This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9 Review: The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

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Wait, what? 

That was my reaction to the last five minutes of This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9. The show has delivered shocking twists before, but the soap opera-esque one completely caught me by surprise. 

As an avid TV watcher, I can usually see a twist coming way before it happens but I did not see this one coming. But we'll get to Nicky later. 

First, let's address the elephant in the room aka Randall Pearson. The guy's really become a dinkus. Every other Pearson has grown for the better on This Is Us Season 3, except for Randall. 

His character flaws have reached an all-time high, and he might lose the greatest thing in his life because of it. 

Marriage Woes (Tall) - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9

Randall's thought process has me very confused. He doesn't want to drop out of the election, despite being on the brink of losing it, because he promised the people of the Twelfth District that he would fight for them. 

Didn't he promise Beth the same thing? Let me get this straight. Randall would rather break the promise he made to his wife about dropping out of the election when things in the family are really tough, instead of breaking a promise he made to a bunch of strangers. 

Related: This Is Us Season 3 Episode 8: Six Thanksgivings 

What happened to you Randall? Have you lost any form of sense you once had? It's heartbreaking to see Randall and Beth going through such a fraught time in their relationship, but I think we can all agree, Randall deserved to be sleeping on that couch. 

If I were Beth, I'd force him to find a house in the Twelfth District to sleep at since he seems to care more about those stranger's feelings than those of his wife. 

The worst thing about it is Randall's poor decision making looked to be behind him. He and Beth were back on track after she left his campaign, and she was super supportive of him before and after the debate. 

The Debate  - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9

Let's be real; if it weren't for her, Randall wouldn't have done nearly as well as he did in the debate. She's his rock, and without her, he would be lost. 

I thought there was hope for this couple, but the flashforwards left me more concerned than ever. It felt like Beth and Randall have moved on from each other and live separate lives. Beth is doing something that involves ballet, and she's going to meet Tess and Randall to see Rebecca. 

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies! 

Is Rebecca dead or really sick? That wasn't addressed, but Beth riding separately from Randall and Tess possibly signified that their marriage might be over, which is something I would've had never predicted before. 

Even the most rock solid of couples can be ripped apart.

While I'm super frustrated with the way Randall handled things with his wife, I'm proud of the way he and Beth dealt with Tess coming out. 

Tess: People at school have been having crushes and stuff. And lot's of girls have boyfriends, but I don't want one.
Randall: That's perfectly okay. In fact, it's long been a dream of mine that you never, ever...
Tess: It's because I think I might like girls, not boys. But I don't know, maybe I don't. I just didn't want to tell you guys because I didn't want it to become a thing.
Randall: Hey Tess, listen, we're your parents.
Tess: I know.
Randall: In a very cool, laidback kind of way, without it having to be a thing.
Beth: 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 then any two people could ever love anyone in the entire world?

This particular moment was so beautiful; it left me in awe. These sweet and simple, yet powerful moments are what made me fall in love with This Is Us in the first place. 

Tess' story is truly unique in that it wasn't prolonged for seasons on end like most coming out stories on TV are. She most likely has been feeling this way for a while, but the fact that she's managed to share it with multiple people in her family this quickly in her journey was a pleasant surprise. 

Eris Baker hasn't been given a lot of opportunities to wow us before, but she took this opportunity and ran with it. She delivered such a vulnerable and heartwarming performance, and in turn, we saw a different, more intimate side of Tess that hadn't been seen before. 

Aches and Pain  - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9

I don't know if Tess coming out to her parents was the culmination of this story or if it was just the beginning, but Baker's performance has left me wanting to see more of her on my TV screen. 

Tess wasn't the only character that melted my heart either. 

Related: This Is Us Season 3 Episode 7: Sometimes 

It's been a rough ride for Kate and Toby. I was a huge fan of Katoby during This Is Us Season 1, but they started getting a little irritating and nauseating. 

But after dealing with a lot of emotional trauma, the two have managed to recapture the magic they once had. Seeing Kate smile has unfortunately become a rare commodity on This Is Us. And just like Kate and Toby, I too am concerned about the fate of their unborn baby. 

Will This Is Us actually let them maintain this happiness they are feeling? I'm begging Dan Fogelman to allow them because Kate and Toby are at their best when they are happy. 

Kate, we're going to be parents! We have six months to jump a bunch of hurdles before our life becomes consumed with poop and naps. And do not say my life is already consumed by poops and naps, even though it is. Look, you get this degree and I think it closes a loop for you that's been open far too long. I think it makes you smile and when you smile the world is a better place. You see? The world just got a little better. And that is the smile I want us to have when I talk about our kid from now on. That is the smile our kid is going to inherit from you. Our kid!

Toby

It's especially important for the show to let them keep their happiness because things in Vietnam are just going to get darker, and it would be nice to see some light in the Pearson's lives when most of them are facing so much darkness. 

Nicky, especially, is in a dark place right now. Jack may feel like he has to be Nicky's Superman all the time, but sometimes you have to let someone hit rock bottom before rescuing them. 

I don't want to get clean Jack. I see it all when I'm clean. I'm not gonna complete the mission.

Nikky

But is it too late for Jack to rescue Nicky? It seemed like that was the case, especially after that boat explosion. It looked as though that explosion sealed Nicky's fate. 

All signs pointed to Nicky committing suicide while in Vietnam. That explosion was the moment we've all been dreading. 

High As A Kite  - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9

However, This Is Us ended "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning" with such a massive cliffhanger that the boat explosion looked like small potatoes in comparison. 

Kevin's journey to Vietnam didn't provide much clarity for him or us. Every lead he had was a dead end. It looked as though Kevin's theoretical Netflix documentary wasn't getting the ending he had planned. 

Kevin: The next episode begins in five, four, three...cause of Netflix!
Zoe: I got it.

I'll admit, I was about to call this whole Kevin in Vietnam story a missed opportunity. Besides growing his relationship with Zoe, nothing had been accomplished.

It was a real shame because it at first felt like Vietnam was finally going to be the story that Justin Hartley and Kevin had been waiting for. 

Related: This Is Us Season 3 Episode 6: Kamsahamnida   

So when Zoe and Kevin's bags were packed, and nothing had been accomplished during his Vietnam journey, I was left wildly disappointed. 

But then that huge ass twist happened, and my jaw dropped ten feet to the ground. 

Even The Brain Is A Muscle  - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9

What in the holy hell? Nicky isn't dead? But how? Did Jack know? Or is that not actually the Nicky we've come to know? 

Some TV Fanatics speculated that Jack has an illegitimate son with that Vietnamese woman out there. Could the Nicholas Pearson we saw in shadow actually be Jack's son? 

The fact that this was the fall finale is super annoying. I want answers, damn it! 

What did you think of "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning"?

Did you see that Nicky twist coming? Do you think he's actually alive? 

Do you think Beth and Randall's marriage will survive his selfish decision? 

What was with the ballerinas? 

Let us know in the comments below and if you need to catch up, make sure to watch This Is Us online right here on TV Fanatic!

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning Review

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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Brandon Viera is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Tess: People at school have been having crushes and stuff. And lot's of girls have boyfriends, but I don't want one.
Randall: That's perfectly okay. In fact, it's long been a dream of mine that you never, ever...
Tess: It's because I think I might like girls, not boys. But I don't know, maybe I don't. I just didn't want to tell you guys because I didn't want it to become a thing.
Randall: Hey Tess, listen, we're your parents.
Tess: I know.
Randall: In a very cool, laidback kind of way, without it having to be a thing.
Beth: 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 then any two people could ever love anyone in the entire world?

Kate, we're going to be parents! We have six months to jump a bunch of hurdles before our life becomes consumed with poop and naps. And do not say my life is already consumed by poops and naps, even though it is. Look, you get this degree and I think it closes a loop for you that's been open far too long. I think it makes you smile and when you smile the world is a better place. You see? The world just got a little better. And that is the smile I want us to have when I talk about our kid from now on. That is the smile our kid is going to inherit from you. Our kid!

Toby