To no surprise, Thanksgiving is the core theme of Episode 8, which opens with flashback from the Big Three Family's past: Rebecca (Mandy Moore) is exhausted and anxious about a family visit to grandma and grandpa's. She wants her cranberry sauce to be perfect, and it probably is, until its boat is shattered with the sauce spilled out on the floor. Happy Thanksgiving, Rebecca!
Kate (Chrissy Metz) is on her meeting for those who struggle with weightless, getting guidelines on how to stay inattentive to the cornucopia of food on this holiday. At her dinner with Toby (Chris Sullivan), the discussion of their visit to her parents' place in New York ends up with Kate suggesting they should take a break. The issue is still about food, as Toby stopped dieting, while Kate is no longer able to handle her frustration. Kate reveals she isn't happy, because she fails to handle her weight problem, which is her No. 1 addiction. Later, on a plane to NY, a woman on a next seat to Kate tells her "Life is too short."
Kevin (Justin Hartley) asks Olivia (Janet Montgomery) to join him on Thanksgiving, as she hates her family and, apparently, the holiday itself. Although she hesitates to accept the invitation, after Kevin compares his family to "ciabatta bread" (watch the episode to figure out why), she's ready to spend the break with him.
Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is excited about "turkey day," waking up his family and getting everyone in the kitchen for Pearson Thanksgiving. He is expecting Rebecca and Miguel to arrive in a minute. His wife, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), seems to be less excited, as she keeps in mind William (Ron Cephas Jones) and Rebecca's secret. The tension getting higher when Rebecca comes to their house, as Beth intends to tell Randall the truth herself if Rebecca fails to.
Meanwhile, intercuts shows the Big Three family on their way to a Thanksgiving party with Rebecca's family. While kids are exploding with their complaints, a car accident with a blown up tire seems to be an adventure. Rebecca calls home from a pit stop, fighting with her mother and, as a result, refusing to come to her house. In the end, the family stays at a roadside hotel, and kids aren't happy about that. Later, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) makes a funny show for the family, helping to make the evening better.
Later, Olivia says "I hate Thanksgiving," instantly after she's introduced to Kevin's family. In addition, Kevin seems to be rude to Miguel, unable to accept him in his family. During their walk in the forest, Olivia tells Kevin about her unfortunate Thanksgivings with her family because of recurrent conflicts. At this time, William and Randall are walking behind them, having their own conversation. William is nostalgic about the past Thanksgivings with his friends. He mentions tapes with music from their celebrations, which he's always happy to recall.
When they get home from a walk, Randall tells Beth he's going to get these tapes for William, as this Thanksgiving is probably the last one for his dying father. After Randall leaves to William's place to get the tapes, we see Olivia saying goodbye to Kevin, as she thinks he sees another person in her. She has a short conversation with William, while waiting for a car. William says "Catch the moments of your life," because it will be too late. In the next scene, we see Olivia kissing Kevin, with her eyes full of tears. The whole family is sitting in the living room, and things seems to get better, until Randall comes back from his little trip. There, he found a revealing letter from Rebecca. Later at the table, he fiercely blames Rebecca for lying to him all these years. The evening gets bizarre when Kate shows up, stating that she decided to make a gastric bypass surgery. Well, they all will remember this Thanksgiving for a long time.