‘This Is Us’: It’s Car Loads of Uncertainty as Babies Go Home in ‘The Ride’ (RECAP)

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Spoiler Alert
(Credit: NBC)

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 9 of This Is Us, “The Ride.”]

This Is Us packs an emotional punch in its latest outing, “The Ride,” as the Pearsons (past and present) return home with their newborns.

The bottom line? Being a parent is tough work — and the worrying begins the minute you leave the hospital parking lot. Below, we break down all of the major moments and twists, so beware of spoilers.

Rebecca & Jack’s Rocky Ride Home

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We start in the past, as Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) prepare to leave the hospital with their brand new babies. Rebecca is all nerves, but Jack reassures her they’ll be fine and goes off to get the car seats situated in their wagon — though he does it backwards. A stranger offers assistance, but Jack of course says no thanks and fixes them himself.

Once in the car with the babies, Rebecca continues to worry, and tries to turn in her seat for a peek, but is sore from her stitches. Jack’s reassurances don’t do much, especially when all three babies begin crying.

On the road, a driver cuts them off as Jack’s about to pull into a gas station. After filling up the tank, he walks into the store for peanuts, a mini bottle of whiskey, and mints, telling the cashier he’s celebrating his new babies. After secretly downing some booze, Jack has Rebecca drive home. At home the backseat is blissfully silent and they sit there so as not to wake the babies. Jack admits he drank, and recounts his own experiences with his father, saying when he’d walk in a room, the air would be sucked out. She reassures him that things will be different: “You don’t suck the air out of the room, you are the air.”

Kevin & Madison Might Make It After All

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Back in the present, Kevin (Justin Hartley) struggles to get his babies’ car seats into position at the same time that a fan approaches with their camera. Short on sleep, Kevin snaps at the man before apologizing and taking a photo.

When it’s time for Madison (Caitlin Thompson) and the babies to leave the hospital, her excitement balances out Kevin’s own worries. With babies on both sides of her, Madison sits sandwiched between the bucket seats in the back as an exhausted Kevin drives. When he thinks he’s being followed by a photographer, he pulls over to confront him. Madison, though makes a deal with the photographer: In exchange for leaving them alone, she’ll notify the paparazzo when Kevin’s out on his next jog, promising that he’ll also be shirtless. Kevin is blown away by her ability to drive the man away, and agrees to sit in the back when Madison decides it’s her turn to drive.

Back home, the babies are heard crying in the nursery. Kevin goes into the room and finds Jack comforting the twins. In the now obvious dream sequence, Kevin is told to by his father to stop trying to be him, and to be his own father. Kevin, in turn, asks his father for advice about how he made the family work. Jack says that Rebecca and the kids were all he wanted.

Waking up from his dream, Kevin enters the house where Madison has settled the kids and he makes a real proposal, asking her to marry him. They end the episode on a very happy note.

Kate & Toby Get 2 Pieces of Bad News

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Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) prepare for their return home with baby Hailey as they also plan to drop birth mom Ellie (Annie Funke) off at her home. First, though, Ellie, who’s with Kate while Toby waits outside, has to sign the papers that give Hailey to the couple. When Kate and Ellie join Toby, he’s finishing a phone call.

That’s when Ellie drop a bomb: She doesn’t want an open adoption right now as she can’t handle seeing Hailey right now. She gets dropped off and the pair return home in shock.

Kate at first is more upset than Toby, who reassures her that Ellie wouldn’t have chosen them without being sure. He tells Kate she’s unflappable, which makes her a great mom — and also, apparently, someone he can share some bad news with the same day they have a new addition: The phone call he was on? He’d been laid off from work. Kate is indeed unfazed, and tells Toby that today’s a family day and they can worry about it later.

Randall Is a Family Man

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In another flashback, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) prepare to head home after the birth of their youngest child, Annie. Since it’s kid number two, the pair are more than prepared for the ride and Beth’s determined to get a Snickers Blizzard from Dairy Queen as Randall promised her during labor.

As they drive, Randall mentions getting a bigger car for possible future children — and that’s not exactly waht Beth wants to hear after just giving birth. When he brings it up again at the ice cream stand, saying he wants a son, Beth storms off to order for herself.

Randall apologizes to his newborn for the spat, saying he’d always wanted a big family to fill out the branches in his family tree since he never knew his biological parents. Teasing that he’d have to rely on grandchildren for that, Beth joins them at the picnic table, Blizzards in hand, and shares a kiss with Randall.

Flash Forward to the Future

In framing scenes that begin the episode and end the installment, we see a woman working rounds in a hospital where multiples are departing for home. The woman excuses herself and we later see her jump into a car with another young woman who gifts her a toy giraffe. It doesn’t take much to deduce that these two are Déjà and Annie grown up.

Annie, who is behind the wheel, mentions that she knows Déjà isn’t far along, hinting at a pregnancy, but she remains mum about the topic, absentmindedly rubbing her stomach. When they arrive at Kevin’s big cabin where we’ve seen much of the family convene in past flash forward sequences, Tess (Iantha Richardson) and Randall meet them at the front steps. Just then, another car pulls up with the car horn honking. But who is it?! Could it be Kate with Hailey and Jack, or is it someone else we haven’t seen or met yet? Hopefully we find out soon.

This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC