This is Us season 3 episode 15 recap: The Waiting Room


This is Us is known for its emotional content; but this week’s episode was not only emotional, it was tense and draining for everyone but the viewers.

Fans of This is Us know that the show tends to push the boundaries of their traditional flashback/current day format.

We’ve seen flash-forwards, hallucinations, dreams, and everything in between. But this week was very different. We saw no flashback; therefore, not one Jack appearance. However, Jack’s presence was very much felt.

This week’s This is Us followed the format of a one-act play. Almost the entire episode took place in a waiting room. I guess that’s why the episode’s title was “The Waiting Room.”

You might remember last week’s episode ended with Kate rushed to the hospital by ambulance (Kevin was drunk) because her water broke at 28 weeks pregnant. The entire family arrived (even Randall and Beth) to be with her and Toby.

And now, we wait. For a good 50 minutes, we watch the Pearsons as they uncomfortably sit, pace, bicker, laugh, and fight in between updates from Kate’s doctor.

Here’s a quick rundown of what went on during the majority of the episode.

Kevin makes several scenes

Kevin is hungover from the night before, and everyone seems to be looking at him and treating him like he could blow up at any moment. He acts erratic and abrasive toward everyone, even the doctor, who he implies is not good enough to treat Kate.

He decides to leave for a little while to cool off. When he returns, Zoe attempts to comfort him and just asks that he be honest with her, which I think is reasonable.

When she takes a swig of his water bottle, it’s full of vodka.

Randall and Beth struggle

THIS IS US — “The Waiting Room” Episode 315 — Pictured: (l-r) Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Just because they flew across the country to be with Kate, doesn’t mean Randall and Beth left their problems at home.

Beth is still upset with Randall for him suggesting she give up her job as a dance teacher while he performs his duties as a councilman. Everything Randall says Beth seems to twist. And truthfully, I don’t blame her.

After already being on edge with Beth combined with the stress of Kate’s situation, Randall takes out much of his frustration on Kevin, whom he argues loudly with multiple times. But he doesn’t know that he’s fighting with someone who is still intoxicated, and the conversation will go nowhere.

Rebecca seems distant

I mean, I don’t blame Rebecca for being quiet and distant this entire episode because her daughter’s health and her grandson’s life is in jeopardy. She refuses to leave the waiting room, even when the doctor suggests it. To me, she’ll never do it again because of her experience with Jack.

But she’s really out of it. Beth noticed she hadn’t eaten for hours and was very worried about her. And every time someone tried to talk to her, she made observances like the shape of electrical sockets and that the waiting room chairs looked like they had bacteria on them.
She finally speaks something of substance when Randall and Kevin loudly argue. She recalls her exact memory of the waiting room in which she and Jack waited in the day that he died – right down to the 17 key lime pie chairs.

THIS IS US — “The Waiting Room” Episode 315 — Pictured: (l-r) Justin Hartley as Kevin, Sterling K. Brown as Randall — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

The entire room was finally still, and for a moment, everyone forgot about their own lives and problems because, really, none of it mattered.

Best of the rest

Miguel tried to distract everyone by playing the Ranch/Chocolate game. He asked, “Is there any food that can’t be made better by adding ranch or chocolate?” Apparently, you can put ranch on sushi. Ew.

Madison also shows up with donuts for everyone, but Kevin rudely kicks her out. She doesn’t leave though and tells Miguel how Kate had a birth plan, and it included Madison and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – well an RBG doll, anyway.

THIS IS US — “The Waiting Room” Episode 315 — Pictured: Caitlin Thompson as Madison — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

The moment of truth

At last, Toby enters the waiting room to give the news that the baby has arrived via C-section. Everyone is relieved and goes home to rest before they come back and see Kate and the baby.

The episode ends with one of the best moments of the entire series: Kate meeting her very tiny baby. If you didn’t cry, you might want to check to see if your ticker is still working right.

She warns Toby that she’s going to do something weird, and she starts talking to Jack and asks him to keep the baby safe.

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And as if you aren’t crying enough, they name the baby… Jack.

Pardon me while I cry a thousand tears.

Baby Jack has a long road ahead of him, but we only have three more episodes this season.

Watch This is Us anytime.

Read last week’s recap.