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?
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.
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?
Who Is Nicky Pearson Married to on ‘This Is Us’?
The season 5 finale of This Is Us stunned audiences with a major cliffhanger, but that wasn’t the only surprising revelation during the hour!
In the final moments as Kate gears up for her wedding to — well, it seems like Phillip, but that could be a red herring — it’s revealed that Nicky has a wife!
Yes, Nicky, Jack’s cynical and “weird” brother, is a married man in the five-year flash forward! But who is his wife?
The obvious answer would be Sally Brooks, his first and only love.
In flashback episodes, Nicky and Sally met at a vet clinic in 1969 and their relationship flourished. They had the kind of summer romance you see in rom-coms, but when she asked Nicky to head out to California with her, he never showed up because he decided to stick around and be there for his mother, who was still living with his abusive, drunk of a father.
Nicky hasn’t seen or heard from Sally since, but after seeing Kevin and Madison’s love story, he was inspired to seek her out online. Now, there are likely a ton of women with the name Sally Brooks, so he might have to get pretty specific with his search, but it’s not impossible.
“Um, I cannot confirm or deny either of those things, but I think it would be very exciting if it did happen. And I definitely was talking with the actor on set, Genevieve, about who she thinks could be the present-day Sally. So hopefully we will see that — my hopes as a fan and as a writer is that we do because I love Sally, and I want to see more of her,” she explained.
This doesn’t automatically mean that sparks will fly again as Sally could be married or simply not interested in reconnecting.
But regardless, it could give Nicky the closure he never received and allow him to move on and find love again.
If Sally isn’t his wife, who is?
The second option is Rebecca Pearson. It would be pretty crazy if Rebecca got married to her late husband’s brother, but she also married his best friend, Miguel, so I guess it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.
In the 10-12 year flash-forward, Rebecca is on her death bed with her family gathered around her. Nicky is seen by her side, which fans found strange. Furthermore, her husband, Miguel, her husband, is not around. The camera also makes it a point to pan to a wedding band on Nicky’s finger, which could possibly suggest that he and Rebecca tied the knot.
However, I’m not too keen on this storyline. Marrying Miguel made some sense as they both loved Jack and connected after over their shared grief. They were each other’s support system. As for Nicky, it’s just a little too close to home.
Plus, I’m a fan of the theory that Nicky is only by her side because Rebecca’s dementia has led her to believe that Nicky is Jack. This could also explain why Miguel isn’t pictured.
The final option is that Nicky married Cassidy (guest star Jennifer Morrison). While there’s a significant age difference between the two, aside from Kevin, Cassidy is the only other person that Nicky is close to. Plus, people of different ages fall in love all the time.
The series likely wouldn’t introduce Morrison’s character only to have her be a blimp in Kevin’s life, right? Unless, of course, Kevin, who ended up not getting married to Madison in the This Is Us Season 5 finale, marries Cassidy in the flash-forward. Either way, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Cassidy just yet!
If Rebecca thinks Nicky is Jack, and if Kevin is married to Cassidy, then it seems like Nicky either wed Sally or the series will introduce a new love interest for him in the final season.
Regardless of who the wife is, we just hope Nicky, who has only known solitude for the latter half of his life, is happy.
He deserves a companion that will make him feel happy and alive again!
Who do you think he marries?
This Is Us Season 6 will premiere midseason in 2022. No premiere date has been announced.
This Is Us Season Finale Review – The Wedding Twist No One Saw Coming (5×16)
After five seasons, This Is Us continues to sweep us off our feet.
And yes, that’s a terrible phrase to use for an episode that did not include the highly-anticipated Kevin and Madison wedding. Is anyone really surprised by that?
I think I was more surprised by how much the teasers were hyping up a wedding that both the bride and groom were so uncertain about. We knew in our hearts that it wasn’t going to happen.
While Kevin and Madison didn’t walk down the aisle towards their happily ever after, there was a silver lining for both of them.
For starters, they both avoided a marriage that was doomed from the beginning. Madison would never have Kevin’s full heart, and that’s unfair to everyone. Meanwhile, he wouldn’t have to force himself to fall in love with a woman after saying “I do.” They were both settling simply because they had children together, which was made obvious when Kevin couldn’t bring himself to tell Madison that he was in love with her.
Kevin was so determined to make it work because he so badly wanted to have the kind of love story his parents did. But this wasn’t it… at least not now. I say that because based on the flash-forward, I definitely think there’s a chance that Kevin and Madison fell in love with each other sometime in the future. Otherwise, they’re nailing this modern family/parenting thing, and that’s great too. They both deserve to find their person.
The other silver lining was that through this experience, Madison finally found her worth. In the same way that Kevin was searching for the fairytale romance and perfect family because of his parents, Madison spent her life accepting any sliver of affection that anyone would give her. After being with Kevin, she realized that she owed it to herself to find someone who was just as in love with her as she was with him.
Calling off a wedding mere moments before it’s set to happen to a man who has given you everything (except his heart) is difficult, but kudos to Madison for finally putting herself first.
The series is always trying its best to trick us and the sweet Kate and Toby conversation about making sacrifices for the other person was a red herring.
For a full season, we’ve all wondered when the other foot would drop on Kate and Toby’s relationship as the flash-forward to Rebecca on her death bed seems to reveal that the two of them are no longer together.
However, this was not the moment I thought we’d get the big reveal.
As Kevin practiced his speech, it was assumed that he was putting together his vows for his wedding with Madison. When it became obvious that this scene was from a flash-forward, I immediately thought that Kevin was finally going to lock down the love of his life and was convinced we’d see Sophie standing on the other side of the door.
All of that ended up being absolutely inaccurate as Kevin was actually gearing up for his best man speech for… Kate’s wedding.
Kate was getting married to her co-teacher, Phillip. Yes, the very Phillip that thought she wasn’t qualified for the job and gave her flack on her first day.
I’m a huge fan of season finale twists but not when they involve the breakup of one of TV’s sweetest couples.
Were Kate and Toby tired of making sacrifices for each other? Were they just being delusional when they both said they’d make things work between juggling a family and a career?
Or is this yet another red herring? Kevin calls Phillip brother-in-law, but maybe Phillip is Madison’s long-lost brother and Kate is renewing her vows with Toby?
It’s a stretch, especially since Kate says “this is the last time I’m doing this.”
We know Toby is still around in the flash-forward, and this could explain the “she” he’s referring to when Randall assures him that “she would want you to be here, Tobe.” Initially, we all thought it referred to Rebecca wanting Toby there or that it might have meant Kate was no longer alive, but now that we know Toby and Kate divorced, it would make sense that he’d feel a little apprehensive about being there for a huge Pearson moment.
Though, I’m glad he is. Toby is family regardless of whether he’s married to Kate or not.
The 5-year flash-forward also revealed something quite shocking… Nicky is married! Yes, the cynical Nicky has found a lifelong partner.
But who is it? Is it his teenage love Sally Brooks? Did he finally find her? Or is it Rebecca? Because in the other flash-forward (so many timelines, so little time!), Nicky is by Rebecca’s bedside. Did she split from Miguel and get married to Nicky? I can’t see that happening, but I’m also not putting anything past this series anymore.
The episode was filled with great moments about putting yourself and your own happiness first.
Tess confessed that she didn’t feel like herself in the bridesmaid dress, and while no one ever does, hers was a different story as it was tied to her identity. Beth took matters into her own hands and helped Tess alter the dress to make it more her style, and it turned out awesome.
Deja found out that Malik got accepted to Harvard, and while she’s obviously concerned about the future of their relationship, can we just get a round of applause for his five for five? Get it!
And Randall finally opened up to Rebecca about his time in New Orleans learning about his birth mother. He’d been avoiding the conversation for quite some time, but it allowed them to heal from all the pain of the past as Rebecca finally apologized for keeping him away from his birth parents and not giving him a platform to talk about it.
Rebecca and Randall are the best mother-daughter duo on television, so I’m glad they’re back on track.
The episode was filled with the same magic that made This Is Us such an unexpected hit back in 2016!
We even got a present-day Pearson family moment, and while Jack was obviously missing, his presence was felt as everyone suggested how he would handle the given situation. There’s something so special about the family still having each other’s backs after everything they’ve been through. It was one of the most powerful scenes of the season.
What are your thoughts after the finale? Have you picked your jaw up off the floor?
What do you think led to the Kate and Toby split? Are they still on good terms? Are Kevin and Madison together in the future?
Who is Nicky married to? Sound off in the comments below to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
And we’ll see you back here for the sixth and final season in the fall!
This Is Us Review – Kevin’s Strange Bachelor Party (5×15)
Kevin and Madison celebrated their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 15.
For a Hollywood hunk, Kevin’s bachelor party was pretty lame, but it was fitting for the family-focused series.
The boys went up to the family cabin with the hopes of fly fishing, but due to the weather, they found themselves watching Jerry Maguire, talking about their feelings, and reminiscing about the past.
And that’s kind of what bothered me about the episode. There was too much emphasis on the past and not enough on the future, namely, Madison and Kevin’s future.
Their relationship may be unconventional, and yes, it’s highly likely that if they didn’t accidentally get pregnant, they wouldn’t be together, but they did find each other, which has to mean something.
Their love isn’t a grand love like Rebecca and Jack’s, but not every relationship is.
However, as Miguel rightfully pointed out, that doesn’t make it any less important. What Madison and Kevin have is unique and special in their own way, and I wish the series acknowledged that instead of trying to tear them apart through every means possible.
Kevin was right to call out Nicky for his rude behavior. I know he doesn’t have a filter, but some things just don’t need to be said out loud.
Nicky’s comments coupled with the call from Sophie made Kevin doubt and question his decision to get married to Madison, but I’m glad Miguel brought him back to reality.
Miguel definitely knows that there are different types of love and they’re all valid. He will never be Rebecca’s Jack, but they have something real that they’ve made work.
Similarly, Madison will never be Kevin’s Sophie, but that’s a good thing. Kevin and Sophie tried to make it work numerous times, and despite the love they had for each other, it just didn’t fit.
Randall managed to keep everyone in check, but Miguel’s advice saved the day.
Honestly, Miguel continues to be so underrated, but I’m glad they’re incorporating him into the storylines more and more.
I was happy that Kevin didn’t call Sophie back and decided to delete her number. It was a little irritating that she decided to call Kevin in the first place and insert herself back into his life.
A congratulations text would’ve worked just as well, but it seemed like she was hoping something else might come of it and that isn’t fair to Kevin. He tried to win her back so many times and she turned him down. Her call seemed to be fueled by the “you want what you can’t have.”
Madison’s bachelorette party didn’t fare any better. While it had a more bachelorette vibe to it, it was still pretty depressing.
First off, none of Madison’s friends came to the party. Then, the model that they were painting turned out to be Madison’s ex, and finally, she also began to question her relationship with Kevin when watching the video about their future.
The whole ex thing didn’t seem to serve any purpose, but it was funny watching them call him out for ghosting her!
What did become evident is that both Kevin and Madison both have the same fears and insecurities about the relationship. Instead of pretending they’re this happy couple, they should probably talk about it before the wedding.
I definitely think they both love each other, but they have to be honest about their feelings if they want to make this work. Slapping a bandaid over it isn’t going to cut it.
With both of them questioning the relationship, it’s definitely hard to get excited about the wedding in the upcoming season finale.
Will they make it down the aisle? Will Sophie be a wedding crasher? Or will they live happily ever after?
Other Major Moments
- Toby realized that he couldn’t continue on as a stay-at-home dad and put himself in the running for a position in San Francisco. What does that mean for him and Kate considering she just found a job she loves in LA?
- Beth was also looking for a job and couldn’t bring herself to work at just another dance academy as she considered the traditional ones to be broken and joyless. Rebecca suggested that she start her own (and we know that she runs with that advice in the future), and I just love how positive of a force she is in everyone’s lives. She was supportive of Madison, and she’s always been #TeamBeth.
- In turn, I love that Beth was the only person who treated Rebecca like a human instead of a broken doll. Their relationship is so sweet.
- Fisherman Randall is a whole vibe.
- Nicky wanting to bring a jigsaw puzzle to the bachelor party was so on-brand.
- Rebecca’s reaction to learning about ghosting was everything. People who ghost other people are jerks!
- Nicky is trying to find his one true love, Sally Brooks. It’s definitely a generic name, so he might have so trouble with the Google results, but I’m excited about this storyline. Maybe it’ll make him less cynical!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!
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