Each of the triplets continues to move in new directions in the third episode of Season Three, “Katie Girls”. Meanwhile they all discover new ways to keep a piece of their dad close and present in their lives. As Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) movie premiere is coming to a close he can’t help but think about his dad and his time in the Vietnam War. Flashbacks show Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) willing to talk and even asked Kevin if he had any questions for him. At the time Kevin was not interested and never again got the opportunity to talk about it with him. While recording a podcast on NPR, the host (Terry Ross playing herself) asks him several questions about where he drew his inspiration for his role in the movie. Kevin immediately thought of his conversation with Jack. Kevin realizes just how little he knew about Jack’s experience. A few pictures are all he has and Zoe (Melanie Liburd) encourages him to ask people more questions about themselves. Inspired by his new project, Kevin begins emailing the men from the pictures.
Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is still bothered by Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) comment at the premiere (that she is the only one who can pass on a piece of Jack) and confronts her about her decision to go through IVF versus adoption. Randall’s offended that Kate sees adoption as her last resort and Kate doesn’t understand why Randall cannot respect her decision. A week later she goes through surgery for retrieval of her eggs but while she’s unconscious she spends time with Jack and younger, angrier versions of herself. Teenage Kate tries to convince her that she’s unfit to be a mother, reminding her that she’s under that black cloud where nothing ever works out for her. She preaches that living in the past is better because she was happier and Jack was alive. But adult Kate acknowledges how she has grown and reminds teenage herself that she’s happy now too and that she has finally gotten her break.
Before her surgery Kate shares her fears with Randall who rushes to the hospital to be by her side. He sits with Toby (Chris Sullivan) during the surgery and the two of them discuss their struggles with anxiety and depression. Each of them admit that they try their best to keep their vulnerabilities hidden from the women in their lives. Randall says he has hard a time forgetting when Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) found him on the bathroom during an anxiety attack. Toby mentions that Kate has never seen him at his worst and hopes she’ll never have to. When Kate wakes up she reminds Randall that even though he may not have Jack’s physical attributes he resembles him in so many ways. Rushing to the hospital to calm Kate’s fears is exactly the type of grand gesture that Jack would have done. Soon after he gets a call from one of the residents in the building he and Beth own. Her daughter was attacked in the dark street on her way home. Inspired by Jack, a man who was always willing to take action, Randall tells Beth that he wants to run for City Council. This news comes at a bad time since Beth was just let go from her job.
Throughout the episode are flashes of the past, following Jack and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) first date. The previous episode ended as Jack pulled onto Rebecca’s side street only to see her greeting some man at her doorstep. Rebecca opens the door surprised to see her high school boyfriend who has come back to convince her to move with him to New York. He promises her that New York will be better for pursuing her singing career and that she should move on from her dream of going to Los Angeles. Rebecca knows that this could be the life she’s always dreamed of but she still has a special feeling about Jack.
After Jack’s drunken father insults his mother and Jack’s time in the war, Jack convinces his mother to leave and he’ll find her a new place to live. His mother is embarrassed and insists they go to the store so she doesn’t arrive at a friend’s house empty handed. At the store he runs into Rebecca who was confused why he never showed up for their date. He explained what he saw earlier and wished her well on her dream and move to New York. When Rebecca asks Jack about his dreams he tells her that he just wants the simple things in life, a family and home unlike the one he grew up in. Rebecca changes her mind about going to New York and instead asks Jack if he wants to go to Los Angeles with her. He agrees and she realizes that there is something genuinely special about Jack.