Five new developments in ‘This is Us,’ Season 3 Episode 8


Screenshot from NBC’s “This is Us.”

Are you all caught up on “This is Us?” If you have been watching, you know that the past few episodes have taken us on an emotional roller coaster. Two weeks ago, we saw the development of Jack and Rebecca’s relationship as they took their road trip to Los Angeles. Two major developments were also revealed during Jack’s time in Vietnam: Jack sees the woman with the necklace and welcomes his brother to his team. Whether Nick will die under Jack’s command or not is still a mystery.

This past week, we saw how the Pearsons spent their Thanksgiving over the course of six years. If you have not watched this past episode, make sure to stop reading here and watch the episode. There are major spoilers ahead! 

PRESENT: Beth thinks that Randall hired her out of pity.

Beth has officially become Randall’s campaign-field director, with Jae-Won, the young Korean-American campaign manager that Randall hired. Jae-Won is not thrilled with the choice of having Randall’s wife on the team, but Randall tells him it’s not up for discussion. We see clearly that Jae-Won and Beth do not agree on tactics to get votes.

To hype up his campaign, Randall and the family volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. Th event is smaller than Jae-Won would’ve liked and there’s no press to document it. Beth thinks it’s more important for Randall to connect personally guests at the soup kitchen. When the opportunity arises for photos (thanks to Jae-Won), Beth completely shuts it down.

Jae-Won expresses his frustration with Randall and he snaps back, saying,“I don’t care if it’s a mistake; she’s my wife.” Beth overhears this and confronts Randall after. She pressures him to admit he has been entertaining her ideas out of pity, which disappoints and frustrates her.

PRESENT: Tess reveals information about her sexual identity to Kate.

Kate and Toby take over cooking for the Pearson Thanksgiving dinner. Tess stays home from the soup kitchen because she is sick with her first menstrual cycle, as it turns out. Toby finds Tess screaming in the bathroom, holding “a box of things that a woman might need every full moonish.” With this clearly being Kate’s field of expertise, Toby tells her to go help Tess, adding that it’s good practice for the “real thing.”

Tess confides to Kate that she is embarrassed. Kate calms Tess with her own embarrassing first period story. Kate then goes on to tell Tess that she has so much ahead of her  including her first boyfriend. “Or girlfriend,” Tess interrupts. Tess asks Kate not to tell her parents. But Kate assures her that her parents will love her no matter what and she should tell them. 

PAST: Jack interacts with the mystery woman with the necklace for the first time.

We briefly head back to Vietnam, where Jack, his team and his newest recruit (his brother) gather for Thanksgiving dinner. Nick sits aside from the rest of the group. Jack excuses himself from the meal to help the mystery woman he brings her food, and orders Nick to treat her son’s injured foot. 

It is then revealed how Jack got the necklace the woman rewards him with it for helping her in a time of need. After the incident, Nick opens up to Jack for the first time about what he has seen in Vietnam.

PAST: Miguel’s relationship with his own kids is complicated.

After getting divorced from his first wife, Shelly, Miguel spends his entire life trying to prove his devotion to his kids. During the marriage, he was always working to provide for them.

He spends his first Thanksgiving as a single father with the Pearsons. His ex-wife took his kids with her for the holiday, and doesn’t even let Miguel speak with them. At dinner, Miguel leaves the table before dinner is served, clearly emotional from the love and warmth that the Pearson offered him. He feels that his own kids have been turned against him. Jack encourages him to fight for his family.

Back in present day, we see Rebecca and Miguel on their way to Thanksgiving dinner at Miguel’s daughter Amber’s house. Dinner is awkward — Amber barely speaks to her father. Miguel’s son, Andy, is clearly still mad about the divorce, and is rude to both Miguel and Rebecca. At one point, Andy accuses Rebecca of stealing his father from them. Miguel demands his kids respect Rebecca. Amber reaches out for her father’s hand, showing that there is still time to make up for all that was lost.

PAST: The development of William and Jesse’s relationship continues.

William and Jesse meet for the first time while William is playing the piano. They get to know each other on a deeper level when they run into each other at a convenience store, where Jesse, a drug addict at the time, buys cheap bottle of wine.

Jesse opens up to William, telling him a story about how he got into cocaine working as a bond trader. William claims he sees through all of Jesse’s deception, but Jesse explains that his addiction to cocaine soon became crack, and it was all downhill from there, adding that Thanksgiving is always so depressing to him.

William invited Jesse to come with him to a social gathering of musicians for the holiday. This is the first time we see them flirt. Jesse arrives at the party with a beautiful woman, and William looks obviously disappointed. But not to worry, Jesse makes sure to come up to him and assure him that the woman is only his cousin, and the rest is history.

As the fall finale approaches, there is much anticipation as to what we will learn. Will we find out how Nick dies in Vietnam? Only time will tell.

The fall finale of “This is Us” airs this Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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