Backstories Are The Best Stories - S:3 Ep. 13 "Our Little Island Girl"

This week’s Really Moments:

Phylicia Rashad should run everything. Phylicia Rashad is kind of a badass. Here, she plays Beth’s mother who is a great principal: her students listen to her and she inspires everyone she meets to be better. Even I was sitting up straighter, working harder, and feeling guilty about not doing my homework by the end of the episode.

Beth is super human. Beth, at almost 40, realizes she wants to go back to her true passion, dancing. She heads right back to her childhood dance studio, madly pirouetting like a 25 year-old stunt double and immediately gets offered a teaching job. That’s pretty amazing. Most 40-year olds I know have beer guts, aching joints, and make grunting sounds whenever they stand up.

This episode clearly shows that we need backstories for people other than the Pearsons. Without Kate’s whining, Kevin’s drinking, and Rebecca/Jack flashbacks, we find that there’s a whole lot of untold stories in the TIU universe.  We need backstory episodes for Zoe, Miguel, and hell, even Madison, Kate’s annoying support group friend.

Get ready for Randall and Beth downsizing, because it’s already begun. Randall had to driver Beth to her dance studio, because Beth is headed toward making tens - maybe even twenties - of dollars as a dance instructor. No more fancy cars for them. Let’s see if they move to a rundown apartment in Jersey City and start renting out the spare bedroom to millennial dance students.

Everyone shortens his or her name in college. I thought I was unique, radically changing my name to declare my independence when I went off to school, but now I see everyone does it. Beth was actually a Bethany, but she breaks free at the freshman mixer and brazenly writes “Beth” on her name tag. Oh, sweet freedom. I remember that feeling as bravely tossed aside the stuffy “Elizabeth” in favor of fun, youthful “Liz.” However, after this episode, I am depressed to learn it was all just an easy plot device.

Really? (Rating from 1-5: 1 means nothing too far-fetched happened; 5 means that someone else has died at the hands of a faulty crockpot):

I give this episode a 2, I think this was one of this show’s best episodes. It felt real and made me tear up (I know!). However, I still give this episode a 2, because it is very far fetched that a woman, even the wonderful Beth, could go back to dancing after stopping in high school, and dance that well and be immediately offered a job. My tap dance experience in 9th grade and my current bad knees tell me this is ridiculous.