This Is Us – That’ll Be the Day
By: Suzanne Fox
George (Jack McKee) and Sally (Jane Daly), an older couple, walk into a cluttered garage. George wants to save stuff and Sally wants to get rid of it. They are talking about how their house has been on the market for three months and nobody has put in an offer. Sally lifts a sheet and uncovers a jukebox. George reminisces about Sally coming into his Diner and putting coins in and playing the song, “That’ll Be the Day.” George starts singing it to Sally. They start dancing in the cluttered garage while George sings. They kiss and Sally tells him to throw out the jukebox.
Rebecca (Mandy Moore) walks into the bedroom wearing a Steelers shirt, carrying wake up shots of orange juice instead of whiskey. Rebecca announces it is Super Bowl Sunday. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) is in bed reading the newspaper. Rebecca tells him not to bother since it is all about the Broncos. Jack tells her he is reading real estate. Jack informs Rebecca he thinks he should hold onto his current job, start slow at building his business, flip a few houses and “get his feet wet.” Rebecca agrees and likes the idea.
Teenage Kate (Hannah Zeile) walks into the bedroom and lets Jack and Rebecca know that Randall has been in the bathroom for an hour. Rebecca tells Kate that Allison is coming over. Kate questions why Randall is taking so long because he looks the same every day – like a cartoon character. Jack and Rebecca get nostalgic as he says that it is their last Super Bowl Sunday with the kids at home. They clink their orange juice shot glasses.
Kevin (Justin Hartley) walks into the kitchen at Rebecca and Miguel’s house and opens the refrigerator door. There is a note on the door that say, “Miguel and I are running errands. Back before dinner. Love, Mom.” Kevin sits down with at the table. He has a check list of family names.
Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) is in their kitchen drinking coffee. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) walks in and she hands him his phone and tells him that Kevin has been blowing up his phone. He texted Randall, “You doing anything? Wanna hang? Bro-down?” Randall writes him back, “Sorry, can’t do a K-venture today. Headed to new apartment building to work.” Randall tells Beth that it is an important day and he doesn’t need distractions. They are going “to do some good, don’t go broke.” Randall and Beth agree to gradually improve the building and the lives of the tenants. Randall tells Beth he is going to get bagels. He lets Beth know he has been watching too much “Property Brothers and Seinfeld.”
Toby (Chris Sullivan) is laying in bed, watching something on his laptop. Kate (Chrissy Metz) enters the room and Toby closes the laptop. Kate accuses him of watching porn and Toby denies it as he moves the laptop away. Kate tells him he is red and Toby tells her he is “60 lbs overweight and Irish- that is his color.” Toby gives Kate the laptop and she sees that he is looking at pictures of shelter dogs online. He tells her that somebody adopted a dog at work and now he is looking at dogs. Toby tells Kate he knows that dogs are sensitive subject with her and then he closes the laptop.
Beth and Randall (R&B Properties) are meeting with the tenants at the apartment building in Philadelphia. Beth introduces herself and Randall as their new landlords. Beth shows them a list of priorities that she has created on a big poster board. Beth tells them she wants to start by shoring up the fire escapes. The tenants start to interrupt stating what their own individual issues are like front doors that don’t close. Randall tells everybody he will fix their individual issues, as he grabs the paper and markers away from Beth. Beth asks if he is getting ahead of himself. Kevin shows up at the meeting and people start saying that the “Manny” is there.
Teenage Kevin (Logan Shroyer) walks on crutches into the living room. His leg is still in a cast. Jack stops him and asks him to put eyes on a bookcase he is building into the wall. Kevin tells him he has to get college stuff done for his Mom. However, Kevin walks back in and tells his Dad it looks great. Jack shows Kevin where the TV will go in the bookcase before the football game. Kevin says that nobody cares as “it’s just a bunch of wood.” Jack tells him that he cares. Jack tells Kevin he keeps his hands busy instead of grabbing a drink.
Kevin walks over to Beth and Randall as the meeting comes to an end. Kevin offers to fix Rosemary’s (Dawnn Lewis) door. He leaves with her. Lloyd (Garrett Morris) chimes in and thanks Randall for the bagels and the “orangey fish.” Randall tells him it was smoked salmon. Beth asks if she can say something. Randall interrupts her and tells her that he knows he steamrolled ahead, but his Dad was in construction and he knows he can do it. Beth wishes him good luck.
Kevin tightens the screws on Rosemary’s door. When he finishes he asks if there is anything else she needs done. She tells him that he ex put up a fake wall in the middle of the apartment and then moved out so now she is stuck with a wall that blocks all the light. Kevin taps the wall and assures her that it is easy to remove. Rosemary starts to protest, but Kevin tells her this is what he needs to be doing and is going to get a sledgehammer and leaves.
Randall (Niles Fitch) and Allison (Isabel Oliver Marcus) are decorating football cookies in the kitchen while Rebecca grates cheese behind them. Allison tells Randall she always does three stitches on the footballs. Kevin is sitting across from them and snorts in derision. Jack runs in and tells them it is “T-Minus three hours until kickoff and the new wall unit is finally finished.” Kevin is applying to colleges and Rebecca tells him she will help him with his applications. Allison asks if he is applying early decision to NYU like Sophie. Kevin looks at Allison and coldly tells her “No.” Rebecca explains to Allison that Kevin has had to change his plans and he is applying to Allegheny Community. He will get his grades up and will then transfer wherever he wants. Kevin chimes in and repeats, “Wherever I want.” Kevin then picks up his crutches and leaves the room. Kate walks in holding an envelope, with her dog on her heels. She tells Jack and Rebecca she can’t open the envelope because what is inside determines her entire future. Jack grabs the envelope out of her hands. The letter says that she is a final applicant and needs to send in another tape, preferably with original music. Video tapes are also accepted. Jack tells her with her face and voice he wants to send in a video tape. Kate tells him that is not happening and leaves the room. Jack tells Rebecca that the “Pearson Super Bowl is getting off to an angsty-start.” Rebecca points out that at least Randall still likes them. Jack adds that he think Randall likes Allison more.
Kevin and Randall walk into the apartment complex in t-shirts with sledgehammers. The women of the building gather to watch Kevin tear down the wall. Randall gets stuck fixing toilets.
Kate shows up at a shelter, looking at dogs. She explains to the volunteer (Lena Waithe) that she is browsing for her fiancé. The volunteer asks if Kate has ever had a dog. She explains that a little terrier showed up at their door once and that was her dog. Kate then spots a little terrier mix named Audio. They found him at the back of a Trader Joe’s in Echo Park. Kate and Audio meet and she pets him.
Kate is singing in her bedroom, with her dog sitting next to her. Jack walks into the bedroom filming her – without her knowing. Their dog starts barking and alerts Kate that Jack is taping her. Kate flips out and tells him she is already stressed out enough. Jack tells her he just wanted her to see and hear how great she was. Kate leaves. Randall walks upstairs and tells Jack that Allison isn’t into football and they are going to go see Titanic. Randall tells Jack that Allison has seen Titanic six times. Jack questions this and asks why she is going for a seventh time. Randall tells him that they have not been on a real date yet. Jack tells him to go with Allison. Randall runs off excited as Jack looks upset.
Kate is outside with her dog. Jack comes out and tells her the game is about to start. Jack apologizes for filming her. Jack tells her it breaks his heart that she might not want to be on camera because of how she looks. She tells him it hurts that he says that all the time because nobody else sees her the same way.
Randall calls Beth to brag that the building was built in one day, like Rome. Lloyd calls Randall in to show him tons of bugs poring out of a hole in the wall.
Kevin hustles into the kitchen to answer the phone. Sophie calls and he tells her he hasn’t heard from her all weekend. Sophie called to tell Kevin that she got into NYU and found out the day before. He tells her to go out and enjoy celebrating with her parents. Rebecca tells Kevin she gathers that Sophie got into NYU. She lets him know it must be hard for him since Sophie’s school is so far away. Kevin says it is awesome for Sophie even though his life is going nowhere. Rebecca says that is not what she was trying to say and that it is ok to start out at community college. Jack walks in at the end and hears about Sophie. Rebecca tells Jack that Kevin is frustrated. Kevin says he is not frustrated, but that he is pissed his life is going nowhere and his Mom won’t stop talking about community college. Kevin tells them he was supposed to send up in the Super Bowl, not watch it with his parents. Kevin says he is going to Sophie’s. Jack tells Rebecca it is the “Best Super Bowl ever.”
Kate is lying on her bed with her dog. She pops out a video tape of herself singing and watches it. On the videotape she sees Jack videotaping her in the background in the mirror. She pauses and rewinds it to see her Dad filming her. Kate smiles at this.
Kate is at the shelter called Rescue Angels, petting her new dog. The volunteer asks what Kate does and if she will be home a lot. Kate tells her that she is a singer with a flexible schedule. The volunteer tells Kate that Audio got his name because he loves music. The volunteer leaves the room to process the application while Kate bonds with Audio. Kate starts to reminisce about her childhood dog. She tells Audio that this won’t work and it is not his fault. She tells him he comes with a lot of baggage and leaves crying.
The tenants are all leaving the building. Lloyd tells Randall that he did a good job evicting everybody the first day. Randall tells him it is a temporary relocation while the exterminator takes care of the roaches. Randall goes to look for Kevin. He tells Kevin they need to leave, but Kevin is still spackling walls. Randall tells him he doesn’t want to turn down free labor, but they need to go. Kevin tells him by staying busy he is staying sober. Kevin tells Randall that he is still trying to make amends and he figures fixing the all is easier. Randall asks if he remembers when their Dad made amends. He had a list with notes. Randall tells Kevin he will get there – they all have their stuff. Kevin tells Randall that he feels like it’s late. He’s starting a new job, he’s turning forty nd he’s going to outlive their Dad. Randall tells Kevin he’s already been gone longer than they had him. Kevin tells Randall to picture himself as an old man – he’s not going anywhere. Kevin says he has everything – a wife, kids and he is like his other Dad.
Kate walks into the living room and tells their Dad she watched the videotape. She tells her Dad to not stop trying to make her see herself the way he sees her. He tells his “Katie Girl” he won’t stop. Kate says she is going to her friend Molly’s house. Kate tells him the wall unit looks great. Rebecca walks in with Super Bowl chili. Rebecca and Jack snuggle on the sofa and offers him a corn muffin. She tells him she is trying to do something cute. Inside the basket is a classified ad. There is a listing for a single family home with one owner- an older couple. Rebecca tells him she has already left a message. Jack asks Rebecca to be his partner. Rebecca says he has run their household for 18 years, she did their remodel and she tells them their home could be a home office. She tells Jack she wants a partner’s desk. Jack looks at Rebecca across the coffee table and tells her he always wanted an office with a view. They start to kiss across the coffee table. They go upstairs into the bedroom as the Super Bowl plays on the TV downstairs.
Randall is handing out cookies and coffee to the tenants. Beth walks in and Randall tells her to say “I told you so.” Beth tells him that she won’t but she starts to list all the reasons that he should have consulted her, including how the situation with the roaches could have been avoided. Beth acts out how Randall would be responding. He tells her that she does a better him than he does. Randall tells Beth he got freaked out about time. Beth tells him they need to be “Smooth R&B.” She also tells him to “slow his roll.” He assures her his roll has been slowed. Randall goes to kiss Beth and Lloyd tells them to get a room. Randall jumps to get one, but Lloyd tells Randall he needs it for himself.
The phone rings and Rebecca goes to answer it. She is wearing a bathrobe putting leftovers from their Super Bowl party away. Kevin calls and tells Rebecca he doesn’t mean what he said before. Kevin tells her that he is going to sleep at Sophie’s and that her Mom is home. Rebecca encourages him to talk to his Dad or come home and watch the end of the game with him. He tells her that he will just talk to him the next day. They hang up. Rebecca looks around at all the food. Kevin and Sophie (Amanda Leighton) snuggle on the sofa watching The Princess Bride. Kevin tells her he heard there was a party in the woods.
Kevin is standing outside of Sophie’s apartment. She (Alexandra Breckenridge) asks if she needs to move. She tells him that she didn’t see it (his alcoholism). She tells him he is the only man she has truly loved and he has hurt her. Sophie tells her if he wants to make amends, just leave her with the past. She wants to remember him at 10, 17 and 25 years old – when it was good. Sophie tells him that she forgives him. Kevin stops her and apologizes. He tells her she was not just a name on the list. She was “THE NAME.” She cries and tells him goodbye.
Toby is on the laptop when Kate walks inside. Kate tells him she went to the shelter that was on his browser and found the cutest dog. Kate describes the dog as “Jacob Tremblay as a dog cute.” Toby gets all excited as Kate says it would be too hard for her. But then she tells Toby she knows how happy he would be with Audio. Toby asks Kate what she is doing to him as Kate gestures out to the living room. Audio is sitting on the floor. Toby runs over and picks him up as Audio licks Toby on the mouth. Toby tells Audio he does look like Jacob Tremblay.
Kevin walks in the front door of Rebecca and Miguel’s’ house. There is a Fed Ex envelope for him. He tears it open and Jack’s necklace is inside. There is also a letter that says, “Dear Kevin, Got your letter. I found your pendant. Glad you’re sober –Charlotte.” Kevin takes out his list of names and puts a check next to Sophie who is listed below Charlotte. On the back of the list it says, “Dad.” Kevin holds the necklace and cries.
Kate is in bed listening to her walkman of her signing. Rebecca and Jack are in bed, sleeping. Randall comes home and is eating in the kitchen. Jack walks downstairs and grabs a glass of water. Jack asks how the movie was and Randall says it was fine. Randall tells him it was actually great and that they kissed. Jack tells him that he is sure he was a gentleman. Randall wishes his Dad a good night and goes up to bed. Jack is alone in the kitchen. He starts to clean up the dishes and leftovers. He sweeps the floor. Thenm he leaves a note on Kevin’s door that says, “Kevin, if I don’t see you before work tomorrow, I love you. You owe us an apology. Dad.” Jack puts a videotape away. Kate’s dog is sleeping in its bed in the living room. Jack locks up the house and sees the markings on the door frame with the kids’ heights at different ages. Jack turns off the crock pot as a hand towel falls against it.
Sally comes out into the garage and tells George that a nice couple wants to see the house. George is emotional and Sally tells him they will get new stuff for the new house. George carries a box across the street and knocks on his neighbor’s door. A young, bearded Jack opens it and a very pregnant Rebecca comes up behind him. George tells them that they can have their crock pot, but they have to jiggle the handle. They thank him as George walks away. Jack congratulates George.
The crock pot turns back on, ignites and catches fire. Flashbacks of happy family moments intersperse with scenes of the fire spreading from the kitchen, over the door frame with the kids’ heights written on it, up the stairs and into the hallway on the second floor. Family moments from a Christmas when Jack gave Rebecca the hand towels with a diamond bracelet flash between the fire scenes. A family wrapping paper fight ensues in another clip. Pictures of the family throughout the years melt as the fire climbs up the walls. Jack’s note to Kevin goes up in flames. Jack and Rebecca kiss over the coffee table earlier in the day and hold hands as they head upstairs. The fire takes over the bottom level of the house and races upstairs