After more than half a season of hurt feelings, harsh words, tears, quirks and anger, It’s usRandall and Kevin directly addressed their issues in person in this week’s episode. But did Does the hour (full of great work from Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley, by the way) really bring the Pearson brothers together? Read on as we break down what’s going on in “Brotherly Love”.
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?| In a flashback to when the Big Three were toddlers, Rebecca and Kate are away for a girls’ weekend away while Jack stays home with Kevin and Randall. A colleague pulls some strings to get Pearson and his boys to see a recording of Monsieur Rogers’ neighborhood, who films in Pittsburgh. Before the show, a production assistant mistakenly thinks Randall is there with another family; when Jack corrects him, Papa Pearson goes out of his way to make Randall feel special and loved… which in turn makes Randall feel alienated, and Kevin feels less-than.
After the show, Kevin runs away and Jack must pursue him to find him. So Randall goes up on set and sees Daniel Tiger’s puppet, who speaks to him about imagination. “I have imaginary parents,” admits little Randall.
This track with a scene from the very beginning of the episode, in which Randall fantasized that his parents were a meteorologist on TV (played by Brandon Victor Dixon, Power) and the local librarian (Janora McDuffie, Grey’s Anatomy). We will talk about this later.
FOUL PARTY | In another flashback, Randall first visits Kevin in Los Angeles when they are both of college age. Randall is there with his Model UN team but agrees to slip away for a night out with his brother. They drink a lot before the game, but the microaggressions start to get hot and heavy from Kev. He hands Randall a fake ID for a much older man, saying, “He’s black, you’re black, you’ll be fine.” And later, when they’re in a cab, Kev is such a jerk to the driver, who’s black, that Randall wants to call all evening. An angry Kevin says he had to drink so much to be able to bear to be with his own brother. Randall says he’s been drinking so much because he’s “drunk”. They start to fight a bit, and it escalates to the point that the driver stops and orders the two yahoos to get out of his car.
After they argued for a bit, Kevin couldn’t find his keys. And by the time he realizes that they’re actually in his pocket, the brothers have calmed down a bit. They return to Kev’s apartment, where he sadly admits he’s a failure who can’t book work. “You have it all, Randall: Beth, a huge future,” Kev says. Randall tries to make him feel better, and in the process, they don’t really talk about all the hurtful and racist things Kevin has done and said earlier in the evening.
THE MAIN EVENT | OK, now we are at the present time. Beth and the girls go ice skating for a while in order to give Randall and Kevin the space and privacy they need, and the guys get there after Kevin arrives. It’s striking how much Kevin talks at first, and how he says he’s sorry IF Randall was feeling lonely, and IF he’s ever played a role in making his brother feel bad. Kevin also points out how Randall’s prom date Allison had a racist dad, and says he’s sorry he didn’t say anything at the time.
When Randall says a little thank you and appreciates the feeling, Kevin quickly becomes irritated. “It doesn’t really appear to be the case,” he says. Randall calls the speech a “beautiful monologue,” then comes out to get some air as Kevin follows him and asks to know what more Randall expects from him. As they sit on the steps of the Brownstone, Randall lets his frustration show, saying it’s like Kevin is “apologizing for a miscalculated tweet” and “after all these days you’re still so deaf. , man. ” Then Kevin’s cell phone rings – he waits for a call from Robert DeNiro, which he checked when he left the set when Madison gave birth – and they both realize that the phone is inside the house … and that the door is locked.
So they keep arguing. Randall points out that Kevin just wanted “the perception of doing the right thing,” and Kevin spits Randall’s childhood was “glorious” because he was always singled out for being special. Randall tells him that all he wanted to do was blend in, but his darkness wouldn’t allow it – and Kevin played a big part in altering him. While Allison’s dad was a jerk, “you were just thoughtless, and willfully in the dark, which actually hurts more.
“ SELF-INCORRECT ” | They go to a neighbor to ask for the spare key she has. As they wait, Randall wonders if they would have the same relationship if he was white. He takes it a step further by asking Kevin to admit that he doesn’t like the fact that Randall is black and that he never thought that the day he became Pearson was also the day he lost his biological mother and father. Kevin lashes out, calling Randall “very ungrateful.” But Randall says he is very grateful – but still have to show that, all the time, is “a prison”.
Randall’s neighbor hands over the key and rags to Kevin’s Sylvester Stallone movie in the process (ha!), Telling him he’s better at acting. The interlude took a little heat in Kev and Randall’s conversation; Once back at Randall’s, Randall tells Kevin about his “ghost realm” aka the fantastic reality in his mind “where you have the life you would have had if you had never been adopted.” Yes, the meteorologist and the librarian are her parents there – “they were the only two adults I saw constantly who looked like me” – but her ghost kingdom also includes Rebecca, Jack, Kate and Kevin “because I felt too guilty, because i loved you guys too much.
FRATERNAL PASSAGE | It seems to go to Kevin, who offers another – very sincere and no “ifs” – apologies for everything he missed growing up that he might not still see. It makes Randall cry. “You are my brother and I love you. You are the only brother I will ever have. You are my best man, ”continues Kevin. Then Randall makes Kevin cry. “Dad is not ashamed of himself,” he says. “And the only reason I said it in our fight was because it was cheap shot. I am sorry. He was proud of you. I I’m proud of you and I’m sorry I ever let you think otherwise. They kiss and say they love each other.
But we are not finished! Kevin talks to DeNiro, who isn’t crazy. Then he admits that he did Randall resentment, for he viewed his brother’s special treatment as “mixed up with you being Black, and I wanted to take you down a notch.” As Randall starts to cry again – who could blame him ?! – Kevin apologizes for being super jealous and taking terrible photos of his brother over the years. As Randall wipes his face, Beth and the girls come home and they are delighted to see Kevin.
That night in bed, Randall dreams not of WeatherDad and LibrarianMom being crushed with the Pearsons, but of Laurel and William cooking in the kitchen while Nina Simone “I Wish I Knew How It Feel to Be Free” plays in background the first time this happens.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!