Change and choices are in the air in this week’s This Is Us episode Flip A Coin.
The End of the Manny
Kevin is eager to get to an AA session with Nicky, when he gets an email that The Manny has been cancelled. They discover the AA group starts at a later time, and after encountering Cassidy, Kevin decides the 3 of them need a distraction.
Eager to get Nicky out of his dilapidated trailer, the trio go trailer shopping which Nicky quickly abandons. When he is recognised as the Manny, Cassidy judges Kevin for his easy life. Kevin explains that even though he hasn’t gone to war, he can still have a low day. Sometimes people just need a break. His mask is quickly back on when he is recognised again and he takes a series of charming selfies. Cassidy realises she’s been a dick to him and acknowledges everyone can have a weird life.
On the way to the meeting, Kevin apologises to Nicky for trying to force him to buy a new trailer. Nicky admits the trailer wasn’t for him. He bought it before the war for a girl he liked. He wrote to her during the war, but as things got too tough, he eventually stopped writing. When he got home he bought the trailer, drove to her house, but she was out. And that was it. Nicky turned around and left. Kevin thinks about how tiny decisions ultimately affect people’s entire lives. Nicky leaving, Kevin on the Manny pilot and Cassidy, deciding she wants her husband back.
Jack the Music Man
Kate is determined that Jack will have the same experiences as any other child. Unfortunately due to a missing monkey toy they turn up to a music session late. Unable to see, the loud noises and commotion scare Jack. The session is a disaster and the pair bicker on the way home – Toby would know how important monkey is if he didn’t spend all his time at the gym. He assures her Jack will get to do everything anyone else can, just at his own pace. Kate has an idea and the family head to the beach, to hear nature’s music.
Opening day at Beth’s dance studio is ruined by a dead possum underneath the studio. Randall clashes with Beth’s mother who he feels has never liked him. When all seems lost, her mother says they will have to reschedule but Randall refuses to be defeated. After standing up to her and taking charge, he rearranges the whole event to outside in the parking lot.
The taster event is a success and Mama C reconciles with Randall. She admits she didn’t want Beth to end up with him as she couldn’t see the strong man he was going to become. Malik also stops by to visit Deja. He initally makes a great impression on Randall, who’s pleased to acknowledge he could smush him like a bug. Unfortunately, the proud parent Malik talks about his daughter, not realising Deja has not shared the news. Randall and Beth vow to stop the relationship from forming after the day is finished.
Back in the past, Rebecca heads out to visit Randall at college for the day, leaving Kate some money and begging her to leave the house. Kate makes it to a local record store where she bonds with the sales clerk over Jack’s music taste, and he offers her a job. At the college Rebecca spots Randall’s curiosity of Beth and takes them over to introduce herself to Beth and her mother. We see Mama C’s distaste already, and Randall can’t cover his nerves, but does manage to slip Beth a lemon slice.
When the young pair leave for class, Rebecca unloads about Jack’s death and the loss of the house, and the two women bond over their recent widowing. Mama C explains that she is still standing as she loves her job and reading, and this keeps her going – inspiring Rebecca to turn a new page.
Back at the flat, she has a touching dance moment with Kate over their new CDs, but when this ends quickly when they play an answering machine message from Kevin ‘Hi Mom. I’ve just got married to Sophie. Can you send some money?’