‘This Is Us’ Season 4, Episode 4 Recap: Baby Steps

Last week on season four, episode three of This Is Us, secrets were revealed and new beginnings were, well, begun. Kevin (Justin Hartley) turned down a major movie to go help Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) get on his feet and met a woman named Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) who intrigued him. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) girls started school and Kate (Chrissy Metz) found out that Toby (Chris Sullivan) has been doing CrossFit. 

The episode four teaser revealed this brand-new episode will be all about Randall and Beth’s early days and Randall’s tension with her mother, Carol (Phylicia Rashad). Let’s find out what happened.

teenage kate this is us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Rebecca & The Pearsons

In the past, Rebecca prepares to visit Randall at college and worries that Kate (Hannah Zeile) will sit around on the couch all day. So, she gives her money to go to the record store and get some new CDs.

When Rebecca arrives on campus, Randall (Nigel Fitch) is too distracted by Beth (Rachel Hilson), who’s sitting across the room, to listen to anything Rebecca says.

Rebecca recognizes that he’s staring at Beth, so she grabs her cafeteria tray and walks over to Beth’s table and introduces herself to her and her mother. They sit down and start chatting. Carol learns Beth and Randall went on a date and she’s not completely pleased. But, when the kids run off to class, Rebecca and Carol stay and chat with each other. Rebecca opens up about losing Jack, and Carol reveals that she also just lost her husband.

After their lunch, Carol meets Beth in her dorm room and chastises her for her political science grade. Beth asks how the rest of the lunch was and Carol says it was lovely but that it’s probably for the best that things likely won’t work out with Randall because he and his family are still grieving. Later, Beth goes to Randall’s room and kisses him. And that’s that.

Meanwhile, Kate visits the CD store and meets a boy. They flirt over the Nirvana album Nevermind and she opens up about losing her dad. He offers her a job so she can utilize the employee discount since she’s buying so much. Later, Kate brings Rebecca home a collection of CDs she knows she’ll love and tells Rebecca she got a job. They dance together and Rebecca says she thinks it’s time for them to get out of their apartment and into a home with more light. She wants a fresh start.

Just then, a voicemail from Kevin comes in and he says he just married Sophie (Amanda Leighton)…um, what?!

deja this is us1
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Randall & Beth

Modern day Beth and Randall chat about her upcoming dance studio opening. She’s scared that no one will show up or that she forgot something. Randall worries that Beth’s mom will try and ruin the day. They agree she’s very judgy, so Randall offers to be in charge of making sure she behaves.

Then, Deja (Lyric Ross) walks into the room and asks if she can go to the movies with some friends later. It seems they saw her chatting with Malik (Asante Blackk) on the front porch and they insist that they meet him before she goes to the movies with him and others.

malik this is us1
Ron batzdorff/nbc

When they arrive at the new studio, Carol is quick to make unhelpful comments and when Randall tries to reel her in, she calls him out for trying to tell her how to speak to her daughter. But that’s the least of their problems because when they walk into the dance studio, it smells terrible (like a dead possum). People are set to arrive shortly and they’re not sure what to do.

Just then, Malik arrives, and Deja immediately grows nervous that Randall will embarrass her. Dad jokes aside, their conversation goes well. Randall levels with him and says he and Beth are nervous about Deja having a new male friend but that he appreciates Malik coming down to meet them. Malik says he gets it because he has a daughter, too, and it becomes clear that Deja hasn’t told Randall about Malik’s daughter, Janelle. Randall is floored. 

After Malik has left, Randall tells Beth about Malik’s baby and she’s equally shocked. Then the repairman who they ordered because of the smell breaks the news that it is in fact a dead possum and there’s no way to solve the smell without opening up the wall. He says it should be fine within a week or two. That’s the last straw for Beth, who tells her mom that she probably expected this to be a disaster anyway. Carol says they should just reschedule and Randall steps in to say no. “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do, Carol. This is important to my wife and I’m going to fix it. So, we’re not rescheduling.” He immediately apologizes for his tone but stands by what he said.

randall and beths mom this is us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Randall has the family move the party outside and when guests arrive, Carol tells him he did a good job. He says he knows she’s never liked him, and she says that’s not true. She just didn’t think he was strong enough for her daughter, but she was wrong. Now that she’s seen the kind of father and husband he is, she knows he is the right match for Beth.

kate this is us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kate & Toby

Kate is enjoying a jaunt with Gregory (Timothy Omundson), her new walking partner. She tells him that she’s taking baby Jack to his first baby music class (his first outing!) and both he and Toby are skeptical for different reasons. Gregory thinks it’s a rip-off and Toby worries it’s too early for Jack to go out in public, but Kate assures them Jack will love it.

Kate, Toby and baby Jack unfortunately arrive at the music class late, and baby Jack is overwhelmed by the noise and new sounds. After the class, Jack is still in a state and Kate and Toby argue in the car. She’s frustrated with him because he misplaced Jack’s favorite toy and made them late and he tries to tell her things like this happen. She snaps back, saying that if he wasn’t spending so much time at the gym then maybe he would understand his son’s needs better.  

Some time later, they’re still driving around while Jack sleeps in the back and they both apologize to one another. They muse that they’ll just have to take baby steps with Jack. Then, they pass the beach and Kate suggests they go. Jack loves it and they even dip his toes in the water. It’s a very special family moment.

uncle nicky this is us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC


Kevin is in Uncle Nicky’s trailer getting ready to go to a meeting when he gets news that The Manny has been canceled. He thinks back to when he filmed the pilot eight years ago, before he was rich and famous.

They arrive at the meeting and see Cassidy at the front door of the space upset because the website was wrong, and the meeting doesn’t start for five hours. Cassidy admits to Kevin that she had breakfast with her husband, and he wants to proceed with the divorce. So, he offers to keep her distracted until the meeting begins.

kevin this is us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

So, he takes Cassidy and Nicky to the RV superstore so they can get Nicky a new trailer. Everyone at the store freaks out seeing him and tells him how much they love The Manny. Cassidy is still in a foul mood and gets even more frustrated when Kevin tries to relate to her. She tells him to screw off until a woman comes over and asks him for a selfie. Cassidy sees how patient and compassionate he is and so she opens up about when her husband proposed. Kevin tells her he’s gone through a divorce, too, and he gets what she’s going through.  

kevin and cassidy this is us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Ultimately, Nicky refuses to let Kevin buy him a new trailer. But on the way to the meeting, Nicky does something unexpected and reveals that his broken-down trailer has sentimental value. He bought it hoping that he and his war sweetheart could start a family together in it. He drove to her house with his new trailer, but she wasn’t home, and he took that as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be.

Cassidy, Kevin and Nicky arrive back at the meeting and he asks her point-blank if she wants her husband back. She tells him yes and he offers to help her make it happen.

The next day, Nicky exits his trailer to see that Kevin has purchased his own and set up camp right next door.

Next week, This Is Us returns for season four, episode five at 9 p.m. PT/ET on NBC. Hopefully,  we’ll learn what possessed young Kevin to marry Sophie and tell his mother over voicemail.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.