This week’s episode of This Is Us, “A Manny-Splendored Thing,” provided an essence of what were some of the best moments of the first season: the entire Pearson clan together in both the past and present. Although moments of the entire family together were limited in the ‘80s storyline, the present-day Pearsons appeared in full force for a taping of Kevin’s special episode of The Manny.
Although the show has definitely reminded viewers of their own families through its more intense storylines, this episode seemed full of simpler family moments that were insanely relatable. I love a nice, therapeutic cry while watching the show, but this week was easy on the tear ducts and heavy on the everyday moments that we all face now and then. Here are five family moments from this week’s episode that hit close to home.
1. When Beth just couldn’t deal with The Manny
Your mom totally wanders into the room when you’re watching The Bachelor, Dance Moms or some other guilty pleasure TV and goes, “What is this?” The Manny is Beth’s Dance Moms—she doesn’t get it and she doesn’t want to understand it.
2. When it was revealed that Kevin helped Randall with his dating game
We’ve been waiting for Randall and Beth’s origin story, and although I’m still rooting for a full-blown flashback at some point, this episode revealed that the two met in college and that Beth was way out of Randall's league. Even better, Randall turned to Kevin for advice on how to get Beth’s attention, using some of his suave brother’s pickup lines. Beth discovered Kevin’s role in their early relationship while on the Manny set, leading to a nice bonding moment between the in-laws who are often at each other’s throats.
3. When Kate and Rebecca proved that you’ll always have that one issue with your mom
Both the flashback and the present-day storyline reflected decades-long tension between Kate and Rebecca, particularly over Kate's pressure to live up to her mother’s hopes for her. Although they didn't exactly resolve their issues, the two had a loving moment in the car after Kate's gig when Rebecca acknowledged her approval of Kate's relationship with Toby. Even if you're prone to arguing with your mom, it doesn't mean that you don't love each other.
4. When young Kevin snapped back about Randall’s talent show act
Kevin practiced his Mr. T impression and Randall planned a yo-yo trick for the school talent show. As we saw at the triplets' 10th birthday party, Kevin was popular even back then, so he wasn't afraid to say that he thought Randall's act was stupid. His comment and trying to defend himself when Jack intervened was a classic family strife that probably still happens between you and your sibling.
5. When Miguel was your family’s token old man
From volunteering for the taping’s dance break to immediately zoning in on Toby’s pigs in a blanket, Miguel was such a dad in this episode that it was almost embarrassing. So far, only Rebecca and Randall's daughters seem to willingly interact with Miguel (and Toby gets that they're both outsiders in the Pearson clan), but I'm still hoping to like Miguel once more of his story is revealed.
This week may have been relatively low-key on This Is Us, but it was a sweet reminder that these characters are relevant even on their duller days.