After finding out his mother always knew where his biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) was, for the past 36 years, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) was understandably upset — but was Rebecca (Mandy Moore) right to keep his birth father out of his life?
It’s a complicated question, considering there’s still so much about William’s past that we don’t know.
When Rebecca shows up on his doorstep after years of no communication, he seems to be doing well and tells her he’s been sober for five years now. Assuming he was being truthful about his sobriety, that still doesn’t mean he was in an ideal place to be fathering his 9-year-old son.
As Randall’s mother, who just so happens to be terrified of losing her son to his real parents, it’s Rebecca’s prerogative (as well as her responsibility) to make sure Randall grows up in a safe and loving environment, which sometimes means protecting him from harsh truths.
Keeping Randall away probably seemed like a good choice at the time, even if it was a selfish one. On the other hand, considering William now has limited time with Randall because of his cancer, it’s becoming harder and harder to excuse Rebecca’s choice.
What if Randall was sober, and capable of being there for Randall? What if she robbed them of the little time they have left?
Randall has had a lifetime of wondering about his birth parents and why they gave him up, and now that he’s finally reconnected with his biological father, it turns out he’s dying. That’s a lot of missed opportunities to make up for, and Rebecca shoulders a lot of the blame for that. The excuse of protecting your child only goes so far, especially considering she had ample opportunity to tell Randall about his father once he was emotionally mature enough to handle whatever came his way.
Ultimately, Randall made a very mature choice — with the help of some seriously potent shrooms — to recognize how hard it must have been for his mother to keep this secret, while still holding a firm line about how betrayed and hurt he feels. We’ll have to wait and see if the frostiness between them has thawed at all by the time Christmas rolls around, and whether this realization will affect his future relationship with William.
As far as Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) go, both of their lives are pretty much a train wreck at the moment.
We’re more than a little happy that Kevin kicked Olivia (Janet Montgomery) to the curb, considering the stunt she tried to pull at their family cabin. Snuggling up to an ex-boyfriend right after declaring your feelings for another guy? That is some high school level pettiness. Someone who would self-sabotage in that way is probably not emotionally stable enough for a relationship, especially with someone as sweet (and kind of dopey) as Kevin.
As for Kate… If surgery doesn’t fill the hole in her heart, we’re not sure Toby (Chris Sullivan) will be around after the fact to even try.
“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.