Tonight, This Is Us season 3 episode 13 arrives with “Our Little Island Girl,” which could otherwise be known as how Beth Pearson finds herself. All she needed was a little bit more of the Bethany Clarke that she first was many years ago.
This episode was certainly a unicorn in that there was no Jack, no Kevin, no Kate, no Rebecca, and only a tiny bit of Randall. Almost the entirety of it was themed around past and present versions of Beth as she visited her mother and also explored some of her past within the world of ballet. For the better part of her young life, she thought about nothing else. She wanted to be a dancer, she attended classes constantly, and her parents took on more work in order to make her dream into a reality. The only problem is that when the dust settled and the hard work was put in, it still did not amount to what she had hoped for. Beth still hadn’t made a career of it, and her father died along the way.
It was her mother (played wonderfully by Phylicia Rashad) who told her that there was nothing more for her in this world. She didn’t want to envision her training and working towards a goal that could be unattainable and because of that, she encouraged her to go to school and start to build towards a more typical career. (Who else enjoyed the small seen of her running into Randall in the past?)
Back in the present, we found Beth afraid to even tell her mother that she was laid off and when she did, she had an important decision to make. Did she want to keep continuing down this road of doing some career that she could be happy with, or start to find her own dream and sense of passion again? She opted for the latter, and that’s why the episode concluded with her going to a ballet studio and saying that she wanted to be a teacher. There is no concrete evidence that this is something that she’s going to get into right away, but we know that in the flash-forward timeline, she does seem to be some sort of instructor. She has found a way to have her dream come true and at that point, we can say with confidence that nothing is holding her back.
“Our Little Island Girl” was a very insightful episode insofar as the story — it was about Beth, her family, and how she decided to dive back into the world of ballet, her true dream, after years of being out of it. It also allowed her to reconnect with her mother, and become a little bit more like her dreamer husband, who apparently has quite a bit in common with her father. Susan Kelechi Watson was exceptional from start to finish. Consider this her Emmy showcase, and also consider this a nice window into why This Is Us should never shy away from giving its supporting characters stories to tell. For this one episode, Beth was a lead and she was wonderful.
What did you think about This Is Us season 3 episode 13? Be sure to share right now in the comments, and be sure to check back soon for some more news. (Photo: NBC.)