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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.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Craig Reveals to Chloe He’s In Love With Another Man

Looks like it’s the end of the line for “Crancy”.  On Thursday’s episode of Days of our Lives, once outside of the Brady Pub, Chloe (Nadia Bjorlin) overhears Craig (Kevin Spirtas) talking to someone on the phone and calling them “sweetheart”.

This confuses Chloe all the more, when Craig just had professed there is no other woman in his life than his wife, Nancy (Patrika Darbo), even though Nancy came back to Salem knowing there is trouble brewing in her marriage.

Courtesy/Peacock

Craig admits to Chloe, who accuses him of cheating on her mother, that he is indeed cheating on her, but not with another woman, but a man.

Chloe is gut-wrenched and starts to cry and asks Craig … if he is gay? Craig owns up to that he is attracted to men, so if that makes him gay, then he’s gay.  He also adds that he loves Nancy very much.

Next, Chloe wants Craig to end things with the guy and Craig refuses, saying that he and the other man share a great connection and chemistry, something that he’s never felt before and … wait for it … that he is in love with him.

A teary-eyed Craig swears he never meant to hurt Nancy.  Next, Nancy comes upon the scene and announces to Craig that they are staying in Salem, while Chloe tells Craig he needs to come clean with her mom.

So, what did you think about the story turn for the character; where Craig is now in love with another man? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nina Helps Sonny After Realizing He is Off His Meds

Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, will no doubt lead to Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Nina (Cynthia Watros) becoming closer, because she was witness, went through, and helped the mobster get help while he was having a manic episode after being off his meds for bipolar disorder.

A disheveled Sonny was outside insulating the kids’ treehouse, didn’t sleep all night, is not eating, and tells Nina – who stayed the night at the Corinthos’ home on the couch – that he feels great.  Then, he tells Nina to stop telling him what to do and to stay out of his way.

Nina panics and calls Britt (Kelly Thiebaud) at the hospital worried that Sonny is off his meds, and she needs medical advice on what to do about it.  Britt tells Nina it’s important to get Sonny to a doctor and not argue with him, but to get him to acknowledge he is having a manic episode.

After the call, Nina asks Sonny not to leave and to explain bipolar disorder to her. He replies it’s like a nightmare but that’s not what’s happening now. Then, he grabs her wrists hard as she stands at the door, as he wants to leave, and Nina tells him, she is hurting her.  Sonny has a moment of realization and insists he does not hurt women. Sonny asks Nina if she is now afraid of him?  She tells him she isn’t. All of a sudden, Sonny feels exhausted.  He sits with Nina and starts to cry and admits he has been off his meds.  She gets him to agree that he needs to see Dr. Sullivan and get a refill.

Sonny and Nina arrive at GH, and Britt shows them to an examining room. Nina wants to make sure he’s OK, before she exits, but Sonny wants to make sure he did not injure her wrists. Nina says she is OK, but you could tell she is emotional from the entire encounter she went through with Sonny.

Maurice Benard took to Twitter within the last 24 hours stating about the storyline which is throwing Sonny’s love life in turmoil and working opposite both Laura Wright (Carly) and Cynthia Watros: “I go where ever it is best for the show and fortunately right now this story is doing well, even better than well, now you may not want to hear that. You already know I love Laura and Cynthia. I keep saying this is between history and change, I think after 20 years change is good.”

So, what did you think of the scenes between Nina and Sonny? Do you agree with us that Nina seeing Sonny having a manic episode will draw them closer together? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Recaps

THIS IS US: Milo Ventimiglia Delivers Heartbreaking Performance As Jack Grieves His Mother’s Death

Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us brought with it the one-man show that is Milo Ventimiglia (Jack). In it, Jack deals with his grief over the death if his mother, and his regret over not getting to know his mother and her life after she left his abusive father.  However, it was the final scene where the stoic Jack finally allows himself to feel the gravity of her loss that was a five-hankie tearjerker.

Milo spoke to TV Line where he shares how he got through the emotional final scene when Jack breaks down expressing: “Jack has to excuse himself from his wife and kids and go to the other room, and he’s in the other room, I remember Mandy just saying like, ‘Milo, what can I do for you, what do you need?’ And I was like, ‘Just let me know that you’re there, you know?’ But I think the man that Jack is, the product of the ’40s that he is, the man who went to war in the early ’70s, you know, he’s never going to show his emotion. So, knowing that his kids are in the other room and his wife is in there and all of that, he’d still keep his back to them, because he’d never want them to see it.”

Photo: NBC

The actor also speaks on Jack’s pivotal line at the end of the episode: “He gets to the point of realization that comes at the end of the episode when he says, ‘Rebecca, I don’t have a mom anymore.’ It’s all just very heavy and overwhelming, and even though Jack has been the stoic lion rock that he is in making sure that nobody else suffers or deals any discomfort or anything, you know, he’s not impervious to it. He’s going to experience things the same as any other person.  So, going back in a very childlike way and saying to his wife, ‘I don’t have a mom anymore, it’s pretty heartbreaking.”’

courtesy/nbc

What did you think of Milo’s performance on last night’s This Is Us? Comment below.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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