THIS IS US delicately weaves three main tales: one of race relations, one of of self-esteem issues, and one of overall family relationships. Each of these are equally important and equally relatable to our own lives today.
In tonight’s all new episode, THIS IS US brings race issues to the forefront with an episode titled “The Pool”. With their air conditioner broken, Rebecca and Jack take Kevin, Kate and Randall to the community pool. When Randall disappears and is found playing with other African-American children, one of the mothers tries to tell Rebecca about sending Randall to a barber who knows how to cut African-American hair. As you can imagine, Rebecca doesn’t take too kindly to the insinuation that her one son is different, particularly when it becomes clear that Randall would like to play with children who more closely resemble him. This is all a set-up for what’s happening in the present day as Randall learns that William spent time fighting racism in his youth. When William is mistakenly reported as a loiterer in Randall’s predominately white neighborhood, Randall makes it clear that he thinks about racism every day, even if he grew up in a white family.
Meanwhile, Kate’s body image issues haunt her in both the past and the present. Jack is encouraging of young Kate’s new bikini, but the other young girls at the pool make fun of her appearance. In the present day, Kate catches sight of Toby’s ex-wife, who happens to be very thin. This sends her into a spiral of self-doubt.
Finally, Kevin has arrived in New York and heads to his first audition for a Broadway play. He has a run-in with an actress who doesn’t think much of “The Manny” or his acting skills.