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Home ‘This Is Us’ Season 3, Episode 15 ‘The Waiting Room’ Recap: The Wait Of A Lifetime

‘This Is Us’ Season 3, Episode 15 ‘The Waiting Room’ Recap: The Wait Of A Lifetime

BY Stephanie Larson

Published 3 years ago

'This Is Us' Season 3, Episode 15 'The Waiting Room' Recap: The Wait Of A Lifetime

Watching This Is Us’ newest episode, titled “The Waiting Room,” honestly feels like staring at a tightly stretched rubber band right in front of your face waiting for it to snap and hit you with all the spite in the world.

With absolutely zero music score and increasingly tight conversations, this might be the most intense and uncomfortable episode of This Is Us yet. It pulls you to the end of your seat. And every time someone speaks, you can almost hear teeth gritting or fists clenching somewhere. However, it didn’t seem to have moved the season forward. It didn’t have the usual flare of the show when it comes to plot and story development.

With Kate (Chrissy Metz) and her baby in peril, the whole Pearson family is at their wit’s end. Waiting around for more than 24 hours for news about Kate clearly is not setting them up to their best behavior. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) still aren’t on par with their discussion about who has to give up his/her dream to take care of the kids. Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) relapse is out in the open but it seems that everyone’s choosing to skirt around it. And Rebecca is only conversational enough to say what she notices in the hospital lobby and almost nothing else. No matter how hard they try to help Kate, all they could do is wait.

The First Hours

At almost a day of waiting in the hospital lobby, everyone is antsy. They keep waiting until finally, Kevin gets up to ask about Kate’s condition. Randall checks up on his mom only to find her paying more attention to the furniture around them than what he’s saying. Finally, Kate’s doctor comes out.

Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley in This Is Us Season 3 Episode 15

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Dr. Monroe (Assaf Cohen) tells them that Kate made it to 28 weeks and they have successfully delayed labor. Upon noticing the family’s disgruntled state, he advises them to freshen up and wait for their call for updates. However, Rebecca firmly insists that the family stays. Kevin then pulls Dr. Monroe aside and not so subtly questions his ability to take care of Kate and assures him that he has the means to get other better doctors in the state. Thankfully, Randall interrupts before Kevin can make a further ass of himself.

Later on, Miguel (Jon Huertas) suggests playing a game: Name a food that isn’t made better by either chocolate or ranch. As some of them get on board, Kevin stirs in his seat drawing everyone’s attention. He assures them that though his alcohol drinking might not have been a shining moment, he’s fine and only hungover. He almost delves into a monologue about it before Rebecca subtly tells him to stop.


Zoe (Melanie Liburd) then turns to Kevin and asks him if he was drinking after he left his uncle, Nicky. On his affirmative answer, she prods further and asks if he was drinking in Vietnam and he assures her that he wasn’t. Madison (Caitlin Thompson) then suddenly arrives with a box of donuts. And she tries to strike up a conversation. But, nobody seems interested. So, Miguel kindly includes her into his ranch and chocolate game.

Caitlin Thompson in This Is Us Season 3 Episode 15

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Beth comes back after taking a call, and Randall meets her halfway. He apologizes for her missing a class but, insists on talking about their situation at home. And since his position on the matter hasn’t changed at all, Beth doesn’t want to hear any of it. However, since Randall insists so bad, she brings up the issue to the rest of the family. Kevin supports Beth’s teaching. However, it’s not something Randall wants to hear. Amid the argument, Madison interrupts trying to redirect the conversation. But, Kevin ends up blowing up on her prompting her to leave. After which, Kevin leaves as well to get some air.

Randall tries to get the family to talk about his relapse but, Miguel dad-voice shuts him down telling him to take it one thing at a time. Soon, a nice older lady joins the group. But between her crunchy chips with its crisp grating plastic container noise, the group could only give her burning glares. Before Beth can do anything about it, Randall redirects her attention to their issue again. He argues that they won’t be able to afford childcare with their salaries. And Beth points out that he’s only speaking for her end.


Taking a look at Rebecca, Beth notices how frail she looks and asks if she wants something to eat. Miguel answers for her but, Beth shuts him up and urges Rebecca to answer for herself. Following the awkwardness, Miguel excuses himself. Then, Randall retakes Beth’s attention and tells her that he’s on board with her teaching. If she’s happy, then he is too. But, Beth reads it as being selfish and tells him that she wants him to see it the way she hears it.

Sterling K. Brown in This Is Us Season 3 Episode 15

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Rebecca tries to stand but, immediately falls back down on her seat again. So Beth grabs a donut and offers it to Rebecca. When she tries to refuse, Beth threatens to go full mama mode on her and do the airplane trick.

At the end of the hallway, Miguel comes out of the comfort room to see Madison still lingering around. She then launches into Kate’s birth plan where she has a playlist to play the baby and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll to give the baby. Madison is supposed to be there all along. But, the plan’s falling apart, and the least Madison could do is be there. Miguel shares his own side of being an outsider in the family and tells Madison that if she really wanted to be there, she’ll find a way. Filled with new motivation, Madison heads out.


Kevin comes back then Zoe asks him when his relapse started. He confesses it was back at his uncle’s place. When Zoe asks him why he didn’t talk to her about it, he tells her that he didn’t want to drag her into it. Then he promises that they’ll talk about it soon and that it’s over. The only thing Zoe asks is that he won’t lie to her.

Susan Kelechi Watson and Melanie Liburd in This Is Us Season 3 Episode 15

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

As Kevin gets up to bug the nurse again, Zoe heads to the vending machine. Beth soon follows and asks how Zoe’s doing. Zoe admits that Kevin’s lying bothered her. And Beth comforts her telling her that if she wanted to run, she wouldn’t judge. But, Zoe surprised her when she asked if it’d be the same if she decided to stay. And Beth could only tell her that she would never judge.

Back at the lobby, Miguel asks if Kate and Toby have decided on a name yet. Rebecca clarifies that they’re still waiting to meet the baby before they name him. Then Randall recalls Kate naming all her stuff toys when they were kids. And when he turns to his mother to try to pull her into the conversation again, she simply quiets down. So, Randall tries to ask help from Miguel and Rebecca about his situation with Beth.

While they’re at work, maybe Miguel and Rebecca could take care of the girls. Unfortunately, the couple has already decided to relocate to California to help Kate and Toby out with the baby. This greatly surprises Randall, and he doesn’t give the best reaction to the news. It triggers Kevin’s patience. And he’s soon marching to the nurse’s station to get another update. When he comes back, he announces that Dr. Monroe has just gone into surgery.


Kevin’s announcement vamped up everyone’s worries but, the nurse continues to refuse to give them any other information about Kate’s situation. As Randall comes back from another row with the nurse, an argument soon ensues among the brothers. Miguel tries to step in and break them apart but, it’s Rebecca who ultimately gets it done. After a very detailed recollection of Jack’s time in the hospital, Rebecca tells her children to set aside anything that doesn’t concern Kate at the moment.

Melanie Liburd and Justin Hartley in This Is Us Season 3 Episode 15

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Suddenly, Toby (Chris Sullivan) comes out of the operating room in a daze. It turns out, the baby’s heart rate dropped, so they had to perform an emergency C-section on Kate. He then announces that Kate has given birth to a really tiny baby boy. And that baby is now in an incubator to help him breathe. Sadly, the family isn’t allowed to see Kate yet but, the relief is evident in everyone’s faces.

And since Kate and the baby are stable, everyone gets up to leave. As the family is leaving, a lot of ‘thanks for putting up with us’ statements are passed around the room. Madison catches Miguel before he leaves and gives him the Ruth doll to pass on to Kate later on. And Randall also gives his approval to Miguel and Rebecca’s move to California. He and Beth also assure them that they’ll find a way for their own problem.  

On the other hand, Kevin opens up his vulnerable side to Zoe and asks her to stay by his side. It seems that things are going to go well with the two. But, when Kevin leaves, and Beth replaces him, Zoe tells her that Kevin’s water bottle is filled with vodka. She unwittingly discovered it when she took a sip earlier while the brothers were arguing.  

Baby Jack

After the gruesome wait, Kate and Toby finally meet their baby boy. He’s very premature. He’s tiny. But, he’s alive, and Kate and Toby have already fallen in love with him. They ultimately decide to name him Jack. Grabbing Toby’s hand, Kate starts to speak to her father asking him to make everything okay for baby Jack. Because even if her dad isn’t there, Kate still somehow believes that he could do that for her. While holding onto her son’s hand, she assures herself, Toby, and baby Jack that it’s going to be okay.

This Is Us continues Tuesday, March 19th, with “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” at 8/7c on NBC.

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