After a short first half to season five and a long wait to the second half, This Is Us returned with every bit of a bombshell as the series’ fans have come to expect.
Last time on This Is Us, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) offered Malik (Asante Blackk) an internship with the City Council, despite the fact he allowed Randall to dance on a livestream without a shirt. Meanwhile, a man whose identity was at that point unknown had photos of a woman who the audience believed to be Randall’s birth mother and made the connection to Randall when he spoke about William Hill in the City Council livestream.
At the same time, Kevin (Justin Hartley) was feuding with his new director after he was repeatedly harsh toward him during a rehearsal. Finally, the audience discovers that young Kate (Hannah Zeile) was pregnant with Marc’s (Austin Abrams) baby at the age of 18.
This week, the man who saw Randall’s livestream reached out to him. He introduced himself as Hai Lang (Vien Hong) and said he knew Randall’s birth mother and that she had died of breast cancer in 2015. Randall doesn’t know what to do with this information because he thinks it means that William lied to him about his mother when, in actuality, William had no idea.
Kevin and Madison (Caitlin Thompson) are looking for a nanny, and Madison comes to the realization that Kevin plans to travel quite a bit for his work. She gets frustrated, but Kevin explains that’s how the industry works.
As Kevin gets ready to leave and shoot his film on location, he and Madison try to reconcile. Madison, however, tells him to use the time to be real with himself and figure out how she and the babies will actually fit into his life. Kevin, feeling distraught, calls Randall and says that he doesn’t know what to do and needs his help. It’s the first sign of an olive branch between the brothers, to the audience’s delight.
Randall, however, quickly hangs up with Kevin and decides to call Hai Lang for more information about his message.
“Hey, Kev, I’m sorry to cut you off, but now’s not a great time,” Randall said. “I have a really important phone call that I have to make right now.”
Hai and Randall talk, questions and answers. Hai explains that William told Randall what he thought was the truth because he didn’t know that Randall’s mother had lived after the birth. Hai tells Randall he wants to meet with him and show him the places his mother lived and what she loved. Randall wants to and asks if he could go.
Finally, Kate is replaying her time with Marc in her head, and she can’t stop thinking about it. She ends up telling Toby (Chris Sullivan), and he is ultimately very accepting and loving. Kate ends up Googling Marc to see where he is now and finds him in San Diego.
She convinces Toby to drive her to San Diego so she can confront Marc (Lucius Baybak), and when he tries to convince her that they were just kids and that things are different and she was broken back then, Kate won’t stand for it. She tells him that he was a 24-year-old man, and she was 18, and her dad had just died, so he had no room to say they were just kids.
“What you did to me, how you held my self-esteem in your hand and then you decided to crush it? That damaged me, Marc. For years I swallowed my dreams, my feelings and a lot of food. Look at me. Because you need to get this. The time that it took for me to heal from you stole years of my life. And I can’t get them back. It took me a while, but I found someone who loves me in the way I deserve to be loved. I have a beautiful son and an incredible husband who is actually in that car and who is, like, seconds away from wanting to just pulverize you with his bare hands. I’m not broken. You’re the one who’s broken, Marc. You’re the disease. And I’m not carrying it a moment longer. So I give it back to you. Good luck with it, Marc.”
This episode is very gripping, but the promotion for next week’s episode that features the life of Randall’s mother is the most intriguing.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.