It’s time for the election on This Is Us. Remember that? It’s the thing that kind of drew Randall and Beth apart. It seems like some time definitely passed — and Kevin and Zoe may have split. “Kevin, I can’t do this,” she says. Meanwhile, Kate is crying at home.
Randall must have turned this election around, as it’s actually close. “It’s been the longest seven weeks of my life,” he admits. Flashback to where we left off! Back then, Jaewan told Randall that he had no chance. And Beth is all like, “Uh, you’re not giving up?”
She tells him there’s no “we” in this anymore. She’s giving him some space to continue with the election as he wants to. Part of me thinks he’s in this for Jack since back in high school, he told Jack he wanted to major in political science.
At Kate and Toby’s place, she stumbles across his Star Wars collection in their apartment. She thinks it’s time they take the junk out and sell the toys and convert the room into an actual nursery. Toby is psyched, for the most part. But something tells me this may start up an issue.
Back in the U.S., Kevin and Zoe talk about their Vietnam discoveries. Nicky is alive, perhaps, but they’re not going to tell the Pearsons about it just yet. Maybe when they have more information. Zoe stumbles, accidentally calling Kevin’s place “home.” She states she meant the US. Kevin tells her a story about John Stamos, and I guess that ties into them living together? All I know is that to this day, every time I type “Stamos,” it comes out “Stamps” at first. John Stamps. Sigh.
Anyway. Back to the show!
Five Weeks Before Election Night
Randall is hard at work and has been going door-to-door so much that he’s developed corns. He’s pulling more and more all-nighters, which is negatively affecting his relationship with Beth. Flashback to that scene with Jack again. Younger Randall tells him he’s scared of doing something with his life. He wants what Jack and Rebecca have. “You might be the only 17-year-old in the planet who’s worried about balancing their future career with their future wife and kids,” Jack states. “I like to plan ahead,” younger Randall says with a laugh. But obviously he never actually figured that out.
Know what DNS means? It means Do Not Sell, but Kate thought that it meant Donations, and gave them away. But some of those were the aforementioned Star Wars figurines that had both personal and financial ties to Toby. And well, he’s pissed. She should have asked.
Looking up the records, Kevin realizes he needs to be next of kin to get Nicky’s record. His celebrity status doesn’t take him as far as he wants. Guess nobody cares about the Manny when the law is involved.
It seems like Randall pretty much flaked out on Christmas this year based on the election — Beth got the girls all their presents this year. She also doesn’t know how to deal with Tess, and whether or not her mood swings are based on her figuring out her sexuality or just other teen things. Randall has the nerve to say that it may be because he’s interested in something right now and Beth isn’t, and said how he really held things together and was a super dad all last year. With that, Beth storms out.
Zoe’s master plan to get these records included contacting an ex who she was with for a few years, and then dumped before moving together. She ended things in an email, which is generally uncool to do. Hey, maybe the things Beth said about her were right on the money?
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve, Randall is out at the diner and pretty much admits he’s not being a good family man to a guy Reverend Hart, who gives “a lot of death bed advice.” In a half-monologue, Randall mentions the thing Jack said about being a great man. Death Bed Guy says that the best advice he can give to Randall is, having him sit down and think long and hard about the life he lived.
Turns out, Anderson Cooper is Deja’s type as they’re watching his countdown with Andy Cohen. Randall comes in and apologizes for the campaign taking away his entire life, and the girls still look a little pissed. He said that when he’s an old man, thinking about the life he lived, he’d be thinking about blueberry pie and hanging with the girls. “You four, you’re what make me great,” he says. “And I’m sorry if I haven’t done a good job of showing you that enough lately.” Then, he hands out pie.
Kate tracked down the toys to a guy named Gabe. No offer she gives is enough. She tells him that those toys were going to go to their future child, and that plan was in place for 40 years. And as for her things, she has nothing to give since her house and all of her belongings (and father) were burned down. “He can have something from his father, so Gabe, ask yourself. Do you really want to spend your New Years Eve disappointing a pregnant lady?” He does. Come on, Gabe!
Supposedly, Nicky’s file doesn’t say much. He got a psych eval, and signed his paperwork as “Clark Kent.” But, Kevin’s problem isn’t really with the file — it’s with Zoe. He noticed she never unpacked her bags yet and is afraid she’s going to leave him like she left the Congressman. She admits that she never really wanted to move in with him in the first place, but she felt pushed into it. “I need some space,” she admits.
Randall’s Big Change
Flashback to that Jack scene again. Jack tells him that he hopes the universe puts the right person in Randall’s path like Rebecca is to him. That’s probably what inspired Randall to sleep in instead of going to church in Philadelphia. Beth mentions a funny moment to him, where she had a breakdown in a Payless. “It was that day, I expected, I might marry this dude,” she says. “Husband. You are a man who cares too much and tries too hard. It’s who you’ve always been. It’s who I married. A great man. But I will not let you forget who you are. I should have had your back. You need to finish this campaign.” Phew. I kind of thought their fight might lead to, y’know, the end. At least, that’s what the show wanted me to believe. Damn you, This Is Us!
Kate bought new figurines off of eBay, but Toby knows right off the bat, as “a man knows his Chewbacca.” Kate tells him that they don’t need their old things, since their son (wait, did we know it was a boy? I forget!) will have Toby. And that’ll be his favorite thing. Awwwwwww, Kate.
Election Night, Take Two
On Election Night, Kate walks into a home stadium made by Toby — it looks a lot like the one her dad built for her that was taken down in the fire. He got a picture from Kevin and asked a dollmaker to rebuild it. He also tells her that he’s not going to be their child’s favorite thing — she is. Awwwwwww, Toby.
Toby asks Kate if it’s a good cry, and — it is. Seriously, what a sweet gesture. Back with Randall, he announces the “longest seven weeks” line and then joins Beth, telling her they’ll only learn the results after midnight. Then, he gives a speech. “Whatever happened to us in these tough days, we kept pushing,” he said. They turned “The numbers aren’t there” into “Too close to call,” which is amazing. Kevin takes that speech as his cue to leave, and Zoe runs out to follow him.
Zoe tells him that she had three locks on her doors in Chicago and bars on her window, as peace of mind was taken away from her based on her dad. It’s hard for her to give up her own safe space. “The idea of giving that up is why I’ve never lived with anyone before,” she admits. “I want to live with you, I do.”
Even though Kevin is pushy, she thinks she likes what he’s pushing for. “I’m in love with you, and I want John Stamos back,” she says. He gives her the John Stamos (Stamps?!) keyring. Ah! I get it now. It was a keyring.
With that, they unpack Zoe’s boxes. And they happen to be close to Jack’s boxes. They find a postcard to Jack from “CK,” with a return address in Pennsylvania. So, Jack may have known Nicky was alive after all.
Randall admits to Beth that he’s sad Jack never got to know her, but also feels like sometimes Jack is up there, as his puppet, giving him the plan of how things should go from the very beginning. “Maybe everyone feels that way,” Randall says.
Then, he gets a phone call. He won! But he plays it cool, making it seem like he didn’t. Oh, Randall.
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