Before you settle in to watch the season premiere of This Is Us, make sure you’re emotionally stable, as this season is going to be a doozie.
The first episode of the season was fittingly titled “A Father’s Advice,” and was narrated by William, Randall’s birth father, as he writes a book of poems for his son.
As the Big 3 celebrate their birthday, this episode focuses on each of their lives and the trials they face:
Kate has decided that she wants to pursue a singing career. Toby continues his role as the best, most supportive fiancé ever, ensuring that her outfit for the audition is perfect (schwing!). Kate is later rejected at her audition, but to her great surprise, it’s not at all for the reason she thought, and finds new determination to pursue her dream.
Kevin comes to realize that although he has always taken care of Kate, he needs to let Toby take the lead, even though it’s the only thing he’s ever been good at, or so he thinks.
Randall and Beth spend his birthday at the adoption agency, where it’s crystal clear Beth is not on board with the idea. Randall takes this opportunity to visit his mother and learns about the not so perfect path that leads to their decision to adopt him. Beth suggests an alternative to adopting a baby and it just might be an option they can both learn to live with.
In between each of these stories, the episode jumps back and unravels the aftermath of Rebecca and Jack’s fight we saw at the end of last season. Rebecca shows up at Miguel’s door and tells Jack she should have never asked him to leave, and she wants him to come home. We next see Rebecca driving home with a bag of Jack’s personal effects on the passenger’s seat, and as she pulls up to a scorched ruin that used to be their house, she starts to cry. We now have the main piece to how Jack dies but we’re still left wonder what lead to the fire. In this moment, it’s William’s words that echo: “It is better to have loved and lost, surely, but try not to lose it at all.”
It sort of felt like the best hand was dealt in the season opener, but if we’ve learned anything from the wild ride of season one, it’s that This Is Us has mastered the poker face.
New episodes of This Is Us air Tuesdays at 8pm ET on NBC and are available next day on-demand