RECAP: This Is Us Season 5 Episode 7 | “Stay In Your Lane”

One of the many, many things I like about watching This Is Us are the many ways the writers throw curve balls to the viewers. It started, of course, during the series pilot when we all discovered near the end of the episode how the timelines had been shifting right in front of our eyes. So last night, after the previews made it seem like Kevin had been involved in a car accident while on his way to be with his fiancèe Madison–who was in labor, of COURSE he wasn’t. Instead, even in his hurry, he stopped to see about a man (guest star and West Wing alum Josh Molina) whose car had run off the road. Of course he stopped. He’s Jack’s son.

That was just one of the tests with which Kevin was faced during the episode. He had to decide whether to film his highly anticipated, career altering courtroom scene with Robert DeNiro, or attempt to get to Madison and be by her side. I can’t blame the film’s director for trying to come to a compromise, telling Kevin he’d try his best to film the scene and get him out by the next morning. That wasn’t good enough for Kevin, who throughout the series can be blamed for a lot of things. Not showing up is not one of them. So he rolled out and hit the road, asking his mom and Miguel to find him a plane ticket back to LA.

There were so many times the writers faked us out, having Kevin’s rental car (that should have a Bluetooth handsfree option… Ugh!) swerve into the next lane each time he heard the phone ring or had to click over to the other line. It seems inevitable that his car would be the one in peril. Turns out, thankfully it wasn’t. That man has been through a LOT the past five seasons. Having him laid up as his twins were born would be the ultimate proverbial punch to the gut.

Seeing flashbacks of a young Jack having to learn to drive in order to get his drunk father home from a little league baseball game was typical Old Mr. Pearson, and likely a precursor to seeing how Jack dealt with alcohol all those years later. Having your kid stressed out after losing a 1-0 game was just terrible. Just like Old Mr. Pearson. It’s probably why Jack handled young Kevin’s coach the way he did, cornering him in the men’s room and letting him know that stressing his kid by calling him stupid was unacceptable. And that was word to Little Boy Blue Come Blow Your Horn, or whatever the kids are saying these days.

As Kevin lost his signal, and his wallet, while tending to the man on the side of the road, Madison grew more anxious in the hospital. When the medical staff told her that she should call a loved one to let them know what she was in for, she panicked knowing that she only had two people on that short list. And in came R&B, via incoming call, to save the day-T&T. I love how the writers handle Randall and Beth, who were also driving back from New Orleans, having them sense that Madison needed company, and keeping them on the phone with her until she was calm. Whew, I love this series.

Next week (yes, a new episode next week!!!), we’ll see if Kevin makes it on a flight to get to the hospital in time. Hopefully they’ll explain where his passport is, since he was traveling back to America from Canada, but I digress. And we’ll see what else happens during the pregnancies. Yes, pregnancies. Madison, and the surrogate for Kate and Toby, are both due. Oh, baby(s). Stay tuned.

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