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Review: ‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Episode 5

THIS IS US — “Toby” Episode 304 — Pictured: Chris Sullivan as Toby Damon — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
Ron Batzdorff/NBC
After last week’s detour to Vietnam, this week’s episode ‘Toby’ brought us up to speed on everything happening back in the present. Toby fights his depression as he and Kate await news regarding their pregnancy. Kevin begins to learn the truth about his father’s experience in Vietnam. While in the past, Miguel’s attempts to take care of the Pearsons are brought into view as he tries to impart wisdom on Randall and cares for a drunk Kevin.

In the present Randall starts his campaign off with a fizzle as his first event turns ugly when he starts speaking against the community-favorite incumbent. The man Randall is running against has supported members of this community for years and many consider him a friend first. This is juxtaposed with Randall’s experiences on prom night in the past as he an unwelcome outsider in both situations. Beth doesn’t fare much better at her first job interview in 12 years. She breaks down and cries when speaking about her former employer.

Toby’s struggle with his depression reaches a head as he’s gone weeks without his medication. Last week’s near-confession to Randall makes Toby’s deterioration that much more tragic for us as he tried to reach out. Toby’s past struggles with depression are also explored and add a new depth to the character. No new insight is really learned on Katie’s part but the role of music is her life is reinforced. Scenes with her mother in the past show how she used music to deal with sadness.

Finally, Kevin begins to unravel the truth behind his father’s experience in Vietnam from a man who served with him. The episode doesn’t show us anything we didn’t see last week however, it did end with the cliffhanger that Jack may have had a relationship with a woman in Vietnam. Kevin is given a picture showing Jack with a woman wearing the necklace Jack gave to Kevin.

Overall, ‘Toby’ is one of the stronger episodes of the season. It hits the emotional tone the show has become known for and tackles some of the toughest issues of the season.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays on NBC.

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Review: ‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Episode 5


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