Thanksgiving can be challenging on familial relationships, and last week’s episode of This Is Us proved to be no exception: Randall (Sterling K. Brown) accidentally discovered a letter in his biological father’s apartment that revealed William’s longtime connection to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) — which meant Rebecca had knowingly kept a son who had questions about his dad in the dark for 36 years.
Titled “The Trip” (9 p.m. ET/PT), tonight’s episode of the NBC family dramedy returns viewers to the house of confrontation, shortly after Randall threw down the gauntlet — and the ball of yarn. “You pick up with Randall processing what he’s just learned, as Beth [Susan Kelechi Watson] and William [Ron Cephas Jones] tentatively wait outside of his door wanting to talk to him and see how he’s doing,” series creator Dan Fogelman tells EW. “These next two episodes serve in a way for the Randall story line as a three-parter and what he’s going to do about his feelings toward Rebecca and his anger and his hurt.”
He’ll be taking that cocktail of emotions out of town overnight, as the Big Three head to a remote locale. “Randall, Kate [Chrissy Metz], and Kevin [Justin Hartley] go up to the family cabin to get away from it all as they explore their different things,” says Fogelman, “and Randall comes to some realizations — good, bad, and otherwise.”
The episode also will offer some insights into the letter — and why Rebecca hid the truth from Randall. “We spend a little time examining what it is both flawed and beautiful that has been the next step in Rebecca keeping the secret for all those years, so that you kind of understand her, even if you don’t agree with what she’s done,” says Fogelman. “I think we can all understand and agree with what she did when Randall was a baby and things were happening quickly, but the question becomes, ‘How did she keep it all this time?’ And that’s something that we dive into very heavily.”
To read what Fogelman had to say about Randall’s confrontation with his mother in last week’s episode, “Pilgrim Rick,” click here.