The two main stories of “The Music and the Looking Glass” – the titular Music and the Looking Glass, if you will – aren’t so much about advancing the plot as giving us surprisingly moving character development. As for Beth’s story (the mirror, in case you were wondering), by “moving” I mostly mean incredibly romantic. I guess the emotional conclusion to watching Beth have to close her dance school because of the pandemic was supposed to be sad, but it’s hard to be that sad that Beth’s dance dreams are dying a second time because we’ve seen the future and know that at some point Beth runs what appears to be a prestigious and very successful dance academy. So while it’s hard to watch Beth deal with dry Lucky Charms and feel like a failure while trying to put on a brave face…it’s not that hard? It’ll be fine, Beth. Trust us.
Instead, the story functions as a showcase for Beth and Randall’s relationship. These two! Dance to K-Ci and JoJo! We are blessed! We all know Randall can be a lot – that’s basically his defining characteristic – but in this episode we see how he can call that back for Beth; he knows how to be there for her in the way she really needs. Which, really, is just being there.
We visit Beth and Randall at college, where they are celebrating their sixth birthday. (Randall totally agrees on that, Beth doesn’t think a six-month birthday is a real thing, all leads.) Randall surprises Beth with a night at the ballet and when she finds out about this, she immediately turn the taxi around. . She’s not going to the ballet. She can not. Back in the dorms, she explains how she spent most of her life trying to correct every mistake, to be a perfect dancer, but that was never enough and now she’s lost – “a dancer who doesn’t dance not”.
These days, after closing her pop-up dance studio, her second chance to keep dance in her life, she feels lost again. Within a week, she arranges an informational interview with a town planning company as she thinks about completely giving up on that dream of dancing once and for all, but it doesn’t work out and she can admit she doesn’t have one. never wanted anyway. She wants what she can’t have. Randall worries in the worst possible way for his wife, but she doesn’t want to hear his optimistic suggestions on how to save the studio. He can barely help himself, but a quick reminder from Deja that Beth doesn’t need a hero seems to do the trick. He goes to see his wife as she packs up the studio and instead of launching into a speech, he says nothing, and instead puts on K-Ci and JoJo’s “All My Life” and reaches out to dance with her. He did just that on their six-month anniversary when young Randall couldn’t think of any other way to be there for Beth. The two hold each other as they dance through the dorm and back into the studio again. It’s passed out like hell.
The “music” part of “the music and the mirror” belongs to Kate and Rebecca, as usual. My friends, aside from the fact that her marriage is quietly on the verge of blowing up, Kate is shutting herself up a lot these days, and that only makes me more and more concerned for her well-being in the future. This episode feels like a biggie in that regard.
We check in on Kate and Rebecca in the late 90s, after Jack’s death and Kate’s abortion. Here, Rebecca got Kate a job interview in her office, hoping her daughter will accept her and start moving on with her life. Only, Kate does not end up going to the interview. She comes home that night and tells her mother that she got a job at a restaurant instead. We’ve known Kate would end up working at a restaurant for quite some time thanks to our flashback episode from 2008, but now we learn it’s the same restaurant where Kate and Jack have one of their very last conversations before. his death (the Superbowl of Death is this very weekend). It’s a conversation in which, once again, Jack beams with pride for his daughter, so sure she can achieve anything she wants; he is her biggest fan. Kate is sitting at this restaurant, remembering this conversation, and is so deep in her grief that she decides to give up all the dreams she had there. At home, she has a devastating conversation with her mother about how Rebecca should “stop putting [herself] through “the perpetual cycle of raising her hopes about Kate only to be disappointed again and again. If Rebecca wants to be proud of any of her children, she should focus on Randall. Even Kevin has more to offer him than Kate. Rebecca is heartbroken, but in no way agrees to her daughter asking her to abandon her as she has abandoned herself.
And Rebecca never does, as the current story of Rebecca and Kate reminds us. The Pearson ladies go out shopping with Madison, and when Madison breaks down in tears because her dad texts her to say he’s not coming to the wedding, Rebecca rushes in, without hesitation, to tell Madison what how special she is. is and that his father is a moron. Kate looks in awe at how wonderful her mother is and then tells her, admitting she wasn’t always an easy girl and thanking Rebecca for loving her anyway. When Kate was growing up, she may have thought it was Jack who was her biggest fan, but now, as an adult, she can see it really was Rebecca all along. And to celebrate that, and find a way to show her gratitude for her mother’s support, she brings Rebecca to her school choir practice and asks the kids to sing a new song they’ve learned – “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. Please know that I was only screaming my face during this moment, but I’m going to blame it on the allergies.
Rebecca couldn’t be more proud of her daughter than she is right now: she’s beyond thrilled that Kate has found a job that suits her in every way, a job that finally brings her joy after all this time.
• Hey! There are finally repercussions for Kevin coming off a film set! After screening Foster’s film, Kevin realizes it’s one of the worst films ever made (Foster thinks it’s his greatest achievement) and calls for an emergency meeting with his agents. he must book his next gig before word gets out and his career is ruined. But there’s a problem even without the trash movie: Kevin has no prospects because of his growing reputation – there was this Manny collapse, the The back of an egg walkout, and now the latest incident with Foster. Not a big sign!
• Meanwhile, no one mentioned Kevin pulling Josh Malina out of a burning car.
• While at his agency, Kevin overhears none other than Zoe waiting to have a virtual meeting with his own agent. In their catch-up, she mentions how nice it is that Kevin goes so much with the flow that whatever reality he’s presented with, he’s able to turn it into whatever he wanted all along. This applies to things like agreeing to watch The Great British Bake Off when he really wants to watch Bridgerton, or, you know, decide to marry Madison and take a chance after getting her pregnant. Zoé takes it as a compliment, Kevin is unsettled by his cutting precision.
• So when is this Deja-Malika-Jennifer thing going to explode in everyone’s face? Poor DJ!
• As much as I love Deja’s story – her falling in love with Malik was a silver lining – is there a 14-year-old girl in the world as wise as her? Just sitting there giving relationship advice to her parents? Let her be a kid!
• Toby brings in his dad to help fix a leak that he stubbornly wants to fix himself instead of calling a plumber. Toby talks a bit about how hard it’s been since he was fired from a job he loved and he doesn’t like the stay-at-home dad thing at all. After his dad helps fix the leak, he tells his son to keep an eye out because “people only look for leaks where the water comes out, but it’s the pressure that will catch you.” It’s us might as well have put up a big flashing METAPHOR graphic. We understood!! Things are going to get worse!!
• Oh, so Kate worked in a restaurant for years. and we know that Adult Baby Jack’s love of life, Lucy, is also a restaurant waitress when they meet. It’s just It’s us be so It’s us.
• Toby explains why he doesn’t want to call Pearson for help with the leak: “I don’t have the bandwidth to talk about my feelings, then cry about my feelings, then talk about crying about my feelings. feelings.” A very nice summary of this show and these recaps, to be honest.