‘This Is Us’: The Music and the Mirror Update — What’s the Story With That Title?

The next episode of This Is Us, “The Music and the Mirror,” focuses on Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson) and her career. Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) go through an unexpected conflict, and someone from Kevin Pearson’s (Justin Hartley) past returns. The episode’s title is also a famous song from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line, and it hints at something more significant.

Is ‘This Is Us’ new tonight?

This Is Us the Music and the Mirror features Kevin and an unexpected guest
‘This Is Us’ Season 5: Justin Hartley as Kevin | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

This Is Us returns tonight, May 11, 2021, with “The Music and the Mirror.” NBC plans to air three new This Is Us episodes in a row, with the season finale on May 25. Tonight is the first of those three.

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 recap

A quick This Is Us recap about Beth’s career, Toby and Kate’s relationship, and Kevin’s life this season could help viewers prepare for “The Music and the Mirror.” Throughout this season, Beth Pearson’s career hasn’t been mentioned. In This Is Us Season 4, Beth fulfilled her dreams of opening a dance studio. However, with the addition of the real-life pandemic into the series, viewers aren’t sure how things are going with her studio. 

A lot of changes happened for Kate and Toby in This Is Us Season 5. They adopted a newborn baby and found out that the birth mother didn’t want to keep in touch. Toby lost his job and struggled to secure a new one. Instead, Kate returned to the workforce in a classroom teaching music to children who are Visually impaired. However, Toby was not happy with his transition to a stay-at-home dad. 

Meanwhile, things for Kevin Pearson went very well. He and Madison (Caitlin Thompson) had twins. They have a nanny to help and seemed happy in their relationship and growing family. Kevin even made amends with his brother, Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown). 

‘This Is Us’ The Music and the Mirror — What you need to know

When This Is Us “The Music and the Mirror” returns on May 11, fans get a flashback to young Beth (Akira Akbar). In the preview for the episode, she is dancing ballet in front of a mirror. Meanwhile, present-day Beth puts on a blazer while looking in the mirror of her bedroom.

“Beth navigates her career path,” the NBC description reads. “Kate and Toby face unexpected issues. A run-in with someone from his past gives Kevin pause.”

RELATED: When Is the Next ‘This Is Us’ Episode? What Happens to Beth?

So, Beth’s dance studio might not be flourishing. Will she take a detour from her dreams again? Or is she putting on a blazer to fight to keep it? Toby hasn’t told Kate that he doesn’t enjoy staying home with the children. In the preview, Kate is in her robe and looks very happy about something. Is her excitement about her new job going to create a rift between Kate and Toby?

Meanwhile, the “someone” who returns from Kevin’s past threatens to ruin everything. Since teenage Sophie (Amanda Leighton) returns in an upcoming episode, it’s likely that the person from his past is his ex-wife, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge).

Does ‘The Music and the Mirror’ song from ‘Chorus Line’ hint at a plotline?

The title to This Is Us Season 5 Episode 14 might be more important than viewers realize. The song “The Music and the Mirror” is from the 1975 Broadway musical, A Chorus Line. It’s about a character, Cassie, who cannot find solo work, so she came back to the chorus where she can at least express her passion for dance. 

“Let me wake up in the morning to find I have somewhere exciting to go,” the lyrics on All Musicals read.

Could the title indicate that Beth gives up her dance studio? Is she a reference to Cassie in this episode, or could it be Sophie? Or both? In A Chorus Line, the character speaks to a former lover when she sings the song “The Music and the Mirror.” They rehash what happened in their relationship as she sings.

“Give me the chance to come through,” Donna McKechnie sang in the original Broadway performance. “All I ever needed was the music, and the mirror, and the chance to dance for you.”

In the musical, Cassie asked her former lover for another chance. If the title of This Is Us, “The Music and the Mirror,” has significance, Sophie could be back to beg for another chance with Kevin. What will he do? This Is Us “The Music and the Mirror” airs on May 11, 2021, at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.