‘This Is Us’ Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: Ice Cream Cakes & Burnt Raw Chicken

Last week on This Is Us, the Pearsons encountered some pretty big surprises. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) learned that Deja’s (Lyric Ross) boyfriend Malik (Asante Blackk) is a father and didn’t exactly keep his cool. Kevin (Justin Hartley) decided to buy a trailer and set up camp right next-door to Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne)—oh, and he promised to help Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) get her husband back. Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) took baby Jack to his first music class and, in the past, Kevin (Logan Shroyer) informed Rebecca (Mandy Moore) that he and Sophie got married via phone message.

Let’s find out what happens in episode five. 

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The Pearsons

In the past, the Pearson women are all settled in at their new home. They’re even ready to host a fancy dinner party to celebrate Kevin and his new bride, Sophie (Amanda Leighton). Kate (Hannah Zeile) still thinks the whole thing is weird, but Rebecca reminds her what’s done is done and all they can do now is support the newlyweds.

Randall (Nigel Fitch) and Beth (Rachel Hilson) arrive first and Beth offers up a gift: some hot sauce. The family is quiet because Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) put hot sauce on everything. She shares that the reason she brought it is because her late father was a hot sauce fanatic, too. He used to bring it as a host gift, but really, he just wanted to make sure he would always have hot sauce handy.

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC

When Kevin and Sophie arrive, Kevin carries her over the threshold and Randall agrees with Kate saying, yes, this situation is officially weird. Dinner is similarly awkward, but a little less so when Beth asks why Kevin and Sophie got married. Kevin explains that they were walking and saw a theater playing The Princess Bride across the street from a church and a street vendor selling bracelets walked by, so it just felt right…OK. They offer to show the family wedding photos, and Kate goes to answer the doorbell. It’s her boyfriend/co-worker from the record shop, Marc (Austin Abrams). He brought daisies and doesn’t want to let Kate go through this awkward dinner alone.  

Later, Kate pulls her brothers aside to see what they think of her boyfriend and they say they’re not impressed. The Big Three gets into a fight and Rebecca rushes in and tells them to get their acts together and eat her burnt, raw food. They oblige.

Rebecca and Miguel (Jon Huertas), who also joined the Pearsons for dinner, chat in the kitchen later. She wonders if her family will ever be able to get over Jack’s death. Miguel tells her a story about the wine he brought and how patiently it’s made. It’s an analogy, of course, for grief, and Rebecca returns to the dinner table with a renewed sense of hope. She tells a story about the first night she and Jack lived in their family home and shares with her children that she wants them to be able to think about him without getting sad. They all toast.

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Randall & Beth

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.

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC


Meanwhile, Kevin is enjoying the quiet of the great outdoors, as well as Uncle Nicky’s company. He asks his uncle for some stories about his dad and when that doesn’t work he reminds him that they’re going to a hockey game later where Cassidy is being honored. He lets slip that he’s trying to help Cassidy win her husband back, and Uncle Nicky retorts, “You have strange relationships with people.” True. 

Later, they arrive at the hockey rink and Cassidy says her husband, Ryan (Nick Wechsler), is coming with her son, Matty (Noah Salsbury Lipson), to cheer her on. She’s nervous and even more so when she sees Ryan. She thanks him for coming and Matty introduces his dad to Kevin. Uncle Nicky leaves early, but Ryan and Kevin sit together and watch the game. But when Cassidy is honored at halftime, Ryan leaves immediately and asks Kevin to tell Cassidy to drop off Matty whenever. When Kevin drives them home later, Cassidy says she thinks her marriage is over.

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC

They arrive at Ryan’s house and while Cassidy puts Matty to bed, Kevin asks Ryan why he bothered showing up if he was going to stare at his phone the whole time then leave early. Ryan reveals that he knew he was going to marry Cassidy the moment he met her, and tonight was a reminder of the thing that broke her and their family: the armed forces. He tells Kevin to stay the hell away from his wife. When Cassidy comes out of the house, Kevin is smiling and tells her that Ryan still likes her.

When Kevin arrives back at the trailers, he knocks on Uncle Nicky’s door to see if he’s OK and sober. Nicky opens up to him and says the ice cream cakes that Jack used to bring the Big Three as kids were something their grandfather (Jack’s dad) used to do. They enjoy some ice cream together in silence.

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kate & Toby

Kate gives Randall a call to try and find out what gift he and Kevin are sending baby Jack. After Toby runs off to the gym, she confides in Randall, saying that she’s worried about Kevin now that he’s living in a trailer in the middle of Pennsylvania. After they hang up, Kate waits for the big, grand gesture gift she’s expecting from Kevin and Randall. In the afternoon, Rebecca shows up to see baby Jack and says she has no idea what surprise Kate is referencing. In the end, however, she’s telling a little white lie. The grand gesture gift is their family piano so Kate can play for baby Jack. They really hit it out of the park. 

When Kate opens the piano bench, she finds Polaroids from the night of the fancy dinner Rebecca threw so many years ago. When she sees the photo of her and Marc, she starts to cry. Rebecca sees the photo and says she didn’t see what was happening until it was too late. But what happened?

Guess we’ll have to wait to find out when This Is Us returns with season four, episode six, next Tuesday, October 29, at 9 p.m. PT/ET.


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.