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Justin Hartley Turns In Riveting & Emotional Performance In "All About Kevin" Episode Of THIS IS US!

Courtesy/AP

If you caught last night’s episode of NBC’s This Is Us, you saw an outstanding performance by Justin Hartley (Ex- Adam, Y&R) in the first of a three-parter, which in each features a story centered around one of The Big Three – Kevin, Kate (Chrissy Metz), and Randall (Sterling K. Brown).

This week it was focused on Kevin going from the present to the past which the NBC drama does so well.  In story, now addicted to painkillers, Kevin has spiraled out of control and spends his days and nights popping-pills, and drinking booze.  Set against the backdrop of being honored at his former high school (a very clever move by the outstanding writers of the series) Kevin relives the big game-changer in his life when his future hopes of being a college football quarterback sensation, and then on to the pros, are dashed when he is injured on the field during a high school game.  It is there that Hartley delivers a masterful monologue as a drug-induced adult looking back on the play that ended his hopes and dreams, and how history repeated itself it during the filming of his first feature film.

In a flashback, Jack (Milo Ventimigilia) delivers the news to a young Kevin (Logan Shroyer) that he suffered a “catastrophic” break to his knee and that will have to put an end to his football career. Next, he gives Kevin the medallion he’s wearing around his neck.  Jack says, “Someone very special gave it to me, back in Vietnam.” He goes on to say that it’s a Buddhist symbol for “purpose” and that he received it when he was having a really hard time. Then he confesses that when the Big Three were born that: “You were my purpose, Kevin. And I swear to you, son, you will find yours.”

In present time, Kevin is acknowledged on stage and receives his award from his former coach and friend, Duffy Collins, played by none other than former Days of our Lives cast member, James Read (Ex-Clyde). When it’s Kevin’s time to accept, he says to the audience in the school auditorium: “The truth is, I’m not worth of this award or any honor, for that matter.”  But, still Kevin gets a rousing, standing ovation. Everyone only wants a photo for their social media posts with Kevin, and bask in the celebrity of it all, not realizing Kevin is crumbling before their very eyes.

Trying to get some fresh air outside, Kevin is hit on by a woman who used to have a crush on him in high school.  First, he turns down her advances … later, we see he is naked in bed with her!  After combing her place for any kind of prescription painkillers … he steals a page from her prescription pad (she is plastic surgeon, you see).  He runs out of her place, leaving behind the medallion his father gave him.  After standing in line at a pharmacy to get the prescription filled for his drug habit, Kevin is overcome when he realizes the medallion is gone from around his neck. He bolts back to the surgeon’s place, and she won’t let him in! Then, in a hankie-filled moment, Kevin breaks down in front of her house desperate for the one thing he has to hold on to from his father, while crying, “I just need somebody to help me.”

Next, we see Kevin showing up at Randall’s house, but he learns bad news before he confronts Randall and can tell him what has been happening to him. Randall knows Kevin is here to see him, because Kate lost her baby! Kevin is shocked. We go to black.

So, what did you think of the performance of Justin Hartley and what did you think of the episode?  How would you rate it? Comment below!

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rebecca1
rebecca1

I thought it was one of THE best episodes, if not THE BEST episode, I have ever seen on television. You’re right Michael Fairman, it was riveting, emotional…not a wasted second in the entire episode. I can’t give enough accolades to Justin Hartley’s performance. I think they should make an exception and give him an ACADEMY AWARD, LOL…for his performance…and set aside the fact that the performance was for TV.

He broke my heart. The gorgeous kid, by the way, the actor who plays young Keven is superlative, as well. He captures all the mannerisms of the adult Kevin. Actually, all the younger actors do. Each of the three actually look and act like the adult versions. Great casting/acting by all. But as the younger Kevin, he’s obviously idolized and given special attention by teachers, students, alike, because of his great looks. Throw in the football star…and he was the heartthrob as a teenager…and continued on to one in adulthood. And, yet, after the football accident, he didn’t feel worthy. And so the “applause” didn’t mean anything to him. Defeated, feeling he was only loved for his looks and not his talent….his downward spiral escalates. Uggggg…so incredibly poignant. And the scenes with Milo as dad? LOVE Milo! Again, heartbreaking…

The medallion (which I hope he finds) must have been given to Jack by his brother (the brother we’ve yet to meet in flashbacks as an adult).

I truly feel, as much as I love every episode of this show, that this was the most powerful of them all. Just can’t say enough how much it moved me….

Soaphound
Soaphound

Oh, Rebecca, you speak the truth again. I was tearing up more than once. This episode was a breakthrough for me. I’ve always thought Justin was a terrific actor but this is the first time I connected with him on such a deep emotional level. Just superb, award caliber. That episode last week really moved me, too. When that judge had that heart to heart with Randall’s dad, I nearly lost it. What a great role for veteran character actor Sam Anderson. All in all, the best drama series for me right now.

Patrick
Patrick

this next week show.. is going to drop me

kate loses her baby

rebecca1
rebecca1

Thanks, Soaphound…tears….

If you don’t watch Queen Sugar, I recommend it. Also great human drama with excellent acting. On OWN (Oprah’s channel). By the way, on a soap opera note… first season, Gregg Vaughn had a role in it.

Patrick
Patrick

I – had – to go and watch that ep – because of your post

I am dumbstruck by all the emotions .. so seamlessly woven .. with consummate acting…

( I do not make the time to keep up with this show ) oy !

ps: this is just food for thought – I had hoped that I could get my partner to watch this show with me…. just haven’t made it that far. so that’s my excuse

HE DOES , however… “chide” me on how much time I spend on this site. ” are you talking to your friends again ? ” Laughing out loud

I am an evolved s – e – r – I – a – l addict

Justin Hartley… made me cry … for all the heart tug and pull…

especially about his relationship with his father… or lack : SOB

as you stated .. he had better get that medallion back.. as he fell to the ground

“help me ” Help me… heart wrenching and it was such the best cry.. because… all the beats of emotion – played – out

from A to Z

so… all the reeling by this fantastic production… I am so proud … that a serial of this magnitude is alive and well….

yeah, i’m fanatical when it comes to my mindset w/GH writing.

what a complete bang up bravado @NBC appropriately

“This is US ”

I loved it when he shared with his fellow classmate .. who he bedded… that he was first in everything… and it all crashed down around him.. WITH his father by his bedside… telling his son.. he has other “talents” etc… that will surface

AND here we are… god it was raw – the audience knowing.. yeah, he’s a successful actor.. and his crashing .. took ALL these years later…

he’s a flawed character… and he showed us all.. his pent up emotions dam spill

rebecca1
rebecca1

Oh, Patrick…I’m so glad my post moved you to watch the episode. The power of words…

LOL regarding you and your “addiction.” I’d say you’re in good company here! We all need an intervention! 🙂

Elizabeth Belliveau
Elizabeth Belliveau

I agree 100%…almost every episode has had me reaching for the tissues but so far, two have really hit me hard. The episode when Randall’s birth father dies (my parents are both terminally as well) and this episode about Kevin. He did a fantastic job as well as Randall/his birth dad. All the actors on this show are phenomenal as well as the writers and crew. I love how different this show is…you never know how it’s going to go. I absolutely love the show even though such heartbreaking things happen.

JMER
JMER

I loved this ep as I do all of This is Us’s eppies. The weaving of the past and present is very DT serial style but done on a weekly basis–something no other show before has done effectively as far as I’m aware.

su0000
su0000

The best thing Justin has done is leave Y&R for the big time..
‘This is Us’ is one of my favs. he got himself a winner, a sitcom with a long future.

Tucker
Tucker

THIS IS US is NOT a sit-com!!

You must be hearing the laugh track in your head!!!

Elizabeth Belliveau
Elizabeth Belliveau

Maybe remembering “The Manny” LOL

rebecca1
rebecca1

sitcoms are comedies, Su… like GH. LOL. Kidding!

jacque
jacque

Outstanding….

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am blown away by each epidote of This Is Us and Tuesday was no exception. Justin’s performance was riveting and heartbreaking. He took us on an emotional rollercoaster the entire episode. Kudos to Milo Ventimiglia and Logan Shorter (teen Kevin) too. By the end, I was exhausted; but loved every second of it. Then when Randall said Kate lost the baby, my heart stopped. Excellence in story telling, writing, acting and production can be done when a production company, cast and crew put their minds to it. Bravo This Is Us!!!!!!!!!!!! Bravo Justin Hartley!!!!!!!!!!!

Timmm
Timmm

Muhney is still my favorite Adam BUT, watching Justin on this show tells me how lucky Y&R was to have him for such a short period of time and how lucky NBC is to nab him for this role as Kevin. His 50 yard line retrospect on his life is an Emmy clip, for sure!

K/kay
K/kay

MM was what the character was suppose to be the Dark Knight 2 when JH took over they made him a romantic type of guy only crazy about Chelsea maybe shared two scenes with Case so I was never interested in his portrayal but that was Pratt and JFP having no idea what the character was about. Off topic but I have heard JT is coming back for a abuser to Victoria not interested in that story he never showed signs of that.

su0000
su0000

Which is your favorite character on This Is Us ??
you can only choose 1 , just ! ..
I know that makes it hard, but its meant to be hard to chose just one.
Just one, which one??

Fanny
Fanny

JACK, hands down ‼️

rebecca1
rebecca1

I love them all soooooooo much; and it IS difficult to pick one! Okay. Kevin. No…Kate. Wait! Ummmmmm…Randall. Sigh…If I must…JACK! ( but oh how I love Kevin…LOL…and the others!

Patrick
Patrick

Milo Ventimiglia – as Jack

f – o – r : ALL the smolder

’nuff said. when you have some one so good looking.. WHO can act.. emmy nominated for this role. thank you very much

rebecca1
rebecca1

ummmmm…su0000…who’s YOUR favorite???

Elizabeth Belliveau
Elizabeth Belliveau

I’m not going to answer this…because I can’t ! Every actor on the show has a way of connecting you to them.

k/kay
k/kay

Never have watched the show I do know the reviews are good I am told that when you do watch you have to pay close attention because of the moving back and forth which reminds me of Bloodline’s first season on Netflix .

Fanny
Fanny

Excellent performance…yet Kevin remains my least favorite sibling on
THIS IS US. I adored his strength of character as Adam on Y&R.
I first noticed him on Revenge.

elm1951
elm1951

justin is an extraordinary actor but his true talent was not shown on y&r because of the way the character was written………jmo

Nikki
Nikki

This guy is such a great actor. I knew from the time of Y & R he was going places. Just saw “Bad Mom’s Christmas” WOW! You just have to see him in this (no pun intended). It was sooo funny and as usual Justin was the show. So happy for him!

xmascarol
xmascarol

Justin is such an outstanding actor,his performance just made me cry.I really felt for his character of Kevin.Well done again Justin.I do watch the show every single week.I love it.

Tani Sterling
Tani Sterling

Wow! Missed it. The program’s schedule hasn’t leveled with me. The reviews are appreciated.

Christmas Carol
Christmas Carol

Boy can Justin ever act.This episode not only made me feel bad for Kevin but I actually cried when he was yelling and crying for help. It was so sad.It really moved me.If something like that happened in real life I would give that person not only a hug but my hand.Justin you deserve an award for your performance.

Elizabeth Belliveau
Elizabeth Belliveau

Well said!

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