First, always, is Miguel. How did and Rebecca find their way back from Facebook to marriage? What’s up with his kids now? Why haven’t we really had conversations between this Latinx man of color and Randall around their experiences of racial injustice? Miguel was a Latinx man in Pittsburgh in the 70s and 80s. Being from Pittsburgh, I know that was not necessarily a lovely dynamic at all times. It seemed fruitful to explore the intersections of his experience with other men of color on the show, particularly Randall and William. Also, Miguel seems to be rich. Not Kevin rich, but rich. Where did his money come from? Is he retired?
Second is another Miguel theme, his relationship with the grandkids. He is the only grandfather Tess and Annie have (Beth’s father died) and clearly actively involved in the lives of little Jack and Haylie. One can assume the same is true for Nicky and Franny since Madison has zero relationship with her father. I remember a scene in season one where the girls hurled themselves in his arms yelling “Grandpa!” And we recently saw the incredibly moving moments where he walked Kate down the aisle. Again, I want to know why Miguel didn’t have a conversation with Deja about joining the family and how his relationship to her is exactly the same as with Annie and Tess because he’s not biologically connected. I want to see Kevin acknowledge that Miguel is the grandfather of his children, not the substitute for Jack. I want all three Pearson adult kids acknowledge that they had terrible grandfathers so Miguel is hitting homeruns left and right simply by showing up to babysit, play boardgames, and being decent. The grandkids deserve to love their grandpa, not the man who raised their parents and never knew them. They deserve to live in the present with the man they love.
Great-Unclel Nicky is bonus love, not a substitute for his brother.
Third, I ask this – we needed an episode that explored the childhoods of Jack and Rebecca’s parents. Just 15 minutes each to tie it back to the traumas they carried forward. Jack, Rebecca, Nicky, and Miguel are Baby Boomers. Randall, Kevin, and Kate as well as Beth and Toby are Millenials or maybe Xennials. Madison is definitely a Millenial. Tess, Annie and Deja are Generation Z. And Franny, Nicky, lil Jack, and Haylie are Generation Alpha.
Jack and Rebecca’s parents were most likely part of The Greatest Generation assuring they were born between 1920-1930. So what does this mean? Well, This Is Us has explored the interpersonal dynamics against the world writ large from the getgo. Did Jack and Rebecca’s fathers serve in WWII? Did their mother’s finish high school? Did they know their grandparents? What impact did the depression have on them? If this show taught us anything, it is that brokenness comes from somewhere.
Also, why are there no Gen Xers on this show? Ahem.
Fourth, Kyle. They rarely talk about him. I don’t recall any scenes where they visit his grave or Jack/Rebecca have a big talk with the kids about balancing honoring him with moving forward. I don’t recall Randall ever thinking that he wasn’t just a typical adoptee. None of the grandchildren, to our knowledge, carry his name. His life and death were significant turning points for the entire family. It seems odd that was never addressed.
Here’s how I would fix that in the present – a scene of Miguel laying flowers on Kyle’s grave once Rebecca is no longer able to do so. He and Annie – Annie seems like the one who would do that with him. And Annie continues after Miguel dies.
Fifth, speaking of grandchildren, Rebecca and Miguel hosting a grandkids sleepover with all of the kids. Deja through the littles. And Rebecca talking to them about how much she loves each of them in their unique way and that while she’s forgetting things, she doesn’t forget love. That they carry forward her memory by living their lives. And she takes a photo with each of them as well as a group photo. We see a montage of those individual photos with each character closer to the big death day – Annie has it framed on her dresser, Jack lightly runs his fingers across the photo, Deja keeps it in a special book, etc. The group photo is in Rebecca’s room somewhere framed in the background of a shot.
Finally, wouldn’t it be nice if Kevin’s true love was simply not resolved? He pines way too much while indulging himself also too much. Wouldn’t it be nice if Kevin let go of recreating Jack’s family unit and just moved forward without his love life being the center of anything except his personal life? No more dates on his arm jokes. No more chasing the pipe dream. I honestly do not care if Kevin finds true love because his mother is dying and he’s also been a fucking asshole to Miguel. OMG, enough with Kevin.
I am so #TeamMiguel
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