'This Is Us': Kevin & Kate Deal With Messy Memories in 'Honestly' (RECAP)

this is us season 5 kevin justin hartley
Spoiler Alert
NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 4 of This Is Us, "Honestly."]

You won't be surprised to learn that new revelations and heartwarming moments run neck and neck in the latest episode of This Is Us ("Honestly"), but this time around, we're beginning to suspect that the Pearson clan may be evolving in all the right ways.

Below, we break down the major moments, but beware of big spoilers ahead.

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Parenting Troubles for Jack & Rebecca

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(Credit: NBC)

Two flashback storylines focus on Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca's (Mandy Moore) parenting struggles, beginning with a familiar parental battle: As the infants cry and keep them awake, Jack is adamant they use the method Miguel (Jon Huertas) and his wife suggested to them of not checking on the babies, while Rebecca can hardly hold herself back.

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This storyline mirrors a moment later in the Pearsons' lives when Kevin (Parker Bates) adjusts to the hardships of football. Rebecca notices how tired he is before school one morning, but Jack assures her that Kevin is fine. Randall (Lonnie Chavis) offers to help his brother study using his color-coded flashcard strategy, but Kevin shrugs him off, making fun of his studious ways. When Jack picks up a sullen Kevin from practice and is told by the coach that Kevin isn't memorizing his plays, he returns home angry. And when Rebecca wonders whether Kevin should quit the game, Jack is dead set against it. Later, Jack tells Rebecca that he pressures Kevin so that his son can be great at something; his own father, he says, used to call him a "Jack of all trades, master of none."

Kevin's New Job

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(Credit: NBC)

The conceit bleeds into Kevin's (Justin Hartley) present-day story as he has tries to find common ground with the director of his latest job. In an on-set reading, Kevin's costar is showered with praise while he's asked to repeat his lines. The frustration is evident on his face and, once the session is finally over, Kevin asks what the director's deal is. The man tells Kevin that while he may be remembered as a good actor, he has the potential to be one of the greats if he doesn't settle for less.

At first, Kevin seems perplexed, and complains to Kate (Chrissy Metz), though he admits he'd like to win an Oscar one day, and thank their mother before she loses her memory. Kevin mentions "tired" performances, and Kate reminds him it's a line Randall (Sterling K. Brown) used during their fight. Kevin tries to shrug it off, though he admits there are things he and Kate don't understand about Randall's experience.

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He takes the director's advice and works on his lines — using color-coded flashcards like his brother taught him. And when he hears a knock on the door, he finds a basket addressed to him with an "atta boy" letter from the director.

Kate's Pregnancy Woes

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(Credit: NBC)

As Kate and Toby (Chris Sullivan) prepare for their adoption, she accompanies birth mother Ellie (Annie Funke) on a doctor's visit. Since only one guest is allowed into the exam room, Kate FaceTimes with Toby to show him the sonogram images of the baby, who she refers to as "Chloe." Ellie makes a face at the name and Kate misinterprets her reaction as her reconsidering the adoption.

When Kate asks Ellie about the vibe in the exam room, Ellie reassures Kate that she's not having second thoughts. But she tells a story about a school bully from her past named Chloe, and asks if Kate could change the name. Ellie also reveals that she had plans to abort the baby but decided against it.

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When Kate returns home to Toby, she admits that the time out with Ellie brought a lot up from her past. In flashbacks, it's implied that Kate had an abortion as a teen following her relationship with her abusive ex-boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams). She tells Toby that she's never told anyone about that, not even her brothers.

Randall & Malik's Day at the Office

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(Credit: NBC)

Randall's story involves bringing Deja's (Lyric Ross) boyfriend Malik (Asante Blackk) to the City Council office as part of a high school shadowing program. Deja is understandably nervous about this. At the office, Randall notices Malik nodding off and startles him awake, asking if he'd like to oversee the filming of his livestream daily bulletin in which Randall reports to Philadelphia's citizens. During the livestream, Randall mentions William, and the importance of community. (Keep note of that for later!)

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Once Randall's talk ends, he begins changing for a run in his office unaware that the livestream hasn't been ended by Malik — that is, until Malik receives a panicked call from Deja to cut the feed. Randall's not happy, but when Malik reveals that he woke up at 4:30 in the morning to get to Randall's house for the shadowing, he's forgiven.

Malik then shares his plans for schooling and hopes of running a restaurant.When he asks for an internship, Randall is happy to do it, which equally pleases and horrifies Deja. Later on, Randall is informed that the video of him half naked is going viral.

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(Credit: NBC)

The mystery man known as Hai (Vien Hong), introduced in the last episode, watches the clip where Randall mentions William's name, and then looks to the photo of his younger self with the woman we assume is Randall's biological mother. Will he reach out to Randall to share his story? We can only hope so.

This Is Us, Season 5, Returns, Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 9/8c, NBC