Kevin Stands Up To Olivia On 'This Is Us' & Finally Shows Pride For His Family

In every family, people can be pigeonholed by their relatives into a certain role, even if it's not necessarily an accurate reflection of their personality. On This Is Us, Kevin is treated like the vapid, dumb one and sure, being on a show like The Manny didn’t help his intellectual credibility, but Kevin is smart. And that was especially evident when Kevin stood up to Olivia on This Is Us and said everything that the audience was probably thinking.

Kevin is feeling Olivia, and it’s obvious. This man is not subtle. He’s so not subtle when he decides to invite Olivia up to the family's forest cabin, even though they are in the midst of a huge family crisis. Kevin is happy when Olivia shows up, but not when she shows up with the other members of the play, including her ex-boyfriend. The whole time, Olivia and the rest of the disaffected theater group (doesn’t that sound like something from Daria?) talk about how “authentic” the cabin is, and they make condescending “aw” and “ooh” sounds while watching family movies, as if the display of 10-year-old Kate dancing to Cyndi Lauper personally offends them. Kate points this out to Kevin, and he doesn’t want to see it, but eventually, he does, and he rails into Olivia and company with a defensiveness for his family that we hadn't seen before.

Kevin tells Olivia and Manbun (I didn’t bother to learn his name, and neither should you) that their hipster craving for true “authenticity” is bull, and that they’re disrespecting his family by basically openly mocking them to his face. Kevin says that there is nothing wrong with being real or normal, and Olivia and Manbun are pretentious. However, he then directly confronts Olivia and says that she probably hasn’t experienced anything real in her life and that any real feeling are “too much for [her] empty human shell to handle.” That was way harsh, Tai.

But is Kevin wrong? No. He may have taken things too far in the end, but I agree with his general sentiment, and with the playwright who loves the inauthenticity of Epcot (I do, too). Sometimes, it’s fine to just be average. Be middle of the road. Be real. There’s no need to put on airs all the time. Frankly, I imagine it to be exhausting. After that fight, Olivia and Manbun leave the cabin like there’s a hole in the door, so I think Kevin got his point across. I also think he ruined his chances with Olivia romantically, but we'll have to see how she feels next week on This Is Us.

Images: Ron Batzdorff/NBC (2)