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Hannah Zeile and Chrissie Metz from This is Us

'This is Us' Episode 'The Cabin' Teaches that Violent Partners Only Escalate

Gettyimages | Phillip Faraone
By Wednesday Lee Friday

After a lead-up of several episodes, we finally learned what happened between Kate (Chrissie Metz, Hanna Zeile) and co-worker and boyfriend Marc. As expected, there was much ugliness to be seen.

The more experience you have with domestic violence, the easier it may have been for you to recognize the signs. Kate's desperate "Are you mad at me?" is a telltale sign that Marc is withholding and angry about small, petty things. Abusers want to keep the victims they're grooming off-balance. Unbalanced people are easier to knock down.

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Kate is All of Us

Giphy | This Is Us

Kate Pearson is full of the same fears and anxieties as many, if not most, young women. We see her struggle with her weight as a child, and watch in horror as her supposed friends tell her she embarrasses them. Not everyone had a father like Jack, whose outrage at his daughter's mistreatment was genuine and intense.

Kate struggles with low self-image, and afraid that everyone is judging her about her weight. In the case of boyfriend Marc, she's right--he is. And he's a total ass about it.

If Only Jack was Still Around...

Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) on the set of This is Us
Gettyimages | NBC

Viewers must have been chanting at Marc through the entirety of 'The Cabin' how lucky he was that Jack wasn't alive to see this. We can all imagine just how a loving dad like Jack would react to the news that someone hurt his Katiegirl. Breaking the mug was bad enough.

We're pretty sure Jack would have insisted on a breakup--or at least a long loving talk with Kate about how she deserves to be treated--after a single "do you really need to eat that" comment. What we didn't expect was for Rebecca to go all Mama Grizzly on that little snot Marc.

Brothers to the Rescue?

Giphy | This Is Us

Fans already know that Kevin and Kate are inseparable, even when they're physically separated. Fans also know that Randall is pretty chill...until he isn't.

This writer is just a little embarrassed at how much she wanted to see Kevin and Randall take Marc outside and wipe that smug smirk off his face--before wiping the rest of him off of planet earth.

Driving off without her? Locking her outside? Having a fit because she didn't quit her job in a rage just because he did? Through all of it, Kate was determined to think of Marc as a good guy who just made a mistake...then another mistake...and another...and then a few more.

Art Imitates Life--Even the Bad Parts

Giphy | NBC

Knowing that there are crappy boyfriends out there isn't really the stuff of drama. But seeing Kate make excuses for him, hiding what he's done to her--that's the part that rings true for nearly every abuse survivor.

This idea that the victim is the one who needs to change (leave sooner, don't tolerate abuse, hit back, tell someone/everyone) should die in a fire--pun intended. If there's a lesson to take away from 'The Cabin', it's that no matter how sincere the apology seems, violent behavior excused is violent behavior repeated.

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