This Is Us finally returns tonight on NBC, kicking off the back half of its already awesome second season. The episode titled “The Fifth Wheel” will follow the aftermath of Kevin’s DUI in the present day storyline and in the past, we will see Jack take the family on a mountain cabin vacation. So, while we could not be more excited to see our Pearson’s again, we are also getting a fresh box of Kleenex out because this is This Is Us after all. Thankfully, we have a few hints about what to expect in tonight’s episode to help prepare you for getting back on the emotional roller coaster!
We’ll Meet a New Big Three:
Earlier this month Showrunner Dan Fogelman tweeted that fans would be meeting a new Big Three in the premiere.
Happy New Year! Back to work today, back on TV next Tuesday (1/9). There is a twelve minute take between four of our Pearsons and (and a great guest star) that will knock you over. Also get to meet the new Big Three! #ThisIsUs
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) January 2, 2018
While the first thought was that we could possibly be meeting Kate, Toby, and Randall in the future, EW confirmed just exactly who Fogelman was referring to.
“The episode also will feature a pairing of three characters that have not had a story together, and they are tied to Pearsons by romance: Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), Miguel (Jon Huertas), and Toby (Chris Sullivan).”
While we would love to see a new version of our favorite Big Three, a story with Toby, Miguel, and Beth is definitely intriguing. Not only are Beth and Toby two of the best characters on the show, but there is still so much to unpack about Miguel. Plus, it can’t be easy being with a Pearson so I’m sure they will find a lot to talk about.
Expect an ‘explosive’ Pearson Family Scene:
“The Fifth Wheel” will find all of our Pearson’s together after Kevin was arrested for drunk driving with Randall’s daughter, Tess in the car. As you can imagine there is going to be a lot of emotions swirling around, which all lead up to a huge scene between the four of them.
“It’s one of our most ambitious in terms of there’s a full act that plays out almost like a one-act play. We are not using some of our fancier types of flashing around and montage and beautiful photography but really just letting the characters act and hash out what’s happened over these last few episodes. The scene will show various family members trying to “sort out how to best be there for their brother and son, and in a really, really explosive and ambitious way, playing out a lot of their family drama in this 11-page, nonstop, tour de force scene,” This Is Us executive producer Issac Aptaker told EW.
This is definitely the 12-minute scene that Fogelman referred to in his tweet, and judging by Aptaker’s thoughts, I think it’s safe to say that the Emmys should just get the awards out now because this will certainly be a brilliant scene for all of the actors.
Kevin and Randall Are Climbing Uphill:
We’ve seen Kevin and Randall go through the ringer both in the past as they try to find a relationship and their present-day stories as they try to restore it. Kevin was really there for Randall when William died, but he absolutely betrayed Randall’s trust, even unknowingly, when he got in the car drunk with Tess hiding in the backseat.
However, while you can definitely expect for this to be a huge struggle for the brothers in the episode, it looks like they are really going to be diving into their childhood and how that shaped them to who they are today.
“It’s complicated because it has to do with the nature of why Kevin thinks he’s an addict, and it has to do with whether or not Randall validates his brother’s perspective. When you think about the nature of memory, everyone tends to highlight those things that reaffirm their own perspective of truth. And Kevin, Kate, and Randall all have their own different versions of what their childhoods were that shaped who they are, and then they have very different ideas of how other people perceive themselves…. You see Randall working very hard to extend graciousness to his brother because his brother was present for him at one of the lowest points of his life, and now he wants to reciprocate that. But it’s hard to do that when you endanger somebody’s child.”
This Is Us returns tonight on NBC at 9:00 EST and be sure to come back tomorrow for our full recap of the episode, “The Fifth Wheel”.
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.