'This Is Us' Recap: 'A Father's Advice'

The episode is called "A Father's Advice."  Even though we don't usually know the title of episodes unless we look them up on IMDb, they do tell us a lot. Especially with this one. It's also good to know that William will continue to have a presence on this show. I love his voice.


We've heard the saying - things will work out. I don't really like that phrase, because sometimes they don't.  I think what's special about this show is that they deal with things that don't work out. This episode dealt with alcoholism.  He was presented in a heavy-handed way. It simply set up the season and showed us how it can possibly tear up a family. I love how Jack is such an honorable and good man.  He is so hopeful. He says confidently, "she is going to call." At the beginning of the episode it's "things will work out," which is in contrast with the final image of the episode. 


The episode made me think so much about how our childhood influences who we are today. It is such a relevant show.  It bends time in such a beautiful way.  It shows us how our past informs our present in a unique way. The characters and their conflicts are something special and something normal, at the same time. At the same time, we can escape into a fictional story and reflect on our own real stories. It is what good television is all about.


Randal wants to adopt a baby. He wants to share with another child what he experienced as a kid, even though it was difficult and wonderful. He hopes to honors what happened in his childhood and his two dads. It's amazing how things in our past influence who we become OR who we want to become.


We're watching Kate go to audition for a singing act. Again, it's a phrase we've all heard and maybe uttered - follow your dreams.  Watching this storyline, you can see why so many of us struggle with taking that step toward what we want. Kate thinks back her childhood. In her head, she sees those girls being mean to her and sending her a horrible note about her weight at a pool. She hears those horrible questions that we all hear. Am I good enough? Am I thin enough? Am I smart enough? We all have the voices in her head that speak to us. Sadly, many of those voices are not very nice. Kate doesn't say a word sitting in that audition holding room, but we know exactly what she is thinking and feeling. Are we strong enough to overcome those inner voices that tell us we are not enough? I'm glad she answered that this episode, even if it didn't result in her realizing her dream.


I was also struck by the scene where teen Randall overheard his parents fighting. I imagine most of us can relate. That moment when we realize our parents are human. They have a real problems just like us. Is it good for us to realize that our parents are imperfect? Maybe it is part of the experience of growing up. And then we get to be flawed for our own children, despite wanting to display that we don't have problems and that the world is just fine. 


And that ending!!  It leaves you wanting to know why, how, what... no!! You better believe I'll keep watching.

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