This Is Us: Why Kevin’s Most Recent Romantic Gesture Actually Sucks

The following contains spoilers for This Is Us Season 6, Episode 14, "The Night Before the Wedding," which aired Tuesday, April 26 on NBC.

This Is Us features many iconic couples and therefore many great romantic gestures. Kevin Pearson is particularly known for his gestures, despite his track record of failed relationships. Over the course of the series, the character has grown quite a bit and in the final season, Kevin seems to have become the man he always wanted to be. However, his most recent romantic gesture is a step back in his development. In the moment it seems sweet and lovely when he wins back his ex-wife Sophie at Kate's wedding to Phillip, but in reality the gesture is a huge letdown.

Kevin and Sophie were childhood sweethearts who got married while Sophie was attending college in New York and Kevin was building an acting career in Los Angeles. Their marriage imploded when Kevin revealed he cheated on her and Sophie left him on Thanksgiving. Later in life they rekindled their romance -- which failed again because Kevin hit rock bottom with his alcoholism. Sophie then moved on and married someone else. Kevin last saw her at her mother's funeral and believed their relationship would never develop further, but Season 6 changed that.

Sophie showed up at Kate's second wedding newly divorced -- and she and Kevin spent the weekend confronting their feelings. While hooking up, Sophie stopped them from going too far because she worried that they were stuck in the past and would be unable to take any meaningful steps forward. She didn't want to spend her life trapped in history; she was looking toward her future. There was so much history between them (like Kate and Toby) that it made total sense for her to see their history as a potential problem.

Later, Sophie got an encouraging pep talk from Rebecca that helped give her clarity on Kevin and the man he had become so she could stop defining him by his past. At the same moment, Randall encouraged Kevin to fight for Sophie and he did. Sophie told Kevin he was not allowed to make a big Pearson-style speech and that this time it was her turn to lay it all out on the table. During this romantic reconciliation, Sophie stressed the importance of wanting their relationship to move forward and not have it defined by their history (like Kevin would have been with Cassidy).

Despite Sophie's very clear reservations about their history and totally understandable hesitation about getting back together, Kevin used their past as his romantic gesture that brings them back together. After Sophie's speech, Kevin produced a Valentine's card he had made for her on her first day of school when they met as very young children. He literally defined his current love for her by their history together -- the complete opposite of everything Sophie just said.

Kevin is great at a romantic gesture, but he's not always a great partner, which is why he's had so many disastrous relationships. He's screwed things up with Sophie in catastrophic ways twice already, and now despite having grown and matured so much since then, he's still putting the gesture above the partnership. Sophie didn't want to be defined by the past, and yet Kevin did exactly that during a declaration of love. That makes for a pretty crappy romantic gesture.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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