We’re Convinced Kevin Is About to Go Off the Rails on ‘This Is Us’
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
As we learn in This Is Us season four, episode 14, misery loves company in the case of the Sad Three. Intent on licking their wounds together, the Pearson siblings—Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown)—and their emotional baggage escape to the family cabin for a pow-wow. Randall needs to tend to his anxiety, Kate needs space from her marriage and Kevin needs to heal his aching heart. What better way to do all that than by remembering how far they’ve come? Enter: a time capsule assembled by the Pearson tweens when Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) first purchased the home.
After distracting themselves with a puzzle of a family photo, the adult Big Three remember the time capsule and decide to dig it up. Kevin put in a photo of himself and Sophie, Kate added a M-A-S-H game that predicted she’d marry Joey Lawrence and live in a mansion with two children and Randall contributed the missing piece of the puzzle. Upon discovering their picks, Randall realizes his anxiety has plagued him for far too long (even picking the puzzle piece as a kid was a struggle), Kate concludes that maybe she and Toby (Chris Sullivan) will actually make it and Kevin admits (after multiple confessional messages Madison left on Kate’s voicemail) that he slept with Madison (Caitlin Thompson).
In the spirit of confession, Randall finally tells Kevin about Rebecca’s memory loss and he’s in total disbelief. The next day, the Big Three wistfully leave the cabin with a resolve to care for their mother together and to build the dream-home drawing that Jack left in the time capsule. In a flash-forward, we see the house being built and an older Kevin arriving at the cabin to check on his ailing mother (yep, just like in the season three finale).
The show ending with an older Kevin (and the knowledge that Randall and Kevin will get in a major fight within the next several episodes), leads us to wonder how Kevin will process the news of his mom’s diagnosis. Often, processing information with such emotional resonance can start with denial, then lead to anger, bargaining, depression and eventually acceptance. Clearly, Kevin is on his way through the stages, as his initial reaction is denial. Anger is the next logical step, which may account for his eventual fallout with Randall, who hints in the episode 15 promo (below) that he’s the only one capable of holding his family together. But looking past this impending drama, what does this all mean for Kevin’s mental health?
It’s abundantly clear that Kevin, someone who struggles with addiction and has utilized alcohol and pills as coping mechanisms in the past, may lose touch with his sobriety as he figures out how to deal with Rebecca’s diagnosis. The question is, will the lighter news of his child be enough to pull him out it or will the divide within the family deepen?
More shall be revealed (hopefully!) when This Is Us returns with season four, episode 15 next Tuesday, February 25, at 9 p.m. PT/ET.