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# Friday, March 19, 2010
"WDYTYA?" Episode 3 Recap
Posted by Diane

Spoiler alert! Don't read if you don't want to know yet what happend in "Who Do You Think You Are?" episode 3.

In tonight's "Who Do You Think You Are?" Lisa Kudrow explores her ancestry in Belarus. This is the episode she’s said in interviews is very tough emotionally, because it deals with the Holocaust.

This episode starts at home as the other ones did, with Kudrow talking to her dad. His parents are East European Jews. Her great-grandmother was killed during the Holocaust along with others from her shtetl. Many years later, her dad was deeply affected at the retelling of how he learned what had happened in the town from a boy named Yuri.

From the beginning, Kudrow is looking to explore this side of the family. Her great-grandmother was killed during the Holocaust along with others from her shtetl. Her dad was deeply affected even this many years later.

She’s headed to Minsk. Anyone remember the Friends episode when Phoebe’s boyfriend Max had to go live in Minsk? I’ve heard some people express frustration with the recaps after each commercial break, but I like the opportunity to catch up and digest what’s going on.

Imagine learning your ancestor suffered a terrible death--was “killed and burned,” like Kudrow’s great-great-grandmother. It’s hard to believe something like that could happen in the charming place where Kudrow’s grandmother grew up.

She hears the story from an old woman who witnessed the devastation, and tried but wasn’t able to save a young girl from the massacre. After the break, Kudrow reads how the community’s Jews were rounded up and killed in the marketplace. Yes, this is hard to watch.

It’s striking me that this episode is more personal and impactful than history classes I’ve taken.

Now Kudrow is in Poland in search of her cousin Yuri Barudin, who had told her dad what happened to his grandmother long ago. He’d changed his name to Boleslaw, one that sounds more Polish. She lets her fingers do the walking looking for his son. This is the “I think we’re related” scene in the promos—it’s a happy scene.

The family recognizes Kudrow from television. What would it be like if a TV star showed up at your door? Yuri didn’t witness the massacre, he had managed to get away and later learned of the story. Kudrow telling her dad about meeting Yuri is the happiest part of the show for me.

Dad and Yuri are Skyping, and we hear how Yuri left $50 long ago when he met Kudrow’s dad. This shows how even after tragedies rip families apart, family history can bring them together across oceans.

If you missed it, you'll be able to watch this episode on Hulu.


"Who Do You Think You Are?"
Friday, March 19, 2010 8:21:03 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]