This Is Us Boss explains Randall’s surprising premiere explosion from the previous
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[The following contains spoilers from the Season 5 premiere of This Is Us. Read at your own risk!]
This Is Us returned Tuesday night with a two-hour premiere showing fans how the Pearsons are getting along amid the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing them for another year of emotional roller coaster ride. The episodes were initially recorded immediately where the fourth season finale left off. Kevin (Justin Hartley) found out that Madison (Caitlin Thompson) had twins. We then quickly reeled in to him and told Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan), which also showed that Kevin and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) were still not getting on well after their demolition battle at the end of season four, from there the story continued on the 40th birthday of the Big Three, which Kate, Toby, Kevin and Madison spent in the family hut together with Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas), who spent the summer there under quarantine.
The premiere revealed why Rebecca had a memory episode while shopping for the twins’ birthday cake – she was on allergy medication for a poison ivy flare that prevented her Alzheimer’s medication from working – thanks to Randall’s appearance and piecing together when Kate revealed Rebecca was missing. The pandemic and the added stress of George Floyd’s death only helped to deepen the schism between Randall and his family as he struggled to explain why their sudden awareness that he was traveling the world differently as a black was too late .
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In true This Is Us fashion, however, it was the last moments of the episode that we will play in Season 5. During the premiere, we saw flashbacks to the night Randall was born and his mother’s alleged overdose before William left Randall at the fire station. It turns out that Laurel didn’t actually die that morning. She was resuscitated by paramedics after William thought she died and ran away with baby Randall before the cops could show up. The reveal will have a profound impact on Randall’s life if William had stayed here 30 seconds, raising many questions about what will come for number 3 when he is 40.
“We’re not going to be dragging a puzzle like this across seasons or anything. So there’s a pretty quick answer, and I think it’s going to turn out to be elegant,” teased series creator Dan Fogelman on a conference call about the premiere episode. “It is one of the last things we ever talked about, in this area we would divulge that information and delve a little into his mother’s story, his birth mother’s story.”
He went on to confirm that sooner rather than later fans will find out if Laurel is still alive in the present and how it will come into Randall’s life as he continues to find out who he is and what he wants. As you learn more about Laurel and her person, you will learn what Randall will do in the future.
“There are definitely answers to the question, ‘Is she still alive today?’ And definitely answers to what happened after that. Honestly, who was this woman long before that moment, long before she met William. Where is she from? This woman who was Randall’s birth mother and who didn’t play a celebrity part of our history so far – Who is she, where is she from, what is her story? That’s a big part of Randall’s journey this season. ”
According to Fogelman, there was always a plan to make Laurel a bigger part of Randall’s history. The writers’ room was struggling to figure out when the time was right to really get into their part of the story. With Randall currently isolated from the rest of the Pearson’s, there is room to explore that part of his life that hasn’t really been questioned before.
“For us, Randall’s story, the big picture, has always been a story of identity. He’s a man who, like many people from different backgrounds, is constantly searching for who he is and where he comes from. It’s always been part of his story , the story of his birth mother that we never really showed or told. I think for Randall, for this character, until he gets some answers and some sort of conclusion there, it will be a finale one step in which he will come to terms with addresses some of his own questions about his identity, “explained Fogelman.
This Is Us Season 5 isn’t going to heal the rift of Kevin and Randall anytime soon
We always knew Randall had issues with his mother, but that became a point of contention between Randall and his therapist (Pamela Adlon) in season 4. Now that Randall will move on and find a black therapist, it makes sense that he ‘I’m going to start delving into the questions of how he feels about his adoptive mother, now as opposed to his birth mother, in a way which has not yet been investigated on the show.
“It’s something when you look back on the show we’ve always had [layered] in, talk about where your mom is? Why is your birth mother not part of this narrative of your life? She is that character who died in childbirth that you never really examined. So this first half of the season is our opportunity to do that, and in some ways it sticks to a plan of when and how and why in relation to Randall’s full picture sheet, “he said.
This Is Us returns on NBC Tuesday, November 10th at 9 / 8c.