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This Is Us

This Is Us Review – Why Kevin’s Hook Up Upset So Many Fans (4×12)

THIS IS US -- "A Hell of a Week: Part Two" Episode 412 -- Pictured: Justin Hartley as Kevin -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

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At the start of the hour, “M. Night” Shyamalan, Kevin’s director, uttered this phrase: “this is the ending everyone wants and they still won’t see it coming.”

And he couldn’t be more right.

Most fans have been pushing for Kevin to date his longtime love, highschool sweetheart, and ex-wife, Sophie.

The episode, which focused on Kevin and dissected his trauma while also giving us plenty of Sophie and Kevin flashbacks that dated all the way back to their childhood, gave off the “true love” vibe.

It was the ending everyone wanted and yet, Kevin didn’t end up with Sophia.

Instead, the audience was thrown for a loop with a twist no one saw coming and one that angered fans mainly because creator Dan Fogelman nixed the theory seasons ago.

At the end of This Is Us Season 4 Episode 11 (an emotionally drive Randall-centric episode that opened up the dialogue around mental health and men of color), we saw Kevin in bed with someone and the hope was that it was Sophie, whom he spent the whole day with after her mother’s funeral.

But alas, it wasn’t Sophie, it was Madison, Kate’s bestie.

The actress that plays Madison, Caitlin Thompson, is Fogelman’s wife in real-life and he put it in writing that he would never, ever, ever allow her to hook up with Justin Hartley’s character.

Here it is in writing:

And then, he did just that.

Now, Fogelman never promised to keep his word, and he’s allowed to change his mind, but fans felt a little jipped and taken advantage of because it seemed like Fogelman purposefully wanted to mislead us.

Yes, that may be the fun of the show, but it’s also irritating unless Madison is the real deal and not just a one-night stand.

At this point, I’m skeptical to believe anything.

Why is Kevin’s dating life so important, you ask?

Well, it’s because the flash-forward to the Big Three’s 40th birthday reveals that Kevin has a fiancee who is pregnant and all bets are off as to who the lucky lady might be.

“It’s Been a Hell of a Week” did a stand-up job at establishing that Sophie and Kevin don’t belong together. It served as more of a tribute to their relationship than a chance for them to get back together, though, lord knows Kevin would have liked that.

Despite having so much history and a genuine connection, too much has transpired between them. They’ve missed their window.

The plot centered around Sophie’s mother’s funeral, and in a way, it was a funeral to their relationship.

As Kevin grieved Claire, his grief over his relationship with Sophie came to the surface He knew Claire supported him and loved him like a son, but he also knew that she never thought his relationship with Sophie would last, and he couldn’t prove her wrong.

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He grieved not being enough, not being able to be that man for Sophie, and he was forced to accept that he never will be; he will never be worthy of that emerald engagement ring.

Kevin has shaped up to be the guy that would have been worthy of Sophie’s love, but timing is an essential part of a relationship.

He was ready now, but she’d given him so many chances that she couldn’t anymore. Plus, she’d moved on with Grant.

The connection between Sophie and Kevin was only the memory of Claire and of the past. It’s nice to get lost up in something nostalgic for a moment, in the “what could of been,” “what should have been,” and the “what was,” but it’s not reality, and oftentimes, it isn’t the future.

Claire knew that. Kevin knew Claire so he could help her grieve her mother unlike Grant who was a new phase in her life

Kevin was also someone who lost a parent and could relate.

The story was focused on making amends, acceptance, and moving forward, but it was about Kevin and Sophie and not about Grant, which is why we never saw him or met him. It didn’t matter who he was or what he looked like or what his dynamic with Sophie was because that’s what it was. It wouldn’t have changed the storyline in any way.

Sophie and Kevin aren’t meant to be anymore, but their friendship is something they both cherish, and it was a nice wrap up to the storyline.

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Will his first love be his last love? #ThisIsUs

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And truly, I hope that’s what it was. However, that may not be the case given how Sophie looked at that emerald ring upon finding it.

Maybe she is the one, but before she could give him another chance, she needed to see Kevin’s growth and that he’s accepted a life without her in it.

Now, back to that cliffhanger.

Madison doesn’t strike me as someone that meshes well with Kevin, and the hook-up was surprising, however, plenty of relationships have flourished into healthy relationships after starting as just a casual thing.

Madison has always been a take-charge kind of gal who helped get Kate out of a funk. She’s been there when many others turned their back on her. She doesn’t leave when things get hard, and she’s loyal.

Those qualities make her a promising partner for Kevin if they’re both digging this relationship. I wouldn’t want them to both settle simply out of necessity because they both realize they’re almost 40 and lonely.

If Kevin is going to settle down, it better be with someone he’s madly in love with that’s equally as in love with him. Also, let him heed Claire’s advice: “we don’t settle.”

Hartley followed up with People after the episode and his comment makes it seem like this is just a one-off moment between two broken people who needed some comfort and found it in each other.

“For now you can assume that’s what it was because they both found themselves in a very vulnerable position,” he said.

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He also explained that things get sticky because Madison is a family friend. The devil’s advocate in me, however, wants to point out that Hartley can say whatever he wants to leave the audience befuddled. It’s his job not to spoil anything.

Our whole focus on who Kevin ends up with is hinged on the idea that he is happy about his situation in the flash-forward.

Back in season 3, he told Randall that by 40 he wanted to be married with a baby, which means he’s putting the pressure on himself and maybe settling is fine by him.

It’s entirely possible that the flash-forward isn’t as “happy, go-lucky” as audiences interpreted.

We can’t forget that something happened that drove a wedge between Kevin and Randall. It could be the fact that Randall kept his mother’s memory diagnosis a secret or it could be something entirely different. The series loves to pull the rug out from under us so it’s never really certain where the storyline is headed.

Kevin’s at the point where in his life where if Madison was to get pregnant, he’d stay with her and support her. One of his honorable qualities and also his flaw is that he wants to be there for people and help them solve their problems.

This could be one of those situations.

After all, the 40th birthday is about 8 months away, which would line up with the timing of this “one-night stand.”

As for Madison being part of the family, Kate could either be jealous that she has to share both of her best friends or she could be happy.

Likely, Kate’s only concern would stem from the fact that she wouldn’t want Kevin to hurt Madison as he’s known for doing that on occasion. He even told Madison that he always leaves relationships before things get complicated.

And Madison told him that she always stays too long, which now that I think about it, could be foreshadowing. Could Kevin stay with Madison because he doesn’t want to be another guy that leaves and runs away from anything serious?

There’s a lot of possibilities here, so if you’re not happy about the mystery girl being Madison, there’s a huge chance it isn’t her.

Heck, for all we know it could be “hall pass Lizzy.”

Other This Is Us musings

  • I didn’t like how they made Rebecca to be the ‘bad guy’ for the sake of Claire’s supportive storyline. Rebecca has always been supportive of Kevin, and wouldn’t have skipped his acting debut had she known about it and not been in a tizzy trying to pick up her life after his father’s death. Claire was the motherly-figure Kev needed but that doesn’t make Rebecca any less of a good mom.
  • Kevin’s speech to Sophie about how she’ll eventually be able to go back to the coffee shop just like he went back to the forest, a spot where his “childhood ended,” was sweet. It shows how much he’s grown as a character.
  • Sophie and Kevin’s “Good Will Hunting” game was a testament to their longlasting friendship and proves that though the ending may be different than they imagined, it doesn’t mean it’s not as good. Heck, it seemed to be better than anything they came up with.
  • Sophie looking to Kevin for inspiration also showcased how important he will always be to her even if they aren’t romantically involved.
  • The episode teased the next and final installment of the “Big Three trilogy” with Kate’s emotionally abusive relationship with Marc, the greaseball no one liked. Something tells me this one is going to be hard to watch.
  • Also, in the present-day, Kate and Toby’s marriage is imploding, and it seems serious this time as they seemingly just got back from their retreat for families with blind children.
  • Flashbacks to when the kiddos were young and scared to sleep in their “big kid” beds paralleled the storyline in a great way again. Jack telling young Kevin that “you’re going to find something else to love” resonated following the loss of Sophie, Well, maybe not a “something” but a “someone.”

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

This Is Us

5 Possible Theories About Who Madison’s Doctor and His Daughter Sadie Could Be on ‘This Is Us’

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Who Are Dr. Mason and Sadie on This Is Us

Okay, so you watched the season 4 finale of This Is Us and found yourself thinking, “who is the doctor and his daughter, Sadie.”

Honestly, same.

The episode spent so much time and attention on the doctor’s backstory, before we even knew that he was Madison’s obstetrician, and introduced his daughter.

Related: Why Is Nicky By Rebecca’s Side on the ‘This Is Us’ Season 4 Finale? This Theory Might Explain It

Some may say that there’s nothing to it, it was just a way to introduce a character, but avid watchers of This Is Us know that’s absolutely false.

There has to be some bigger meaning and connection that simply hasn’t been revealed yet. Plus, they wouldn’t give us so much insight into Sadie being a horse-whisperer unless it was relevant.

Check them some of favorite theories about who Dr. Mason might be below and let us know if you have any ideas:

Theory #1: It’s Dr. Katowsky’s Son/Grandchild/ Relative

It cannot be a coincidence that Dr. K was heavily featured in this episode talking about his own loss of a child, right?

There’s a huge probability that Madison’s OB-GYN, Dr. Mason, is Dr. K’s son aka the child that he and his wife had after the first miscarriage. *a fan pointed out that child was a daughter, but Dr. K had other children. Someone pointed out that those children would be older and that he once mentioned having grandchildren, so it’s possible Dr. Mason is related in some way. 

The doc seemed to have a knack for giving some really great advice just like Dr. K. He told Madison not to write off Kevin before she even talked to him and told him about the pregnancy, which led to Kevin being “all in” with the twins. There may be proof of this Dr. K and Mason are related because in the very first scene he tells Sadie that her horse is “is just a lemon.” And we know Dr. K loved his lemon metaphor.

Theory #2: Someone Like Dr. K

Considering Dr. Mason gave great advice just like Dr. K, many fans believe he’s going to be a huge part of Kevin and Madison’s pregnancy journey. He might be the one that they turn to for advice, guidance, and assurance just like Kevin’s parents did with Dr. K after he delivered Kevin and Kate. It would be a sweet way of bringing things full-circle. And hey, this still allows the Dr. Mason to be Dr. K’s son. Dr. Mason might be Kevin and Madison’s person.

Who Are Dr. Mason and Sadie on This Is Us

Credit: NBC/ This Is Us

Theory #3: Dr. Mason is Kyle

Okay, this theory is kind of wild and if This Is Us was a thriller drama/ telenovela rather than an inspirational, heartwarming family drama, we might consider it to be true, but sadly, we don’t think it is. That being said, we’re including it because it’s fun to imagine “what if.”

What if Dr. K was so desperate for a son that he stole one of Rebecca and Jack’s children instead. Imagine if Kyle never died but was taken and raised to be Dr. Mason, who reunites with his biological family, the Pearsons, years later by sheer coincidence when Madison walks into his office pregnant with Kevin’s twins. Again, if This Is Us was that kind of show, which it isn’t, this would be an incredible plot twist.

However, Dr. Mason seems older than Kevin, Randall, and Kate, plus, I wouldn’t want anything to tarnish the sweet, innocent Dr. K, who is a gem in this world.

Theory 4: Sadie Needed to Give the Doc Advice

Maybe Sadie and Dr. Mason were only necessary so she could give her dad that he then gave Madison about Kevin: “Little early to give up on him, don’t you think? You haven’t even give him a chance to be himself yet.” Sadie is a horse and Kevin whisperer.

Theory #5: He’s Madison Future Husband 

Madison knows she’s not Kevin’s great love story, and she’s fine with it. Maybe through all of this, she falls in love with the doc and Sadie becomes her step-daughter. There’s no confirmation that Madison becomes Kevin’s wife simply because she’s carrying his children, so it’s entirely possible they both move on while being connected by their twins.

 

Showrunner Dave Fogel told Deadline that Dr. Mason will 100% become instrumental next season: “The doctor becomes an important character next season to Kevin – he’s having twins with a virtual stranger, not a normal birth experience. It’s no coincidence he was introduced in the same episode that Dr. K returned.”

That has to confirm Theory #1, right?

Read the This Is Us Season 4 finale review right here!

What are your favorite working theories?

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This Is Us

Why Is Nicky By Rebecca’s Side on the ‘This Is Us’ Season 4 Finale? This Theory Might Explain It

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This Is Us Why Is Nicky By Rebecca's Side in the Future?

The This Is Us season 4 finale answered many burning questions including who Kevin’s baby momma is and what lead to Randall and Kevin’s rift.

It even answered some other questions like who is Hailey, the museum worker introduced at the kickstart of the episode. (You can read the review to find out because we’re keeping it spoiler free).

However, many of the mysteries that we’re still craving answers for take place in the future as Rebecca lies on her deathbed at Kevin’s cabin, which he built using his father’s, Jack’s, renderings.

We already know that Kevin (and his twin children), Randall, Beth, and Tess, are visiting their mother. We’ve also seen Toby and Nicky there.

Kate and Miguel have both been noticeably absent, which has led to some theories that they’ve both died. Morbid, I know, but we are talking about This Is Us.

However, based on the finale, there’s a new mystery surrounding Nicky and his wedding ring. Is he married? Why is he by Rebecca’s side instead of Miguel (if he’s alive still).

A working, yet heartbreaking theory, is that Rebecca’s Alzheimers has fully set in. Her memory loss may have caused her to regress to happier times in the past, and it’s likely that she forgot Jack passed and believes Nicky is Jack, her husband.

It would explain why Nicky is wearing a wedding ring and by her bedside the whole time.

Nicky loved his brother, and he knew how much Jack loved Rebecca. He always wanted a family and to be part of a family and Kevin made that happen, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he would do this for Bec.

If that’s the case, it might explain why Miguel isn’t around because in Bec’s mind, he’s not her husband and he wouldn’t want to confuse her by being overly affectionate. And honestly, if this is the case, I feel for Miguel. He’s always been the for Rebecca and the Pearson family, and has always gotten the short end of the stick. Can we get some love for Miguel!?

There’s definitely some scenes that support this theory. When Rebecca first began experiencing memory loss, she would think about Jack. Similarly, US Weekly pointed out that Kevin also kept seeing Jack while getting advice or when he was getting scolded by Nicky. For the Pearson family, Nicky is an extension of their father, so it makes sense that Rebecca would believe that.

Do you think there’s some truth here? Or is Nicky married to someone else and simply being supportive?

And where do you think Miguel is? We’re crossing our fingers he’s still alive.

As for Kate, there’s a theory that she passed away after giving birth again. Only time will tell!

If you have theories of your own, leave them in the comments section!

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This Is Us

This Is Us Season Finale Review – Kevin and Randall’s Explosive Fight, Kevin’s Baby Momma Revealed(4×18)

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This Is Us Strangers Part 2

And it all comes full circle. Not only in the Pearson clan but in general for the fourth season of This Is Us, which kicked off last September by introducing a handful of new characters.  Some became more pertinent to the storyline then others, and similarly, “Strangers Part Two” plays out similarly.

At the top of the hour, we meet a man attempting to tame his horse, who gets some assistance from his daughter, Sadie. We’re also introduced to Hailey (Adelaide Kane), a young woman working in a museum who turns down her best friend and co-worker, Zach’s, advances for a date. I’ll get to those two a little later in the review, but keep them in mind!

The season finale had it all — a number of celebrations, a bombshell reveal, the Pearson blow-out of 2020, and a cliffhanger.

With so many timelines blending cohesively into one unified message, I think the easiest way to tackle this episode is to break it down into three: the past, present, and future. This ensures that I give all of them equal attention.

PAST: The past finds Rebecca and Jack gearing up to celebrate the Big Three’s first birthday. Birthday’s are the overarching connection in the finale. Rebecca’s mood quickly takes a turn when she gets emotional about Kyle, Kate and Kevin’s triplet who passed away during birth. Bec reveals she struggles to talk about him, and Jack agrees that he usually pushes the thoughts from his mind because they make them sad. The Pearson’s are never ones to wallow in that sadness though especially since Jack always has the perfect solution that’ll cheer them up. They pay Dr. K, the obstetrician, who gave birth to Kate and Kevin, for some advice, and since he also lost a child once before, he knows just what to say (he always does). The advice that happiness and sadness should co-exist is one that rings through much of the episode as happy moments are filled with heartbreak. That’s life, isn’t it?

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PRESENT: Everyone gathers at Kate’s home for Jack Jr.’s first birthday. It’s a momentous occasion filled with some underlining tension, as any gathering with the Big Three is. Randall and Kevin haven’t spoken since their squabble in New York, plus Randall hasn’t exactly gotten around to telling his siblings that he forced his mother through methods of sheer manipulation to agree to the 9-month long clinical trial in St. Louis.

Honestly, we’re all like Beth in this episode, just bopping around the house, going back to the car cause we forgot something, and sippin’ our tea while minding our own business.

When Rebecca finally makes the announcement to her kids, Randall immediately offers support. Kate and Kevin aren’t as on board with it and their curiosity leads them to what may be the final Big Three conversation for a very long time. There, they question what could have happened to change Rebecca’s mind and still, Randall says absolutely nothing because he knows it won’t land well with either of them.

Kate lets it go and goes to her “surprise” event with Jack Jr. and Toby, but Kevin’s still not convinced. He goes to check in with Rebecca who echoes the same explanation as Randall just mere moments ago: it’s an investment in her future. Ding-ding. Kevin realizes that Rebecca is not acting out of her own free will but on the behest of Randall. He confronts his brother, who pretty much attempts to avoid the confrontation because he’s sooooo convinced he’s doing his mom a solid.

Listen, Randall, if everyone including your mother, your siblings, and your wife think that you’re overstepping and the tactics you used aren’t kosher, maybe consider that you aren’t seeing clearly. Randall has always considered himself as the alpha in the family, but really, Randall’s character hasn’t made nearly the amount of progress as Kevin’s.

Rebecca changed her mind about the clinical trial, which Kevin wasn’t fond of, but he accepted it because he figured it’s what she wanted. Kevin had a rational reaction because he trusted that the best thing to do was to let his grown mother make her own decision. Randall could never, and he proved it by the stunt he pulled on Season 4 Episode 17. It’s crazy for me to say this, but I don’t think Randall is as emotionally mature as Kevin.

Randall said that “when her good time inevitably comes to an end, everyone will be grateful” he made the call for the trial, but this thinking hinges on so many variables. For instance, does the trial work? Does she survive the trial (we know she does, but they don’t at this point)? It also ignores the obvious point that there’s no cheating death. Eventually, Rebecca will die and it’s something he has to come to terms with. There’s a great argument for prolonging life, but not if it isn’t what the patient wants.

If they left it alone, this argument didn’t have to end a brotherly relationship, but Randall couldn’t let it go. He came back to fight with Kevin — at a very, very, very bad time when Kevin was getting overwhelmed from every direction — to bring up that he was there for Rebecca and taking care of the family while Kevin was pursuing his acting career. Clearly, Randall holds a lot of resentment for his brother making something of himself and continues to try to guilt him into thinking he abandoned the family or something similar. For the first time ever, I found myself wishing Kevin would just punch Randall, but I was impressed with how he managed his emotions and remained calm and collected. This is yet another example of Kevin’s growth as a character. He didn’t break down, he didn’t rush to grab a bottle, he simply digested what was happening.

This Is Us Strangers Part Two Review

Credit: This Is Us/ NBC

Kevin challenges Randall’s beliefs that he “took care of the family” by bringing up the night of the fire. Randall retorts that they’ll never know if Kevin would have saved their father like he believes he would have because he wasn’t there, once again, and then throws the punch: “and dad died ashamed of you.”

At this point, my jaw was on the ground because Randall Pearson, how dare you? He’s obviously hurt and in defense-mode, but this was a gut-punch unlike any other and said to a man who has already carried so many demons.

He continues in such a harsh manner that it’s best I just leave you with the full quote: “I think that’s the part that really gets you, isn’t it? The shame that he felt for you and the pride that he felt for me? You’re not even chasing Dad’s shadow, Kevin, you’re chasing mine. But you’ll never be him, and you’ll never be me.” 

And, if that’s not enough, he tells him that he’s never cared about anyone but himself. Everything else was just a “tired, stale performance…. like all of your performances,” once again proving that Randall is not here for Kevin’s acting career.

Whoo, thank god Beth made Rebecca, Miguel, and the girls leave because it would be heartbreaking to witness this fight.

Kevin has a simple yet effective comeback to all of this, and again, he says it without even getting upset: “Hand to God, Randall: The worst thing that ever happened to me was the day they brought you home.”

I’m going to need a minute…

That was harsh, but it also felt like it was a long time coming. That’s not a rift that either of them will bounce back from anytime soon because a lot was said that cannot be taken back or forgotten.

Randall clearly feels some type of way about the situation and there’s no convincing him otherwise, whereas, I think Kevin is at the point where he’s done prioritizing his brother and living in the shadows and is ready to focus on himself.

Right before the second wind of this fight kicked off, Madison rang the doorbell after going to the obstetrician’s office to confirm she’s pregnant. Pregnant with Kevin’s baby. To echo Beth, “Mh-hhhm.”

Remember when I mentioned a man with a horse and a daughter named Sadie at the beginning of the episode? Well, that’s Madison’s doctor, who listens to her say that the father of her baby deserves a great love story and tells her not to write him off just yet. It’s unclear why we needed to know so much background about the doctor’s personal life. Is he going to be more involved? Is he going to be the Dr. K to Madison and Kevin? I read a wild theory that the doc is actually Kyle, the triplet that Dr. K stole from Rebecca and Jack, and while that would be a twist with a capital T, I can’t see the show taking that direction. So, for now, we have to wait and see.

Back to Madison, though. We don’t know what Kevin would have said to Madison had it not been for that explosive fight that made him want to care about someone, make something of himself, and prove his brother wrong. However, seeing Kevin’s face while she tells him the news and says she doesn’t want anything from him makes me think he was going to be on-board regardless. After all, he wanted a child by his 40th birthday, remember?

Madison was so quick to write herself off from Kevin’s life, but who knows, maybe she will become his great love. Then again, the writers gave us glimpses of BOTH Cassidy and Sophie, so it’s not 100% certain that Kevin’s wife and Kevin’s baby momma are the same person.

Still, Kevin tells Madison he’s all in and he wants this baby more than ever. Madison then corrects him that it’s not just one baby, it’s twins. Full-circle, friends, full circle.

While all of this is going down at Kate’s house, Kate, Toby, and baby Jack pay a visit to the NICU where they spent a lot of time praying and hoping for Jack’s survival. It’s incredible how the passage of time offers up a different perspective in the same place. Toby suggests that they have a second baby, which Kate immediately shoots down because of how hard her first pregnancy was, but Toby reminds her that the Pearson clan has a good track record with adoptions. Both of them weigh their options and consider whether or not it’s a good idea, and honestly, none of that matters because they both do really want a second child.

FUTURE: Which finally brings us to the future aka Rebecca on her death bed at Kevin’s house, the one he built by the cabin from his father’s renderings. He arrives at his mother’s bedside. Randall and Nicky are already there. Though Randall and Kevin seem estranged, the fact that Kevin puts an arm around his brother means that there’s some hope that they patched things up eventually.

Kevin also says “hi” to Nicky, and the camera pans to his hand, which has an engagement ring. Who did Nicky marry? Miguel’s absence and the fact that Nicky is sitting by Rebecca’s side makes me think that maybe Rebecca married Jack’s brother, but that’s kind of weird. The other theory is that Nicky married Cassidy, but again, that’s also weird. So, for now, much like Madison’s obstetrician, this remains a mystery.

We also see Kevin’s twins — a boy and a girl, though no Madison.

Also in the future, Jack Jr. and his wife are waiting to meet their child. Finally, she goes into labor and they deliver a beautiful baby girl whom they name Hope. It’s fitting considering all this family has overcome.

And remember Hailey, the girl from the museum that we met at the kickstart of the episode working in a museum? She’s Jack’s sister, who rushes to the hospital to meet her niece. We assume that she’s the adopted daughter, but there’s a theory here that Kate and Toby run into some trouble adopting — they have a lot on their plate and a special needs son — so they have a second child and Kate doesn’t make it. It could be why in the present, we never see Kate and the focus is solely on the Kevin and Randall.

Alright, that was a lot. What did you think of the finale?

Are you glad Madison is pregnant? What did you think about the fight? And whose side were you on?

Why do you think we got so much insight into the doctor’s personal life?

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