Tonight on NBC their honest & provocative dramedy series This Is Us with an all-new Tuesday, January 4, 2021, Premiere episode and we have you This Is Us recap below.
On tonight’s This Is Us season 6 episode 1 called, “The Challenger,” as per the NBC synopsis, “The Big Three celebrate their 41st birthday.”
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Tonights This Is Us episode begins with Rebecca and Jack, they are dancing in the kitchen to “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” by REO Speedwagon. The kids come into the kitchen and happy that mom has Tang for them, Jack grabs his briefcase and says goodbye. On TV in the living room, the Challenger is getting ready to take off at Kennedy Space Center.
Rewind a decade or so and Rebecca is pregnant, she is icing a cupcake for Jack’s birthday, then we see Rebecca present day and she decorating a birthday cake. Kate goes into the fridge and sees all the things she shoulnd’t be eating. Randall is at his desk at work, looking at a photo of William when the staff come in with a birthday cake. Then we see Randall in bed, it’s morning and he gets an email that the suspect from his home robbery is in custody and be arraigned that day at 3pm; the kids come in, they made him breakfast for his birthday.
Kevin is holding the twins, Madison thanks him for letting her sleep. Madison wishes him happy birthday, he says they are one finely tuned co-parenting institute. He says he will be back to take the kids to the party at Kate’s house and asks if she is sure she doesn’t want to go, she smiles and says it is a family party. Meanwhile, Kate gets a call from Toby, he tells her that he hates that he is doing this over Facetime, but he wanted to call her really quick and tell her happy birthday. He says he has arranged for her mom and Miguel to take the kids the entire afternoon, she gets a childless house for the whole dad and he has arranged a massage for her.
At Randall’s house, the kids are eating breakfast at the table when Deja gets a text from Malik from Boston. Beth says that Randall used to send her love letters when they were dating. Randall comes in and tells Beth that they found the guy who robbed them, he had one of their wedding photos on him when they arrested him. He is getting arraigned and he wants to go, he wants to look him in the eye and tell him what he did to his family.
We go back to the kids in the 80’s, it is the day the Challenger lifted off and the kids are watching it from their class in school. All of a sudden, there is an explosion in the sky, the teacher nervously turns off the TV.
Present day, Nick, Miguel and Rebecca are at the park with the kids, Rebecca starts reminicising about taking a train with her dad when she was younger, but gets confused when she can’t remember some details. Meanwhile, Kate is enjoying her massage when she gets a text from the school, there is a little emergency and they want her to come in.
Kevin goes to see the director whose life and career he torpedoed when he had the meltdown on his set. Kevin says he was forced to do this meeting by his agent, and he knows that he was forced as well. The reason for the meeting, unbeknownst to Kevin before he got there, is that they want him to do the Manny again, but they want him to play the dad to twins this time.
In court, Randall showed up and outside the courtroom he approaches the suspect,
It’s the day of the Challenger crash, Jack comes home and hugs Rebecca, she says the kids didn’t say a word on the way home. Jack says they will speak to them like they did when their goldfish died, they can do this. Kate says all the teachers were crying, but at least their weren’t high up, they were closer to heaven and their goldfish might take care of them. Kevin asks for more mac and cheese.
Kevin is back home after his meeting, Elijah is there from Madison’s book club and it is awkward. Elijah compliments kevin on one of his movies, and tells him it was a masterpiece. Kevin says he will grab the kids.
Randall tells the suspect that his robbing him was a terrifying moment for his family, the man is clearly not well, he says he has holes in his memory, he doesn’t know where the photo of them came from, he thought it was a happy part of his life, then he asks what they did with his dog.
Kate heads to the school, she walks in on an argument with Jessica and Phillip, he kind of dumping her. When Jessica leaves the room, Phillip says that was not the emergency, he takes her outside and tells her that the kids wanted to do something for her for her birthday – they sing her the song, “Time After Time,” and Kate has tears rolling down her eyes.
Randall arrives home and tells Beth that he bailed out the suspect and is meeting him at the shelter in the morning, it is like a full circle. Beth doesn’t even know what to say. Randall says he saw his file, and he had a name, David. He has a family, he is someone’s son, could have been William. Beth can’t believe that he sees gentle sweet William. Randall says he sees thousands of addicts that he doesn’t do enough for. Beth closes the door, they are in the bedroom, she tells him that he is the real thing, so many men have vices and all her man wants to do is help people – he is an incredibly decent man. Meanwhile, Kate is home, it is time for the party, Rebecca looks spaced out, she is trying to remember the name of the book she had when she was in the train with her dad. The kids notice something wrong, she tells them that she got the results of the scan and it is positive for plaques building up in her brain.
Back to the 80’s, Jack walks into the living room and Kevin is sitting their with a bowl of popcorn and watching TV.
Kevin is with Madison, Elijah left and he tells her that he doesn’t like that he calls her Maddy. And, friends thought it was crazy when he said he was going to live in her garage, and it is possible they have a point.
Rebecca and Jack are in bed, she asks him if they did that even remotely right. She tells him that she is worried about Kevin, because he is so quiet about what happened. He says Kevin gets it, he is just protecting himself.
Kevin moves out of Madison’s garage and moves in with Kate. He tells her that his kids are not going to have that he will be a bedroom away, like they did with their parents. He then says that he is taking the Manny reboot, stay in LA and give the kids some stability – mom is really sick and this is really happening. He thinks the world should just stop for mom, he finds it infuriating that this happens to mom and the world just keeps going round and round. She reminds him about five years ago when everything was going wrong, now they each have two healthy kids and careers that they never could have imagined. They found the light before, they will find it again.
Randall arrives home, he tells Beth that David didn’t show up. He tells her that he needs to do more for the people who are hurting in their city.
Toby texts Kate Happy Birthday, and she turns around, he is in the bedroom with her to wish her face to face.
Younger Kevin crawls in to bed with Kate, his toy Challenger in his hand and says mommy and daddy are going to die one day.
Rebecca is in her bedroom, Miguel is there and she is thinking back to that train ride, she remembers the name of the book.