‘This Is Us’: The Pearsons Play Every Key of Love in ‘Heart and Soul’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 5 of This Is Us, “Heart and Soul.”]
Trading in last week’s primary focus on Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), the show took time to shine a light on The Big 3, their mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and their lives both past and present. Below, we’re breaking down all of the key moments as the Pearsons play every key of “Heart and Soul.”
Back in the Dating Pool
In the past set not long after Jack’s death, Kate (Hannah Zeile) gets ready to go out and meet a friend and finds Rebecca and Miguel (Jon Huertas) sitting on the couch watching Regis Philbin on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. She calls them out for being lame and the pair begin to question whether they’ve lost their edge as they’ve gotten older.
The subject leads Miguel to bring up Rebecca’s dating life and encourages her to get back out there by partaking in a round of speed dating. Rebecca reluctantly agrees to go and after doing a once over with their looks before entering the event, she and Miguel get started on the conversing. All they can do though is discuss their current situations as a divorced man and widowed woman. Needless to say, they’re doing pretty badly by the time they’re matched up.
Agreeing that if the next date is a dud that they’ll leave, Rebecca’s luck turns around when she finds herself sitting across from Matt (Matt Corboy), a man who knew her from their kids growing up together. Things go so well that when the tables have to rotate again, Matt asks Rebecca if they can go on a coffee date afterward. She agrees and the pair end up extending their time together. When Rebecca returns home, Kate questions where her mother was and the pair get into a fight.
Kate claims that Jack would never condone Rebecca dating again and it leads the mother to slap her daughter in anger. After going to separate corners of the house, Rebecca talks on the phone with Miguel and worries about the way she reacted to Kate but also notes how hard things are for her with the grief she has over Jack. Kate overhears the exchange and eventually, the mother and daughter make up over the piano keys as they play “Heart and Soul” together, something they did when Kate was young.
Kate’s Concerns Cause Problems
In the present day, Kate (Chrissy Metz) is dealing with caring for the kids at home without Toby (Sullivan). Thankfully, Rebecca is there to help and offers to watch the kids if Kate needs the extra hands on deck as Toby delays his return home for a work opportunity. As an alternative, Kate brings up school and asks if Rebecca would wanna meet her and the kids there instead.
At the school, Kate introduces her mother to the students along with baby Jack and Hailey. Inviting Rebecca to serve as a guest pianist, Kate asks her mother to play and perform with the kids as she takes a call with Toby. He asks how she’s doing and she admits that she’s nervous because things are good with Rebecca right now, hinting that she needs to have a serious talk with her mom. But what could it be about? Later that day, we see Kate speak candidly with her mother about appreciating her help but that she’d be more comfortable if another adult was present if Rebecca wants to watch the kids.
Needless to say, Rebecca is a little upset despite Kate’s reasoning that her Alzheimer’s is progressing. In apology, Kate shows up to Rebecca’s and they make amends. They both admit they overreacted and Kate asks Rebecca if she’d teach Jack how to play the piano, offering music sheets with braille. Together, the mother, daughter, and grandson play “Heart and Soul” on the piano hinting at the boy’s future music career.
Kevin’s Trip East
Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) story begins as he’s dropping Nick and Franny off at Madison’s (Caitlin Thompson). Together they marvel over their adorable twins just as Eli (Adam Korson) comes out of Madison’s room. He asks he if she wants a snack and she absent-mindedly says no. He strikes up a conversation with Kevin about exchanging numbers considering he’s around his kids now and the pair become connected. Bidding Kevin farewell for his trip east, the actor rings up Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) who is in a post-divorce slump.
He invites her to join him and Nicky (Griffin Dunne) at the Pearson family cabin as he checks up on the big house’s progress. She asks if this is a “sex thing” and he says it wasn’t meant to be but that it doesn’t mean it can’t be. Intrigued, Cassidy agrees to meet him. On the road, Kevin calls Randall (Sterling K. Brown) to fill his brother in on the situation, and Randall laughs when Kevin suggests it is just a casual weekend.
Arriving in Pennsylvania, Kevin greets Nicky and Cassidy and they convene for dinner at the cabin where they meet Nicky’s new girlfriend Edie (Vanessa Bell Calloway). Kevin can’t help but enjoy seeing Nicky happy. When a movie night (with This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman‘s Crazy, Stupid, Love), begins, Kevin asks Cassidy if she’d be interested in overseeing construction and invites her to go get ice cream with him.
During the outing, he tries holding her hand and she pulls away. He tells her he thought that was on the table, and she says not hand-holding. She goes on to say that Kevin’s darkness isn’t the same as hers and despite their connection, he should look elsewhere for the romance he’s in need of, hinting at Madison. Instead of calling Madison though, Kevin texts Eli who promptly calls him in response.
Kevin is annoyed Eli is calling him but wanted to tell him that whenever he’s picking up food, he should never ask Madison if she wants any, rather that he should get her the food, considering her insecurities. The thoughtful suggestion seems hopeful, but only time will tell if that hope belongs to Eli or Kevin.
Randall and Beth’s Awkward Dinner
In Randall and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson), the couple celebrates their post-work evening with a kiss and while he’s eager to make date night plans for the next evening, she informs him that Malik (Asante Blackk) is in town for one night and plans to cook dinner for the family. They both hope it’s an apology for Déjà’s (Lyric Ross) secret trip to Boston, but the couple runs through a game of “Worst Case Scenario” just to temper expectations.
Meanwhile, Déjà discusses the upcoming evening with Tess (Eris Baker) and Annie (Faithe Herman) who she enlists to help distract their parents as she prepares to share some news that will likely upset them. But what could the news be? Once the dinner arrives, Malik addresses Randall and Beth directly, apologizing for how everything went down. When Annie and Tess begin chiming in though, Beth becomes suspicious and asks for a direct reason behind the dinner.
Déjà informs Beth and Randall that she plans to finish this semester of school, take her GED, and then move to Boston with Malik. The parents lose their minds over this and tell Déjà she won’t be permitted, but the young woman points out that she’s extremely mature and mindful. The comment doesn’t do much to sway Randall’s opinion as he storms out and sits on the stoop for some reflection.
When Malik exits the house Randall apologizes for walking out and tells the young man he’s on a good path but that Déjà is on her own and for that reason, he should end things with her. Malik doesn’t take the suggestion too well, and although he promises not to tell on Randall to Déjà, he’s not going to listen to his advice either. As Randall heads back into the house, Beth warns him that they’re in a very delicate position and that he needs to think carefully because otherwise, they might have a Romeo and Juliet situation on their hands. What path will Randall choose for his eldest daughter? Only time will tell for certain.
This Is Us, Season 6, Continues Tuesday, February 22, 9/8c, NBC