Kevin can’t seem to catch a break.
On This Is Us Season 5 Episode 7, he rushed off the set when he learned Madison was in labor, just to lose his ID while helping rescue an injured man from a burning car.
Our TV Fanatics Carissa Pavlica, Christine Orlando, Sarah Little, and Jack Ori discuss whether Kevin did the right thing, whether we liked the twist of him turning out not to be the one involved in the accident, and all other things This Is Us.
Rate the twist of Kevin not being the person involved in the accident from 1 (I totally saw this lame twist coming) to 10 (I was flabbergasted.)
Carissa: I think lame and flabbergasted are similar terms, so I’m not sure how to rate on your scale.
However, I was relieved. That’s a trope used too often, and allowing Kevin to make a tough decision for the right reasons was a much better option.
Christine: I’ll give it at least a 7.
I did not see that coming, but I liked the twist.
I wish Joshua Malina (the accident victim) had a more significant role because I’m a fan.
But Kevin losing his ID as he rescued the man was a heartbreaker. He was trying so hard to get to Madison, and it just felt like the Universe was working against him.
Some days are like that.
Sarah: I didn’t see it coming either, but it also wasn’t a jaw-dropping twist that we’ll be talking about for weeks to come, so I’ll give it a 6.
I liked Kevin’s role in the car accident, however, and that it showed how much he truly is like his father. He’s always actively trying to be like Jack when he’s already there.
Leaving his ID at the spot of the accident sure was tragic, though. He needs to catch a break!
Jack: I’ll give it a 7.
Like Carissa, I was relieved they didn’t go that way. Like Sarah, I didn’t think it was a particularly jaw-dropping twist, like when Rebecca’s disorientation was part of a different timeline than we were led to believe.
Was Kevin right to walk off the set and later quit the movie altogether when he learned Madison was in labor?
Carissa: He quit when they disrespected his parenting decision.
If that were a woman in labor, nobody would have been suggesting she ease on back to set, and they’ll deal with her water breaking some other day.
Kevin told them his children were on the way, and they didn’t care. Who wants to work for them?
And, frankly, that director was a selfish and rude ass from the getgo, so let him scramble, wasting Bob DeNiro’s time, too. HA!! Unlucky, sucker.
Christine: Yes. It was a tough call because it played a significant role in his career, and walking off the set left many people in the lurch. He could get sued for breach of contract.
But it really bugged me that no one seemed to give a damn that his twins were being born six weeks early.
Obviously, no one in a position of power (the director, Kevin’s agent) was a parent, or at least not a good one. Kevin did the right thing, but he may have to suffer the consequences for it.
Sarah: Kevin was prioritizing his family over his career, which is always the right call.
Like Christine, I am worried about what this might mean for Kevin and his future. But I am proud of him for standing his ground and for doing what he believes is right.
Jack: Agreed with all the above. It was definitely the right call, and that director has been obnoxious from the beginning.
I do hope that Kevin will be able to move forward in his career despite this, though. This movie wasn’t the right fit for him, period, but it could have opened doors for him.
What did you think was the biggest parallel between young Jack’s story and young Kevin’s story?
Carissa: I just thought the story was about Kevin coming to terms with his father being there for him more than he realized and wanting to be that same kind of parent for his kids.
He remembered that his dad fought for him in his own way, and that spoke to Kevin.
Christine: Sometimes, we pressure our kids without realizing it.
Jack’s father was too drunk or emotionally stunted to have any concept of that. At least Jack figured out what he was doing, with the best of intentions, and was able to talk to Kevin about it and change his behavior.
Jack’s father would never have done any of that.
Sarah: I agree with Christine! While it was more obvious that Jack’s father was pressuring Jack with baseball, Jack was still doing the same thing with Kevin and football.
But we all know that Jack is a good man and good father, so he could recognize his faults, whereas Jack’s father could be downright cruel.
Kevin wants to be there for every minute of his kids’ life because that’s how he remembers Jack. To what degree do you think he is putting Jack on a pedestal, and how will this desire impact his relationship with Madison and the kids?
Carissa: I don’t think that’s what happened at all.
I don’t think Kevin had the greatest impression of his childhood. He saw his parents doting on Randall and Kate, but now he realizes they were there for him, too, but it wasn’t as easy to see when he was a kid.
I don’t think it will be anything but good for his relationship with his children and, hopefully, with Madison, whether they wind up together or not.
Christine: The entire family puts Jack on a pedestal. I wish we could have heard Rebecca on that phone call. I’m curious as to what she wanted to tell Kevin about Jack as a husband.
Kevin wanting to mirror his father will have both wonderful and not so wonderful consequences.
In part, I’m sure he will drive Madison a little crazy, but I’m hoping the two of them will work that out.
They both want to be the best parents possible. With any luck, that will bind them together and not tear them apart.
Sarah: That’s one of the recurring themes on the show, that they all paint Jack in this godly light when he had his faults.
At the end of the day, the kids remember him so fondly because he was there, so I think Kevin thinks that as long as he’s there for his twins, then he can be a good father.
Of course, that’s not all parenting is, so I’m sure he’s going to get a wake-up call pretty soon. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see him navigate being a father.
Jack: I think it’s great that Kevin wants to be there for his kids, but I’m worried he may put too much pressure on himself to be the perfect father.
Jack certainly was far from perfect, but he did the best he could for his kids. That’s what Kevin needs to realize as he embarks upon his own parenting journey.
Randall called Madison, welcomed her to the family, and kept her company on the phone while Kevin was trying to get on a flight. React!
Carissa: I’m glad that Randall and Beth connected with Madison that way.
I only hope that Kevin takes it for what it was and that he and everyone else can be cool about the situation without thinking that Randall was there for Madison when Kevin wasn’t.
That worried me, but surely, that can’t be the route they’re going, right?
Christine: Madison is family now. Even if she and Kevin never get married, she is the mother of two Pearsons, and that means something.
Madison was feeling all alone, and with a single phone call, Randall and Beth helped alleviate that. Sometimes just reaching out can mean a lot.
Sarah: I was teary-eyed throughout the episode, but Randall and Beth’s call is what broke me.
It was so unexpected and yet so heartwarming.
It meant the world to Madison, who felt so alone at that moment, thinking that she didn’t have a family.
And, if I’m being honest, this scene made me jump aboard the Madison train. Welcome to the family!
Jack: I’m with Sarah on this: this was a super emotional moment.
For me, it was so moving for Randall to reach out to Madison that way because he’s had this huge rift with Kevin.
Acting like part of the same family as Kevin is a big step for Randall. I hope it leads to positive things, and I agree with Carissa that we don’t need or want Kevin to be resentful.
Discuss anything not covered above.
Carissa: I noticed Madison had a clear case on her phone like mine. That’s interesting, right?
About Kevin leaving the movie, there will be many people who consider what he did heroic — not just saving a man from a burning car but putting his career aside for his family.
Too many in that business put their careers over their family, and if Kevin can be different, he’ll eventually find people who want to work with him on his schedule.
Another TV show would be good for him, especially in covid times. Shorter hours and near home.
Christine: I really felt for Madison.
Going into labor for the first time is stressful and scary. Having to do it completely alone, six weeks early with twins, and during a pandemic…I can’t even imagine.
I thought she was holding it together pretty darn well, considering all of that.
But now I’m very curious how long it will take Kevin to make it to her and the twins.
I wonder if he can charter a flight without ID because driving from Seattle to LA takes about 18 hours, and Kevin must already be exhausted. I can’t wait to see how all of this is resolved.
Sarah: Am I the only one who was shocked that Kate and Toby’s surrogate is already giving birth?
Maybe I remember wrong, but I feel like she wasn’t that far along.
Either way, how adorable is it that Kate’s baby and Kevin’s babies will be born on the same day or at least within days of each other? The next Big Three, anyone?
Jack: There’s been a lot of talk online about how Kevin should have had a passport too and/or chartered a plane. I hope he finds a way to get to Madison quickly.
And I agree with Sarah: Kevin and Kate’s babies being born simultaneously is amazing.
I also wonder how being born six weeks early will affect the twins and how that might tie in to little Jack’s having special needs related to his premature birth.
If the twins have few or no delays, Kate and Toby might have mixed feelings, which could be interesting to explore.
What was your favorite scene, storyline, or quote from this week’s This Is Us?
Carissa: Kevin putting his foot down and walking off the set when they disrespected his desire to be with Madison to welcome his kids into the world. That wasn’t easy to do.
I hope Madison knows how hard he fought for their family.
Christine: I loved Jack confronting Kevin’s coach.
It’s too easy for coaches to bully and abuse kids without consequence. I appreciated that Jack didn’t get violent and didn’t threaten the man but made it clear his behavior was unacceptable and wouldn’t be tolerated.
Sometimes a direct stare and a firm voice can say a lot without putting anything more into words.
Sarah: My favorite scene was definitely the one between Jack and Kevin while they were sitting at the bar.
It’s so rare that we get to see Jack open up like that, and especially to Kevin.
I hope we get to see more scenes between the two of them going forward because I think they have one of the most interesting dynamics on the show.
Jack: All of the above! I also liked teenage Jack snapping at his father to shut up. I’m sure everyone was thinking it, and it seemed like his father respected him more for standing up to him.
That was an interesting contrast with the way adult Jack handled the coach being verbally abusive toward Kevin, which I also loved for the same reasons Christine did.
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.