Beth and Randall Had the Biggest Fight on This Is Us and This Time They're Both Wrong
Maturity levels are low.
This Is Us followed up the tension-replete “Waiting Room” with another stressful episode, but this time it wasn’t a baby’s struggle for survival that sent us to the edge of our seat, it was a marriage hanging in the balance.
Each character found themselves in a make-or-break situation: for Kevin it was a determination of whether his relationship with Zoe was more important to him than having children, for Toby a question of his readiness and commitment as a parent (or lack thereof), and for Randall and Beth, an experiment in how their new full-time careers would allow them to still care for their three daughters.
It was a tale of happy endings all around (even Rebecca and Jack had a sweet moment while chaperoning the kids’ middle school dance), except for Randall and Beth, who turned their season 3 volatility up to 11.
If you recall, the couple who once served as Us’s domestic backbone has really fallen on hard times lately (by which I mean they’ve created an impossible situation for themselves and really not handled it well).
Two weeks ago Randall was straight up asking his wife to put her dream on hold so he could pursue his, and though they’ve put that crazy idea behind them, the audacity of that ask has followed their relationship, like a ghost of misogynistic husbands’ egregious requests past.
Things reach that aforementioned breaking point when Randall asks Beth to accompany him to a dinner with the city council president, stressing the importance of her attendance. She promises him she’ll be there, but the next day she calls from the studio to say that she was invited out for drinks with the other instructors and really wants to go. Again, he tells her how important this dinner is to him, but she’s not happy with that answer.
To be fair, Randall not only gave Beth advanced notice, but he made it really clear that this dinner was a big deal — for her to then be upset that she needs to follow through with her commitment instead of going to happy hour is pretty ridiculous, and honestly not in line with the loyal Beth we’ve come to know. (That said, Loyal Beth has had about enough this season. We get it!)
So then, Randall is in his car before he heads to dinner solo with no word from Beth, and he leaves the pettiest voicemail of all time: “I hope you’re off having fun talking about how to teach bored housewives how to twirl better. Grow the hell up, Beth.” He’s right about one thing, someone here does need to grow the hell up.
This being a primetime drama, Beth does show up to dinner — she was just stuck in traffic. And before Randall can explain himself (though, honestly, there’s not much to say other than “I’m an a—hole” or, even better "I'm sorry"), she listens to the voicemail and is, as expected, livid.
The episode ends with them about to really get into it — like “close the door” level into it.
Obviously, this is bad, but also, they are both wrong in their own special ways. Randall never should’ve gone off, and Beth shouldn’t have tried to get out of their plans. Tensions are high, but they’re both being unfair.
As for solutions, there’s really only one: Beth and Randall both need to grow the hell up.