“18,615” was a lovely episode, complete with flashbacks galore (we’re talking FOUR different timelines), bombshell upon bombshell (Tess is gay! The mysterious necklace has an origin story! Miguel has another family!), and, most importantly, the revelation that Randall Pearson, family man extraordinaire, is RIPPED (more on this later).

Taking away from the warm and fuzzy feelings inspired by a This Is Us holiday episode was a return to ‘Nam. Should we maybe just rename the show This Is Vietnam? It feels more appropriate since the bulk of “Us” is stateside, where the show quite frankly belongs.

But while I suffered through yet another visit from the ghosts of Jack’s past, a new(ish) ghost was brought into the holiday narrative: Randall’s late birth father, William. Whereas Jack’s war flashbacks are essentially the bane of my existence, I am all for the occasional deep dive into William’s past. In episode 8 we learned a bit more about his partner, Jesse, which provided a nice segue into the modern-day timeline and Tess’s unexpected coming out.

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Re: Miguel, I suppose we always knew he had other, non-Pearson children, but it took three seasons for us to meet them, so it’s fair if you (read: I) forgot they existed. Anyway, yes, “18,615” introduced us to the Miguel who exists outside the scope of the Pearson fam — believe it or not, his sole purpose is not to dispense advice to Jack and then swoop in on his wife in the event of his untimely death.

Also of note is that Miguel does, in fact, have a backbone — which he proves when he stands up for Rebecca in front of his a-hole kids. If season three is doing anything right, it’s that it’s actually making us like Miguel, who, up until this season, was the quintessentially “nice” stand-in for everyone’s favorite dad/husband/friend.

RELATED: Is Jack Pearson Actually the Most Annoying Character on This Is Us?

Now, for the true core of Tuesday’s episode: Randall’s ridiculous bod. Mr. Pearson, who, aside from the occasional jog, has never mentioned any sort of maniacal workout routine, stepped out in just a pair of boxer-briefs about 6-minutes into the episode and I literally gasped.

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Why does Sterling K. Brown even bother wearing clothes?

I know Us is all into Randall running for office, but could he maybe find a different (more shirtless) career? Lifeguard, maybe?

TL; DR: If Baywatch 2 doesn’t cast Brown I will revolt.

https://www.instyle.com/news/this-is-us-season-3-episode-8-18615-thanksgiving

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