In the present, Randall starts the day with a ten-mile run and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) watches as Tess (Eris Baker) inhales her cereal and tries to cram in some extra studying. When Randall returns home, he tries to make Deja stop being mad at him by pulling out her favorite cereals. But, since he totally failed the meeting with Malik, she’s not swayed.
Everyone continues on with their day and while Randall is in a meeting with a councilman, he gets a call from the school saying that Tess had a panic attack. He rushes to pick her up, but instead of confiding in her dad (who also struggles with panic attacks) she brushes him off. So, he tells her about his own experience with anxiety in hopes that she might open up. Then, Beth comes home and comforts Tess. Randall tries to continue sharing with Tess but she’s overwhelmed and says, “Stop saying I’m like you. I don’t want to be like you.”
Later, Randall confides in Beth, saying that he was so excited to see what genes of his their daughters would get and he’s heartbroken to learn the main trait he passed down is anxiety. Beth recalls that William (Ron Cephas Jonas) said something similar about giving his own anxiety to Randall. So, she gathers Tess and Randall and gives them a five-star Pearson pep talk. Tess opens up and tells them that her plan to come out at her new school didn’t go according to plan and they say that they’ll handle it together.
In bed later, Beth tells Randall she found Tess a therapist and one for him as well. She tells him he doesn’t have to hold everything in until it becomes too much but he insists he’s fine. Something tells us that may not be the case.