It's time to put away the hankies. Another episode of This Is Us has made us all cry. But as is tradition, the episode buttons with a next time trailer. In an interesting twist, the next three week's worth of episodes have thematically linked titles. The first is called "Number One." (No points for guessing what the next two will be called.) And from the looks of the This Is Us Season 2 Episode 8 promo and synopsis, this is going to be "All About Kevin."
This is a very interesting turn of events for This is Us to take, and I love that they're basing it off of a throwaway line that happened in front of the judge "This is Number One, Number Two, Number Three." Did you catch which baby was which is the line up? Kevin was "Number One," Kate was "Number Two" and Randall was "Number Three."
Here's the synopsis:
Kevin goes back to his high school to accept an award. Jack and Rebecca get excited about their kids' futures.
And here's the trailer:
It's no surprise that the trailer puts them in the same order as the judge order as the promo reveals these will be a set of "very special" single-character focused episodes over the next three weeks. We've got Kevin this coming week, Kate the next, and finally Randall, just before Thanksgiving.
For all that said, Kevin made a serious breakthrough tonight. He recognized that he is attempting to be his father's son. I'm not sure he made the full leap that being an addict who throws away money needlessly on three engagement rings is also very much the stupid and self destructive behavior Jack would engage in in the name of being "romantic." But hey, considering he doesn't have a therapist to lead him to that dawning light, it's a pretty good self therapy start.
At the end of the episode, when fans assumed Kevin was about to propose, Sophie closed the door in his face. That means Kevin has, for now, closed off one of life's pathways. (Let's hope it takes a long time before Sophie even considers letting him back in too.) Whether he will continue down the path to realizing he's not actually a hollow shell, there is a person deep inside him, one he's just ignoring, remains to be seen.
Next week looks hopeful though. he's going to go back to his high school, and the scene of "the knee break that ruined his life" and will have to, at least on some level, emotionally deal with that. It also means he'll finally be out of California, and in Pennsylvania, where he could potentially find himself again, or at least face the grieving Kevin who he left behind there when he ran off to the world of acting.
Then there's the flashbacks. We know that Kevin's leg break was only weeks before Jack's death, which means those scenes next week will be the closest to the event that show has gone yet, the Fall of 1997.
We also will probably get several flashbacks of Kevin growing up along the way, and perhaps might even accidentally run across some of the clues we've been curious about, like how exactly Kevin turned into a football star in the first place.
We will probably also have to deal with at least some "be a man" and "my boy's a champ" type talk from Jack, which is exactly the memories that have been driving Kevin this season to his addiction, and have basically put him on the path to follow in his father's footsteps, including a potential early death.
Let's hope, like Kate, Kevin begins to break the cycle and heal himself. We'll find out if he takes the first steps next week.