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  1. Pallas

    S03.E12: Songbird Road, Part Two

    All three siblings heard Nicky tell the whole story, after Kate refused his request that they leave.
  2. Pallas

    S03.E12: Songbird Road, Part Two

    And also, as Randall pointed out, because Uncle Nicky was the second major family member whose existence or whereabouts had been kept from Randall by one of his parents. (Kyle makes three: had ten-year-old Randall not heard rumors from the neighbors, we don't know when Rebecca would have mentioned him to the Big 3.) Having worked through (some of) his feelings around this, Randall wasn't as vulnerable as Kevin was to want to make it right on his own, retroactively. Note: Kate's return flight originated in Pittsburgh, not Newark or NYC. Randall mentions this on their way to the airport when he suggests the stop in Bethel Park. I wonder if something in Sterling's delivery of that line of exposition strikes the ear as false and self-justifying, and many of us automatically tuned out the words.
  3. Pallas

    S03.E12: Songbird Road, Part Two

    Absolutely. Detaching Rebecca from Kevin, and Kevin's refusing to leave, were deemed essential. But why not have Rebecca urgently need to find a bathroom: something that the audience would understand, but not 12-year-old Kevin? She could have assured him that she'd speak to someone to make sure that they'd be allowed back in line at the same point they had left. Kevin could have given her one glance to convey that he knows Jack Pearson, and mom?: you're no Jack Pearson...and still staged his sit-down strike. Did the writers think that oblivious, me-first mom was a better look than menstruating mom? Otherwise the analogy between the two Kevins was nicely done. Young Kevin was also hungry, angry, lonely and tired, having been dumped by his father (with "those people" -- heh!) all day Saturday, then ditched by his father first thing Sunday morning. He had been rightly anxious about John Smiley's being traded away from Pittsburgh, and reacted by trying to help the player, doing solo research on Smiley's future home. (So, maybe the actual first time Kevin had done more homework than Randall.) Young Kevin was deep undercover on a self-assigned mission: a way to deal/not-deal with his distress at seeing a member of his home team banished by the powers-that-be who had built the team, and who he'd trusted.
  4. Pallas

    S03.E12: Songbird Road, Part Two

    I think Kate and Randall's decisions to return to their lives were meant to highlight Kevin's increasingly frazzled and driven state of mind. The place where he found himself alone, staring raptly at a bottle of bad whiskey as if this project had that goal, all along, and no other. Kevin's turning back to Nicky's home was a good gesture that slowly began to turn bad for him. (Somewhat like Jack's decision to "come for" Nicky at the base in Vietnam.) Kevin went back for Nicky, persuaded him to leave his home overnight, then stayed up alone until morning, googling local VA centers. This messianic, "I know the way" impulse never allowed for simply asking Nicky, "Will you let me help? Maybe, take a look at that leak?" The impulse quickly became ambitious and in no way humble: the hard-won, mature humility that allows an addict to live in the world as it is -- rather than how they would have it, or thought it would be -- and still stay sober. Kevin painted himself into a corner with The Nicky Project. He had undertaken it to learn more about his father, and it led him to Vietnam, Washington and Bradford. What he found on Songbird Road was deeply painful, assaulting his reverence for Jack at the same time it summoned his empathy for the close family member more like him, who Jack had rejected and kept from him. It did a number on Kevin, who doesn't have the resources to handle it. Not yet. He had only been beginning to work on the awareness that might enable him to make his way through such a minefield, when he declared himself cured (secretly: a secret he kept from himself) and poured himself a new love affair and project. By that morning in the motel, Kevin had already been up all night and was spinning his wheels, frustrated, not eating, unable to see or hear straight. In addict talk, he was full-on HALT: hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Any one of those temporary states can fire up compulsions, and all can in fact be put to rest by using. At once, like magic. Add to that, Kevin's turmoil around Jack and his distress in the face of Nicky's stoicism... Randall and Kate were each still facing another long day of travel, in order to meet pre-existing commitments the next day. Kevin, like addicts everywhere, is great at feeling he's been abandoned, and even expressing it ("Meanwhile, where's Kevin? Oh I know: Kevin's dead!"). He isn't yet so great at dealing with the situation, real or not. His father's abandonment of "dead" Nicky in favor of Rebecca, Kate, Randall and Kevin himself, was a shell that landed squarely in his trench, and tore him up. Was Kevin wrong to search through Jack's past? I don't think so. Was he right to seek out Nicky and turn back for him, once he found him? I think so. But he did so alone, like his father. Alone within his family, who didn't know the signs. The addict has one job: to stay mindful of their addiction. That's the one and only task for which they are indispensable. His siblings had been right to worry about what would happen to Kevin if he didn't find their uncle, and they came through for him on that. No one had a plan for what they found. Adult Kevin staring out the window as his mother drove him home wasn't only reproaching himself for relapsing. Like Jack that Sunday morning in 1992, he was thinking about how he was going to get through the next six hours. He was thinking about his next drink.
  5. I think it's more a sign of what the show sees as the trouble with many marriages in that milieu: brave false fronts, and separate inner lives. No second thoughts expressed, no sharing of misgivings about the price of striving to conform and yet excel, of pursuing goals not of one's choosing. Midge and Joel, at any rate, do talk candidly about what matters most.
  6. Pallas

    This Is Us In The Media

    There are 7 episodes left in the season; Songbird Pt. 2 is episode 12 of 18. The ep-guide listing above sounds right: Feb 12 - April 2, with a two-week gap between the penultimate episode and the climax.
  7. Pallas

    S01.E07: Put That On Your Plate!

    A number of posts about women in the workforce, and women as objects/beneficiaries/victims of marketing, were moved to the Marvelous Milieu topic. The episode topics are reserved for discussion of the episode and, briefly, direct context. Thanks!
  8. Pallas

    S01.E02: The Harvest

    No more posts reduced to spoilers, please. It's like a friend in vamp-face.
  9. Pallas

    S02.E10: All Alone

    Mandy. For me, along with Preston as Harold Hill, another great only-you in a role.
  10. Pallas

    From Across The Pond: Royal Weddings and Scandals

    And another conspiracy doesn't make it out of the gate...The royal family's history of thoroughbred breeding wouldn't given them leg up on artificial insemination. Thoroughbreds are conceived by natural means -- "live cover" -- an international requirement to be registered for racing.
  11. Pallas

    S01.E08: Pride & Joy

    The wrong brother was heir in their father's generation; it's how Elizabeth became queen, technically. But the consensus seems to be that even if the Prince of Wales had been willing to marry anyone other than Wallis, he was unlikely to have children. Sooner or later, the throne would have passed to his eldest brother's daughter. And it's true: if that heiress presumptive had been something of another Edward -- glamorous, self-centered, prone to ruining herself -- who knows. Britain might have decided to Crexit before crowning her.
  12. Pallas

    S03.E11: Songbird Road, Part One

    True: it's a two-part episode, with a half-season of set-up coming earlier. In the village, Nick was already notorious as the dope addict medic who loathed the people he lived among, liked to mime shooting passers-by, and wouldn't treat the infected foot of the child later blown to pieces by munitions that he stole. There's the circumstances of the war: civilians with the greatest stake in the outcome, who had countrymen and sometimes family members with three of the four major armed forces. There was also Jack's trip back to his squad with Bao, who lived in the area and may even be the father of the child who was killed, or, the father of the man who spoke with Kevin about his father in the Viet Cong. And the circumstances in which Hien, the mother, takes the necklace from the body of an American soldier and later gives it to Jack. We'll see consequences in-country, and perhaps beyond.
  13. Pallas

    S03.E11: Songbird Road, Part One

    Jack's losing his brother adds texture to his determination to immediately adopt a son within hours of losing one. And Jack's fervor before Rebecca gave birth, when telling both her and Dr. K that no matter what, they were going to walk out of the hospital with three babies, damn it. No man left behind: not on this mission, not with his family.
  14. She knew how to act, just not well: that's what she was doing. Showing her dramatic range.