The Little Big Three – who in “Changes” are eighth grade teenagers, which means the deadlines are starting to tighten on themselves, people – get a kind and not at all uncomfortable reminder from their doctor that they go through puberty. Okay, really, the reminder is for their parents. And it’s less of a reminder and more of a warning to prepare. Dealing with an angsty teenager bombarded with hormones is bad enough – can you imagine doing it with three kids at the same time? Especially when you’re Kevin! The horror! The story this timeline tells sounds like a glimpse into an uneventful day at the Pearson House, but in real life It’s us fashion, it is closely linked to the current life of the Big Three. Let’s take this one-two-three style of recap, okay?
When the Big Three are in eighth grade, Kevin finally comes out for the soccer team. He’s pumped. Jack is pumped. It has been clear from the start that he has talent. Jack decides it’s time to introduce Kevin to his garage gym where he’s very debauched for a 90s dad and deals with his feelings as well. Some of Kevin’s best childhood memories of his father are likely to be found in this garage. But later, we see Kevin sneak in on his own to practice some more. These days Kevin is literally sitting in his garage gym and admitting to being a workout junkie. Now we have seen the moment when the addiction started.
So why do we listen to Kevin admit to something we all know or assume about the very conceited – I say it with love! – and actor plagued by insecurity? He and Madison finally reveal their deepest, darkest demons after facing the truth that while they may be engaged and about to become parents together, they don’t know each other at all.
Madison kicks it off: What we know Mr. I play a sexy lawyer and can only eat lean chicken is that Madison has struggled with an eating disorder her entire life. Her pregnancy brings up a lot of feelings that she thought she was in control. There are people who notice its size; she must feign happiness when she is weighed by her doctor and she has gained a few kilos; she needs to keep the ultrasound on her refrigerator just to remember that she needs to eat to keep her babies healthy. Of course, she doesn’t mean anything to Kevin – she’s a woman who wakes up at 5 a.m. to put on makeup before Kevin can see her. She’s afraid to let Kevin see who she really is. But as Kevin already mentioned, he also has his parts broken. “I’m an alcoholic and workout addict with daddy issues,” he tells Madison, summing it up very clearly for all of us. He “became famous for taking [his] shirt off ”, and since he’s no longer drinking, he channels all his problems by training and looking good for the camera. Being so honest with Kevin puts Madison at ease so she can finally tell him everything she’s been through. This is the first conversation they’ve had in which they look like a real couple who could actually be successful. I’m still not at all convinced Madison is the person Kevin is married to in the flash-forward, but regardless, his character development in this series has been. Something.
Moving on to # 2: eighth grade Kate is so excited because the Stewart Alberghini has asked to join his desert-biome group project, and although she has sworn to leave Stewart after their breakup, she’s sure that means he loves her again. Kate is in shock! Her heart is wide open and ready for love! And then Stewart tells him that he joined his group because he really loves deserts. “Stewart is a desert groupie, mom,” Kate explains to Rebecca. Oh, I laughed so hard: this is such an accurate representation of the difference between eighth grade boys and girls. Although Kate is crushed, Rebecca tells her daughter that it’s not a bad thing to follow her heart. Sure, sometimes it leads to real heartbreak, but most of the time it works in the end.
These days, Kate follows her heart very clearly and becomes attached to Ellie, the birth mother that she and Toby were matched with through the adoption agency. The three meet to get to know each other better and Ellie explains her situation. Her husband, with whom she has an 8-year-old daughter, died of cancer several years ago. Her first date after her death resulted in a drunken relationship and pregnancy. She has thought about it and wants to give the little girl a home with parents who really, really want her. Kate, Toby and Ellie seem to get along just fine, bonding for the Steelers and Buffy the vampire slayer. When Ellie watches Kate and Toby bicker over diapers and then resolve that argument, it reminds Ellie of her relationship with her late husband. “I have a strong feeling for you guys,” she tells them when they drop her off. So it’s great but also a bit problematic.
Back home, Kate is texting Ellie and is visibly excited that things have gone so well. All of this will surely work, right? Meanwhile, Toby worries that Kate is too horny and doesn’t think about the fact that Ellie might actually change her mind about abandoning her baby at any time. They are too attached. They have to be more careful. This tempering of feelings lasts barely two minutes, and I fear for the Pearson-Damons. We know Kate and Toby end up having a daughter, Hailey, but we don’t know if that’s her adoption story. When it comes to Pearsons, one should always be prepared for grief at all times.
Someone who knows this from experience is # 3. These days Randall has met a few potential black therapists, and although he has had to overcome a few hiccups, he finds a good match. You know this guy is the right therapist because in one session he can tell Randall is the type of person who enjoys homework and asks him to think of a story from his childhood that Randall would like him to know and write it down. .
Meanwhile, Randall also takes care of the angry teens in his own home (Annie, of course, remains a true blessing). Being rude at the breakfast table is one thing, but when Tess posts a video of ‘dancing’ of her and a friend in which Tess yells ‘fuck you’ at a teacher who repeatedly touches the black student hair even after being told to stop Randall and Beth have bigger parenting issues to deal with. When they confront Tess about it, saying it’s not the Tess they know, she tells them that’s who she really is. She is no longer the “quiet and prickly little girl” of the “straight and white suburbs” who refuses to speak. When she sees injustice, she stands up for what is right. Randall and Beth know they have to punish her for this, the wrong way to make changes in her school (she calls Randall a fascist, so it’s fun), but Randall admits to Beth that he’s just a little kid. little proud. When he was young and something bothered him, he would bury him. That’s why he needs therapy now.
The story Randall decides to write for his homework assignment – and Randall’s story in the flashback – gives us an example of one of those times he had to bury the pain he was feeling: also in the band Kate’s desert-biome finds her friend Tanya. Tanya spends the afternoon trying to get close to Randall, and once she plays openly to kiss him and he puts her off, she tells him, “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do. kiss someone like you. He runs off to his room and doesn’t say a word about it, not to his mother when she asks him how her day went and comments on how nice Tanya is, not to anyone. In fact, he writes that this is the first time he has told this story to anyone. Instead, we watch eighth-grade Randall bury everything he feels about the incident deep inside. One incident among what is surely a list of many others that he is about to finally face head on.
• It’s us playing his usual game of teasing us with information about his biggest mysteries with this whole “Randall’s birth mother didn’t really overdose after giving birth” situation. At the end of the two-hour premiere, we saw Laurel breathless in front of paramedics after being nearly pronounced dead at the scene. “Changes” contains scenes about a grandfather and his young granddaughter fishing and cooking dinner. He tells her that he learned to cook for a woman, and she guesses correctly that it must be the woman in all the photos he has of his youth. The woman in these photos is Laurel. Since the granddaughter has no idea who Laurel is, we can assume that she is no longer there, but the mystery continues!
• I’m glad the series hasn’t forgotten that we’re all still waiting for that much-needed big calculation between Kevin and Randall. Kevin says, more than once, that he has important things to work out with his brother. Put it down, show it! I’m very ready for all the screen time Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown have spent.
• Mandy Moore has to do a lot of dramatic things on this show, but she’s so enjoyable in comedic moments: her whole talk to Jack that eighth-grade Rebecca isn’t a schemer but rather a cool mom who “can monitoring the situation but in a cool way ”was great.
• Milo Ventimiglia making an impression of Hans and Franz was the balm my soul needed.
• Just eat the pancakes, everyone!