Just when you think you know everything about absolutely everyone on This Is Us, it turns out…
… you do not.
This simple, yet surprising, message was at the heart This Is Us Season 4 Episode 4, an installment titled “Flip a Coin” that taught viewers about Kevin and The Manny, Randall and Beth in college during a parental visit, baby Jack and music and a whole lot more.
Let’s start with KATE, shall we?
In the past, fans saw a teenage version of this character still struggling with a purpose after her brothers went off and she remained home.
When she finally turned off Buffy the Vampire Slayer (good taste in TV shows!), Kate ventured to the record store and bought some new CDs — and also got a job!
In the present, tensions between Kate and Toby continued to fester, which had been a theme of the previous two episodes.
They took young Jack to a music class, which didn’t turn out well because he kept getting scared by the instruments and singing.
After going back and forth each other, the couple took their son to the beach.
While he was frightened by the class, viewers do at least know he goes on to have quite a bit of success in music — and, as Kate noted, music is something he can do even without his sight.
What about RANDALL and BETH?
The first question: Do these two owe everything to Rebecca? In the past, she visited Randall at college and got the sense that he longed for Beth… which, granted, was rather obvious.
She proceded to take matters into her own hands by getting up and asking if they could join Beth and her mother for lunch.
Such aggression paid off, notably, when Randall gave Beth a slice of lemon without her even asking.
On their one and only date (at the time), Beth ordered a Coke with lemon. At lunch at school, she didn’t have a lemon for her drink.
Rebecca ended up bonding with Beth’s mom over their shared widow status, as Carol inspired Rebecca to start getting her life back in order following Jack’s death.
Time jump back to the present — and Carol visited for Beth’s dance studio opening.
Once there, Carol said she didn’t like Randall for Beth at first… but only because she didn’t really see the strength he needed to be a proper partner for her daughter.
Randall and Beth also met Malik and discovered he has a daughter.
We’ll end with KEVIN.
Alternating between the present — where Kevin found out The Manny was canceled 00 and the pilot shoot for this same, This Is Us revealed quite a bit about the character.
Almost more than we had ever learned before.
In the present, Kevin attempted to distract Cassidy and Nicky when their planned Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was incorrectly scheduled.
How so? By talking about shopping for a new RV.
While out and about, Kevin and Cassidy discussed her possible divorce, his experience with The Manny and Nicky revealed the origins of his trailer.
Prior to the war, you see, there was Sally, someone Jack asked out on a shy Nicky’s behalf.
They planned to trek across this great nation after he returned from war — but eventually he simply stopped writing to her.
After all that transpired in Vietnam, Nicky said he was “pretty broken.”
Therefore, one day he figured he would just go for it, using his savings on the trailer and heading to Sally’s house unannounced. She wasn’t home, though.
So, he drove off and, well that was it. He said he realized it wasn’t meant to be.
In a parallel moment, past Kevin revealed his doubts about The Manny pilot to Kate and said he really wished it didn’t make it to series so he could go off, stop acting and just have a family somewhere.
That was all he truly wanted.
However, he then had a moment at the conclusion of the pilot filming where he connected with his baby costar and the “stupid character” on a show with a “stupid premise” wasn’t a joke anymore.
He made a baby laugh and it changed his life.
After relaying that story to Cassidy, Kevin did indeed buy an RV…for himself. And he moved in next to Nicky.
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