I’ll be filling in for Parker again this week, but hopefully Parker will return next week.
We begin this episode with Jack alive in the car with Rebecca going home from Miguel’s house. Rebecca tells him he has beaten alcohol before and he can do it again. She asks him how he did it the last time and we go to a flashback of Jack years earlier. Jack hid his struggle from the family last time. His very close relationship with Kate and desire not to let her down seemed central to his decision to stop drinking. He turned to boxing to release his work frustrations and tossed the bottle of booze out of his bottom drawer at the office. The episode ends with Rebecca driving Jack to a meeting at the same place he went to years before.
Kevin and Sophie
In real-time, Kevin and Sophie are in Los Angeles together. Kevin has been asked back to do a special episode of The Manny, and he is freaking out. The entire Pearson family shows up to support him. Despite a last-minute change by the director meant to humiliate him, he makes the best of it. Flashback scenes show that Sophie has been his biggest supporter since elementary school.
Randall and Beth
These two are taking the girls and flying to LA for the taping of Kevin’s guest appearance on The Manny. Beth is not fond of Kevin and doesn’t think he is funny. On the last episode we found out that Kevin lived in her basement for a year and she was not thrilled about that. Since they have decided to foster an older child, Beth wants to start preparing the girls, but Randall has been avoiding filling out the paperwork. Randall and Beth miss most of Kevin’s performance arguing outside on the backlot about becoming foster parents. Randall is not sure they are up for handling an older child with past abuse.
It’s Kevin who gets through to Beth by telling her that Randall has only taken one risk in his entire life and that was asking her out when he was 19. He lets her know he wrote the script for Randall’s phone call because Randall was terrified to speak to her. Randall and Beth end their scenes by telling the girls they have something to tell them. Next week, they get an out of control 12-year-old girl with sticky fingers.
Kate and Toby
We noticed in an earlier scene that Rebecca has always been a bit critical of Kate. So when Kate and Toby have Rebecca and Miguel over to their house before Kevin’s big show, Kate is a basket case. In her eyes there is no pleasing her mother. Even when Rebecca praises Kate there is always a subtle dig, or what Rebecca thinks is helpful criticism. I did love Toby for making pigs in a blanket for Miguel. Miguel seems to be the outcast of the present day Pearson family. I do not know what nut cheese is nor do I ever want to hear of nut cheese ever again. Mustard is the correct condiment for pigs in a blanket.
Halfway through the taping, Kate gets a call to replace a singer who fell ill. She leaves the taping to take the gig. Toby tells Rebecca that he wants to be with Kate for her first real gig, and Rebecca invites herself to go with him. Kate’s performance was lovely. Rebecca’s praise once again included a dig. She told Kate that with practice she would learn to control the room. Kate’s performance was full of childhood flash backs to her elementary school talent show. I usually hate shows that take place in multiple time periods within one episode, but this was perfectly done. We see Kate lose her confidence after Rebecca makes Kate a dress out the dress Rebecca wore during her first big performance. When Kate excitedly goes to find her mom, she finds her in the shower singing the song Kate was going to perform. Kate lost all of her confidence and refused to participate in the talent show.
Toby won over Rebecca this episode when he let her know with no uncertainty that he is Team Kate For Life and he is not going to be put in the middle when Rebecca tried to get his sympathy during the ongoing mother daughter drama. I did notice that Rebecca wore the moon necklace that Jack gave her to Los Angeles.
The acting is fantastic on the show, and the complexity of the characters that the writers come up with every week just blows me away.
I did not pick up on any more clues about Jack’s death on this episode. Did you?