Let’s Talk About… This Is Us Season 2, Episode 9: “Number Two”

With another week comes another episode of This Is Us and another one of my “refresher” and/or retrospective review articles.  Obviously SPOILERS for this episode and the entire series so far follow.  The next three “refreshers” will be a little different as each episode will focus on the member of the “Big Three” that is being highlighted.  The title of the episode is referring to Kate (Chrissy Metz) as she was the second born and falls in line with the titles of both the previous episode and the coming episode about Randall.  To check out my review of the previous episode, click here.  If you want to see other previous articles, click here.

It is revealed early on that indeed all three of these episodes will take place in the same time periods.  The opening of the episode once again starts with the video tape of the “Big Three” when they were babies.  It starts on the end of the video we saw for Kevin and they literally move the camera over to baby Kate.  Unlike baby Kevin, Kate is not able to walk so easy and trying results in her breaking down and crying.  The symbolism of this scene is that Kate has never been able to measure up to her brothers even as a child.  She will never succeed in her goals as well as they do and forces into her current depressed state.  We are also shown her and Toby trying to get in touch with Kevin, which we saw him ignore in the previous episode.

We return to the blackout that started the previous episode, but teenage Kate (Hannah Zeile) is upstairs and listening to music with her dog.  She comforts him, but like most small dogs, pees on the floor.  This lead to her coming downstairs to the scene we had previously seen in Kevin’s episode, but now we see where Kate was before and after those events.  As Randall is leaving for his a tour of a college, Rebecca is trying to make Kate think about college, but she is not interested in the slightest.  When we return later to teenage Kate, she is still alone with her music and her dog.  Rebecca comes to her room and has one of her “serious talks” with Kate and consoles her perceived uncertainty of her life that “you aren’t your brothers.”

She tells her it is ok to be unsure of your path and that she should keep her options open.  The talk doesn’t go well and Kate hastily leaves for school.  Rebecca yells at the last minute that maybe she should go to veterinary school because of her connection with the family dog.  After she leaves, Rebecca finds a Berklee School of Music (I do not know if they purposefully misspelled that in order to avoid any legal problems) application in her room along with her audition to the school on a cassette tape.

Too (Two?) many Kates!

We look at Kevin’s football game through a new perspective, this time we see the game from both Kate and Rebecca’s view.  She gives her daughter a check in-between plays for her college application in order to show her that she supports her wishes.  Although Kate is not happy that she went through her stuff, Rebecca tries to compliment and encourage her.  However, this heart-warming moment is cut short when Kevin goes down as we saw in the previous episode.  Rebecca tells Kate to call or page her father  She runs off to do just that, interrupting their talk about her own future.

Later, in the hospital, Kate and Rebecca wait as Kevin gets an M.R.I. after his injury.  Kate confides in her mother that she didn’t want to disappoint her mother about college if she didn’t get in to the school.  Rebecca tells her that she would be “disappointed for you, not for me”, but Kate smacks her back with “sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference”.  Rebecca talks to her about her mom and how she wanted to be better and how hard it was for her growing up.  However, they are interrupted when Jack and Randall show up at the hospital to see the injured Kevin.

Kevin emerges in a wheelchair and a cast for his leg and looks very depressed.  Kate and Randall look at each other, understanding their brother’s pain.  Jack and Rebecca leave the “Big Three” together as they go to bring the car around.  Kevin asks Kate to get him something to drink and she goes to a vending machine to grab something as him and Randall begin to inaudibly talk.  I imagine we will see Kevin and Randall’s conversation in the next episode as we hear a mumbled Randall begin to talk as she walks away.  Kate sees Jack and Rebecca through a window, consoling each other after the hurt this has caused for their son.

Kate is overwhelmed with grief.

After the ending of last week’s episode, we are already aware that Kate has suffered a miscarriage and lost the baby.  This comes after all the excitement Toby has had about the baby and Kate trying to be cautiously optimistic under her true pessimism.  In the beginning of the episode, Kate is watching “Sunday Night Football”, while taking prenatal vitamins, talking to and singing to her unborn baby.  Toby has been making her “pregnancy shakes” as he calls them and the drinks apparently turns your pee green.  Kate is talking about possibly taking up yoga for the pregnancy.  However, the most important item on the list for the episode is a Swedish baby bath and Kate is worried that it will not fit their tub.  She goes to the bathroom to measure the tub to make sure that it will.  As Toby looks over the rest of the list while Kate is out of the room, we a crash and she screams “TOBY”, before he rushes to her aid.

We transition with a flash-forward to a depressed Kate and Toby in a doctor’s office, where they receive the terrible news about the pregnancy and the loss of their child.  Similar to a scene in “Breaking Bad” (2008 – 2013), the doctor’s voice is muffled when giving them the bad news.  However, instead of cancer, it is the miscarriage that we heard about last episode.  Toby tries to be optimistic that they “can try again”, but Kate is too depressed to really hear his words.  Rebecca sends a text to her daughter to see how the latest ultrasound went, which she obviously ignores as she does not want to discuss her grief with her mother.  Kate and Toby are both depressed at the loss, but are trying to hold it together.  Kate is trying to move on and has a “lunch gig”, but Toby tells her that it has only been twelve hours.  He had suspected for her to stay in with him while they mourn.

Toby is trying to be the best man that he can after this tragedy.

Toby gets a mobile notification that his “package is in transit” and he looks at it with dread.  He then goes to the delivery service to prevent the package being delivered to his apartment.  He explains that he is trying to prevent from making Kate’s pain even worse and Convinces the guy at the warehouse to help him.  It’s the baby bath that they were previously talking about before the miscarriage.  Meanwhile, Kate again ignores Rebecca when she tries to call and heads towards “King Buffet” in order to drown her sorrows.  Kate is not able to eat it and give in to her vice, despite wanting to find solace in eating.

Meanwhile, Toby is trying to track down the baby bath in the company’s warehouse to no avail.  Luckily, the guy he convinced earlier is able to track down the package for him after Toby fails to find it.  He gives it to the guy, Carl, for his pregnant sister even though that he is not a huge fan of his sister.  This is shown through his body language when Toby asks if he likes her, but he convinces him to take it anyway.  With the realization of it being a baby bath, Carl tells him that “I’m sorry if something happened.”

Kate leaves work “sick” and Toby misses seeing her at the café when he comes to visit.  He then tries to call her and Kevin in order to get in contact with his missing future wife.  Kate arrives home looking for “Tobe”, but he is too busy looking for her on the street to be home.  Rebecca calls Kate again and she finally answers and she tells her that she lost the baby.  It’s a quick phone call as she hangs up almost immediately after telling her.  Kate then proceeds to try to call Kevin in order to tell him the terrible news.  Toby eventually arrives home and is relieved to see that she is ok as he was worried sick about her.  He is upset with her, because she put him through a major amount of stress.

Kate is not dealing with this well, but is trying to refuse help.

She tells him that she is going to be full of hormones because he body still thinks it is pregnant.  Kate goes on to blame Toby for making her excited because she wanted to be cautious.  While he tries to tell her that it hurt him too, she tells him “It happened to me, it didn’t happen to you”.  Toby is a part of this and makes it clear that although he will be there for her grief that “it happened to me too and it hurt”.  The next morning, when Kate wakes up, Toby is gone and has left a note for her saying that he went out and will be back soon.

After looking for Toby, she hears a slight knock on the door.  Although she thinks it is Toby coming back, it turns out to be her mother, Rebecca, coming to visit her very distraught daughter.  They both hug each other and cry in a shared feeling of misery.  Rebecca tries to comfort her daughter, but Kate is still reeling from the loss of her child.  Her mom looks at her and says “I never held Kyle” in reference to the lost triplet who Randall replaced.  She brings up the question and feeling of fault and blaming yourself by relation to Kate’s situation.  In the end, she tells her that she needs to talk to Toby and share her feelings with him.

Rebecca tells her daughter a story from the past, where she went to a grocery store with the “Big Three” as six-week old babies.  She explains that her and Jack “hadn’t had a real meal in a long time” and that she wanted to make a beer and rump roast for Jack.  The recipe required a bag of yellow onions.  However, when she looks away to take care of her very young child and put the cart in a safe place, a woman steals the last bag of onions.  A store employee comes over to see what the problem is, as Rebecca breaks down in the store.  She say that it is “not fair” and wants the women should give her the onions.  The story ends with her telling that she ended up burning the pot roast anyway.  Rebecca tells Kate that she eventually opened up to Jack for the better and that is why she should talk to Toby.

Don’t Worry! Kate and Toby reconcile!

Toby returns with Kate and her mom watching something on the couch, but the mother is quick to let her daughter rekindle her relationship with her fiancé.  They snuggle and she tells him that she feels like she failed him, but Toby tells her that she never could.  She is open to trying again, but “not yet, but maybe soon” and understanding, Toby tells her “whenever you’re ready”.  Toby and Kate fix the broken shower curtain and in general are fixing up the house both literally and emotionally.

This episode is just as much about Toby as it is Kate, but I would have liked to have seen him get even more of a focus than he did in this episode.  Maybe there is a Toby-centric episode in our future after the fall break.  The end brings us back to the baby video from the opening of this and the previous episode.  Just like the camera switched over to Kate in the beginning, this one switches to Randall or “number three” to set up the next episode in this small trilogy.  As Jack says “Ok number three, it’s your turn”

I expect to see William (Randall’s father) in some capacity in the next episode and I am excited to Randall’s perspective in all of the main three time periods.

Here is the trailer for the next episode which happens to be the fall finale:

Bonus Stage!

Here’s a fun interview with Kevin (Justin Hartley) with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show”:

We are only days away from the fall finale, so I am interested in thoughts on this “trilogy” so far.

What did you think of the episode and the series so far?  Sound off in the comments!

  • Joe Newman

    No, but these last two and the next one do.

  • Poppity🍂

    Just a question for you, Joe: Do they primarily revolve around one couple/one character in each episode? I seem to get that impression. 🙂

  • Manuel Orozco

    Kate’s predicament was more bearable for me to watch than Kevin’s. I didn’t expect Kate to be pregnant or have the miscarriage. Bright side is she and Toby are not giving up on each other and finally she and Rebecca are civil with like all good family relationships should. Next week is going to be anxious with Randell in a custody dispute. Big Three? Big Three