It was Kate's turn to star in her own episode of This Is Us.
This Is Us Season 4 Episode 13 revolved around Kate's relationship with Rebecca during different stages of her life.
Our TV Fanatics Christine Orlando, Mariha Morales, and Jack Ori debate the meaning of Kate's dream, how quickly her relationship with Marc turned abusive, and what was our favorite Kate/Rebecca moment.
How did the story that little Kate and Jack made up together relate to what was going on with Kate later in life?
Christine: Kate went into the dark cave by herself but came out and found her mom. As much as Kate has always rebelled against Rebecca, she needs her even more and always comes back to her.
Rebecca is her rock and that may begin to change with Rebecca’s diagnosis.
But I also worried that Kate's constant insistence on doing things alone, like walking into the dark cave, was a sign that she's not capable of making decisions with a partner, which may not bode well for her and Toby.
Mariha: My take was a bit different.
In life, we often search for partners that can help fill the dark holes that parents can sometimes leave. In the beginning, Jack and Kate were happily running through flowers, but once he passed away, she entered into a darker place alone. Only to emerge finding Rebecca.
Kate was drawn to Marc because he is creative and musical like Rebecca.
He brought her joy after such a tragic loss. She thought she finally found her prince but was instead thrown into darkness.
Deep down, all Kate wants is Rebecca's love and comfort even though she pushes her away. Kate struggles with having a mother society finds "more beautiful" than her. And instead of finding that missing piece in Marc, she found a nightmare.
Jack: I think you are both right.
As a little girl, Kate yearned for her mother, I think. She made up the story about searching for Rebecca after Jack told her that Rebecca was asleep and couldn't tell her a story.
As she got older, I think Kate tried to do things on her own but always got stuck in that dark cave, especially after Jack died.
Many of us predicted that Marc would abuse Kate. Were you surprised it got to the point it did so quickly?
Christine: Not really.
Marc is damaged. He needs constant validation and when he doesn’t get it he either puts Kate down, tries to control her, or flies into a rage.
Poor Kate is too young to know how to deal with it and craves love so much that she can’t seem to walk away. The hole that Jack’s death has left in her life coupled with her need to assert independence from her mother is playing into her staying with Marc.
I’m curious to see how both Marc and Kate react when the Pearsons storm the cabin!
Mariha: Unfortunately, I was not surprised at all.
Marc was showing signs of being a serious alcoholic, and his controlling and blaming behavior showed signs of serious emotional abuse.
I just hope Rebecca can get to Kate before things get worse.
Jack: I wasn't surprised either. These scenes were tough to watch because in real life I was in a similar situation when I was not much older than Kate, and I found this whole scenario both realistic and scary.
It was one of those times when I was grateful for the multi-timeline aspect of This Is Us. If we didn't know that Kate survived, I'd have been terrified for her during those scenes in the car.
This episode explored Kate's relationship with Rebecca at different stages of life. What was your favorite Kate/Rebecca moment?
Christine: I loved Rebecca telling Kate:
Kate. You're fat. I'm ancient. We're gorgeous.Rebecca
and encouraging them both to get in the pool with Jack because that’s really what they wanted to do and to hell with what anyone thought of their appearance.
I also appreciated how calmly Rebecca told Kate about her diagnosis. It showed that Rebecca is taking control of her health and that she's willing to handle this with her family's help.
I thought it was important for Kate to hear the news directly from Rebecca.
Mariha: I really enjoyed their time on stage together.
It showed tremendous growth for Kate. She was constantly comparing herself to Rebecca, thinking she wasn't good enough.
For Kate to go up there and just sing with her mom was beautiful.
Jack: Oh yes, the karaoke scene was my favorite, hands down. I loved seeing Rebecca and Kate bond over music.
My other favorite was the scene in the car before Kate went in to see Toby. It brought tears to my eyes for Kate to admit that she might be becoming one of those women who was best friends with her mother.
Was Kate right that her marriage was imploding, or was she overreacting?
Christine: She’s completely overreacting!
Kate is upset because Toby isn’t reacting to Jack’s issue in the same way she is.
If he needs to hold out hope and research a possible treatment, let him. Toby should be allowed to deal with this on his own timetable.
Kate doesn’t talk to Toby.
She decided to book the retreat without consulting him. Then she decided that he wouldn’t go and Rebecca would, just because he was hesitant about it.
That’s not fair.
Kate seems to believe that Toby needs to be a constant cheerleader to be a good husband and father. He loves his son, and he loves Kate, and he should be allowed to process Jack’s blindness and what that will mean for all of them in his own way.
Kate telling Toby to get on board with her way of doing things or get out was harsh and unfair.
Mariha: There is definitely an issue.
When you ask a man if "he can be the man and father you need him to be", and his answer is "I want to", there is a problem.
The fact that he didn't attend the retreat is a problem in itself.
Raising a special needs kid is no joke.
You have to raise the child and love him just the way he is, not spend hours daydreaming that in the future he might have his sight. You have to stick around even if he never gains his sight again.
Jack: I agree that there are problems between Toby and Kate, but I also agree with Christine.
Kate didn't really give Toby a chance. She uninvited him from the retreat the second he expressed reluctance and announced her marriage was imploding the second she walked in the door.
I didn't know what she was talking about. She and Toby didn't as much as have a fight. Kevin called the minute she came in, and somehow her marriage was imploding?
I'm generally a Kate fan, but this time I felt like shaking her and telling her to cut the drama.
What was your favorite scene, story, or quote from this week's This Is Us?
Christine: I was so proud of Toby for standing up to Kate and saying he wanted to take care of baby Jack for the weekend, even when Kate balked at the idea.
Toby needs to be able to enjoy some alone time with his son so that they can bond and I hope we get to see some of that soon.
Mariha:I really loved fun Rebecca.
Her new YOLO approach to life is great. She is not sweating the small stuff and having good conversations with her kids.
She was there for Kate without hesitation, and she brought Kate out of her sad Tobyless shell.
Jack: This episode was full of great scenes, but I've got to say my favorite was when Rebecca told Kate about her diagnosis.
Kate was upset but tried to hold it back, while Rebecca was trying to be positive. It was a realistic moment that brought them closer together.
Your turn, This Is Us Fanatics.
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.