The "Our Little Island Girl" episode, the first to delve into Beth Pearson's backstory, "suffers from trying to cram all of Beth’s adolescence into a single episode," says Caroline Siede. "It sometimes winds up feeling a little bit like a CliffsNotes backstory for a character who more than deserves her own novelistic storyline. Yet if any show is built to bring emotional depth to a CliffsNotes story, it’s This Is Us. Though it bites off perhaps a little more than it can chew, This Is Us gives this Beth-centric episode the pomp and circumstance it deserves, particularly when it comes to its guest stars" Phylicia Rashad and Carl Lumbly as her mom and dad. Siede adds: "In some ways, 'Our Little Island Girl' feels like This Is Us clearing the decks to finally (finally!!) put Beth on an even playing field with the rest of the cast— one she should’ve been on a long time ago. The episode offers Beth a new direction in the present and officially kicks off Beth and Randall’s love story in the past. Hopefully that will lead to more stories where both present-day Beth and her teenage counterpart (a wonderful Rachel Hilson) get to take center stage again."