03x09 - The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning

Previously on This Is Us...

The IV has worked. I'm pregnant.

You know, Randall is the one running against me for city council.

So, uh, how many voters you register?

- About .
- Ah.

You only need around, uh, , more.

I mean, pretty soon you're gonna have your first boyfriend.

Or... girlfriend.

Or girlfriend.

He gave me her necklace, right?
That means something.

I'm gonna go to Vietnam and I'm gonna figure out my dad's story.

Jack, that really you?

I'm gonna get you out of here.

(LAUGHS)

You got two weeks.

You should have left me to rot.

JACK: Everybody in?

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

♪ I am an old woman ♪

♪ Named after my mother ♪

Nicky. Come on.

♪ My old man is another child that's grown old ♪

JACK: Come on.

♪ If dreams were lightning ♪

♪ And thunder were desire ♪

♪ This old house would've burnt down ♪

♪ A long time ago ♪

JACK: Roger that, sir.

I'm-I'm aware you said two weeks.

I was hoping you'd be a little flexible with...

Oh, no, no. No, it's...

Sir, if I just had a few extra days, I...

Affirmative.

Out.

♪ Of an old rodeo ♪

♪ To believe in this living... ♪

Hey. I've been looking everywhere for you.

Yeah, I didn't really feel like being found.

Okay, well, come on.
I want to take you someplace.

No, thanks.

Hey, Nicky, I...

I know it must be a lot for you right now without any drugs in your system to push it all down. I...

That's an astute observation, Dr. Pearson.

It really is, but unless you got any military business with me, I'm gonna be on my way.

Hey, hey, hey.

Stop.

Stop. Just stop.

(GRUNTS)

(GROANS)

That feel good, huh?

I got hours left with you, kid.

That's all.

hours, then you are back on your own base.

And I don't know what after that.

Where did you want to take me, again?

KEVIN: Okay, the rain finally stopped.

This is good. We should be able to get to the village by tomorrow.

- Maybe.
- Yeah.

Or maybe the roads will still be blocked and we'll have to go the next day or the next.

Just try and go with the flow.

Right. Yeah. Just, you know... go with the flow.

Just... except that's impossible.

This is excruciating, you know.

Like, we're miles away from where my dad served, and we're trapped here.

You know, it's like we're stuck in one of those

Netflix documentaries, like the pizza bomber one, you know?

Where they just unraveling all the clues.

And then you have to watch, right?

'Cause you're at the last episode.

The one where you finally find out who the woman wearing my dad's necklace in the photo was, and how he met her and just, you know, all of it.

The thing about documentaries is, you can't force them to end the way you want them to.

I-I know.

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

TRUNG: Hello, Mr. Pearson.

- Hey.
- I wanted to bring a complimentary breakfast to my favorite guest.

- That's very nice. Thank you so much.
- Oh, wow. Thank you.

And-and I don't want you to think that I forgot about that shirtless selfie that you wanted for your sister.

I'm gonna do that for you tomorrow.

I have good news for you.

The roads are finally clear from the rains.

I can take you on the tour of Sông Trà tomorrow.

- Great. That'd be wonderful, thank you.
- Great.

Okay. I'll have the car ready at : a.m., which means...

Shirtless selfie at : . Yeah. Got it.

No problem. Thank you.

Manny nói gi!

- Ah.
- Manny nói gi!

- I'm not gonna do it.
- (ZOE LAUGHS)

DR. JASPER: Okay, so your ultrasound just now looks great.

Second one in a row.

Also, your NIPT results came back normal.

No chromosomal abnormalities.

The test also reveals the s*x of the baby.

Do you want to know what it is?

Uh... I say let's wait.

- We can be surprised.
- Yeah.

DR. JASPER: Surprise it is.

Now the less fun news.

This job you mentioned, the singing telegrams.

Adele-o-grams.
I sing Adele as a telegram.

- Right.
- (QUIETLY): Adele-o-gram.

You mentioned that has you driving a lot, sometimes to places a couple hours away.

Yeah. Is that a problem, or...?

I don't love you sitting that much.

Your blood pressure is still higher than I'd like.

But of course, I can't tell you to quit your job.

RANDALL: Copacetic.

ANNIE: Copacetic.

C-O-P-A-C-E-T-I-C.

Oh, dang, girl.

You are gonna demolish this spelling bee. Way to go.

Hey, Randall, can I talk to you for a minute?

(WHISPERING): Busted.

Night, baby.

- Night, Dad.
- I love you.

Love you, too.

(DOOR CLOSES)

You have a debate with Sol Brown tomorrow and you haven't gone over any of your talking points all day.

I'm off the campaign one week and you're slipping?

You know you didn't have to leave.

Yes, I did.

And it was best for the both of us.

And you apologized profusely with chocolate.

- Hmm.
- Now you need to practice.

I'll quiz you.

You sure you don't mind helping me?

I'm happy to help... in an unofficial, like, best-wife-in-the-world capacity.

Oh, I love that capacity.

That's my favorite capacity. (MUMBLES)

Night, Tess.

- Night.
- Hey, Tess.

Remember, Grandma's picking you up tomorrow after gymnastics to take you to meet us at the debate.

- Fine.
- Good night, sweet pea.

That pea has not been as sweet as usual.

Yeah. Something's up with her.

DEJA: Okay, I got to go.

Yeah, they make us go to bed mad early.

All right, love you, too, Mom.

Bye.

Deja calls her mom?

I had no idea. That's news to me.

I didn't know they were back in touch.

Ooh, we should talk to her.

I mean, let her know it's okay if they're communicating, but we should be kept in the loop, right?

- Yeah, but... Wait, hold on, hold on.
- What?

We have to think about how to do this.

And you need to focus on this debate.

This family is not gonna be the thing that keeps you from succeeding tomorrow.

This family lifts each other up.

- (SIGHS)
- You hear me?

Do I hear you?

You're my favorite sound in the world.

- Of course I hear you.
- Don't be soft, man. Come on.

- City taxes and statistics.
- Yes, ma'am.

This is the spot.

Out here war feels far away.

Still there, though.

Yeah, but look, look how tiny the ville looks from here, you know, when you get a little bit of distance from it.

That's what this war's gonna be for you.

For us.

Just a... distant memory.

So we do our tour, we stay alive, and then we get the hell outta here.

But we can't do that if you don't stay focused on the mission.

Mission is to kill.

No, Nicky.

Mission is to get home.

(SIGHS)

TRUNG: No vehicles can pass through.

We have to walk the rest of the way.

Wow, it's beautiful here.

Your father's camp's a little beyond this ridge here.

Yeah?

My Uncle Nick served here as well.

- th Infantry.
- Mm-hmm.

- Died over here, actually.
- Oh. I'm so sorry.

Listen, there's, uh, this woman in one of these old photographs.

- Mm-hmm.
- That's my dad here.

You think there's a chance she might still be there?

There's one man who was there during the war when he was a young boy.

He's a local historian of sorts.

He's agreed to speak with you today.

- Really?
- Uh-huh.

Next episode begins in five, four, three...

- 'Cause it's Netflix.
- Got it.

Maybe you could walk to your Adele-o-grams, and only say yes to the really close gigs.

I can't be that picky, Madison.

I mean, there aren't many people looking to pay a random woman to dress up as Adele and sing for them.

And I know that stopping is the right thing to do.

But my job was the one thing that I had to relieve stress during the pregnancy.

So let's fix this.

We just have to find you another job you love that doesn't have you stuck in a car for hours.

Oh, my God, I just had one of those things that happens to drunks.

- What's it called?
- A hangover?

A moment of clarity.

Martin Van Buren.

Listen, these are tumultuous times,

- but I'm not running for president.
- No.

I volunteer at Van Buren High downtown.

They need a chorus teacher, like, ASAP.

Mr. Fitch got hit by a bus.

- Oh, no.
- No, he's fine.

He was in another bus.
Two buses ran into each other.

I'm e-mailing Principal Griffith right now.

We are super tight, and they are gonna love you.

♪ And those are three words you never say. ♪

Okay, remember, we want to stay focused on personal stories out there, okay?

Keep the facts and figures bite-size, Randall.

- Yeah.
- COURTEOUS: C-O...

JAE-WON: Hey.
- RANDALL: Hmm?

Facts and figures bite-size. Say it.

Hey, what's going on with you over there?

Your Insta story blowing up or something?

BETH: Hey, Jae-won, would you mind taking the girls to their seats for me?

Of course. Come on, ladies.

minutes, folks.

Annie, can you spell "career defining moment"?

Close your eyes.

- Beth, I'm trying to...
- Close your eyes.

(EXHALES)

I want you to see yourself going out there and killing it.

You are prepared, you're wearing the hell out of that suit and you were born to do this.

Whatever they throw at you, I want you to return it.

Like Serena.

You are fierce, dignified and in top form.

Can you see it?

I'm mostly just seeing Serena Williams in that catsuit, but yes... no, thank you.

I can see it.

Good.

REBECCA: I'm very excited about seeing your dad on that debate stage.

I'm actually kind of nervous.

Even though I don't have to do anything but sit there and watch. (CHUCKLES)

Oh...

How's the school year treating you?

- It's fine.
- Yeah?

Middle school.

I remember middle school.

My God, the time I spent worried about pimples.

(CHUCKLES)

But you're doing okay?

You don't have any issues?

Aunt Kate told you.

Told me what?

(SIGHS)

She did.

Did she tell my parents?

No, of course she didn't, sweetheart.

No... and I promise she only told me because she's across the country and she just wanted someone to look out for you that was close by.

That's it.

You know, things today are very different than they used to be.

I mean, even ten years ago, my good friends Jim and Paul

- were trying to get...
- Grandma, I don't want to talk about it.

If I wanted to talk about it with you, I would've told you.

Okay.

I'm sorry. I understand...

(LAUGHS)

So the first solo, the entire school is staring at me.

And I think it was "Fly Away Home" or "I Believe I Can Fly."

I don't remember. Somebody was flying.

Anyhow, so I step forward, open my mouth and I completely blanked.

- No.
- Yes.

And so, of course, I just sing the first thing that comes to mind: "Wind Beneath My Wings."

- Also flying.
- Also flying. Right.

Look, um, high school was pretty tough for me.

But chorus was the one thing that I had to look forward to every day.

So I would just love to be that person for these kids.

You know, I could give them a place where they...

Look, Kate, I think you'd be great.

- You do?
- So let's talk about your background.

- Okay.
- Where'd you go to college?

Uh, the School of Hard Knocks, class of ' ?

You don't have a college degree?

No. I mean, I...

I went, but I just never finished.

I'm so sorry.

I just can't bring on anybody without a college degree.

(FADING): State regulation...

So even just changing that number by three percent gets us to solvent in two years.

So to answer your question, Alicia, efficiency in how we deal with revenue is a huge issue.

Our moderator's name is Elisa.

WTUV's illustrious : anchor.

Uh, excuse me.
I-I knew that. I misspoke.

Uh, maybe you have to live here to get the pronunciation.

(APPLAUSE)

Okay, I-I listen to your show every night, Elisa.

On his way home to Alpine, New Jersey.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, I don't have to tell you, but Professor Pearson's math lecture was a long-winded way of saying he'll raise your taxes.

No, that's not... that's not what I said.

So no tax hike? You can guarantee that?

RANDALL: I'm saying if we invest

- in our community...
- Thank you.

I'm glad you brought up investing in our community, because it's something that's very important to me.

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

Oh, how's it going? Yeah.

(INSECTS TRILLING)

(GRUNTS)

(PANTING)

(ROOSTER CROWING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

(IMITATES GUNSHOT)

What are you doing?

Are you high?

Where'd you get it from?

You know, it doesn't matter.

I'm gonna get you cleaned up again.

Get that out of your system.
Come on. Stand up.

Stand up. Come on. Get up.

- No, no.
- Come on.

No. I don't want to get clean, Jack.

I see it all again when I'm clean.

I'm not gonna complete the mission.

Don't follow me.

I was actually really excited about the idea of being a chorus teacher.

All because of eight freaking credits.

Maybe you're just not supposed to be working right now... he said in the most supportive way possible, not meaning it all and regretting it instantly.

So you're glad that I didn't get it.

No, of course not. I just think that maybe you should just take this time to relax.

Toby, I can't relax.

I need to have other things going on in my life.

I can't just sit around waiting for this baby to come because I just I don't believe it's actually ever coming.

Come on. The ultrasounds have been good, you're doing great.

Everything is gonna be fine.

So why don't we want to know the s*x of the baby?

Because we like surprises.

Tobe, we hate surprises.

Do you remember Madison's birthday, when that guy jumped out of the cake and you peed a little?

Okay, human beings are not supposed to be in baked goods.

Admit it. We don't want to know if it's a boy or girl because we're terrified.

And we don't want to talk about it because we're terrified.

Kate...

You know, let's forget it.

Let's eat.

RANDALL: And then there were the bus stops that used to run through our district that just disappeared.

And Sol Brown did nothing about it.

Once again, Randall Pearson has his facts about me wrong.

No, all due respect, I've seen my tenants return home bone tired after walking miles from work.

And that's a fact.

They wanted to eliminate the entire route.

I convinced SEPTA to consolidate a few stops instead so the people would have something instead of nothing.

- (APPLAUSE)
- Did you know that?

No, I did not.

Well, I'm sure it's hard to keep abreast all the way from Alpine.

- (LAUGHTER)
- It's again with the Alpine, man, you...

(EXHALES)

Look, you all... you all have seen my flyer.

You know that I was adopted by a white family in Pittsburgh.

With all due respect, I'm not sure what your upbringing has to do with balancing city budgets or taxes.

Actually, it has everything to do with it.

- Actually, it doesn't.
- No, but actually it does.

Now, you got to say your piece, brother Brown.

Give me a chance to say mine, if you would.

(APPLAUSE)

As I was saying, I was adopted by a white family in Pittsburgh.

I know what it's like to have people look at you like you don't belong, to overlook you, to underestimate you. To...

(SLOW CLAP)

(SCATTERED LAUGHTER)

Is this all just to tell us you're the best candidate

'cause you were overlooked as a kid?

I'm not the best candidate because I'm overlooked,

Mr. Brown, I'm the best candidate because the th district is.

(WHOOPING, APPLAUDING)

Now, you've all been overlooked, taken for granted, underestimated by this councilman, who thinks he can ignore you until it's election time, and then announce some initiative from up on this stage, like he's some...

- (RANDALL SIGHS)
- (HUSHED MURMURING)

You know what?

(EXHALES SHARPLY)

I've been reading the minutes from the last four city council public meetings, okay?

Last November, Elaine Wallace complained about the water in her son's school.

- Right? Yes.
- AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes. Yeah.

And Sol said he'd look into it.

That was over a year ago.

James Wallace told him that his snow wasn't getting plowed.

He couldn't even make it to work.

He came back to complain three more times.

- Damn right, I said it.
- Thank you, sir.

Helen Farmer couldn't get a ten-month-old pothole fixed.

Grace Wright couldn't get an access ramp at her building.

The list is endless.

The "I'll look into its" are endless.

(AGREEING MURMURS)

I, uh...

This is a complicated job, and I will have a lot to learn.

But I can promise you this.

I will never let them take eight of your bus stops

just because they leave you with three.

(CHEERING)

I will fight side by side with you for better schools, fair housing and for more jobs.

I will fight to make sure that your snow gets plowed in the winter, and if it doesn't, I will do more than just "look into it."

I swear to God that I will show up, and I will shovel it with you.

(CHEERING)

Take a chance on me.

Take a chance on the man with the shovel.

Take a chance! Take a chance!

Take a chance. Take a chance.

Ah. That was wonderful food. Right, Kev?

- Ex... Wonderful. Excellent.
- (SPEAKS VIETNAMESE)

Um, I'd really like to show you something, if that's okay.

(TRUNG TRANSLATING IN VIETNAMESE)

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

- Is that man your father?
- Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That's my dad. Um, he spent some time here in this village

- when he was in Vietnam.
- Hmm.

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

His father used to sneak in the fence every week to visit him and his mother.

Your father was VC?

VC.

Our fathers fought each other.

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

You recognize him?

No. No.

Well, uh, what about her, huh?

My father never spoke of her, but he's got all these photographs of her.

Do you recognize her?

He does not know her.
She does not live here.

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

Yeah.

What's-what's this?

You make American television.

- Make people laugh.
- Mm.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Something like that. I do...

Do-do you... Are you sure?
One more look, you don't...

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

My father was an actor of sorts.

That is, he was very good at pretend.

When he would sneak back to visit, he never told us he was a soldier, off fighting a deadly war.

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

He would say he was off exploring distant lands.

Fantasy lands.

Other worlds.

He would describe magical places he had been.

Places where the sky was green and animals spoke.

(CHUCKLES)

He was a good actor. Maybe like you.

(SPEAKING VIETNAMESE)

Our fathers were enemies, but they were not so different.

They both hid their war stories.

They both pretended to be okay for their children.

Mm.

And now, here we sit, happy, healthy, sharing a meal in a place where our fathers once fought.

It may not be the answer you're looking for, but maybe it's the answer to something bigger.

Yeah. Maybe.

Thank you.

There you go.
Sorry, this is my last one.

Wow. I can't believe we handed out all those fliers.

Yeah.

Ooh... (SIGHS)

Ooh.

I have this pain in my wrist.

And my neck.

And my back.

Ugh, I've had it since I was in my s.

(SIGHS)

I have this theory that I used to keep all of my emotions so bottled up that... it started to affect my body.

I lost a child.

I buried that real deep.

I never talked about it, ever.

And I kept some secrets from my husband, too.

And from your father. (SIGHS)

But you know that.

I'm not proud of that.

At first, it started out with... a headache, or an upset stomach.

But eventually, oh, I started to ache all the way into my bones.

And I don't want that for you, sweetheart.

I'm not saying that you have to go and have a conversation you're not ready to have.

You talk to your parents when you decide the time is right.

You're my first grandbaby, and I love you so much.

I just don't want you to become an old woman, like me, carrying around ibuprofen in your purse like candy.

Welcome to Harvard.

Or the Harvard of the San Fernando Valley, aka Encino Community College.

What are we doing here?

Well... (SIGHS)

...you've always said that you wanted to finish school.

I think the time is now.

Look, I-I know that we're terrified, but not buying into this pregnancy isn't gonna make it any less scary, and it's not gonna make it hurt any less if something goes wrong.

You're right, it won't.

Kate, we're gonna be parents.

We have six months to jump a bunch of hurdles before our life becomes consumed by poop and naps.

And do not say that my life is already consumed by poop and naps, even though it is.

(CHUCKLES)

Look, you get this degree, and I think it closes a loop for you that's been open for far too long.

Better yet, I think it makes you smile.

And when you smile, the world is a better place. See?

The world just got a little better.

And that is the smile I want us to have when we talk about our kid from now on.

That's the smile our kid is going to inherit from you.

Our kid...

(CHUCKLES)

...who is coming, safely and in good health.

Okay?

So, what do you say?

Hmm.

Where's the bursar's office?

What's a bursar?

The person that you pay to enroll.

Mm... I don't think that's a word.

Yes, it's a word.

I don't have a college degree, and I know that.

You Serena'd the crap out of that debate.

(LAUGHING)

Mwah.

- I kind of did, didn't I?
- Mm-hmm.

Yeah, you really did.

I'm hearing lots of positive feedback.

- Great.
- Mm-hmm.

All right, so why are you guys staring at me like my breath stinks?

(CHUCKLES)

While you were up there, I got the results, uh... from the most recent poll.

Um, I'm sorry, Randall, unfortunately, Brown is too far ahead.

More than we expected, by a lot.

But you saw the people in here.

And the election's not for weeks.

We don't have the time.

You're not gonna win this one, Randall.

The numbers aren't there.

I'm sorry.

Huh.

Annie passed out on a pile of flashcards.

Just said good night to Tess, still can't get more than two words out of her.

- Deja?
- Sulking in her room.

- No. Deja.
- Oh, hey. (CHUCKLES)

I want to go see my mom.

She lives in Delaware and she has a job and I would like to go visit her.

If that's okay.

Okay.

BETH: We'll figure it out.

We'll look at our calendars and find a time when one of us can take you.

Okay. Thanks.

- Good night.
- RANDALL: Night, Dej.

- That is gonna be...
- Complicated.

TESS: Mom? Dad?

It's like an adolescent girl conveyor belt in here.

You okay, honey? What's up, honey?

Nothing. Um...

It's just...

I'm sorry I've been so weird lately.

I just...

I feel uncomfortable around you guys all of a sudden.

I have a stomachache all the time.

- I don't want to keep secrets.
- Oh, hey.

It's okay. You can tell us.

Um...

People, um, at school have been having crushes and stuff.

And lots of girls have boyfriends, but I don't want one.

That's perfectly okay.
You know, in fact, it's long been a dream of mine that you never, ever...

It's because I think I might like girls, not boys.

But I don't know.

Maybe I don't.

It's just... I didn't want to tell you guys because I didn't want it to become a thing.

RANDALL: Hey, Tess. Tess.

Listen.

We're your parents. We're here to help you.

- I know...
- In a very cool, laid-back kind of way, without it becoming a thing.

We love you no matter what, okay?

Look at me.

You see me?

Look at your dad.

You see him?

Do you see anything other than two people who love you more than any two people could ever love anyone in the entire world?

Okay.

Thanks.

Um...

I don't really want to talk about it anymore.

- Not right now, anyway.
- Okay. Cool.

But if you change your mind, we're here.

Night, Tess.

And I thought I wasn't gonna have wine tonight.

(RANDALL CHUCKLES)

Thanks.

I don't know if I saw that one coming. Did you?

Nope.

You know, I'm sorry about the campaign, baby.

But maybe this is a blessing, you know,

- that-that it's over.
- Hey.

You know what they say, it's not over till it's over.

Sorry, babe, but it-it feels like it's over.

But he didn't say I should drop out.

Not in those words, but...

Tess is going through some major stuff right now.

And Deja wants to reconnect with her mom.

I wanted this for you, babe.

You know I did.

I agreed to stretch our finances to pay for the campaign, I-I took on more around the house in the thick of my job search.

But things are getting really complicated and I-I can't afford to have you off chasing some impossible dream.

I made promises to a community, Beth.

You told me that, if at any point

I wasn't on board with you running, you would stop.

I am no longer on board with you running.

I understand.

And I love you.

And this family will always be my priority.

But I need to see this through, Beth.

Damn, Randall. (SCOFFS)

Maybe you can't win this campaign, but... you sure did learn how to talk like a politician.

Listen, I'm sorry I dragged you all the way out here for... well, for nothing.

- For nothing?
- Yeah.

Kevin, w... we went to the same place your father fought a war.

We-we walked the same land he walked.

That has to count for something, doesn't it?

I could've handled an unpredictable ending.

You know? But I...

I didn't think I'd go home with nothing.

Well, maybe it's not the ending.

Maybe we're just in the middle.

Hey, Doc. You seen my brother?

Negative, Sarge.

Hey.

- You guys seen Nicky?
- No, Sarge.

- No?
- Sorry, Sarge.

(EXPLOSION)

Ready?

You let your mom know we're on the way?

I'll call her from the car.

Okay.

Two, three, four, five, six.
One, two, one, two.

Three, four, five, six...

Hey, boss. Tess called.

- Says they're on the way.
- Okay, yeah.

We're all going to see Randall's mother.

Oh, did you bring the Pin The Tail On The Donkey from my office? Thank you.

I promised I'd bring it.

- And up.
- Yes. Nice adjustment, dancers.

TOBY: How do the people at the bakery

know what we're gonna have?

Dr. Jasper's office calls and tells them the gender.

It's, like, a thing people do.

Huh. What a world.

Okay.

- Okay.
- Ready?

(TOBY EXHALES)

Oh, my God, it's a boy.

- Blue means boy?
- Blue means boy.

- We're having a boy.
- (LAUGHS)

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Murillo, what happened?!

A boat exploded. I think one of our guys was on it!

I was going to suggest something you could bring home from here, perhaps to lay on your war memorial for your uncle one day.

But I must've misheard because none of your family died in the war.

My Uncle Nick did.

He died over here in the war.

Hmm.

Whoa, hold on, so what-what is "hmm"?

What's "hmm" mean?

I went to a database for the war memorial.

Nicholas Pearson. th Infantry.

His name's not there.

He might be dead, but he didn't die here in Vietnam.

Not in the war, anyway.