After an all-flashback episode, This Is Us returns to its back-and-forth format in “Three Sentences.” It’s the kids’ 10th birthday, and after years of joint parties, they tell their parents they want separate celebrations. In present day, Kate is forced to face her fears in a weight loss program, Toby helps Kevin with his love life and Randall bonds with William, who has a boost of energy now that he’s done with chemo.

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It’s Time for a Meeting

After almost 10 years of the same party each year with Pin the Tail on the Donkey, a special banner and cake, Kevin and Kate barge into Jack and Rebecca’s room to call a meeting to discuss their 10th birthday. They say they want separate parties, Kate a Madonna-themed party and Kevin a Princess Bride-themed one. When they ask Randall, he doesn’t seem to care, saying that he’d have to invite his whole class since that’s the rule. He finally gives in and says he’d like a magician, so Jack and Rebecca agree to host three parties.

As they prep, Jack watches old home videos of previous parties and suggests to Rebecca that they have another baby. Of course, she turns him down, saying they have their hands full. And when he asks for a dog, she also says no.

The parties start off great. Kate is thrilled that her best friend, Sophie, is there to play dress-up, Kevin is entertaining his friends, and Randall is getting ready for the magician. However, Jack and Rebecca notice that no one is at Randall’s party. When they confront him, he tells them that the other kids don’t like him. Later, when Rebecca pushes him on the subject, he says he isn’t friends with them and that the three kids he’s friends with did show up and that’s all he needs. This is a sigh of relief for Rebecca, and she tells Jack that perhaps they should have another child.

Later, Jack and Rebecca notice that all of Kate’s friends are at Kevin’s party, including her best friend. Jack goes to comfort Kate. At first, she seems happy but then asks to be alone. When his parents tell Kevin that he should tell Kate’s friends to go back to her party, he says he won’t because he loves Sophie.

After all the kids go home, Jack and Rebecca decide that three is enough kids and still no dog. They hear the kids playing and join in on the fun. After a bit, Jack brings out the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game and some cake. And the kids surprise him with the banner and wish him a happy birthday.

This is Happening

While at the doctor’s discussing a date for her gastric bypass surgery, Kate starts to have second thoughts. She tells the doctor that after Toby’s health scare, perhaps now isn’t the time to have surgery. The doctor suggests an immersive weight loss experience or, as Kate calls it, fat camp. The doctor explains that it’s a month-long program in the Adirondacks, where Kate can focus on herself and her weight loss commitment.

Toby is very supportive and drives her up there. Kate has big ideas of what it will be like, but she’s way off base. There’s no gym and no crazy trainers. The program worker explains that it’s not a quick cosmetic fix and that the people who attend the program gain a deeper understanding of themselves. Kate takes a phone call from Kevin, despite a no phone rule. When she hangs up, she meets Duke, a horse trainer at the facility who hits on her.

Kate tries all different things at the “camp,” including a hike, meditation and a rhythm class, which she walks out of. She goes to call Toby, calling the place a cult, and Duke hangs up her phone. He gives her some reverse psychology about how the place is a scam and usually doesn’t work. Of course, now Kate is determined to make it work for her. She goes back to the rhythm class, where the instructor asks the participants why they are there. He says they need to just let it all go. Kate thinks back to her experiences as a kid, the note from the pool, her 10th birthday and eventually her father’s funeral. She yells out in emotional pain and has a breakthrough.

After the class, she seeks out Duke to thank him for the pep talk, even though he was a jerk. He tells her it wasn’t a pep talk and that he is a jerk. Then he tells her that she’s sexy as hell, gives her his cabin number and says, “This is happening.”

Living Again

Now that William is done with chemo, he has a whole new outlook on life and a boost of energy. He starts his day asking Randall for help with Tess’s iPod, but Randall rushes off to work for an important meeting. At work, Randall finds out that another employee will be working to land an important wind farm account. Randall isn’t have it, though, so his boss suggests that they work together on a proposal. His boss gives them a deadline of a week, but Randall says he can have it the next day.

As Randall gets into his work, William shows up and asks if he wants to go shopping on a lovely day. At first, Randall turns him down, determined to focus on his project, but eventually he agrees.

William takes his time at the shops, spending a particularly long amount of time on the perfect pair of sunglasses. Then he wants the perfect egg cream. And afterwards, he asks Randall if he can drive his car. Once in the driver’s seat, William asks Randall to put in the iPod and tells him a story of when he was a kid. He tells Randall how he admired a record shop owner and how he always wanted to be like him. Eventually, William tells Randall he doesn’t know how to drive, so Randall, giving up hope of working, teaches him.

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It’s All About Sophie

Kevin is really feeling the fallout of the “it’s the right thing to do” comment about Sloane. She just wants to be co-workers. And Kevin whines to anyone who will listen about his love life. Eventually, that person is Toby, who is stuck in the city while Kate is away. The pair heads to a bar, where Toby is thrilled to hang out with a celebrity. However, all Kevin wants to do is talk about Sloane and Olivia. Of course, Toby, being the nice guy he is, sits and listens to Kevin. Then he suggests he do something about it. He tells Kevin that instead of whining about it, he needs to make a grand romantic gesture to the love of his life.

When Toby asks Kevin who he wants to be with, Kevin is stuck. Toby says to pretend he has only 30 seconds, one shot and three sentences to tell the love of his life he wants to be with her.

Kevin shows up on the doorstep of a woman we’ve never seen before. He tells her he’s been head over heels in love with her the moment he saw her. He never should have let her get away. And it’s like she’s a part of him, like his arm. When he lost her, it’s like he lost his arm. He’s been walking around without an arm for over a decade, and he really wants his arm back because he never stopped thinking about it, not ever. When he asks this woman to say something, she doesn’t know how to reply to her ex-husband who she hasn’t seen in 12 years. And while she won’t let him into her home, she agrees to meet him for coffee to talk. As he walks away, she tells him he always has to go big. And he says it’s always been about her, Sophie.

But How Does Jack Die?

We get a glimpse of Jack’s funeral in “Three Sentences,” but we still don’t know how he died or when, though the kids seem to be in their teens and the photo of Jack is when he’s younger.

At this point, though, there’s so much more to This Is Us in season 1. Like the fact that Kevin was married to Kate’s best friend! How did that happen? Also, we know that Kevin is a big drama king, ever since he was little. But, hey, at least he knew Sophie was the one when he was 10; it just took him a divorce and several other women to figure that out. But now the question is, when did they get married and why did they get divorced? And is Sophie still friends with Kate?

This new Duke character should be interesting. I hope that Kate isn’t distracted by him. One, Toby is a good guy and doesn’t deserve to be cheated on. Two, she is at the camp for herself, not to meet someone else. Though, anyone would admit that having someone hit on you is a huge ego boost.

And I’m glad that Randall, who has been so straight-laced from the time he was little, set aside time for William. William doesn’t have much time left, especially now that he’s stopped chemo, so it’s important for Randall to spend that time with him, learning about him and his past.

What did you think of this episode of This Is Us? Were you surprised by the glimpse into Jack’s funeral? What about Kevin being married before? Were you more surprised that he was married to Kate’s best friend? Do you think Randall did the right thing by blowing off work to spend time with William? Let us know in the comments section below.

This Is Us season 1 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Want more news? Like our This Is Us Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV