‘This Is Us’: The Pearsons Adjust to Parenting Life in ‘I’ve Got This’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 10 of This Is Us, “I’ve Got This.”]
This Is Us is in the throes of early parenthood as the Pearsons adjust to their lives with new babies, both past and present.
In the episode “I’ve Got This,” some tensions flare, while others remain calm, cool, and collected under the pressures of day-to-day life with babies in the mix. And no matter how old you get, the parenting never ends — nor does judging your parenting — which is what Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) feels when her mother Carol (Phylicia Rashad) makes herself at home in Philly.
Below, we break down all of the family drama and speculate over what’s to come after some interesting developments.
Battle of the Brothers-In-Law
Kevin (Justin Hartley) is floating on cloud nine as he spends time with new twins Nick and Franny. But it’s clear he and Madison (Caitlin Thompson) need some adult time too, so he calls up Kate (Chrissy Metz) and invites her and Toby (Chris Sullivan) over for a dinner.
Kate is picking up baby Jack at the local music school when she gets the call from Kevin. One of the faculty mentions how much they miss her helping out. Meanwhile, back at home, Toby is on one of his many virtual job interviews while watching over the newborn.
While the interview seems to go south, the interviewer tells Toby he’s a top candidate, news he shares with Kate. She promises not to mention his work situation when they go over to Kevin’s house. Once there, though, as their nanny takes care of babies Jack and Hailey, Kevin begins showing off the gifts he and Madison have gotten from famous friends.
When Toby gets a text that he didn’t get the job, the tone turns dark. Following Kevin out to the backyard they talk about dad life, and Jack gets swept up in the idea of their kids growing up together. When Kevin floats the idea of buying a Malibu compound together for the whole Pearson gang, Toby for obvious reasons isn’t on board.
Things worsen for Toby when they sit down for dinner and it’s an expensive sushi spread. When Kevin offers to get Kate and Toby a special baby rocker, Toby accuses Kate of spilling the beans to Kevin about his being out of work. Things get awkward when Toby realizes this isn’t the case, and then Kevin offers to help them.
While they assure Kevin they don’t need help, Kate learns that Toby didn’t get the job and offers to go back to work. Toby counters that wouldn’t even keep them afloat; if she goes back to work, they’d have to pay for childcare. Madison offers up some childcare, which sends Toby over the edge, and he asks Kevin to stop trying to take care of his family when he can do it himself. Later, Kate promises Kevin she’ll let him know if she ever needs help, but that money is just a sore subject right now. Toby apologizes before they leave.
Later that evening, Kate tells Toby she’s taking a job at the music school and promises that they’ll be OK. She calls Rebecca (Mandy Moore) to thank her for always making money troubles seem invisible when she was growing up. And over at Kevin’s place, he and Madison talk about their future before a visitor shows up at their front door. It’s Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne), complaining that Kevin only named one of his babies after him. We wonder how long he’ll stay?
Beth’s Mom Stays Over
While Beth and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) were away in New Orleans, her mother Carol came to stay with Déjà (Lyric Ross), Tess (Eris Baker), and Annie (Faithe Herman). Needless to say, it’s getting a tad crowded for Randall, who finds peace on the back porch of his Philly home. Beth joins him there and mentions how Carol is lingering and how she plans to cook a meal to prove to her mother, once and for all, that she’s an adequate mom herself.
Inside the house, Beth tries her best to get the girls, who are watching TV and on phones between Zoom classes, to put down the electronics. But it’s Carol’s commanding tone that gets them to move. She then reveals she’s extending her trip by an extra week, which is not what Beth and Randall want to hear. Worse, when When Beth cooks curry, Carol critiques her every move, and then starts in with Beth’s inability to use the right pronouns for Tess’ friend Alex, who identifies as they/their.
Just before dinner, Malik (Asante Blackk) shows up to ask Randall, who has experience with birth mothers, for advice on allowing Jennifer, his baby Janell’s mother, back into their lives. Randall suggests allowing Janell to have a relationship with her mother.
Dinnertime is just as fraught. Tess is upset about not being allowed to see Alex and turns to texting. When Carol starts in, Beth attempts to shut down the chaos by collecting phones, but Tess reveals that she and Alex are a couple and that Carol knew. Hurt, Déjà then questions Malik about his texts from Jennifer. Malik reveals what he shared with Randall and tells Déjà that he was talking to her father about the predicament.
The tension is explosive. Beth tells Carol she seems to be keeping a list of everything she does wrong. Carol, upset, goes to pack her things. Beth apologizes for lashing out, but is honest about how she feels under Carol’s gaze. Carol admits that she misses the chaos and so-called “mess” of raising a family. as Beth refers to raising her family.
While they chat, Déjà complains to Randall that he’s supposed to be on her team, and wants him to share things like Malik’s baby mama drama to her. He agrees to do so, and then is taken off guard when Beth reveals that her mother is staying…indefinitely, that Randall’s family has often stayed with them and she never complained, and now it’s her turn. We can’t lie, the possibility of more Phylicia Rashad makes us happy!
Jack’s Dinner Blunder
Back in the past, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) attends a work dinner with Miguel (Jon Huertas) and two other colleagues in an attempt to impress and possibly earn a raise. While he walks the walk and talks the talk, it’s clear that the lavish meal isn’t Jack’s forte. When the men suggest doing credit card roulette, letting the waitress pick which card will be charged, Jack steps up to the plate and agrees to participate despite having three newborns at home. Of course, his card is chosen and it leads to a tense conversation with Rebecca. Ultimately they agree that she’ll handle finances from here on out, and the rest is (was) history.
This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC