Every episode of This Is Us provides at least one standout moment that its fans will remember each week. It's why so many people continue to tune in to check in with the Pearson family, and This Is Us is one of television's biggest shows.
So far, Season 2 of the NBC drama has continued its success as the series digs deeper into the lives of the Pearsons, exploring their flaws and tragedies as well as their triumphs and achievements. The sophomore effort has seen Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) grapple with his alcohol addiction, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) embolden herself as the matriarch of the family, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) open their home to a new child, Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) deal with their first miscarriage and Kevin (Justin Hartley) hit rock bottom with his own addiction issues.
Each of these struggles has delivered hallmark moments for these characters. To get ourselves ready for the back half of the season, returning later this month, we've picked out the best moments for the Pearsons (and Toby) so far.
Jack - "I Miss Talking to You"
Jack Pearson is a proud, strong man, which has made admitting he needs help very difficult for him. Our favorite Jack is the vulnerable kind though, and him admitting that he misses Rebecca and re-attempting their failed date night to show how much he wants to let her in reminded us of the saccharine moments that made us fall in love with Jack and Rebecca as a couple in the first place.
Rebecca - "Get in the Car"
Rebecca got a bad rap in Season 1 because she had to compete with Jack's martyrdom as she tried to juggle being a mother of three and an aspiring music career. This season she has really stepped up to the plate, starting with the Season 2 premiere when she refused to let Jack fight his alcoholism on his own. "Get in the Car" allowed Rebecca to be the hero and proved that she is just as responsible for maintaining the Pearson family magic as Jack is.
Randall - "That Sweet De Ja Vu Feeling"
Honestly, you could throw a dart at any of Randall's scenes and make an argument for why it's the best one of the season, but since we have to pick just one, Randall's first heart-to-heart with Deja (Lyric Ross) takes the cake. This was a long time before these two had a real breakthrough, but it was an important moment for Randall — who was so scared of not being able to handle having a foster kid in their home — to show that he was willing to reach out and take the first step. His speech about feeling torn broke our hearts, but it obviously got through to Deja. She may have stormed off when he finished, but it's what she later quoted back to him before she left the Pearson home in the winter finale.
Beth - "Just the Two of Us"
The same can be said for Beth in so much that every time she's on the screen she's electric and on point. A compilation of the best Beth/Randall moments would take an entirely separate post, but Beth also showed her own vulnerability and strength in her first heart-to-heart with Deja. The moment is powerful not only because Beth finds a way to break down Deja's walls, but also in the symbolism of a black woman doing her (foster) daughter's hair. It's a nurturing moment that warms you to your core, and Beth's deft ability to diagnose a situation and say exactly the right thing shines brilliantly.
Kate - "I'm Pregnant"
Snappy Kate is the best Kate, to be honest. Number Two has had it rough this season, the worst of which happened when she lost her baby, but before that drama Kate had to come to terms with the fact that she was carrying a child in the first place. That meant having another meltdown in her overeaters support group (which deserves a round of applause), followed by a fender bender in the parking lot that shocked Kate into realizing how badly she wants to be a mother. Kate, like her father, also struggles with letting herself be vulnerable, so this unexpected moment turned out to be quite the revolutionary one for her arc this season.
Toby - "It Happened to Me Too"
There are Toby haters out there, but even they couldn't say a negative word about him after this speech. No, Toby wasn't carrying the baby and he doesn't physically know what it's like to lose a child — but it was still his child too. He has his own grief to process and him standing up to Kate about that took a lot of courage. Toby has proven that he'll go to the ends of the Earth to make Kate feel secure or happy, but if they are going to survive a lifetime together, it's also important that he prove he's willing to fight when need be. In all of his running around to ensure that Kate doesn't have to feel any more pain than she has to, it would have been easy to overlook Toby's own sadness, but this standout moment helped us to never forget.
Kevin - "Please Help Me"
Kevin has been slowly spinning in a downward spiral since the beginning of the season before it kicked into high gear in the last three episodes. The depth of Kevin's pain wasn't really felt until he was drunkenly begging to get his father's necklace off the floor of his one-night stand's bedroom. She (rightfully) denied him and Kevin bared his broken soul for all to see on her front lawn. So much of this season has been about Kevin pretending to be okay so his friends and family can't see how depressed he's become. This episode, and specifically this moment, finally let everyone see how deeply troubled Kevin has gotten. It was a brave moment for him, and hopefully a sign that more is to come in the future.
This Is Us returns Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 9/8c on NBC.