There is so much in the way of worthy conversation on This Is Us season 3 episode 15, an installment entitled “The Waiting Room.” After spending some episodes crossing the country and showing you a full spectrum of timelines and characters, this is where the writers went a bit smaller. The entire episode was confined more or less to a single location: The hospital, especially the room mentioned in the title.
This is a show about family, and tonight, we had an episode of what happens when a family fights — or, if you prefer, what happens when a family fights because they’re looking for a distraction from what’s in front of them. For Randall, he continued to be a tad too pompous about his new job versus Beth’s new job, not realizing right away that there were means of a compromise and he wasn’t quite seeing them. Meanwhile, for Kevin he was trying to both apologize for his relapse while still continuing to spiral behind the scenes. His comfort was his water bottle, but the water bottle was filled with vodka. Nobody even realized it until the very end but along the way in this episode, he clashed with “golden boy” Randall repeatedly while Randall noted that despite Kevin’s many misgivings, he somehow found a way to get out on top time and time again.
For Zoe, she obviously has a lot to think about, including whether or not she can continue to help someone who is shunning any interest in helping himself. Even if she doesn’t, she certainly wants to help Beth and that gave her a further incentive to stay. For Kate’s friend Madison, she just wanted to be there for her and help to make sure that she delivered on her birth plan — even if doing so was almost impossible under these circumstances. Kate did not expect to give birth now, and nor did she expect it to happen in this way.
Yet, the important thing is that she is now officially a mom! While the baby was born extremely premature, he is in the hospital and starting on a road to good health. There’s no guarantee that he will make it there, but his mother and father are hopeful and ready to fight the good fight. Kate made sure that he had the name of a fighter — hence, the decision to name him Jack. (Is it Jack Damon? Jack Pearson Damon? We’re going with Jack Damon for now, but time will tell with that.)
The scenes surrounding Kate and Toby at the end were deeply moving and we did appreciate the effort by This Is Us to actually eschew the delivery scene in favor of focusing on the struggles in the waiting room — the dramatic stuff we rarely see as opposed to the delivery scenes we almost always see.
For more thoughts on this episode of This Is Us – Be sure to check out the video below! On the other side of watching this, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and also take a look at our This Is Us playlist — that way, you don’t miss any other updates.
Miguel’s place in the world
His portrayal on the show is often problematic, but also intentionally so. How are we supposed to give him the time of day as a character when the series seems to be so reluctant to do so itself? He tried his best to handle the waiting-room drama throughout the episode, trying to distract everyone with a game of “everything tastes better with either chocolate or ranch.” Yet, he was ignored, chastised at times, and not taken seriously at others. While Randall and Kevin fought, he just stood there, almost invisible to the siblings who did not care about his presence at all. Rebecca speaks out, they listen. Miguel speaks out, and he may as well whisper.
We did appreciate Rebecca’s affection for Miguel at the end of the episode, just as we also appreciated seeing Madison connect with him over the little ways they tried to help a complicated family who often left them out. But for This Is Us to make Miguel a more important character in its narrative, there is more work that needs to be done — including offering up more reasons why Rebecca loves him and less of him cowering under Jack’s shadow.
We imagine that in a lot of ways, “The Waiting Room” is what a lot of waiting-room conflicts are like — intense at times and petty at others. People trying to come to grips with a difficult situation while dealing with exhaustion, skeletons, and a horribly-annoying montage of bird footage on the television. This was a panoramic view of what makes these times hard, but also relieving when the dust settles. This Is Us was not necessarily perfect tonight, as you can argue that Randall isn’t giving enough and Miguel isn’t getting enough; yet, life isn’t perfect and this is an episode meant more for that than a balance portrayal of what relationships and family should be.
To preview more of what’s next on This Is Us…
Remember to head over to the link here! Also, be sure to sound off in the comments with your thoughts on season 3 episode 15. (Photo: NBC.)