SPOILER ALERT- Please be aware that this article contains spoilers from Tuesday’s premiere episode of This Is Us.
This Is Us premiered on NBC last night after months of critical acclaim and excitement. It’s safe to say the show did not disappoint. While the whole episode had a few surprises, only a keen eye would have been able to predict the episodes closing twist.
This Is Us had spent a good portion of the premiere separately following 5 people: Jack and Rebecca who are about to welcome their new triplets. Kate, a woman embarking on a weight loss and romantic journey. Kevin, a sitcom actor who is questioning his career path and what he is capable of. Lastly, Randall, a man who recently found his biological father who left him on the stoop of a fire station the day he was born.
Throughout the episode we learn that Kate and Kevin are actually twins. We also see that Rebecca only gives birth to two of her triplets due the complicated nature of her pregnancy. Randall is able to tell his father how great his adoptive parents were and the wonderful life he created despite being abandoned at a young age. Aside from Kate and Kevin it’s very hard to pick up on the connections of the others until the closing moments.
At the hospital, Jack looks fondly yet defeated at his twins as a fireman comes and tells him that the baby next to his was dropped off at the station that morning. As the camera pans out to show everyone dressed in 70’s clothing and smoking in the hospital we realize that Jack and Rebecca are actually the biological parents of Kate and Kevin and the adoptive parents of Randall. Their story line takes place 36 years prior.
It was a well executed twist and certainly provides a lot of potential for the upcoming season. So, what did the stars of the show have to say about it? Milo Ventimigilia (Jack), Mandy Moore (Rebecca), Sterling K. Brown (Randall), Justin Hartley (Kevin), and Chrissy Metz (Kate) all sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss what they thought when they first read about the twist! Read below to see what they said!
STERLING K. BROWN: Reading [the script], it started to slowly dawn on me. I remember specifically reading the camera pulling back and seeing everybody was wearing ‘70s-style clothes and lapels. And then Kate says, “What’s that thing that Dad used to say to us… about lemons and lemonade?” I think right around there was when I was like, “Oh my god… I’m the third kid?” My jaw was on the ground. I was telling my wife, “Ryan, you’ve got to read this! You’ve got to read this!” and she was like, “It’s pretty damn special.”
JUSTIN HARTLEY: I’m not going to lie to you, it wasn’t washing over me at all, until… the end, when he offered him a cigarette. I mean, I’m not going to be one of those guys who’s like, “I have a sixth sense! I knew!”… I was like, “Oh, damn!” Now I want to know the whole story, not only going forward, but I want to know the story going back the other way as well. You feel like you’ve got the whole thing, and then at the very end you realize you were in the middle. And you want to hear all the in-between moments and what happened when they were kids.
MANDY MOORE: I think most people aren’t clicking until he offers the cigarette to [Jack]. That’s the moment where you’re like, “Wait….” Even when I was reading it for the first time, I was like, “You can’t smoke in…a hospital!” That’s when I was like, “Oh, whoa!” Then they pull back, and you really see the television and what’s on the news…. I didn’t see it coming at all. Even seeing it for a fourth and fifth time — at this point when the reveal is about to happen, there’s that shot of him in the window, looking in the nursery, my adrenaline starts pumping and I start to feel this tingling in my body, oddly. And I know it’s coming, I was a part of this, but I have a very emotional response to it.
MILO VENTIMIGLIA: A, it was clever. B, it was something that was truly unexpected. I did not see that coming… When grown-up Kate says, “What was it that dad said about the lemons?” and then it cuts right back to Jack standing at the nursery window looking at the babies, you go, “Oh, wow. It’s a family. They’re all connected. This is how the show is going to work.” And knowing the lessons we learn as kids, the experiences that we have, the idea of having the parents the same age as the kids and that kind of mirror reflection of what they’re all going through, what they’re all experiencing, it’s a very genius move by Dan. I mean, he’s taking the most simple story — it’s a family — but then you’re going to see mom and dad the same age as all the kids, and then you’re going to see them at different ages.
CHRISSY METZ: It was when the paramedic came up to Jack at the window and he said, “Oh, we have a baby that was left at the fire station.” And I was like, “Wait, wait. What are they going to do with the baby?” And I was like, “Oh, I got it!” And of course then I was trying to be Magnum P.I., trying to figure it all out. But that was the moment for me…. [It’s] about not letting a terrible situation affect you to the point where you are just handicapped for life. You make lemonade out of lemons. Because things happen for a reason…. It’s so beautiful on so many different levels for me.
A lot of people are wondering how the show is going to work with this twist moving forward. Are Jack and Rebecca going to show up in present day at all? Is the show going to jump back and forth every episode between timelines? It should be very interesting to see it play out, but it’s something new to TV and hopefully it sticks around.
Source: Entertainment Weekly