The Nov. 7 episode of ‘This Is Us’ revealed that Jack and Rebecca didn’t have the easiest time adopting Randall. Plus, Kevin makes a huge decision about his relationship with Sophie.
It’s time to take a trip to a Pearson period we haven’t yet seen. Kevin, Kate, and Randall are about to turn one, and their parents are trying to make Randall’s adoption official. A social worker repeatedly stops by the Pearson house to check in on Randall. Jack and Rebecca have to jump through a lot of hoops, including going before a judge. Jack and Rebecca take the kids before Judge Bradley, and he has some questions. He wants to talk to the social worker before he proceeds with the adoption. Jack and Rebecca confront Judge Bradley outside of court. They want to know what they’ve done wrong. “I don’t believe that child belongs in your home,” Judge Bradley tells them. “That child belongs to a black family.” He fears that Jack and Rebecca won’t give Randall the tools to succeed in life as a black man.
Meanwhile, William is not doing so good. He’s been arrested for drug possession and put in jail until his sentencing hearing. The judge, named Judge Crowder, is disappointed in William’s bad decisions. “Just a year ago my mother was alive, and my girl was alive. And we were having a son. And now they’re gone. They’re all gone,” William tells the judge. “So I come here, and you tell me you’re disappointed? Well, guess what? I am more disappointed. I am the most disappointed man you’ve ever met in your whole damn life. So if you want to lock me up, lock me up. Put me inside because there is nothing out there for me anymore.” William is the epitome of a broken man.
Judge Crowder asks to talk to William before his sentencing. William’s speech has stayed with Judge Crowder. “You said you were the most disappointed man in the world, and I am here to tell you that I fear I am a close second, Mr. Hill, ” Judge Crowder says to William. “Because I am the man that writes terrible stories day after day, and I can’t change the endings. And that, sir, is a horrible disappointment. So I’m going to see if we can find you a different ending here. I’m going to take a chance on you.” All that Judge Crowder asks is that William looks at his face and remembers it. He tells William that whenever the dark path seems like the easier route, remember his face.
Later, Rebecca sends Judge Bradley a letter. She’s Randall’s mother whether he likes it or not. Judge Bradley ends up recusing himself from the Pearsons’ case, so Jack and Rebecca are able to officially adopt Randall!
Doing Your Best
Randall is not psyched about taking Deja to see her mother in prison. At the prison, he meets a social worker named Linda, played by Debra Jo Rupp, who tells him that Deja’s mom has opted out of seeing her. Randall gets all sorts of pissed. He screws up big time by insinuating that Linda isn’t doing enough to help kids like Deja. Linda tells him off good. She’s looking out for the kids as best she can. Not all families are like the Pearsons. Randall tells Deja that there was a mix up with her mom. Before they leave, Deja wants to get her purse. She’s been saving up her allowance so her mom can get everything she needs in prison.
When Randall reveals what happened, Beth is furious. She doesn’t care about a court order. She doesn’t want Deja to see her mother anymore. Randall goes to talk to Deja’s mother, Shaunna. She didn’t want Deja to see her face all beaten up and broken. Randall begins to tell Shaunna about his plans for Deja, and she gets defensive. She still thinks she is what’s best for Deja and reveals she’s going to fight for her daughter. “You’re going to have to go through me,” Randall tells Shaunna. “I’ve been through worse,” she replies.
Moving Forward & Then Back Again
Poor Kevin. He is in a really bad place right now. He’s still taking pills and drinking. He keeps stalling on moving to New York. Sophie’s tired of Kevin not making their relationship a priority. Kevin just can’t get his life together. Kate and Toby finally tell Kevin that they’re having a baby. Everyone’s moving forward but him.
Toby reveals he’s scared to tell his Catholic mother that he’s having a baby out of wedlock. Kate offers to get married right away. She tries to act like she doesn’t care about having a big wedding, but Toby notices. Toby starts talking to Jack’s urn because he’s Toby. He knows in his heart that Kate wants a wedding.
Feeling inspired by Kate and Toby, Kevin goes out to buy Sophie a ring. Kevin flies out and starts dreaming about having a family. He can’t shake the pills or the fear of failure, so he begins to self-destruct. He walks up to Sophie’s place and rips her heart out. “I don’t know how to be a husband to you,” he says. “I don’t know how to be a father to our kids. I don’t. I don’t have anything to give you. There’s nothing inside of me to give to you, okay? I don’t have anything. I’m an empty shell.” He claims he’s just been playing a part around her. He doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. He feels like he’s going to be a disappointment, so he calls their future a “nightmare.” Oh, Kevin. What have you done?
Toby plans the most epic proposal to Kate. She deserves the big, lavish wedding. Toby wants to Kate to have anything and everything she wants. He even got Jack’s permission in his own Toby way. Of course, Kate says yes!
William remembers Judge Crowder’s face when he’s faced with temptation. However, when older William is told he doesn’t have much time left, he’s about to start using again. He sees Crowder’s face, but it’s not enough. But Randall is. The second he’s about to light up, Randall knocks on his door. That’s the day they met.
Randall breaks the news to Beth that Deja’s mother wants her back. As much as he’s beginning to love Deja, he sees both sides. He’s thought about William, who was so lost and spent most of his life missing his son. He’s also thought about his own parents, who were so fiercely protective of Randall. Randall didn’t have a choice, but he’s going to make sure Deja has one when it comes to her future.