This is Us season 3, episode 16 recap: Don’t take my sunshine away


Is Randall and Beth’s relationship in trouble? One scathing voicemail could be the start of a slippery slope on This Is Us.

How much damage can one voicemail do to This Is Us’ most solid couple?

It turns out, a lot.

“Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” started out with Kate singing the familiar tune to baby Jack in the NICU.

"“You’ll never know, Jack, how much I love you.”"

I could just cry thinking about it.

While the show began with the song, this episode centered around the “sunshine” each of the Big 3 either wants or already has.

Kevin’s sunshine

Zoe and Kevin are in couple’s therapy. Zoe is not s much concerned about his relapse and drinking; she’s hurt by the lying and sneaking around. Later, she drops a very important piece of information: she doesn’t want kids.

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Does Kevin want kids? Probably. Can he give up the possibility for Zoe? He’s not sure.

So, Kevin seeks out the newly engaged Sophie for advice. She tells him he always gets what he wants, so he just has to choose, and he will get what he wants.

At first, I thought maybe his sunshine was his future kids, but really, his sunshine is Zoe, and he chooses her over having kids.

I have a feeling, though, this isn’t the end of this conversation.

Kate’s sunshine
In the literal sense, Baby Jack is Kate’s sunshine, so of course, she doesn’t want him to be taken away.

But she also needs Toby’s support, and he’s having a hard time with seeing Baby Jack hooked up to wires, and in an incubator. He’s overwhelmed with the possibility of something bad happening to him that he’s giving up this chance to bond with his son. He’s freaked out and having trouble not showing just how scared he is.

Eventually, a fellow father whose son has been in the NICU for six weeks snaps him back to reality. And with the encouragement of Kate, they’re able to cherish holding their son for the first time.

Randall’s sunshine

I would have always said Randall’s sunshine was Beth and the girls. I still believe that. But I think Randall believes that if he’s happy doing what he loves, he can make everyone else happy.

Or I could be way off, and he thinks what he’s doing down in Philly is more important than anything Beth is doing. I’ve been on Team Beth from the get-go, in that I think Randall should have dropped out from the race.

As a Philly native, I can assure you it takes no less than two hours to get from north Jersey to Philly, and back. It’s unrealistic and a lot to ask of your spouse and family. And quite frankly, it’s inconsiderate because it’s that much harder to compromise with a commute like that, let alone a political position.

Now that Beth has a new job she loves, I can understand why she wants to hold onto it for dear life.

Randall needs Beth to come to a dinner at the home of a city council president. At first, Beth agrees to go, but she tries to back out last-minute when she is invited out with her dance colleagues to discuss the future of the studio.

When Randall pleads with her, she is sort of vague whether or not she is coming and hangs up (on him).

In this situation, Beth is in the wrong because she agreed to go to something with her husband first. And if the people of the studio really want her involved with the future of it, they will reschedule.

Cut to Randall, sitting out front of the city council president’s house, waiting for Beth. He calls her several times, and she doesn’t answer. He’s pretty sure she’s not coming, so he calls her again, leaving her a voicemail:

“I hope it was worth it — I hope you’re off having fun talking about how to teach bored housewives how to twirl better. Grow the hell up, Beth.”

We’ve never seen Randall sink so low and play so dirty. Randall goes on with the dinner.

Next thing we know, Beth shows up! She was stuck in traffic on I-95 (which always has traffic), and her phone died.

At first, we’re not sure if Beth heard the voicemail, but oh, she heard it alright, and she’s pissed. She tells him to sleep on the cot in his office that night.

But Randall doesn’t stay in Philly. The episode ends with him storming into their bedroom saying, “let’s do this.” He shuts the door.
I’m worried about Randall and Beth. He better make some big Jack gesture quick.

First school dance

The flashbacks are back with the kids’ first school dance. And since Rebecca and Jack are chaperoning, it’s Jack’s first as well. (Gosh, his childhood sucked.)

There was nothing too remarkable about the flashback except for Jack saying if they had met as kids, he would have asked Rebecca to dance.

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It was a sweet flashback, giving us a break from the big emotions. And it gave me the feels since the music, and the style threw me back to my school dance days, chokers and all!

Watch This is Us anytime.

Read last week’s This is Us recap.