If you need a weekly emotional breakdown, you know This Is Us is able to deliver by time the title card appears on the screen. This weeks episode “The Waiting Room” was not only one of the most emotional of the season, but gave every adult actor on the series (except Milo Ventimiglia, who wasn’t in the episode) Emmy-worthy material to sink their teeth into that could easily translate into Emmy nominations.
First to recap the episode, Kate (Chrissy Metz) goes into premature labor at 28 weeks and throughout the episode we don’t know if the baby survives – it does and (of course) her and Toby (Chris Sullivan) name the baby Jack. I watch This Is Us every week, and if you’re an avid viewer you knew Kate wasn’t going to carry her baby full-term after the difficulties her and Toby had trying to conceive, but it was still heartbreaking not knowing the baby’s fate – this is This Is Us, so it could’ve went either way.
“The Waiting Room” primarily takes place in, you guessed it, the waiting room in the hospital. All of the Pearson’s inter-personal issues come out that have been evolving over this season. This is where the family learns that Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) relapses after being sober all season. The normally private and composed Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Waston) marital issues come to the forefront for the entire family to witness. Randall and Kevin, after 38 years, are still battling for sibling rivalry supremacy. Miguel (Jon Huertas) is still trying to find his seat at the family table, years after Jack’s death, and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) is having hospital waiting room PTSD from Jack’s unexpected death.
All the actors give fine performance on a weekly basis but this week everyone stood out. Deep down in my soul I feel that “The Waiting Room” will be this seasons Emmy submission episode for Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for Kevin Hooks. After three seasons, Brown is a name-check nominee, and Hartley may have another chance at a nomination, even though his character hasn’t grown at all and would be getting nominated for being a drunken mess just as last season – a performance we’ve seen from him before.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Watson from her stellar performance in “Our Little Island Girl.” But this really the first episode this season I feel like Metz has the material to get her a second nomination. The scene were she meets her premature son as he’s in his incubator perfectly wrapped up an episode where I wasn’t sure we’d even see Kate, Toby, and their newborn.
Since we’ve learn The Crown will not be in contention for the 2019 Emmys, I have removed Helena Bonham Carter from my predictions and replacing her with Christy Metz in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category.
2019 Emmy nominations will be announced Tuesday, July 16th, get ready for a lot of coverage leading to the final day as potential nominees heat up or cool off.