‘This Is Us’ Recap: ‘Career Days’ Has Everyone Questioning Their Lives

The Pearsons find themselves at professional crossroads on NBC’s tearjerker family drama

This Is Us

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you have not watched Thursday’s episode of “This Is Us,” titled “Career Day.”)

The entire Pearson family is having an identity crisis in the newest episode of NBC’s twisty-turny tearjerker “This Is Us,” thanks to a Career Day theme.

In the past, Randall has been found to be gifted, but Jack worries he’ll feel out of place at an advanced school, which has a student population of mostly white students. But Jack finds he’s been worrying about the wrong thing when he discovers Randall has been downplaying his advanced learning skills in order to not stand out from his brother and sister.

Playing to his strengths, Randall has grown up to become a weather commodities trader, something that makes him a lot of money but seems boring and confusing to his family. This leads to a hilarious Career Day where he attempts to relate to the children in the audience by singing a song to teach them what he does, leading Beth to tell their kids, simply, “Look away. Just look away.” Later, Randall learns to embrace his love of his hard-to-explain job, but does decide to start taking piano lessons.

Meanwhile, Kate’s early struggles with weight are touched upon in flashbacks, giving more weight to her current storyline of getting a seemingly dream new job, only for it to turn out that her new boss hired her partly because her daughter is overweight, and she hopes Kate will be able to relate to her.

This week’s big tearjerker moment came unexpectedly, at a stranger’s funeral. Dragged there to experience some real grief by his new Broadway co-star, Kevin finds himself breaking down and crying in the arms of a recently widowed older woman, reminiscing about his dad’s death and the necklace that’s all he has left of Jack.

Kevin also has a moment with his co-star, only for her to reveal she did it to get him into character, and they’ll never be together again.

Meanwhile, back in the 1980s, it’s revealed that Jack decided to put his own dreams on hold in order to provide for his family — taking a project manager promotion at his job rather than start his own business, Big Three Homes.

“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.