In true This Is Us fashion, the show continues to parcel out morsels of intel about the Pearson family's complicated history, but those semi-answers only lead to more questions. When one window closes, a big door of "what does it all mean?!" swings wide open. The jam-packed third episode of Season 2, "Deja Vu," showed audiences a vulnerable version of Kevin we haven't really gotten a look at previously, and This Is Us Season 2 Episode 4 promo reveals that the series will continue to focus on his personal struggles.
When it comes to the Big Three, Kevin is the happy-go-lucky one. He's Mr. Hollywood. He hob-nobs with celebs, buys out hot spot restaurants like it's no biggie, acts as the ultimate Cyrano wingman, and it feels like he floats through life with perfect abs and minor woes. His biggest issue last season was choosing between two gorgeous women, only to fall in the arms of the ex he really wanted all along anyway. As opposed to his siblings, things seem to work out for him. But things aren't always as they seem. Especially in This Is Us, where audiences are constantly being fed a steaming hot bowl of sadness soup weekly. We never expected Kevin to be the one to take things so hard, but alas, here we are.
We'll forgive Kev's awful Sylvester Stallone impression. He's going through stuff, you guys. We learn more about how difficult the passing of his father truly has been on him like we never have before. After Kate opens up about Jack's death to Sly Stallone of all people in the universe, Kevin and her get in a twin fight that reveals he's still dealing with the loss. "It's hard for me with Dad," he tells her. As Kevin faces his emotional demons, he also faces physical ones that appear to be intertwined. Kevin's knee — from the same leg that was in a cast in a teenage flashback from the first episode surrounding the big fire reveal — continues to bother him all these years later. And it's affecting his work. We watch as he pops a pain pill. We hear you loud and clear, writers. This storyline and Kevin's issues aren't going anywhere any time soon.
"I'm not gonna let this stupid knee screw up the rest of my life," Kevin says in a frustrated tone in the promo for next week's episode. It looks like he's going into some sort of surgery as well? The injury has clearly affected him in more ways than one, and we can only assume it's tied to his father's death as well. Hopefully we'll get more insight into how everything played out soon, although we're guessing the mysteries will be unraveled slowly over time. Executive Producer Isaac Aptaker spoke to EW, revealing that Kevin's injury will definitely be a focus moving forward:
When he does that big stunt and is distracted with the emotions of his father that this scene with Stallone is bringing up, and then he lands wrong on the knee, it’s already vulnerable to re-injury. In terms of the rest of the year, this is a starting arc for Kevin with his knee. This is not something like, “Next week he’s going to be back on his feet and totally fine.” This is a bigger story here.
Next week's episode, "Still There," will follow more of Randall and Beth's challenging next steps with their foster child, Deja. We'll also get some face time with Rebecca's mother, who is played by Elizabeth Perkins. The character does not look all that warm and fuzzy, considering she's insulting her daughter's family in the first ten seconds of the clip. They can't all be perfect, right? Remember, nobody on this show is immune to pain, feelings, and hard times. Even Kevin. It's safe to say that we should prepare to see the show tap into that side of him as the season goes on.