The Fifth Wheel

THIS IS US: Season Two

Content: -1 Discretion advised for older children.
Air Date:01/09/2018

What You Need To Know:

In “The Fifth Wheel,” the Pearson family comes to visit Kevin at his rehab facility. After requesting that only immediate family join their counseling session, Kevin’s counselor advises him to discuss his feelings. Kevin begins by genuinely apologizing before explaining that, growing up, he felt left out of things. In flashbacks, the episode shows this dynamic playing out on a family vacation when the triplets are 10. While Kevin’s speech upsets his family, Rebecca eventually breaks down and admits Randall was easier to love. During the counseling session, Toby, Rebecca’s second husband, and Beth discuss feeling like outsiders in the Pearson family. After the session, the triplets reconcile, and Rebecca reaches out to Kevin.

“The Fifth Wheel” shows that honesty and openness about family issues is necessary but can be difficult. The Pearson family’s refusal to discuss their problems with addiction is seen to have led to both internal rivalries and feelings of exclusion for those who married into the family. The “Fifth Wheel” episode is dramatic and addresses mature subjects like grief, loss, family problems, and addiction. Extreme caution is advised.


(BB, C, LL, S, AA, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
  Strong moral worldview with light redemptive elements containing references to love, repentance, honesty, and the value of family;

Foul Language:
  Eight light obscenities and two light profanities;

  No violence;

  Man says another man looks like a porn star, plus a married couple kiss;

  No nudity;

Alcohol Use:
  Man goes to rehab after caught driving drunk, alcohol addiction is discussed, people drink beer at a bar;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
  No smoking or drugs; 

Miscellaneous Immorality:
  Some anger, disrespect, and lying/deception.


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