This Is Us Round Table: Was Toby Right?

Now that This Is Us is back, there’s a lot to talk about!

This Is Us Season 5 Episode 10 featured Toby and Kevin butting heads, Malik turning to Randall, and more.

Our TV Fanatics Sarah Little, Christine Orlando, Carissa Pavlica, and Jack Ori discuss who was right in the tiff between Toby and Kevin, what should happen next now that Carol is staying indefinitely, and what our favorite moments were. Read on!

Toby was offended at Kevin’s offer to help out after learning about his job loss. Who was right: Kevin, Toby, or both of them?

Sarah: I don’t know if it was a matter of right or wrong, it was just misplaced anger.

Toby was mad at himself and the world and took it out on Kevin. You can’t really blame Toby, even though he said some harsh things.

He was rightfully upset and he is human. Thankfully, this was just a little tiff between Toby and Kevin, and they were able to make up by the end of the episode.

Christine: Toby overreacted to Kevin’s generosity, but as Sarah said above, that’s human.

He just lost his job. He’s got a house and two young kids and no foreseeable job prospects. That’s scary and very stressful.

Kevin was right to want to help out, and Toby was right to want to make it on his own.

It’s just that life doesn’t always give us what we want when we want it.

Hopefully, Kate’s new job helps her and Toby get back on their feet soon so that the next time Kevin offers their kids gifts, it won’t feel so much like a handout.

Carissa: I can’t imagine it’s easy living in the shadow of someone famous. They can get insane amounts of money for their job, and it’s not uncommon for people to think it’s an easy job that doesn’t deserve it.

Add to that situation that they’re both new fathers, and I think they’d both like to see each other on more equal footing.

Kate has always been important to Kevin. Their relationship suggests that Kevin would do anything for his sister.

Toby knew that. His early relationship with Kate survived with Kevin’s support.

But there’s nothing more stressful than a new baby and a job search happening simultaneously, so Toby didn’t appreciate Kevin’s gesture.

And Kevin takes all of the extras in stride, never allowing it to change who he is, so he sometimes misses those cues from others.

They’ll be fine, and if it becomes necessary for Toby and Kate to accept some help, Toby won’t turn it down. He just needs time to realize accepting help doesn’t mean he’s deficient in any way.

Jack: Agreed with all of the above. As someone who has struggled at times with finding a way to earn a living, I understood where Toby was coming from.

I didn’t like the way he lashed out at Kevin, but I understood his feelings of failing at life because he’s not able to provide for his family right this second.

I also understood Kevin’s desire to help and that he felt rejected because Toby didn’t want it.

Thank goodness this didn’t lead to anything more than a “sushi skirmish,” as Toby put it later.

Was Randall wrong to keep Malik’s confidence about Jennifer coming back into his life?

Sarah: I think Randall should have at least advised Malik to tell Deja, but it wasn’t his place to tell her.

It’s a tricky situation, though, and I can see why Deja was upset. She is Randall’s daughter, and he should always think of her first.

Christine: In Randall’s defense, Malik just told him! Malik was confiding in Randall because of his unique experience, having not known his biological mother.

Although I can understand Deja’s feelings, and Randall should and does always have her back, I feel even more for Malik.

These are momentous decisions for any parent to make, never mind one who is still a teen.

I give him credit for trying to make the most informed decision possible for his daughter instead of simply reacting emotionally or following his parents’ lead. Malik is mature beyond his years.

Carissa: I agree with Christine.

Sharing it during a dinner party wasn’t an option.

The situation is just like what happened between Toby and Kevin. Bad timing and feeling left out and less than.

For Deja, it was more about concern that Malik might become involved with Jennifer again. She just needed her dad’s shoulder, and she always has it.

Jack: I understood Deja feeling betrayed, but as Christine points out above, Randall just found out himself. 

It led to one of the best scenes of the hour, though, when Randall reassured Deja that he’s always Team Deja, so it’s all good.

Now that Carol is staying with the Pearsons indefinitely, what do you most hope to see happen involving her?

Sarah: I hope to see more growth between Carol and Beth.

There’s still a lot of unresolved tension between the two of them, at least on Beth’s side.

So, I want them to address those issues in a meaningful way and, hopefully, be able to forge a strong mother/daughter relationship from it.

Christine: Hopefully, Beth and Carol talk to one another more and can be more of a support system instead of adversaries.

And kudos to Beth for claiming this as her turn for her family to stay with them since the Pearsons think nothing of dropping in for indefinite periods of time.

I also hope to see more of Tess and Carol’s relationship.

As much as it hurts Beth right now, it’s not the worst thing for Tess to have another trusted adult to confide in, and that it’s her grandmother is a good sign.

There are far worse people Tess could be turning to as a teen.

Carissa: Exploring any family outside of the original nuclear family of Pearsons always adds dimension, so I’m open to anything.

Randall could use the experience outside of his framework, as well.

Beth is fully incorporated with the Pearsons, but we haven’t seen that it’s the same for him and Beth’s family. This will allow that.

Jack: I’m also hoping for more growth between Beth and Carol. 

Carol has often been portrayed as the antagonist of sorts in Beth and Randall’s story of the moment, and I thought the conversation Carol and Beth had after the big blowup was a good beginning toward changing that.

I’m curious as to how Carol’s relationships with Deja and Annie will develop since we’ve already seen that she is close with Tess.

Finally, I’m looking forward to Carol interacting with the other Pearsons, especially now that there are three new babies in the family.

Nicky showed up on Kevin’s doorstep just as he and Madison were settling into the idea of just being with each other and their kids. React!

Sarah: To be honest, Nicky was the last person I expected to see behind that door. But I am so happy to see him!

Nicky and Kevin have such a wonderful and complex relationship, so it’ll be interesting to see how Nicky gets along with Madison and the twins.

Christine: As much as I’m happy to see Nicky, a phone call would have been nice. Who just drops in on a couple with newborn twins and during a pandemic!

But I know how much Kevin loves his Uncle Nicky.

Nicky must have been very touched to know they named their son after him. I just hope it doesn’t add any additional stress to a house with not one but two newborns.

Carissa: Is he visiting or is he there to stay?

Even if he’s there long-term, Nicky has been private all of his life. Won’t he want to stay somewhere else?

But he missed everything with his brother’s kids, and now that Kevin, who has become like a son to him, has his own children, it’s beautiful that he’s putting himself out there.

As we know with the Pearsons, the more there are, the more interesting it becomes!

Jack: When the knock on the door came, the thought popped into my head that I hoped it was Nicky. I was thrilled to be right!

Nicky really grew on me during This Is Us Season 4, and I missed him when he disappeared in the second half of the season.

My big question is whether he came alone or whether he has someone with him. They made such a big deal last season out of Cassidy, and then she vanished into thin air… could she back too?

Was Tess’s anger at Beth an example of Tess seeing Beth the same way Beth sees Carol, or was it just teenage irritation with their parents?

Sarah: That’s a really good point. I never thought about it that way.

In my mind, I dismissed Tess’s annoyance with her mother as teenage angst.

That’s probably because the episode was made to be seen through Beth’s eyes, so we automatically sympathize with her.

But Tess’s feelings are real, and I hope the show explores that tension between her and Beth more.

Christine: Both. Part of it is being a teenager and feeling like everyone, especially her parents, don’t understand her.

But Tess feels her mother is judging her at every turn, even when she isn’t, which mirrors Beth and Carol’s relationship.

Maybe with all three of them under one roof, they will realize that and deal with it instead of this spilling over into yet another generation.

Carissa: Teenage irritation.

And to be fair to Beth, I think the differences between kids and their parents now is more significant than it was when Beth and Carol were the same ages.

Keeping up feels impossible, and if Tess isn’t talking to her mom, then how is she supposed to know what’s going on?

Kids have a way of wanting their parents to know nothing but expecting them to understand everything. That’s just not possible.

Jack: I’m sure it is at least partially teenage irritation.

I also wonder how much Tess feels that Beth doesn’t understand her sexual orientation. 

Gay and trans kids often feel so different from their peers and have a hard time talking to their parents about issues related to their orientation, even if their parents are accepting of them, and a parent can be accepting without necessarily understanding it.

In any case, I’m with Christine on this: I hope that with Carol there, this can be addressed before we end up with a second generation of resentment between mother and daughter.

Discuss anything not covered above.

Sarah: I’m so happy that Kate is going back to work! And especially because it sounds like a job she would really love and thrive at. But I wonder what kind of friction this might cause between her and Toby.

Their future as a couple is still a big question mark thanks to his lack of a wedding ring and her complete absence in the flash-forwards.

Christine: I enjoyed the glimpse into everyone’s experiences with their newborns.

That’s what it’s like when you bring a new baby home, the days all blend together, sleep is an oasis that disappears before you reach it, and you forget how many days it’s been since you showered!

I also looked up this magical Snoo. It’s a $1,500 bassinet that promises your child will sleep!

I could never have afforded such a thing, but there were plenty of nights I would have wanted one.

Carissa: I want to talk hair and makeup.

Beth looked absolutely beautiful for their dinner, and Deja has grown into such a pretty young woman. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them.

Jack: I never heard of a Snoo either! A lot of fans are wondering how many people are going to look into getting one now that This Is Us promoted them throughout the episode. LOL.

I laughed out loud when Annie was fine with leaving the table as long as she got to use the iPad. My sister’s kids are just like that, so it was a small but super realistic moment.

I hope to see more of Annie’s interactions with Carol as well as with the rest of the family. She’s getting older now, and I’m beyond ready for her to have a storyline of her own.

What was your favorite scene, storyline, or quote from this week’s This Is Us?

Sarah: My favorite scene by far was the one between Randall and Deja.

There are so many good relationships on the show, but they are definitely one of my favorites.

I love how far they’ve come since Deja was first taken in by the Pearsons and the growth both her and Randall have shown.

Plus, Deja stating that Randall is her Day One made me way more emotional than I thought it would.

Christine: I appreciated both Toby calling out that Kevin and Madison have a nanny and then Kevin immediately sticking up for Madison.

Nothing like being told you’re not doing enough while you’re sitting at a dinner table with your breast practically hanging out of your shirt as you feed your child.

I also loved Randall throughout this episode, from his basil named Isaac to his reaction to having to relinquish his phone at dinner. “But I’m a Councilman. What if there’s an emergency? I’ll just let the city burn.”

Carissa: I enjoyed the scene between Randall and Malik because of how much he wanted a son.

He felt so seen as a man and as a child of adoption. I loved it.

And yes, Christine, I laughed out loud when he said he’d let the city burn. And the look on Beth’s face said, “You’re damn right you will!”

I also enjoyed seeing Kevin so excited about fatherhood and his relationship with Madison. I always knew he’d be so good at the family thing, and watching it come to fruition is a lot of fun.

Jack: Deja and Randall’s conversation was my favorite scene as well.

I also liked Kate’s phone call to Rebecca near the end. Knowing that Rebecca’s cognitive decline will get worse makes me grateful for every moment her kids get with her.

Your turn, This Is Us Fanatics!

Hit the big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button and share your answers to the This Is Us Season 5 Episode 10 Round Table questions.

Want to refresh your memory first? Just watch This Is Us online right here on TV Fanatic.

This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.

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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

You can view the original article HERE.

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