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THIS IS US: Randall Dismantled As Sterling K. Brown Delivers Masterful Performance

Courtesy/NBC

In yet another riveting performance by Sterling K. Brown, the highly-touted episode that aired on Tuesday’s night’s This Is Us, had his character of Randall in the spotlight again, as the first of the Big Three trilogy this season.  Next week, look for the installment to center on Justin Hartley’s Kevin.However, last night on the episode aptly titled, “Hello of a Week: Part One”, viewers followed what happened next to Randall following his return home after the stress of flying across the country to get a diagnosis for his ailing mother’s memory lapses (while keeping it from his siblings), and then winding up facing an intruder in the Pearson family home.After Randall offers the intruder money, the guy runs out of the home.

Next, the police come, and Randall installs surveillance cameras and security alarms throughout the house, which ends up being a continued tipping point in his mental state as he obsesses over keeping his family and his home safe, especially when the cops tells him that it is common for a thief to return,. It appears later in the episode he did when Beth’s earrings and Randall’s cufflinks are MIA.

Photo by: NBC

Throughout the episode, flashbacks to Randall’s childhood showed little Randall, unable to sleep and afraid of monsters, who then asks his dad, Jack to stay with him through the night.  Jack sleeps on the floor, but when Jack eventually gets up to go to his own bed, he tells Randall who comes running after him, “to be brave: and that he needs him to be the easiest child to care for since Kate and Kevin are handfuls.

This laid the foundation for how Randall deals with others, by not letting them know his inner most feelings.   The writers juxtapose Randall’s dreams throughout where he feels he can’t get out whether it be screaming through a locked window at his mother to get out of the storm, or watching some creepy guy touch Beth and he screams so loud, but you can’t hear him,

In addition, in flashbacks, we see how a college-aged Randall needing college-aged Beth to spend countless nights with him. At one point he tells her, “I just feel so helpless, like I have no control over anything,” especially following the death of his father Jack.  Beth says she can understand. She had bad dreams after her father passed away, but after she talked to a therapist she began to feel better.  In a key moment, Randall agrees to attend an grief group with her, but that plan goes awry when on the day they were heading to the grief counseling group, Randall’s family has an emergency and he could not go.

The theme of Randall seeking counseling surfaced later in the episode after Randall was struggling to hold it together as City Councilman at the Town Hall, which did not go unnoticed by Beth or by Malik’s dad, Darnell.

The next day, he tells Randall that he himself needed therapy and suggest he do that to.  Randall says all he needs is his runs around the city to help him clear his head.  But that takes another drastic turn when Randall comes upon a woman being beaten and proceeds to pounce on the aggressor.  Next, Randall with messed up arm from landing punches on the guy, ends up being touted as a hero for saving the woman’s life.  He is not comfortable with that and he begins to lose his grip.

In the culmination of the episode, locking himself in the bathroom in his home, Randall begins to cry and phones Kevin.  Thank God his brother answered, as he seems to be the only person Randall feels he can talk to, and has, through his life.  At the time of the call, Kevin is in bed with what looks to potentially be Sophie, because he was heading back to Pittsburgh for a funeral of one of her parents.  But is it Sophie, or another woman?

During their call, Randall begs Kevin just to talk, and to please  distract him. Kevin promises his brother, “I’m the guy that’s gonna get you through this,”   Will Kevin ultimately help Randall, or will what happens next become the huge rift that we know exists between the brothers in the flash-forward viewers learned about episodes ago?

This Is Us executive producers, Issac Aptaker, and Elizabeth Berger weighed-in on revisiting Randall’s anxiety and panic attacks with Entertaintment Weekly. This is something that was hot on all of our minds, because over the past year, a couple of the writers in our room had had people break into their homes when they were home,” shared Issac Aptaker.  “People would come in and we would see the impact that it has on you when someone invades your space like that — the aftermath and the fallout. So, as we were looking at what Randall’s season would look like, and what would be potentially the breaking point for him with all that’s been brewing this year, it was at the front of all of our minds at how upsetting something like that can be.”

“We’ve seen that Randall is someone that is so in touch with his feelings emotionally, and he is so willing to talk about everything, but there does seem to be this block with him when it comes to therapy, where he just does not want to engage,” says Elizabeth Berger. “That really fascinated all of us and got us thinking, “What’s that about? And how do we get him to a point where he has his back against the wall and has to move past coping mechanisms and keeping things just below the surface and finally deal with them?” And this felt like a really compelling way to go about that.”

When all was said and done, Sterling K. Brown delivered a nuanced and masterful performance as viewers watched Randall slowly but surely, struggling to cope with all the pressure, and horrific events that happened to him one after the other, as Randall’s anxiety and panic attacks were about to reach epic proportions.

So, what did you think of last night’s This Is Us? Sterling’s performance? Comment below.

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To me, Mr. Brown is one of the industry’s most overrated actors. He’s competent and obviously dedicated. But he telegraphs every emotion ahead of time so we know exactly which expression he’ll have (usually either bewilderment or confusion), just as he did in THE PEOPLE VS. O. J. SIMPSON. Whenever an episode focuses entirely on Randall, the show grinds to a very slow trot. It’s best when the adult siblings are interacting. That’s the show’s strength.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Tells Nina He Knows Exactly Who He Is; Jason & Carly’s Wedding Comes to an Explosive Conclusion

Is it game over for Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros), or does she have another trick up her sleeve to keep Sonny (Maurice Benard) to herself, now that he remembers who is he?

On Friday’s dramatic episode of General Hospital, “Mike” looks to be gone and Sonny has come back in full force complete with a super hero moment escaping from being trapped underneath the beam that had fallen on top of him inside the burning Tan-O.  Sonny makes his escape after inhaling so many fumes, that he needs medical attention and is rushed to the hospital with Nina going along with him.

Inside the hospital, once given the all clear, Phyllis (Joyce Guy) tells Nina, “Mike” is asking for her, while Jax (Ingo Rademacher) pleads to let the doctors handle this situation.  But, Nina heads inside the room to see Sonny.  Then came the dramatic moment that many GH fans were waiting for.  As Nina calls him “Mike, he rips off his oxygen mask in anger and says that his name is Sonny and he remembers everything!  Nina does a pivot, knowing she is caught, and says the name may have have been a fake one, but they cannot deny the way they feel about each other.  She tells him that she honestly loves him and Sonny defiantly tells her NOT to say that.  Meanwhile Jax confirms to Phyllis that Nina always knew that “Mike” was Sonny and hid it from her and Sonny for months!

Back in Port Charles, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly’s (Laura Wright) wedding comes to a conclusion! No one interrupts the wedding and the two look lovingly at each other to start their new life together as husband and wife.

Courtesy/ABC

After the ceremony, mobsters Ms. Wu, Vincent, and Charles have a moment where she says “be wary of tomorrow”.  Jason and Carly have a moment alone where Jason looks truly in love with Carly now and all of those feelings he had buried for years have now come back to the surface. How will this all play out when Sonny comes back into everyone’s lives, alive and well?

After the reception had ended, Jason and Carly get in their limo to drive away as newlyweds.  She asks Jason what Ms. Wu whispered in his ear at the reception, he says she confirmed something he already knew.  Meanwhile, Vincent and Charles get in their limo.  Charles shares the world is about to be a better place without Carly and Jason in it.

Next, Carly tells the driver to start the car, and we see a bomb device under a car and the chapel blown up as the show comes to its conclusion.

Our bet is that the Novak/Buscema car was blown to bits, not Jarly’s limo thanks to a Wu double-cross, but we shall see next week! Great performances from Maurice Benard, Cynthia Watros, Laura Wright, and Steve Burton throughout this one.

So, what did you think of the moment Sonny told Nina he remembered who he is? What did you think of Jason and Carly’s nuptials? What do you think will happen next? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Kicks-Off Possession Storyline Revisted with ‘Doug’ Twist Cliffhanger, Followed by Fall Preview

Did the ‘Devil’ make them do it? Doug Williams  (Bill Hayes) is Satan? In what can only be described as major surprise twist on NBC’s Days of our Lives, for weeks, fans have thought they were about to embark on another dementia or Alzheimer’s storyline on the soaps with another beloved character.

However, Days head writer, Ron Carlivati ,and his writing team came up with a way to make it seem like this may be Doug’s fate only to use the long-running character as the impetus to bring the classic possession storyline back on the air some 25 years later.

It all goes down after Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) calls Marlena (Deidre Hall) to ask him to see Doug, after his MRI and other tests proved inconclusive for dementia, etc, to see if Dr. Evans can assess him.  The phone call to Marlena happened after John (Drake Hogestyn) was discussing the past, since Johnny (Carson Boatman) is ramping up to a shoot a movie on Sami’s life, that will include the time that Sami walked in on John and Marlena having sex, which caused Sami to act out for years and years.

 

However, and this is key, John tells Marlena that moment in time also left her alone and vulnerable to the darkest time in her life – alluding to when she became possessed by the devil – and Marlena was clearly having difficulty admitting that or going down that road of remembrance, when the phone call from Kayla saved her from digging deeper into the past.  Well now, John and Marlena may never have that conversation as she is primed to once again become possessed.

Meanwhile, Johnny is reading Will’s script for the Sami movie, and is shocked to read in it that Marlena was once possessed by the devil, as John takes out a dusty box with his Father John collar, a bible, and a news clipping of Marlena being possessed.  John is feeling that this movie will bring bad things on to all those he loves, especially Doc, and he looks to be right!

Now at her office with Doug, he admits he knows something is wrong.  He acts out and does strange things and does not know why.  Marlena brings up why Doug locked Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) in a freezer by accident. Doug gets adamant saying: “That was no accident. I locked that bitch in there on purpose.”  Marlena is shocked at his word and tone.  Then as Doug laughs, he says, “I’m not Doug.”  Next thing you know, the lowered voice of Satan comes out of Doug’s mouth and he tells Doc, “It’s been over 25 years Marlena. But did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” End of episode.  Great cliffhanger!

Now, check out the fall preview released following the airing of Friday’s episode by NBC below, which teases more demonic moments on Days. Then let us know in the comment section, what you thought of the ‘Doug’ twist as the possession storyline begins?

Plus, make sure to cast your vote in ‘Michael’s Poll’ of the week on the revisiting of this classic tale now in 2021 below the preview.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Jason asks Carly to Marry Him and She Responds “With All My Heart”

The stage is set now for General Hospital’s Jason/Carly/Sonny/Nina story to explode as things heated up between longtime friends and former lovers, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly (Laura Wright) just as Jax (Ingo Rademacher) is in Nixon Falls pleading with Nina (Cynthia Watros) to come clean and tell “Mike”(Maurice Benard) that he is indeed, Sonny Corinthos.  Here’s what went down on Friday’s episode …

Back in Port Charles, at the demolished former “Jake’s”, Carly and Jason’s old stomping grounds, Carly and Jason share a kiss. Carly says she can’t believe this is happening after letting him know that all of her old romantic feelings for him are starting to come back. Apparently that is true for Jason too, as the ABC daytime drama series finally reaches back into the history of these two characters who were in love, before Carly slept with Sonny.  Back in the present day, Jason asks Carly to marry him, and she responds, “With all my heart.” But now, Carly is starting to feel more excited about what started off as a business arrangement between the two of them to retain the Corinthos family hold over the five families and the territory in Sonny’s absence.  Carly says she wants their wedding day to be about them, and later they can come to Jake’s just by themselves.

Courtesy/ABC

In Nixon Falls, Jax (Ingo Rademacher) is trying to get through to Nina, who has admitted her duplicity to him and how she has fallen in love with “Mike”.  When Jax informs her that Carly and Jason are getting married, she thinks that’s great then she and “Mike” can have a future together.  Nina wants Jax to just forget this conversation, and seeing Sonny, and do this for her; after all she went through in losing her child, Nelle, and her relationship with him. Then Jax asks her to think about Donna and Avery and Wiley, his children and grandchild, who don’t know he is alive and will never get to know him. Nina cries that Jax has won, and that she will tell “Mike” the truth in private (but something tells us, she is going to make “Mike” walk-in on Jason and Carly’s nuptials, so that she has a shot of keeping him all to herself by the betrayal he will witness).  Jax says he is not leaving Nixon Falls till she tells Sonny the truth, but she somehow she still got him to leave through her pleading to let her do this alone.  As Nina thinks “Mike” is walking in the front door of the Tan-O, in walks Peter (Wes Ramsey)!

Courtesy/ABC

Meanwhile, Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) is rushed to General Hospital unconscious with Portia (Brook Kerr) not far behind, after being trapped together.  More bad news is revealed when Austin (Roger Howarth) gets the blood results back for Jordan and tells Curtis (Donnell Turner) that Jordan’s levels of carbon monoxide are 58% which is not good for someone with one kidney.  Austin relates that if Jordan’s kidney function doesn’t improve, they’ll have put her on dialysis.  TJ (Tajh Bellow) comes to see his mom, and sits by her bedside in tears.  Later, Curtis breaks down in tears holding Jordan’s hand to come back to him, and she opens her eyes, as Portia walks in on the scene.

Courtesy/ABC

Three of the five families plan to take over Port Charles and split the territory after their secret meeting, where they plan to blow up a warehouse while Carly and Jason are distracted and at their wedding; the families also received a message from Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober) while in prison.  Who will stop the “hit”?

So, what do you think of Carly and Sonny getting close? What did you think of the performances of Laura Wright, Steve Burton, Cynthia Watros, and Donnell Turner within this episode? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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Laura Wright as Carly

General Hospital

Airdates: 9-9/10- 2021

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