Earlier on Tuesday, my colleague Kristen Baldwin published a review that perfectly articulated the problem that We are has had in season 3: it is becoming an "emotional procedure" with ordered episodic arcs designed to make us cry, but we miss the deep and rich narrative that this program has proven to be the best possible. This week's episode "Kamsahamnida", although in general it is stronger than what preceded it, exemplifies this.
There are many problems from one problem to another: Kate is struggling to get pregnant, only for Toby to grow up in depression when he finally does; Randall is looking for a space of belonging, only so that Beth can fight in a similar way when she starts to find one, and some of these stories are handled with more skill than others.
Sterling K. Brown deserves a lot of the credit: while he was a little more on the sidelines last year, Randall came back as We are'Emotional anchor, with "Kamsahamnida" perhaps his best time of the season yet. The title of the episode is derived from the Korean term for "thank you," the only Korean Randall says to know. As for why this arises, back off a bit.
Randall continues to play with the old rules of the office when "Kamsahamnida" begins, he first goes to a black Philadelphia church to better immerse himself in the "community" he intends to represent. This, like his barbecue last week, is quite disastrous. Councilman Brown is called to read the scriptures in the church, but before he starts reading, he asks a "newcomer" to introduce himself, Randall. It's a brilliant moment of political maneuvering: Brown makes sure to note that Randall is from Alpine, New Jersey, embarrasses him for not showing up with his family and finally recognizes his political rivalry in a calculated and kind manner. He leaves the church and receives a call from Kevin to ask him to meet. Randall makes sure to install it in an unknown establishment so as not to further alienate the base for which he is fighting in court.
Kevin and Randall meet at a Korean restaurant. Kevin is still recovering from the turn of the "mysterious woman" last week, trying to understand why there is an old picture of her with the necklace her father gave her. "Is it love, or are they years of poverty and occupation by foreign governments?" Randall jokes about the look in the woman's eyes. Kevin sincerely explains to his brother why he feels so dedicated to "not feeling" his story, using a metaphor with childhood wallpaper themes for the context. (The boy makes this show, loves his metaphors.) But Randall has a different conclusion from his meeting. He is impressed by the sheer fascination of customers with Kevin, who reveals to his brother that The manny It's kind of, well, one thing in South Korea.
Randall is not so reluctant to bring Kevin into the community with him. Think of an idea: address the unattended Korean population, where half of the potential voters are not registered, and beat Councilman Brown where he does not pay attention. Kevin agrees. The following, Randall and Kevin are registering voters in the heart of Koreatown, with Kevin taking pictures with the fans. However, a young Korean man approaches Randall and sees him through him. "You are getting the Koreans registered in the hope that they will vote for you because you are related to the Baby Man," he says, referring to the Korean name of The manny. "I bet you've never set foot here before and if they choose you, you'll never set foot here again."
Here is a case of We are Recognize a delicate situation without really questioning it. In fact, the man is absolutely right, but it only takes a speech by Randall Pearson to calm any doubt, in the Korean community or, theoretically, in the audience of the program. "I'm here now," he begins. "Right on the road, I saw empty shop windows, I saw very patched potholes, I saw a guy who had his bicycle tire under his arms because he knew that was the only way he would not be robbed." He says he does not. I do not know what the community wants, but he will listen if they tell him. A crowd gathers around him. The man who challenged him seems impressed. Smiles abound. (The summary continues on page 2)