Don't get us wrong, he's grown on us, especially in his comic relief moments with Toby (Chris Sullivan) or Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), but it's hard for many people to relate to the struggles of an extremely successful, attractive man wanting to find legitimacy in his career. You have a mansion, calm down Kevin, you know?
All of that changed in Tuesday's episode of This Is Us, "Deja Vu" when Kevin was awarded the chance to act alongside his dad's Hollywood hero, Sylvester Stallone. The memory of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) that came with working so closely with Sly was a distracting presence for Kevin, who was determined to prove himself to be a real actor in Stallone's eyes. It was an obstacle, but it also brought out the deepest layers in Kevin that we've seen on the series so far.
Kevin has been the most reluctant of the Big 3 to talk about their father's death or the impact it had on him. We know he hates planes because of what happened, but otherwise we still don't understand why Kevin is so hard put to talk about his feelings around that tragic event.
The eldest Pearson kid stumbled his lines in front of Stallone, but he was bluntly honest when Kate (Chrissy Metz) pushed him on the tender subject in his trailer. He lashed out at her in a way we've never seen, but it was a necessary moment of growth for the show. Kevin and Kate's relationship needs to be tested in order to prove why they are so close besides just saying, "Twins." The brutal exchanged proved that Kevin is hiding some dark stuff under his optimistic, Hollywood-centric exterior — and we want to see more of it.
The good news is that it looks like we might. Kevin tried to overcorrect for fumbling his dialogue by being an action hero in the stunt scene. However, his thoughts were once again tangled with his memories of Jack and he tripped, fell into a ditch and re-aggravated his knee injury — the one that was still healing as a teenager when he first found out his father died. He was icing his knee cap safe and sound in his trailer when he called to make up with Kate, who was immediately concerned about the injury.
It seemed like Kate was being overly dramatic until Kevin hung up and hobbled over to the trailer cabinet to find his pain killers. His hesitance in popping one back raised our suspicion that Kevin is peering down a dark path of addiction. We already know the disease runs in the family, but is this a demon he's already tried to conquer or something else that's going to make Kevin's path to legitimacy more complicated? No matter the answer, it only means good things for the development of Kevin going forward, and we're here for it.
This Is Us continues Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.