This is Us S1 E4: Recap

23 June 2017
Recap This is Us Season 1 Episode 4: The Pool

The show is currently available via DStv Catch Up on the following platforms DStv Catch Up on your PVR, DStv Explora, Catch Up Plus on Exploras connected to the internet, and Catch Up on DStv Now online.

Episode four reveals that old habits die hard for the Pearson siblings. Here’s your quick recap:


In 1989, a heatwave hits Pittsburgh, and everyone’s pretty hot and irritable until Jack comes in and takes off his pants to reveal a swimsuit underneath. Kate enters wearing a bikini and the plan is suddenly obvious: the family are heading to the pool for the day.

At the crowded community pool, Rebecca has a myriad of concerns about the kids: Kevin has developed an angry attitude towards Randall and his parents, Kate’s bikini is drawing attention for all the wrong reasons and Randall has a troublesome rash that Rebecca can’t seem to figure out - in fact, there are a lot of things about Randall that these parents don’t seem to understand.

Things come to a head when Randall goes missing and a panicked Rebecca eventually finds him hanging out with another black family. When one of the moms introduces herself (as Yvette) and offers advice about Randall’s rash, Rebecca gets prickly and drags her son away. Later, it dawns on her that she needs all the advice she can get about Randall, and she makes amends with Yvette - even arranging playdates for their kids.

At a restaurant in the present, Toby runs into his ex-wife. Kate is aghast: the woman, Josie, is slim, gorgeous and fabulous and her complete opposite. She stalks this woman online and decides to scope her out at the store she owns. Unfortunately, Josie mistakes her for a potential employee and Kate’s stalking quickly turns into an impromptu job interview. Back at the pool in the past, Kate’s upset after getting a nasty note from some mean girls from school - they don’t want to play with her. Jack is incensed and later chats to a subdued Kate, telling her a fantastical story and convincing her that it’s okay to be whoever she wants to be. She thanks him and decides to be a princess, now feeling much better.

In the present, when Kate fesses up to Toby about her stalking, she gets some insight into his life that pretty much explains it all: his ex-wife cheated on him, lied to him and his weight gain and consequential depression made him a mess. Once they talk it out, Kate understands that they’re both going through life with their own set of burdens. At least they have each other to figure it out.

Kevin gets his first Broadway audition but it doesn’t go as well as he expects. After getting lost for the umpteenth time in New York, he bumps into the snooty actress, Olivia, from his audition and they end up having a drink together. She offers him some “friendly” advice and tells him to go back to LA because it seems like theatre may be too difficult for him. A minute later they both learn that Kevin got the part and Olivia is far from happy about it.

Kevin’s anger at his parents reaches boiling point at the pool. While in the water, he crosses over to the deep end and almost drowns but manages to swim over the line in time. He looks around to see if anyone’s noticed and is livid that his parents didn’t. “You’re so busy making sure that Kate’s not eating too much and Randall’s not too adopted and meanwhile where’s Kevin?” Jack talks him down and apologises for not watching him. Jack promises Kevin that he’ll be there for him and they hug.

Randall is learning a lot about William: for one thing, his father was an activist in his younger days and that activism hasn’t left him. Unfortunately for William, Randall’s neighbourhood and kids’ school are riddled with everyday culture clashes that don’t sit right with the old man, who feels that his son doesn’t quite understand the struggle. Randall is defensive: of course he understands the struggle, though he isn’t marching through the streets or being asked to get off buses, Randall’s everyday struggles still persist and his resistance is more subtle: becoming a successful father and member of society. William gets it and says something that he should have said a long time ago: “I am so deeply sorry. I did everything wrong by you and you’ve done everything right. You are doing everything right son.”

At the community pool, the Pearson kids lie on Jack’s chest while he rests his head on Rebecca's lap, exhausted from the day’s events.

This is Us Episode 5 airs on Monday 26 June at 19:30. In episode 5, Kate (Golden Globe-nominee Chrissy Metz) reluctantly includes Toby in a football ritual but soon reaches breaking point when he asks a friend to join them.

Learn more about This Is Us, by checking out the show page here.

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