There are a few different things worth diving into from this week’s Thanksgiving-based This Is Us season 3 episode 8, but let’s start with the information that we did not know when it comes to Randall and Beth’s daughter Tess.
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In the midst of a conversation with Kate tonight, Tess implied for the first time that she was interested in women. It’s not fair after this particular moment to label her sexuality as any one thing in particular, but this is clearly something that the writers can be looking at and examining further as this season goes along. She is still young and this is something that the writers could explore in a thoughtful, beautiful way, especially when there haven’t been too many other prominent LGBTQ storylines within the Pearson family itself.
This is just a small moment for now, but it could become something much larger in the scheme of things down the road.
As for some of the other big storylines that unfolded tonight…
Is the necklace mystery solved?
On the surface, it seems so — the mystery woman in Vietnam gave the necklace to Jack in return for helping her sick son. That seems to be it. Yet, they made such a huge deal out of this necklace that this solution to the question feels almost benign. There has to be something larger here, right?
One theory that does seem to be dust at this point is the idea of Nicky and this woman having a relationship. When her boy was sick, Nicky didn’t really want anything to do with her at all.
The history of Miguel
While it was fairly short in the scheme of things, this episode certainly did feature Rebecca’s new husband in a way that was greater than what we’ve seen to date. Namely, we saw him admitting that he wasn’t a great father because he worked too much, which in turn caused his kids to side with her after the divorce. They embraced her when she ended up getting together with someone else, but they chided Rebecca and made her feel terrible at Thanksgiving dinner for being with him — accusing her in a sort-of-but-not-really-joking manner of breaking up his first marriage.
Miguel’s family life is hard, and it was nice to have some contrast between his kids and the Pearsons, who were so much warmer and more welcoming to him. They represent in some ways a second chance at family for him and a way in which to find something different for himself. We do think Miguel has made mistakes, but haven’t many people in life? He’s not trying to replace Jack or anyone; he’s just trying to find his way in life and it seems like he’s almost an outsider almost no matter where he turns.
Randall’s political career
In one way, it’s soaring; in another, it’s struggling. He isn’t listening to his campaign manager, mostly because he wants to support Beth. The issues with separating your personal and professional life could become all the more clear over time — he could put a strain on his marriage and lose the election all at once.
This was a nice celebration of Thanksgiving but, to go along with that, also an important window into the soul of a number of different characters. We now understand more of who Miguel is, more of why Vietnam mattered to Jack, and also what is coming in the future for Tess.
What do you think about the events when it comes to This Is Us season 3 episode 8? Be sure to share in the attached comments. (Photo: NBC.)