‘This Is Us’ Season 3, Episode 3 Recap: Katie Girl(s)
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Now that she’s approved for IVF, Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) is wasting no time getting down to business, and that’s exactly what happened during last night’s episode. Here’s what went down.
The episode opens on a flashback of Rebecca (Mandy Moore) taking a home economics course in high school, and we’re totally digging her flipped-out ends. When she tries to join an all-male woodworking class, she fumbles with a saw until another student (yep, the ex-boyfriend from last week’s episode) steps in to help.
Suddenly, we flash-forward to Alan (Hunter Parrish) holding a bouquet of flowers on Rebecca’s doorstep. After confessing his feelings for her, she invites him in as Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) pulls up with her coat.
Jack returns home to a familiar scene: His dad, Stanley (Peter Onorati), is drinking on the couch and yelling at his mom, Marilyn (Laura Niemi) for her sandwich-making skills. When Jack tries to defend her, his dad goes for the jugular and thanks him for “being such a big help” to his brother during the war.
Just then, Jack tells his mom to pack her bags. “This ends right now,” he says.
Although she’s hesitant to leave, he tells her she deserves more than this. She agrees to go to her friend Cheryl’s house but only if they stop to get a coffee cake before heading over. (It’s rude to show up empty-handed, after all.)
Elsewhere, Rebecca reunites with Alan’s family. His mom is concerned, considering he previously asked her to move to London with him, and she said no. When she tells them her five-year plan of moving to L.A. and landing a record deal, Alan encourages her to choose New York, so he can go with her. Barf.
Rebecca flashes back to her kiss with Jack before agreeing to the Big Apple.
Back at the premiere, Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) movie is about to end, and the crowd’s reaction can be summed up by Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) quote: “Kev, you’re a fricking movie star.”
As they’re filing out of the theater, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) confronts Kate for telling Kevin that she’s the only one who can pass on a piece of their dad. She tells him he’s overreacting, and he dives into a lecture about the countless children who need to be adopted.
Kate says he will never understand why she wants her own child so badly (especially after the miscarriage) and then runs away crying. Good one, Randall.
The next day, Randall calls the councilman from last week’s episode and demands to know why he never sent a maintenance crew. The politician brushes it off, blames it on the system and then hangs up. Cool beans.
Although Beth is worried about her upcoming work proposal, she’s more concerned about Randall’s relationship with his sister, since Kate’s surgery is tomorrow. She says he’s not the best at apologizing to his siblings, which is something she and Miguel (Jon Huertas) are well aware of.
Upon seeing Randall’s confusion, she explains, “Me, him and Toby, we have a text chain. It’s mostly GIFs but, you know, but sometimes we talk about how messed up y’all are.” Um, can we get in on this?
Just then, Beth picks up the phone, calls Kate and hands it to Randall. After apologizing, he hangs up and reveals that he’s flying to L.A. for the surgery.
“Oh, my God. Miguel is so on point,” Beth says.
After Kevin surprises Zoe (Melanie Liburd) at the airport with flowers, he invites her to join him on a press interview. She couldn’t be more opposed to the idea. But that all changes when he refers to Terry Gross (aka the host of NPR’s Fresh Air) as a “he,” prompting Zoe to correct him before agreeing to tag along.
Before the interview, Zoe wastes no time fangirling over Terry and picking her brain with questions. Their Q&A is short-lived, and the host immediately transitions to Kevin’s new film. When she demands to know if he was inspired by his dad’s war experience, he awkwardly explains that his dad passed away when he was a teenager.
Things get even more tense when she asks where he served, causing Kevin to flash-back to his teen years, when Jack took him to an army store.
While his dad searches for a model plane to build, Kevin is on a completely different page. He’s far more fascinated with the guns and grenades, prompting Jack to firmly tell him that he doesn’t approve of violence.
Back in present day, Kevin regretfully admits that he doesn’t know where his dad served.
Later on, Kevin goes full-blown Homeland mode and creates a memory wall with every photo, letter and memento he has of Jack. Although it didn’t give him the answers he’s looking for, Zoe suggests they find the other people in the pics because they may know Jack’s story.
In pre-op, Kate is beside herself. So much so that she tells Toby (Chris Sullivan) she wants him to find someone else if she doesn’t make it, just as long as it’s not “that b**** from the accounting department.” He agrees right as the nurse wheels her into the operating room.
In the waiting room, Randall surprises Toby. But their reunion is cut short when the nurse comes in and says he needs to give his sperm sample.
Back in the O.R., Kate is dreaming while under anesthesia. She walks down the hospital hallway until she stumbles upon a nursery. While admiring the newborn babies, she spots an empty crib in the corner with “Pearson/Damon” written on the name card.
Right on cue, teenage Kate (Hannah Zeile) enters and says, “There’s no way in hell you should have a baby.”
She proceeds to give her older self a lecture on whether or not she’s capable of raising a child, considering she can barely take care of a dog.
Suddenly, Jack shows up out of nowhere. “Enough!” he yells before adding, “Hi, Katie girl.”
Jack takes all three Kates—adult, teen and young—to get ice cream. When teen Kate pulls her adult self aside, she asks her why she needs a baby when she can stay here with dad.
Cut to a concerned doctor in the operating room, saying, “Come on, Kate. It’s time to wake up now.”
Back in la la land, Kate is telling her younger self (Mackenzie Hancsicsak) that she’s going to be a mom. Of course, teenage Kate chimes in with a super depressing statement about how it will never happen because nothing good ever happens to her.
Taking the hint, Kate says goodbye to Jack and then turns to her teenage self. She assures her that things will get better with time.
“Oh, and you’re gonna be a mom,” she says before waking up to Toby at her bedside.
After confirming that Sharon from accounting is nowhere to be found, Randall appears and immediately apologizes for his actions at the movie premiere. Upon realizing he flew across the country to say sorry, Kate laughs and says, “That’s, like, the most Dad move ever.” We couldn’t agree more.
Beth is finalizing her proposal in her office when her boss asks to meet with her. Although she’s been with the company for 12 years, they’re letting her go due to budget issues. Womp, womp.
At home, Beth pours herself a glass of alcohol and flashes back to a conversation with William (Ron Cephas Jones). Although she’s at her wit’s end with Randall’s anxiety, William assures her that she’s the bass of the family. Sure, the trumpet may get all the attention, but the bass is the instrument that holds down the roots.
Back in present day, Randall receives a worried phone call from Chichi (Yetide Badaki)—it’s Sky (Drew Olivia Tillman). He gets on the next flight and goes straight to the hospital, where Chichi explains that Sky was jumped walking home. While she only suffered a broken arm, Randall is livid and promises to do something about it.
At the house, Randall fills in Beth. He knows these people need a voice, but is he capable of representing them? Randall explains that Jack was always the type who took action. He was a superhero and then he died, and they’ve all been scrambling to fill his void ever since.
Cut to Kevin sending an email to one of Jack’s Army buddies.
Randall says that if the councilman won’t do his job, then maybe he can. In fact, he wants to run against him.
Just then, Beth drops the “I got fired” bomb.
The episode concludes with yet another flashback. Jack is at the store with his mom when he spots Rebecca buying a bottle of Champagne. After introductions, Rebecca calls him out for standing her up, prompting Jack to explain that he arrived at the wrong time. Despite her efforts, Jack says she doesn’t need to explain herself.
Rebecca coyly admits that she’s moving to New York to pursue her singing career and asks Jack if he as a dream of his own. Although his main focus is to make sure his mom is OK, he lists his goals for the future: “a decent job, wife, family and a house that feels nothing like the one I grew up in.”
Back at Alan’s house, Rebecca asks his mom if she’s making the right decision. She knows Alan will always support her and her career…but there’s someone else. And she has “a feeling” about this new guy she can’t subside.
Later on, Jack answers the door at Cheryl’s house only to find Rebecca at the doorstep. She says she saw his car parked outside and thought she’d stop by. He invites her in, and she immediately apologizes for showing up empty-handed. (Sound familiar?) He asks about the other man, and Rebecca blames it on her “previous life.”
When Jack realizes he never did the dishes, he wastes no time rolling up his sleeves and getting down to business. Rebecca jumps in to help him dry, and we can’t deny that they look like an old married couple. Rebecca must feel the same way, considering she later suggests they go for a long drive to—you guessed it—Los Angeles.
“Yeah, let’s go to Los Angeles,” he says.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it all began. This Is Us returns next Tuesday, October 16, at 9 p.m. on NBC.