Episode Title: Memphis
Original Air Date: February 21, 2017
Episode Number: 1×16
Randall and William take a road trip to Memphis, where Randall learns about his biological father’s past.
Oh man, I was not prepared for this episode at all. I had a feeling it was going to be an emotional one when I saw that it was going to look back on William’s life, but I didn’t know he was going to die in this episode! I was a sobbing mess in the end and the scene that completely had me bawling was when Randall took his hands, placed them on both sides of William’s face, and told him to just breathe. This is what Jack did with Randall when he was having panic attacks when he was growing up and for Randall to do this with William just broke me.
The other scene that broke me was William paying his respects to Jack and thanking him for raising Randall, something that he couldn’t do. That was a very powerful scene. I also almost lost it when William gave Randall his book of poems (Poems For My Son) and when William was recounting how his life began and ended with the two most important people in his life (his mother and Randall). Although the scene in the end with William’s reunion with his mother was nice, I thought it was a bit much and I could have done without it.
The rest of the episode was pretty awesome. I loved seeing Randall and William’s road trip and them just hanging out and just living. We all want to do this, take a cross-country road trip with someone you love and see where the roads take you so I’m glad that father and son were able to do that before William passed away. Truly great work from Ron and Sterling. I wonder how this is going to impact Randall, now that William is dead. I mean, he’s known about it happening for a while now, but the reality of it happening must still be quite a shock.
Randall was great in this episode and seeing him drunk was a lot of fun especially when he was talking to Beth over the phone. “Everything’s better with a little Beth on it. You’re the chocolate sauce on my ice cream, girl.” LOL. Also, the whole “you get a cousin” bit and him excusing his actions because he was raised by white people made me laugh so hard. Sterling plays drunk very convincingly. I love Randall for making his bed while staying a hotel/motel because I do the same damn thing every time.
Beth continues to be the best. I loved that we got a lot more of her in this episode than in previous episodes. The opening scene with her and Randall at the doctor’s office was gold. I especially adored this exchange.
Beth: I got a little hot.
Randall: You always get a little hot.
Beth: Mm-mm, don’t be cute.
Doctor: Well, you two sure are adorable.
Randall: I know.
Beth: We know.
Hee! A PLUS scene. Also loved Randall’s comment about Beth packing a load of produce for the trip complete with instructions, lol. Such a beautiful relationship these two have. Marriage goals, am I right?