Challenges for all dads

This article contains SPOILERS for It’s us season 6 episode 3

Jack, Randall, Toby and Kevin all face their respective versions of fatherly adversity in this week’s episode of It’s us season 6.

Find everything from last week’s episode here!

This week’s episode of It’s us Season 6 begins with a flash-forward to music star Jack Damon (Blake Stadnik) smoking meat for his lovely wife Lucy (Auden Thornton) outside his beautiful home. He places a slice of beef on the hot iron and smoke surrounds his face as Jack recalls his very first memory. We overhear a sound with Toby and Kate yelling caution at a young Jack, but the actual memory isn’t shown.

THIS IS US – ‘Four Fathers’ Episode 603 – Pictured: (lr) Auden Thornton as Lucy, Blake Stadnik as Jack Damon – (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

This Is Us season 6 episode 3: Challenges for all dads

In the 1980s, Jack and Rebecca are doing their best with their newborn triplets, with Jack working hard. She tries to ease her pain by saying her dad worked a lot, but Jack is offended and asks her if he’s comparing Becca to her mom, and she quickly gets his point. To remedy his lack of accessibility to his children, Jack plans to take his children to their first movie. In 2022, audiences see the cycle of illness that Toby and Kate go through as parents where one is away from home three days a week for work. Diminishing returns is the best way to describe Kevin and Madison managing their momentum as it loses its novelty over the days and weeks.

We then see Kevin at home for Dad’s homecoming when Toby arrives and notices that his niece and nephew have two parents who care and love each other. Kevin heads to rehearsal, where he’s distracted by looking at the twin dolls on set, as they remind him of the kids he couldn’t spend time with earlier that day. Now alone, Toby gives presents to his children and his wife. Kate’s afternoon is free so Toby can spend quality time with his children. Before leaving, Kate reminds him twice of Jack’s designated nap, and Toby confidently assures him that he won’t forget.

We then see that Randall has an important and anxious day ahead of him as he begins teaching Deja to drive. The lesson begins by being very on-brand for these two personalities until Deja has to merge. During this relatively easy maneuver, her phone and the car begin to read text messages from Malik, revealing to her parents that she was in fact in Boston with him. Back home, Randall and Beth decide how they want to go about it, and because they’re both too pissed off, Randall goes for a run.

this is us season 6

THIS IS US – “Four Fathers” Episode 603 – Pictured: (lr) Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Lyric Ross as Deja – (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

This Is Us season 6 episode 3: Jack sleeps at work

In the 1980s movie theater, the Big Three and Jack are watching a movie when Jack finally falls asleep after working long hours during the week. Little Kevin ends up walking away because he thinks the movie is boring and his dad isn’t awake to stop him. After being woken up in the middle of the movie, Jack finds Kevin gone and rushes out of the theater to find him. Turns out security found him and called Rebecca since she wrote the home phone number on the tongues of her kids’ shoes.

Due to Baby Jack not taking a nap from his dad’s present, Toby and Kate can’t leave their babysitter alone with a restless, grumpy toddler. Because the event they were going to was Kate’s alumni music recital, Toby decides to stay home and reluctantly lets Kate go alone. After the recital, Kate strikes up a conversation with Phillip, where he tries to reassure her that her marriage to Toby is nothing wrong with that.

Once back from their hectic day, Rebecca and Jack discuss their plans on how to handle the Big Three, where Jack works a lot but remains a good father who doesn’t traumatize his children. However, Rebecca is there to tell him that children often remember the good things more than the little bad things when they rest their heads at night. With Rebecca’s words ringing in his head, Jack throws a fun night filled with an ice cream bar and a home movie night.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 3 Recap: Toby With Some Tips

After seeing a video of his daughter’s first steps, Kevin rushes home but it’s too late to see his children wake up. This leads to Kevin and Madison releasing some of the struggles they have as co-parents, and while aggressive, the real content is understood by the other partner. Kevin returns home for the moment, where he is greeted by Toby, who has just been able to put his two children to bed. They both share war stories of feeling like they don’t see their kids as much as they want. Toby explains that his brother-in-law should focus on himself and the two children and forget about the rectangle.

this is us season 6

THIS IS US – “Four Fathers” Episode 603 – Pictured: (lr) Caitlin Thompson as Madison, Justin Hartley as Kevin – (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

When Randall returns from his run, Beth waits for him to say that they can’t fire full throttle with Deja in this situation. She says that they both underestimated Deja’s maturity without overlooking the consequences of her betraying their trust. Beth finally reveals to her husband that she will be taking their eldest daughter to fetch birth control. Following this, Randall confronts Deja about her actions and explains that he now sees that she is not the same little girl she was when they first met. It’s a very sweet father-daughter moment with Randall ending by saying she won’t be seeing Malik in Boston for a very long time, to which Deja replies, “Well, that’s going to be a problem.” Randall says nothing.

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 3: Clues to Baby Jack’s First Memory

Kevin considers calling his 25-year-old co-star for a booty call, but calls Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) instead because she’s across the country and more age-appropriate. In the main house, Toby admits he was wrong not to follow Kate’s lead and be a selfish father and husband. He says he has a plan to help his kids form memories of them together, and it starts with a long-lasting smoker so they can have regular barbecues.

In the latest flash-forward, we see an adult Baby Jack using the same smoker he was a child. Lucy asks why he’s still using it even though it left a scar on his forehead, and it also triggers her first memory – something that’s described as the day her parents’ relationship started falling apart. Jack says he keeps it because of the quality of the meat, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there were more layers for the smoker.

The episode ends with a triumphant 1980s Jack Pearson putting his kids to bed after catching up on his sleep-related mistake. As he is about to go to bed, Jack receives a phone call with the unfortunate news of his mother’s death.

Do you think there’s more to the smoker than Jack’s earliest memory? Are you ready to see Milo Ventimiglia play with all his heart next week? Let us know in the comments below!

look It’s us season 6, with the next episode airing Tuesday evening January 25, only on NBC and airing the following day on Peacock and Hulu!