This Is Us Recap: Are We Witnessing the Decline of Rebecca?

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Randall has a major reason to be concerned about Rebecca on This Is Us last night.

And, frankly, so did all viewers of this beloved NBC drama.


On the latest installment of the series, Mandy Moore's Rebecca arrived in Philadelphia to visit Randall (Sterling K. Brown), yet he couldn’t help but notice something about her was different.

Very clearly different, not just to him, but to anyone observer of Rebecca's actions.

She not only forgot his job title, for example, but she also freaked out when she misplaced her phone. Like, FREAKED THE EFF OUT.

While his mother insisted that she was merely suffering from a few senior moments, Randall knew better -- and encouraged her to see a physician.


As you might sadly expect, Rebecca lashed out at Randall for trying to be the parent in their relationship, which he hurled back in her face since he had long taken on the caregiver role...

... as evidenced by flashbacks in which he helped her land a job following Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) tragic passing.

Rebecca defensively assured her son that she was fine, but he was not convinced, signaling the illness she suffered from in season 3’s flash forward.

Does she have dementia or Alzheimer’s?


Executive producer Isaac Aptaker was asked this question by Entertainment Weekly and answered as follows:

I don’t want to speak too much to that because I want our audience to go on this journey with Randall and Rebecca, but he hasn’t seen his mom in a bit of time.

She’s home for the holidays and it’s that question when you see an older relative, like, “Is this just normal, getting-older ‘senior moment,’ or is this a sign of a bigger illness, a bigger deterioration?”

And Randall is thinking, “She seems a bit more off than just chalk it up to old age, ‘Oh, where’s my keys?’” And Rebecca gets very, very defensive.

When I watch that scene at the end of the episode, almost more alarming than anything else that’s happened in the episode is how zero to 60 she goes in defending herself. So, yeah, I think people are going to have to wait and see here.


Elsewhere in the Pearson home this week, Deja (Lyric Ross) grew frustrated with Malik (Asante Blackk) when he pushed her to talk to Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) about seeing her birth mom.

Malik told Beth that Deja didn’t want to address this tipic because she already did and her adoptive parents did nothing.

Beth later agreed to let Deja’s mother come to Thanksgiving.


Then there was Kevin (Justin Hartley), who nearly fell off the wagon after Nicky (Griffin Dunne) shamed him for sleeping with Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison).

The latter was also avoiding him, which prompted Kevin to seek out a fight at a bar. YIKES, right?

Ultimately, Cassidy and Nicky tracked him down ...  just in time for Nicky’s court hearing.

Nicky said how grateful he was for his arrest because it gave him the opportunity to turn his life around.


After the charges against Nicky were dropped, Kevin asked Cassidy to take follow his lead by meeting up with her husband and son, even though she had already signed their divorce papers.

Kevin -- who repeatedly saw Jack when Nicky talked to him -- later invited his uncle to Philly for Thanksgiving and announced his plans to return to L.A. after the holiday.

Finally, Toby (Chris Sullivan) missed out on numerous moments with baby Jack because of work.


Kate (Chrissy Metz) vowed she would wait for him to feed Jack his first solid food, but while helping her neighbor Gregory (Timothy Omundson), he fed Jack.

Kate didn’t have the heart to tell Toby he missed another milestone.

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