This is Us Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: Toby


Kate and Toby find out whether or not they will become parents just as Toby spirals downward, while Kevin learns more about his father’s past in Vietnam on This Is Us.

We finally got to see some of Toby’s backstory on this week’s This is Us! It’s about time.

After an emotional onion episode of flashbacks last week, this week gave us a chance to delve into “the others” of the show, what they affectionately call themselves the “Chewbaccas.” (SIDE NOTE: In last seasons “The Fifth Wheel,” Miguel jokes, “I’m not even Chewbacca, I’m the fighter pilot with no name.”

Yes, we only saw Toby flashbacks, and the freaky CGI faces that make his parents (Wendie Malick and Dan Lauria) look younger. But having an entire episode named “Toby,” it subtlety shows that Toby, Miguel, and Beth are more than just lovable sidekicks. All three are essential parts of the Pearson’s story.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

This is Us season 3, episode 4 recap: Vietnam. light. More

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Toby breaks down

As a kid, he just wants to play Ghostbusters and tell Rodney Dangerfield jokes. (He never gets no respect!) But his parents’ constant fighting and his father’s philandering take a toll on young Toby. He bites his nails down to nubs and finds comfort sitting in front of a fan.

As he grows older, his signs of depression become clearer, especially after his first wife leaves him. But after he begins taking antidepressants, he begins to feel more like himself, and we revisit the day he and Kate meet in the OA meeting.

Kate’s eight eggs reduce to three embryos, then whittle down to one viable enough to be implanted.

On the day they will find out whether or not Kate is pregnant, Toby’s neglection of taking his antidepressants reaches a breaking point. He attempts to speak to a pharmacist about going back on them, but she urges him to call his doctor. But considering he didn’t tell his doctor in the first place, he didn’t want to go down that road.

After losing track of time in an arcade, Toby arrives home after the phone call from their fertility doctor. But the news is good. Kate is pregnant!

Toby immediately breaks down sobbing, and Kate knows something’s wrong. These aren’t just happy tears.

Kevin is worth it

Kevin and Zoe make their way to Baltimore to meet with Jack’s old war buddy, Mr. Robinson. You remember him from last week’s episode where his foot was blown off his leg.

On the drive, Zoe discloses she forgot her pillowcase for the hotel. Kevin innocently thinks she’s fancy that she needs her own silk pillowcase. What he doesn’t understand is that African-American women use silk pillowcases so that their hair doesn’t dry out.

During a stop at a convenience store, the clerk is entirely polite for Kevin, but short with Zoe, especially after she realizes they are together. Zoe sees it, but Kevin doesn’t notice the racism.

When they reach Mr. Robinson’s house, Zoe confides in his wife about what had happened that day. She understands that they both have different life experiences and Kevin may not understand where Zoe is coming from all the time. They may even face hardships as an interracial couple. And Mrs. Robinson asks Zoe, “Is he worth it?”

Back at the hotel, Kevin has a silk pillowcase sent up to their room for Zoe. She thinks he is worth it.

While at his house, Mr. Robinson tells Kevin his father wasn’t a mechanic in the war, but a staff sergeant and saw a ton of combat. But he refused to tell him any more information, saying that there must have been a reason Jack didn’t tell his family about his war experience.

Mr. Robinson has a change of heart and shows up at Kevin hotel to give him letters Jack had sent him. Inside, was a picture of Jack with a Vietnamese woman wearing the necklace his father had given him.

Who is she and what is the significance of the necklace?

Vote for Randall Pearson!

Look, I’m from Philly, and I know we’re a tough crowd. You have to earn our respect. We love visitors, but we don’t like outsiders coming in and telling us what to do.

I think that’s why Randall is having such a hard time connecting with the voters. Just because his name is on William’s lease, doesn’t make him a resident. The dude is from Pittsburgh and for those of you who don’t know Alpine, NJ is two hours north of Philly. It’s practically Connecticut.

Side note: I’m not sure Dan Fogelman has ever driven from New York to Philly or vice versa. They make it seem like Randall and Beth can just zip up and down the state of New Jersey in a few minutes. It takes about two hours without traffic, and fun fact, there’s always traffic. So, you do the math.

Also, none of the people from the Philly scenes ever speak with a Philly accent. The scenes aren’t authentic enough for me. They’ll gain my respect if they actually come here to shoot a few scenes. Just saying!

Back to this boring storyline. I love Randall! And he deserves more than this. I realize that this show has a very linear path and it jumps around a lot. I just have to believe that this is just an ebb in an otherwise flowy storyline for him.

Beth’s story is much more interesting. She was just let go from her job, but not just any job; a job she was at for 12 years at a company she helped take off. During an interview for a company she had a great feeling about, she breaks down because she’s not exactly over what happened.

Beth needs Randall right now, so I hope he gives up his needs to run for City Council and takes care of his wife.

Miguel to the rescue

Thanks to a promise Miguel made to Jack years ago while he was still alive, Miguel is trying his best to take care of the Pearsons sans Jack.

Miguel gives them a piano so that Rebecca (and Kate) can play again. He fixes their refrigerator. He takes in Kevin after he drank too much at his senior prom. And he attempts to connect with Randall after his date’s racist father forbids her to go to prom with him. Mind you; this is way before Miguel and Rebecca are even an item.

Next. Nicky’s death will surprise fans on This is Us according to Michael Angarano. dark

I have to say, before I knew how Jack died (or that he was even dead for that matter), I didn’t like Miguel. How could he ever live up to Jack’s perfection?

But he was Jack’s best friend, and he thought the world of him; enough to bestow his precious family onto Miguel if something were to happen to him. So, maybe I was too harsh on Miguel. He has always just wanted to keep his word to Jack and take care of his family, not replace him.

This is Us this week wasn’t exactly my favorite episode, but they can’t all be winners. Neither can I, apparently, because I’m not currently a billionaire. Thanks, Mega Millions!

Until next week!

Read last week’s This is Us recap or watch this weeks episode on