It was an episode full of unlikely friendships on Tuesday night's new This Is Us: Kevin finally started to accept Miguel, Randall met William's old cat, and Kate may have actually developed a bond with her Overeaters Anonymous nemesis Madison. Although she has only popped up in a few scenes before now, Madison may become a much bigger part of the show after her emotional storyline in the new episode. For anyone asking themselves who is Madison on This Is Us, let's go over everything you need to know about the complicated character.
To be honest, I have been pretty upset and annoyed about how Kate has treated Madison in her few episodes before now. Madison is the skinny blonde woman who is in Kate's Overeaters Anonymous circle, and Kate has made it no secret that she doesn't believe Madison should be there. Despite not actually knowing Madison's personal struggles, Kate vocally writes off everything that Madison shares in the circle as frivolous. When Madison says that she managed to avoid eating the hors d'oeuvres at a party, Kate scoffs. In fact, it is Kate and Toby's shared ridicule of Madison's issues that first brings the couple together. I get that Kate probably had a hard time hearing a skinny woman complain about the same eating issues that she herself has, but it really did show how unsympathetic and close-minded Kate could be when she continued to loudly demean Madison in what was meant to be a safe space for her to share.
Thankfully, after a handful of episodes at odds, Kate finally saw that although Madison does not look like her, she also has a very real eating disorder. On Tuesday night's new episode "Clooney," Madison takes Kate wedding dress shopping, and Kate worriedly notices Madison eat a bunch of macaroons and then disappear to the bathroom. When Kate initially confronts Madison about the event outside of the dress shop, Madison gets defensive and storms off. But later in the episode, Kate gets a call that Madison has fainted and injured herself in her bathroom. When Kate rushes over to her house, Madison comes clean about her bulimia, revealing that it is a response to reemerging family issues.
With Madison opening up about her eating problem, Kate also shared new details about her weight management issues in the past. Prior to Jack's death, Kate reveals that she actually lost a ton of weight thanks to a strict diet of baby carrots and hardly anything else. That's when Kate realized the psychological element to her eating issues, saying that she was attached to the voice in her head telling her she was overweight. The emotional scene ended with the potential beginnings of a new friendship, as Madison cuddled up to Kate and adorably suggested the two start a podcast together.
The revelation of Madison's personal struggle was a big step in Kate's storyline, and one that I know I'm relieved finally actually happened. I have to admit, I was starting to get worried that This Is Us was just using Madison as a punchline, since whenever she would appear her problems would be laughed off by Kate. It was a very welcome surprise in the new episode for Kate to finally realize that just because Madison is skinny, she can still suffer from an overeating disorder. Hopefully this means that we will be seeing Madison more often in the show, and with less ridicule directed at her. Maybe she will even grow close enough with Kate to be a bridesmaid at her wedding later this season. We will have to see how Kate and Madison's relationship grows as the show continues.