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Kevin Butts Heads With Miguel on NBC’s THIS IS US

By on January 15, 2018

THIS IS US -- "Clooney" Episode 212 -- Pictured: Sterling K. Brown as Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

While not every episode of NBC’s This is Us can pack the emotional gut-punch of last season’s “Memphis” or even last week’s therapy themed “The Fifth Wheel,” Jan. 16th’s “Clooney” feels like, if not filler material, then certainly a calm before the next emotional storm — a feeling that is only reinforced by an ominous moment in the hour’s closing seconds we won’t spoil for you here. 

Titled “Clooney,” a reference to the ugly alley cat Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) cared for (and surprisingly not in any way related to Kevin), the episode is pleasantly peppered throughout with voiceovers and flashbacks to William’s life just prior to meeting his son, as Randall sets out to solve a pleasant mystery from his father’s notebooks.

You’ll nod. You’ll smile, but ultimately you’ll forget this romantic interlude as it’s merely a setup for a bigger and potentially more interesting Randall and Beth-centered storyline over episodes to come.

While Randall pours his energies into his intriguing little puzzle this week, Kevin (Justin Hartley) begins a journey of his own — chiefly that of getting to know and understand step-dad Miguel (Jon Huertas). At least the opportunity to do so is offered — or thrust upon, depending on your view — Kevin when he leaves rehab under the care and supervision of his mother, only to find himself rubbing shoulders (and butting heads) with the long-suffering Miguel when he comes to live with the couple.

Don’t expect Kevin to fall into Miguel’s arms and call him Dad any time soon, but do prepare to like this outsider a little bit more.

And while “Clooney” isn’t eager to revisit last week’s “family of addicts” theme in any meaningful way, the hour does return to Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) post-miscarriage binge-eating relapse, by means of revisiting a secondary character with a familiar eating disorder.

Will Kate help or hinder this vulnerable other, whose journey surprisingly mirrors her own? We’re not saying here, but we can tell you the storyline is handled with integrity and doesn’t stray too far into melodrama territory.

All in all “Clooney” is an enjoyable hour, but it’s not one that will have you reaching for the tissues. But don’t worry. You’ll likely need them soon enough.

The “Clooney” episode of This is Us airs Tuesday, January 16 2018 (09:00PM – 10:01PM) on NBC. 

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THIS IS US -- "Clooney"

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THIS IS US -- "Clooney" Episode 212 -- Pictured: Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

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