[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the midseason premiere of This Is Us, “Light and Shadows.” Read at your own risk!]
This Is Us’midseason premiere brought all the feelings in an emotional episode that dug more into Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) illness before ending with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger involving a stranger holding a gun in Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) kitchen.
After the fall finale saw Rebecca accept she’s having memory issues, the premiere picked up with Randall urgently on the hunt to find a neurologist who could diagnose her condition before flying across the country to accompany her on her first doctor’s visit. Audiences knew from a flash-forward that Rebecca’s memory was declining, and will continue to do so as the present day timeline approaches the Big 3’s 40th birthday, but the midseason premiere confirmed she is having cognitive issues, and the realization that Rebecca would start losing her faculties was a tough moment for both Randall and Miguel (Jon Huertas), the latter of whom experienced a particularly powerful moment when he admitted to Randall he had seen the signs of Rebecca’s decline but was in denial because it was too painful to face the truth. Now that there’s no running away from it, Miguel is going to be her primary caregiver.
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Rebecca’s diagnosis unfolded over the course of the episode and was interwoven with flashbacks to when Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) was first courting Rebecca. After Rebecca’s father told him he wasn’t good enough for his daughter, Jack attempted to end things with Rebecca, but when she learned the truth about what her father said, she initiated her own grand romantic gesture and declared her love for Jack in the middle of his mechanic shop. They shared a magical kiss, surrounded by the sparks from the other mechanics’ tools, which looked like fireworks. “I love you Rebecca Malone,” Jack said in the moment. “Don’t you ever forget it.” Then the scene transitioned to present-day Rebecca as she realized she may soon forget everything. There are not enough tissues in the world for that heartbreak.
However, viewers barely had time to regain their composure before This Is Us set up what is bound to be an emotional set of episodes. Randall returned home to Philadelphia and kissed Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) goodnight before going downstairs for a glass of water. When he arrived on the ground floor, he came face to face with a strange man holding a gun. This is obviously the event that will kick off what creator Dan Fogelman called Randall’s “intense” storyline for the rest of the season. It also led to a major backslide in how he handles his anxiety. To be honest, we’re not prepared for whatever This Is Us has up its sleeve next.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
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