Well what a confusing bucket of emotions we're sitting in right now.
Tonight's This Is Us tackled Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall's (Sterling K. Brown) massive fight last week by going back in time and telling us the story of their relationship, from their disastrous first date to their co-written vows to Tess' birth to a more recent time when Beth said she was heading to a conference when in fact she was planning to stay in a hotel for a night to watch movies by herself because Kevin and William had taken over her house. Then Randall found her buying candy, and he charmed her into coming back home.
We found out that was how their relationship pretty much always went. Beth got overwhelmed by Randall being way too much and over the top, and tried to take a stand, until he sweet talked his way into getting her back on his side.
Beth tried to get Randall to admit he thought his job was more important to hers, and Randall refused, but he flashed back to that same argument that Jack and Rebecca had about her singing career while Randall was listening in the hall. She told him he steamrolls her and what he wants takes precedence over what she wants, and somehow Randall didn't see it, wondering "in what world" he ever did any of what she was accusing him of.
Why did she have to have her dance epiphany now, he wondered, when she could have done it at any other time and he would have supported her. When, Beth wondered, would she have found time to do that between his anxiety attacks?
That was not the right thing to say (after a thousand occasions of Randall not saying the right thing), and Randall left to sleep on the cot in his office.
Sure, that was the wrong button to push, but as with last week's episode, we still can't find Randall's side in all of this. Quitting his job, buying a building, and becoming a city councilman in a city two hours away was the wrong decision for the family in every possible way. Beth was laid off and forced to find a new path, so she went back to something she once loved. Randall decided to commute two hours for a stressful job he's likely in way over his head for anyways. These are not the same!
As much as Randall tried to get his thoughts in there, this was Beth's episode to take a stand, and she deserved it. As much as we have loved Beth and Randall together, that icy future we've seen between them and the suspicion we have that they may take some time apart no longer feels quite as devastating. Instead, and we can't believe we're saying this, it feels OK, and we can't say we'd be opposed to watching them both try something new in their lives until they figure this out.
We need them to figure it out, but we're just saying it's probably a good idea to take a little vacation from each other to get there, even if that vacation is just a movie night in a hotel with some Swedish Fish.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
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