This Is Us Season 3 Episode 8 recap: Six Thanksgivings

Happy Thanksgiving! Last episode was what I like to call a “Holiday Episode.” It happens when the characters and major plot lines intertwine with the holiday of choice. Personally, I have enjoyed the holiday episodes in previous seasons for This Is Us with the most memorable one occurring when Toby collapsed on the table and had a heart attack during Christmas. There was no heart attack last night, but a storm is brewing in Vietnam between the Pearson brothers.

This Is Us Season 3, Episode 8 Recap: “Six Thanksgivings”

THIS IS US — “18,615” Episode 308 — Pictured: Milo Ventimiglia as Jack — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

– In “Six Thanksgivings,” This Is Us broke down the episode into 6 acts and each short story visited a different set of characters and how they spent their Thanksgiving before tying them together at the end. It was not the best holiday episode, but it was one of the better episodes of the season.

– Let’s start with the easiest act to discuss, William’s Thanksgiving. My motto is as followed: “Any episode that features William is an episode worth watching.” The episode dove into William and his eventual boyfriend Jesse’s early relationship. Jesse opens up to William about his cocaine addiction while William is there to provide advice and an invitation to a party later. Once Jesse shows up with a mystery woman, William is clearly jealous. However, Jesse reassures William that the woman is his cousin, much to William’s delight, and a relationship was born. This may have been a random storyline in the grand scheme of the episode, but I don’t mind getting a chance to see the great Ron Cephas Jones again onscreen portraying this wonderful character.

– Kate and Toby. The parental tryout didn’t go according to plan, but they both made up for it in the end. Toby came in clutch with Cracker Barrel. (The breakfast is good at Cracker Barrel. The cheesy potatoes are dynamite. However, I can’t speak for Thanksgiving dinner.) However, the bigger reveal involved Kate’s interaction with Tess. Tess had her first period and since her parents were out of the house, Kate was there to comfort Tess in a time of need. Once she became comfortable, Tess revealed that she has a girlfriend. It’s very ironic (although it was probably planned) that Tess told Randall that William was “gay, or at least bi” when William brought Jesse over for Christmas dinner. Perhaps Tess was hinting at her own sexuality preference? We’ll soon find out the whole story when Tess discusses it with Beth and Randall.

– Speaking of Beth and Randall, the dynamic duo were on the campaign trail as Randall tries to secure votes for his election. It did not go according to plan after Randall sided with Beth over his campaign manager. I respect Randall for listening to his wife, but at some point, Beth has to take a back seat to Jae-Won or at the very least work together. Watching the preview for the next episode, it looks like Randall will gain some momentum at a political rally so it looks like the team is coming together. Remember that Beth received a call at the end of the episode that forced the family to leave abruptly. Who was it from and what was it for?

– Shoutout to Miguel. His stock continues to rise with each episode. I tweeted this out after the episode.

Miguel was experiencing his first Thanksgiving since the divorce with his wife and it was not a walk in the park by any means. It took a Jack pep talk (shocker) to cheer him up. I loved the present day Miguel moment even more when he stuck up for Rebecca at Thanksgiving dinner with his daughter and son. If my son ever disrespected me in front of my wife at that age, he’s getting a drumstick shoved up where the son don’t shine. Also, the Randall speech montage was a charming touch to tie together every story.

– Finally, let’s go to the best part of Season 3, the Vietnam storyline. Jack and Nicky continue to be at odds, but Jack and the mysterious woman are gaining traction in their relationship. We found out the origin of the necklace as the woman gave it to Jack as reward for helping her son with a foot injury. When Jack confronts Nicky for his lack of help, Nicky tells a horror story about his first training officer was killed after interacting with the village people and showing compassion. Nicky said, “You can be nice all you want, Jack. But they’re not just women and children.” Nicky has been through it all and it’s clear that Vietnam has taken a lot of his happiness away.

– Time to brainstorm. How did Nicky die? Was the woman involved? Was Jack present for Nicky’s death? There are my “theories.” They are more like random thoughts, but they have some meaning to them.

  • Jack is responsible for Nicky’s death / Jack kills Nicky. It’s a very popular theory right now and most likely the leader in the clubhouse.
  • Nicky dies trying to save the mysterious woman.
  • Jack kills Nicky after he tries to hurt the mysterious woman. This one is a little too dark for a network show, but love triangles get the best of people!
  • Nicky kills himself. This is super dark as well, but between Nicky’s emotional state and the war intensifying, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

I still believe that Jack is going to hold a dying Nicky in his arms and they are going to bring up “Superman” because that was Nicky’s nickname for Jack. When Nicky calls Jack, Superman, Jack says, “No, Nick. You were Superman all along.” End Scene. Tears begin.

Tune in for the midseason finale that is going to “change everything.”

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