This is Us season 3, episode 13 recap: Our little island girl


This is Us fans rejoice! We finally get a peek into Beth Pearson’s backstory!

Just when I thought it wasn’t possible anymore, This is Us broke my heart this week. I’m pretty sure I cried almost the entire episode.

This is the first time the show explored Beth’s back story, and I’m so glad they did. Actually, It’s about damn time.

As we saw in a flashforward mid-way through the season, Beth eventually becomes a ballet teacher. While we are led to believe there is a possibility that Randall and Beth are no longer together, we are 99% sure that’s not the case – thank God!

More. This is Us season 3, episode 12 recap: Songbird Road: Part Two. light

More from NBC

It comes out of left field for us because Beth has never expressed an interest in dance before now. But we find out why.

Beth and Zoe head to Washington, DC to help Beth’s mother, Carol, played by The Cosby Show’s Phylicia Rashad, after she injures her hip at work. She’s a tough-as-nails high school principal.

You immediately get the sense that the relationship between them is strained when they show up at her front door, but her mother is unaware of the strain. It may be because of the girls, while there to check on her, need to talk her into retiring. It may also be because Beth still hasn’t told her mom she lost her job.

Through flashbacks, we see why the relationship is tense.

We meet Bethany (Beth’s real name!) as a little girl, her brother, and two sisters, and her father, Abe, who is an immigrant from Jamaica (Alias’ Carl Lumbly).

Right away, it’s clear Carol is the disciplinarian in the household, while Abe is that breath of fresh air, who breezes through life.

Young Beth receives a phone call from a prestigious ballet company, telling her she got into the school. Her mother immediately pumps the breaks through Bethany’s excitement. Her parents agree to visit the school and meet with the lead instructor Vincent (Goran Visnjic from ER).

While Bethany’s mom is still apprehensive, because only a select few get chosen for senior solos and possibly go on to a career, her father is very supportive and is willing to work more hours to help pay for dance. Her mom finally agrees, but only if Bethany promises to be the best.

Eventually, Bethany is approaching her final year at the ballet school, and she’s struggling. Vincent recommends that she try other forms of dance, but Bethany insists on sticking with ballet and promises she will work even harder.

Then she is completely blindsided by her father’s diagnoses of lung cancer. He never smoked a day in his life. When Beth and Zoe start crying, Carol urges the girls to stay strong.

The scene that broke my heart the most was the last scene we see of Bethany and her father.

She’s feeling defeated and needs gentle encouragement only her father can provide. He tells Bethany of a story when she was 18 months old. She still hadn’t walked yet. They were in Jamaica and when a Burning Spear song came on Bethany got up to dance. Their “little island girl” danced before she could walk.

Abe eventually succumbs to cancer and Bethany doesn’t get a lead in the senior show.

Can I just say how messed up it is that Vincent brought in another dancer mid-way through their senior year and she walks in an gets the solo over girls that have been dancing there for years? That’s the kind of bull crap I couldn’t stand back when I was dancing and in shows.

Bethany comes home, breaks the news to Carol, and then goes to her room to keep working on her dancing because she’s determined to get into a company somehow.

Carol dashes those dreams by telling her dance won’t happen for her and that she needs to choose a different path.

My heart broke for her. She just lost her father, and now she lost dance.

We see Bethany, now donning braids over a bun, enter Howard University and write “Beth” on her name tag. She even bumps into teenage Randall.

Beth eventually comes clean to her mom about losing her job. Her mom reacted by telling her that they would start looking for a new one the following day and work on her resume.

The thing is, Beth needs more support than that. She wants her mom to encourage her to do what she loves and to dream, not to do the practical thing.

They have a long-overdue heart-to-heart, where her mom explains why she is the way she is. Her other was hard on her, and she knew no other way. Beth said her mother is suffocating. But Abe was Carol’s air. He was her perfect balance. And when he was gone, so was her air.

Carol apologizes to Beth for making her give up on her dream. But if she hadn’t, Beth wouldn’t have Randall or their girls.

But Beth does decide one thing by the end of this episode of This Is Us, that she’s going to get back into dance. And she’s going to teach it.

Next. 5 TV shows coming in 2019 that we want to binge (and 5 we’re sad to see go). dark

Susan Kelechi Watson was absolutely brilliant in this episode. I was so moved by her performance and just felt everything she was feeling. I’m starting her Emmy campaign today!

What could have been looked at as a filler episode turned out to be one of the best of the entire series. Well done!

What did you think of “Our Little Island Girl?”

Watch This is Us anytime.

Read last week’s recap.