Turns out, the Pearsons aren't the perfect family after all.
Tuesday's episode of This Is Us picks up one month after the fall finale, with the family going to visit Kevin (Justin Hartley) in the rehab facility where he was ordered to check in after his DUI arrest. (Naturally, being a celebrity, he managed to avoid jailtime.)
Kevin, Kate (Chrissy Metz), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore), are corralled into a family group therapy session, while "The Others" — Toby (Chris Sullivan), Miguel (Jon Huertas) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), who remarks "What are we, on Lost?" — are dismissed and head to a bar, where they christen themselves "The New Big Three."
The episode's title, "The Fifth Wheel" refers, of course, to Kevin himself, who tells his mother and siblings that he's always felt like an outsider in the family, thanks to Kate's close bond with their father Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca's perceived preference for Randall. A flashback to a summer trip the family took to a cabin in the woods seems to back up Kevin's version of events.
And then things take an even more awkward turn when he refers to them as "a family of addicts," citing Jack and his father's alcoholism and — wince — what he perceives as Kate's addiction to food.
This does not go over well.
After some heated back and forth — including a tongue-lashing from Randall, who's still seething about the fact that Kevin drove drunk with his daughter Tess in the car — Kevin implores Rebecca to just admit that Randall was her favorite. And, to everyone's surprise, she basically does. Rebecca all but confirms Kevin's accusations about her relationship with Randall, tearfully admitting that her adopted son was just "easier" than Kevin growing up, never went through a sullen teenager phase and, most importantly, didn't "move out and abandon her" after Jack died. Eesh.
But these are the Pearsons, after all, so all is forgiven at the end of the episode (even after Randall confirms with his siblings that Rebecca did, in fact, indicate that he's the favorite). Kevin finally acknowledges that Jack's death probably played a larger role in his adulthood struggles than he previously realized. And Kate considers that maybe her problems with food are a symptom of something more serious, which she tells Toby after confessing to him that she's been sneaking junk food behind his back since her miscarriage.
Now, who do we talk to about getting a spin-off for "The Other Big Three"?
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.