We got to share one final Thanksgiving with the Pearsons.
Janet’s sugar pie recipe was passed down over three generations… and so was her issue with food.
Our TV Fanatics Christine, Laura, and Jack discuss how Jane and Rebecca’s attitudes about food ended up influencing Kate’s, whether Kevin was right to butt into Toby and Kate’s argument, and what was the most poignant moment on This Is Us Season 6 Episode 7.
Janet’s obsession with being thin influenced the way that Rebecca dealt with Kate’s food issues. How do you think these two women’s influences related to Kate and Toby’s argument about Jack and food?
Christine: Janet deprived herself to stay thin, while Rebecca used food as a weapon to get back at her mother.
For Kate, you can add in how Jack used food (ice cream) as a way to bond with his daughter.
All of that, wrapped up in the emotional turmoil of Jack’s death, seems to have led to her lifelong struggle with obesity. On the flip side, we don’t really know Toby’s story with food as well, other than he was able to lose a great deal of weight.
Both Kate and Toby try to do what’s best for Jack but come at it from opposite ends, adding more stress to their already fractured marriage.
Laura: Janet deprived herself to stay thin and gave her daughter minuscule helpings of dessert.
At first, Rebecca ate anything she wanted, but then she would feed Kate differently than the boys while Jack snuck Kate ice cream and treats. Kate had a very confusing childhood centered around food and weight. It’s understandable why she doesn’t want her son to go through that.
Jack: I thought it was interesting how food issues trickled down to Kate. Rebecca tried to do the opposite of what Janet did, but the shame Kate felt when she didn’t stick to her diet reminded me of how Janet always deprived herself of food to stay thin.
I think both Kate and Toby had a point about Jack’s diet, but their lack of communication and the distance made it impossible for them to communicate, and all sorts of hurt feelings got in the way.
Miguel told Rebecca he was moving to Houston. What do you think will happen to get him and Rebecca together now?
Christine: Maybe a job brings him back, or he’s rejected by his kids.
Or maybe he misses Rebecca and decides not to let a petulant man/child scare him off from the person he loves.
I’m hoping it’s the latter.
Laura: We know they talk when Tess is born via video chat.
Was he still in Houston then, or was that the first time they’d talked since this Thanksgiving, and that was the catalyst that brought him back?
Jack: I’m hoping that Rebecca tells Miguel how she really feels, and he decides not to go to Houston. But I doubt it’s going to be that simple.
What do you think of Rebecca’s decision to have Kate handle her medical care if Miguel pre-deceases her?
Christine: It’s the right call.
If she chooses Randall or Kevin, the other will feel second best and slighted, and they’ll carry that with them forever.
Kate is her only daughter and has a special relationship with Rebecca. Both sons can see that and accept that, so this was the right call.
Laura: It’s definitely the right call since choosing her only daughter is smarter. They have a special bond, and as Christine said, the boys won’t get upset.
Jack: Agreed! Kevin and Randall had already stopped talking to each other for a while after fighting over whether Rebecca should participate in the clinical trial. Rebecca doesn’t want a big rift between them after she cannot take care of herself anymore.
It also was an important moment for Kate, I think. Kate and Rebecca often butted heads in the past, and Rebecca giving Kate her trust in her to make decisions with her best interest in mind meant a lot to Kate.
Who was more wrong during Kate and Toby’s Thanksgiving Day argument? And should Kevin have butted in and told Toby to take off the Pilgrim hat?
Christine: Kevin should NOT have butted in. It’s bad enough he’s still sleeping on their sofa when they’re having so many issues.
Kevin may not mean to, but he’s making the situation worse.
I agreed with Kate. Depriving Jack of any indulgence will only put more focus on it.
They don’t want Jack to think that sweet treats are some sort of prize or something he has to sneak. Moderation seems to be the key to healthy eating, and a spoonful of yams with marshmallows for Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t the big deal Toby made it out to be.
The sad part is that Jack is fast becoming old enough to remember these fights, and they will likely stick with him for the rest of his life.
Laura: Kevin should butt out, but that Pilgrim hat is sacred, so I get it.
I also agreed with Kate. Depriving a kid of any sweets puts more importance on it. Plus, there are always goodies around the holidays.
A spoonful of yams and marshmallows wasn’t a big deal, and seeing these fights is more damaging.
Jack: I think Kevin was trying to stand up for Kate. He didn’t like the way Toby was talking to her, so he decided to take back the Pilgrim hat.
But that just added more tension to an already volatile situation, and nobody needed that.
I also agreed with Kate. The spoonful of yams and marshmallows wasn’t a big deal and wasn’t going to lead to a lifetime of weight issues.
Toby also isn’t taking into consideration that genetics isn’t the ONLY factor contributing to weight gain. Jack might also have inherited Kate’s tendency to use food to comfort herself when she’s stressed, and if his parents are always fighting, that definitely would be stressful for him!
Discuss anything else that hasn’t been covered.
Christine: I love that Rebecca made it clear to her kids that Miguel was in charge of her care and didn’t need the added torment of having them question him at every turn. The Pearson children have been historically unkind and disrespectful to Miguel when his only fault has been to love and care for their mother.
Honestly, they’ve come across as brats more often than not, and they’re more than old enough to know better. I wish they were more thankful to have Miguel in their lives.
Secondly, Beth was a rock star, as usual. I love the way she deals with all of the Pearson drama. Her quips made me laugh no matter what the timeframe.
Laura: I agree with Christine that it was so important that Rebecca made it known that Miguel was in charge with no questions.
Jack: I also agree. Rebecca needed to make it clear that Miguel was in charge and straighten out Kevin’s need to build a guesthouse.
Rebecca’s speech was both heartbreaking and beautiful. I also loved her encouraging them not to hold themselves back because of the need to take care of her.
What was the most poignant moment, storyline, or quote on this week’s This Is Us?
Christine: Rebecca calling her children together to make sure her wishes moving forward were clear.
That took so much strength.
Rebecca is courageously living for every moment she has left, and she wants to make sure her family does the same. I wanted to walk through my TV screen and hug her.
Laura: Rebecca is so strong.
The way she told the kids that they had to keep living took guts. I was crying so much this episode.
Jack: Definitely Rebecca’s discussion with the kids.
That brought tears to my eyes.
I also liked when the younger Rebecca made up with Janet after learning that Janet was moving to Connecticut.
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST / PST.