It’s Randall’s turn to experience troubles of his own on the same day his sister loses her baby and Kevin has a breakdown on This Is Us. In this episode, titled “Number Three,” Randall and Beth deal with Deja’s mother’s release from prison, which is much earlier than they expected. Meanwhile, in the past, Jack takes Randall to visit Howard University, a mostly black school, in DC.

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Off Balance

On the same day that Kevin has an interview with a college football coach, Randall tells Jack that he’d like to take a trip to visit the Howard University campus. Even though it’s on a Friday, when Kevin has a game, Jack agrees to take him. Once down there, his friend Keith meets up with them and offers to take Randall on a behind-the-scenes tour of the school. Jack reluctantly agrees and gives Randall some space.

When it’s time to go, Jack rounds on Randall, who hesitates to introduce Jack to his new friends. In the car ride home, Randall says he really enjoyed the campus. Jack says he knows Randall will make the right decision of what school to go to. He then asks Randall why he hesitated to introduce him. Randall tells him he hesitated because Jack’s old, not because he’s white.

Randall then opens up to Jack about how his whole life, he’s felt a little off balance and out of place because of his skin color. It’s clear he thinks that if he goes to Howard, he’ll feel more comfortable around people of color like him. Jack takes Randall to see the Vietnam Wall in DC. He opens up a little bit about being drafted and his time overseas. He tells Randall that when he came home, he too felt off balance and out of place. He adds that Randall will find his balance and then get off balance again, but that’s just life. And he knows Randall is spectacular. Of course, the moment is interrupted by the call to come home to an injured Kevin.

Fighting for Deja

Randall is getting excited for Thanksgiving at his house. He checks on the girls and stops in Deja’s room as she practices her science presentation. She’s worried that the kids will make fun of her because of all the work she put into it, but Randall assures her that hard work will get her a big house and a fancy car in the future. Their moment is interrupted by Beth arguing outside. Randall goes out to see that Deja’s mother is there to pick her up, as her charges got dropped.

Things get heated, and Beth says she’ll call Linda, the social worker. Deja comes outside and tells her mother that while she does want to go home, they need to go through the proper channels and wait for Linda to call. Her mother reluctantly leaves but assures Beth and Randall that she’ll get her daughter back.

The next day, Linda apologizes for what happened. She confirms that the charges were dropped against Deja’s mother in exchange for her cooperation in another case. Then she drops the bombshell that she visited Deja’s mother’s home and found it fit enough to recommend that she get custody of Deja.

Randall is appalled, saying that Deja’s mother is not fit to take care of a child. He then tells Linda that they contacted their lawyer, as Deja’s mother trespassed and threatened them. While Linda wants to continue the conversation, Randall just walks out, still upset about the situation and determined to keep Deja.

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Letting Go

After dropping the girls off at school, Randall calls Beth, who says the lawyer thinks they have a case. Daydreaming, Randall recalls a conversation he had with William right after Randall finds out that Rebecca made contact with William when he was younger. William told Randall the story of the second and final time that Rebecca came to see him. He explains that Rebecca left abruptly, so William followed her. He had every intention of knocking on their door, thinking he’d be a part of Randall’s life forever, but instead he leaves without ever meeting Randall.

The memory inspires Randall, who drives to Newark to see the area where Deja’s mother lives. He sees how happy she is with new clothes and her friends. He knows deep down that he can’t keep Deja from her mother. Later that day, before Deja’s presentation, Randall tells Beth that they need to let Deja go. Beth agrees.

The next day, when Deja’s mother shows up, Randall offers to stay in her life, but her mother declines. She does thank him for taking good care of her. Deja then says her goodbyes to the girls, Beth and Randall. She tells Randall that she’s torn inside because part of her wants to stay and part of her wants to go. He tells her he understands.

Later that day, Randall tells Beth that he’s open to fostering another child, and she again agrees.

Does Anyone Care About Kevin?

While the Deja drama is going down, Kevin calls Randall to say he’s coming over. After Deja leaves, Kevin shows up, and he’s ready to tell Randall that he has a drug problem, but Randall hits him with the Kate news. Not wanting to be selfish, which is unlike Kevin, he never tells Randall what’s going on. He does help himself to some vodka before telling the girls he’s leaving.

On the road, as he’s driving drunk and weaving in and out of traffic, Kevin’s niece Tess pops up from the back seat. She’s scared and says she needed to get out of the house. Of course, at that moment, Kevin gets pulled over and arrested for DUI.

But seriously? I know the Big Three have a lot going on in their lives right now, but Kevin looks terrible. And no one has noticed that he has a problem. Now Randall will at least notice because he’ll have to pick up his young daughter from a police station since Kevin got arrested. It’s amazing that even though Kevin is selfish, he does manage to be there for his siblings. And now when he needs them the most, no one seems to know or care about him. It’s a shame.

I’m happy that Randall manages to take the Deja news in stride. It seems Jack’s words of wisdom about the constant wave of balance are paying off. I feel like the old Randall would have been more upset about Deja leaving. I’m glad that he and Beth want to foster another child.

I do hope that all of the Pearsons pick themselves up soon and get happy again on This Is Us. Perhaps the new year will be a good one for the Big Three as they get their lives back on track.

Did Randall make the right decision? Did you enjoy “a day in the life” of each Pearson child? Do you think someone will finally help Kevin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

This Is Us season 2 returns Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at 9/8c on NBC. Want more news? Like our This Is Us Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV