Hospitals have a way of bringing the best and worst emotions out of people. As we soon learn this episode, This Is Us has a way of bringing time periods together with connected emotions – both good and bad. The finale to This Is Us builds up to a climactic resolution to the Randall/Kevin situation that’s been brewing throughout the season and with it, some glimmers of hope for the future too. All of this revolves around baby Jack’s 1st birthday and some promising signs for the future season when it drops later this year.
The season 1 finale of This Is Us revolves around Jack’s 1st birthday party. Toby comments on the magnificent birthday cake while Kevin phones Nicky just before heading into therapy, telling him he has Jack’s birthday gift and finally giving some closure to their turbulent relationship over the season.
Randall and the family prepare to leave but just before they go, Beth confronts Randall over the way he convinced Rebecca to go to St Louis. For now this remains a secret as the family arrive and sing happy birthday to baby Jack’s.
Kevin and Randall sit together and talk about the clinical trial. Kevin tells him that Rebecca remaining with them is the best thing. Randall however, is hesitant to tell him the truth until Rebecca holds Miguel’s hand and announces that she’s going to do the clinical trial.
Out in the garden, the Big Three discuss why Rebecca has changed her mind. Toby finds this an opportune time to take Kate away and let Randall and Kevin talk. While they do, Toby takes Kate back to the Doctors with Jack and shows them where this all started. He apologises to her for the past and tells Kate they’re still together, all three of them. As they talk, Toby suggests adopting another child so Jack has a sibling.
In the past, the Big Three also do their 1st birthday parties but it’s too much for Rebecca who walks away as she remembers the one she lost. As she and Jack talk, they head back to visit the Doctor we saw in the first ever episode and with all three together, they ask him for some words of wisdom. He goes on to tell them a beautiful story, one that confirms the big twist of the episode – Kate and Toby adopt a little girl who grows up to be Jack’s sister. This becomes apparent during the future segments where Jack’s girlfriend goes into labour.
Before we get there however, Kevin works out Randall was the one who convinced Rebecca. Sensing that things are about to blow over, Beth tells Rebecca and the others to leave the house. Randall and Kevin fight from the garden through to the living room but Madison shows up, telling Kevin they need to talk and admits that she’s pregnant as Randall leaves.
The news rattles Kevin and with his head swimming, he heads outside for some air. Unfortunately Randall comes back and the two fight again. He tells Kevin he’s chasing Randall’s shadow and admits that Jack was ashamed of him. As Randall walks away, Kevin tells him the worst thing that ever happened to him was Randall being brought home.
After the fight, Kevin heads back inside and tells Madison he’s all in with the baby while we see Sophie staring up at a picture of Kevin on a billboard.
In the future, Randall and Kevin meet again by Rebecca’s bedside. Kevin hugs Nicky, who leaves, as we see Kevin has two twins and a ring on his finger. Kevin puts a hand on Randall’s shoulder as we learn Jack’s child is called “Hope”.
While not quite as emotional as the previous season with the big reveal, and we’re still no closer to working out where Kate is in the future, the fight between Randall and Kevin certainly didn’t disappoint. With no big physical bust-up (thank goodness!) the bitter words spilled by both brothers really hammer home the bad blood that’s been brewing between the two all these years.
Unfortunately Rebecca is the one caught in the cross-fire here but to be fair, Randall’s under-handed way to “win” at Rebecca’s choice for the clinical trial is really shady. It’s something that also acts as the catalyst for Beth and Randall’s downfall and I’d imagine we’ll see more of the fallout from this brotherly feud next season. Of course, it’s a little up-in-the-air around when This Is Us will return later this year (for obvious reasons) but one thing’s for sure, Season 4 bows out with a heady cocktail of emotion and plenty of questions left hanging over this one.