‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 10 — ‘Every Version of You’

We are LOVES HIS FAKES – Remember when we all thought series premiere stories were taking place in the present day? – but there’s a chance this week’s episode will give us clues as to Randall’s ultimate aspirations in the Oval Office.

“Every Version of You,” which follows the Kevin and Kate portions of this season’s Big 3 trilogy, focuses on Randall as he and Rebecca take a short road trip to Boston, for reasons we’ll get to in a bit. . The brief and unexpected trip allows for a little and a lot of emotional processing to be recalled, both about Rebecca’s post-Thanksgiving pronouncement and advancing Alzheimer’s disease. In the process, we learn that there is a “strategy” afoot in Randall’s professional life that could lead him to Washington, DC, in the not-too-distant future.

Read on for the highlights of Episode 10.

A LONG DAY AT THE POOL COMES TO AN END | In the flashback, Kevin is about to drown and Kate is reluctant to be in the water, but little Randall proudly marches to the bottom to take his swim test. OF COURSE he gets over it, and of COURSE no one in his family really pays attention to achievement. But goofing around with Kevin, Randall leads his brother into the pool (in the shallow end)…and Kate and Jack follow him…and by the end of the episode, all the Pearsons are splashing and frolicking. The bottom line: Rebecca really wanted her whole family to swim together, and Randall made it happen, because he lives to make Rebecca happy. This will become a recurring theme throughout the hour.

RANDALL SAVES THE DAY! | In the flashback to when Randall, Kate, and Kevin were stuck at the community pool after hours, the brothers are trying to persuade a reluctant Kate to jump over the fence when a police car pulls up and demands to know what they’re doing. Kate and Kevin freak out that they will be arrested for trespassing and underage drinking, but Randall calmly walks up to the car and asks to speak to the officer. A few minutes later, he sets the trio free with a warning.

Kate suggests that they go to the restaurant (closed at night) where she works and have a cup of coffee, taking advantage of the fact that she has the keys to the place. They do so, but Randall makes sure to call Rebecca to tell her that they’re okay and that they’ll be home later. As they talk about her, he comforts her about Miguel and encourages her by directing her to her backpack, where she has hidden some smiley face cookies like the ones she and he used to enjoy when she was a little boy. “Thank you,” she says, moved. “I needed this.”

Back in the booth, Kev and Kate press Randall about what he said to get them out of trouble. All he does is laugh and say that the policeman was a reasonable guy. But in a flashback, we see Randall’s calm but passionate plea that the family is at a breaking point, and a trio of arrests will damage the Pearsons in ways they may not be able to recover from. “There’s a very real chance we won’t make it,” says Randall, which convinces the officer. When it’s clear they’re out of the danger zone, Randall even jokes, “Oh, and I might end up being president one day, so they can’t really arrest me.”

OR is it’s a prank? Read on, then we’ll talk.

TRAVEL! | In the present, Randall is reeling from Rebecca’s announcement that Kate will be her health care representative. As Beth helps him process it, Deja storms downstairs, furious: Malik broke up with her and blames Randall for telling her to do it. “I literally hate you,” he spits. Her plot derails very quickly, thanks to Randall’s already hard emotional state; at one point, he says that she is her daughter, and she replies, “No, I’m not. Tess and Annie are your daughters. I’m just a girl you took from her mother. OH. The next morning, Déjja is gone.

Tess finally confesses that her sister left the night before and heads to Massachusetts to convince Malik that they should get back together. Randall grabs her bag and heads to the car, planning to chase after her, but Rebecca advises him to take a breather. “Or maybe we should let Kate take care of everything, because she takes care of all the important things now?” he snaps. The outburst seems to cement something for Rebecca, and she announces that she’s coming with him.

Along the way, they talk about first love and things calm down a bit between them. But when she mentions her comment about Kate, Randall quickly shuts down the discussion and says that her vitriol was just a stupid joke. Rebecca knows better, but she doesn’t push. Instead, she asks to stop for lunch so he can eat before taking her medication.

this is us-recap-season-6-episode-10Although the circumstances are less than ideal, Rebecca genuinely seems to enjoy spending time with her son; she still remembers when he was very little, and they had a lot of shared interests that Kate, Kev and Jack didn’t. When Beth calls and says that she has heard from Déja, who made it safely to Cambridge, Rebecca asks Randall if maybe they can give the teen some space and not rush to find her right away. He reluctantly agrees, and they spend the intervening time having a drink at a nearby bar, then spending the night in a motel.

REBECCA EXPLAINS HER CHOICE | During her extended meeting, Rebecca reveals that she is carrying a clipping from a “Five Facts About Randall Pearson” article that was published in some publication. Later that night, after Randall once again delays a meeting with the senator who has been trying to get in touch with him for a few episodes, Rebecca asks him what’s up. He tells her that the item in her bag is “part of a larger scheme” and that he has been receiving calls from the Democratic National Committee about her interest in possibly running as a replacement for the politician in question. “Oh my God, Randall, are you going to be a senator?” she cries, but he dampens her enthusiasm: with “so much uncertainty in the family”, he doesn’t know if it’s smart to make an important decision in life.

The next morning as they leave, Rebecca asks him to sit with her by the motel pool, which is closed for the season. She acknowledges that her illness has taken its toll on him “especially”, and apologizes for trusting him too much after Jack’s death. “And that’s why I couldn’t make you the executor, because you and I both know that you would move heaven and earth to see me get better, and you would give up your whole life for me,” she says. “And I can’t let you do that, not anymore.” They’re both starting to cry, and the scene only gets more soggy from here.

Once they’ve both recovered a bit, she acknowledges the arrogance of her thinking, but “If I do this, I’ll win, Mom. If I run, I will win. And if I win, I can’t even imagine where this will end.” She smiles at him and says, “I can. I can see it very clearly.”

Does this mean Randall is headed for the highest office on earth? He is not president / has not been president in the flash-forward to Rebecca’s deathbed; otherwise there would be Secret Service agents on his periphery, right? Or are they there and we just haven’t seen them? Fill in the comments with your thoughts on whether this is foreshadowing or just Dan Fogelman playing us.

WHERE WE END | Randall and Rebecca drive to Massachusetts and pick up Deja, who is devastated. Malik is not much better. Randall softens with the young man, saying, “You know, these things have a way of coming back, Malik, if they’re meant to be…sometimes the door opens again.” Malik thanks him for being a mentor and they shake hands, with Rand telling him, “You’re such a good boy.” He’s! Oh sad Malik.

In the car, Déjja apologizes for her bad words at the cabin. “I don’t want to have a full talk about it right now, but you’re my dad,” he says quietly. “You’re the only one I’ve ever had.”

Before Rebecca and Miguel return, she asks Randall to autograph the item, which eventually ends up in a box marked “Randall” at Rebecca’s house. Then, in snippets from all the stories, we see: Randall tells Jae-Won to go ahead and set up a meeting with the senator; Kevin brings the twins back to Madison’s house; and Kate tells Toby that she’s not ready to move to San Francisco, “not with where we are right now.”

Now is your turn. Hit the comments with all your thoughts!

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