited, and suggests that Rebecca could bring him into the store.  William gets up to look for something, and while he’s doing that, Rebecca disappears.  Poor William doesn’t even know her last name.

Later, Jack and Rebecca attend Randall’s karate class. The sensei asks Jack to come lay on the ground, acting as a foundation, and has Randall get on his back.  Jack then does pushups with Randall on his back, acting as his rock.  Even after being told to stop, Jack keeps going, again proving what a freaking amazing father he is.

Back to the present, Kevin is in the cabin with Asher and Olivia watching a video of Kate and Kevin singing as kids. Asher and Olivia are snuggled on the coach, and Kevin flips his lid.  He calls Olivia out, telling her she has likely never experienced anything real in her entire life.  She and Asher then leave in Sloane’s car, stranding her in the woods.

Meanwhile, Randall sees a vision of his family in the past, playing games at the cabin. He sees how happy they were.  He then has a vision of Rebecca having a freak out in the cabin, locking all the doors and looking frantically for the kids.  It appeared to symbolize her fear of someday losing Randall.

In the past, we see William receive the now famous letter from Rebecca. William starts crying and drops the letter on a book of poems he had written, called “Poems for My Son.” That was a really heartbreaking scene.

The next morning, Kate goes to wake Kevin up and finds Sloane in his bed (big shocker). The Big Three (and Sloane) then leave the cabin and head to Rebecca’s house.  Randall goes to the door by himself, with Kate and Kevin waiting by the car.

Randall tells Rebecca how lonely it must have been, keeping that secret for so many years. Rebecca starts crying, and goes to reach for Randall.  He backs away, saying “not yet”, but tells Rebecca that he’ll see her at Christmas.

This was a great episode. I loved Randall’s mushroom trip.  I found the entire scene hilarious.  Sterling K. Brown should really get an Emmy for his performance as Randall.

On a side note, next week is the “fall finale” and I’m so sad that this show will be going on a break. I’m looking forward to the Christmas episode next week.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Happy watching.


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