*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
The This Is Us season four finale is finally here. Aside from answering some big questions that have been looming throughout the season, the episode also serves up some unexpected twists that no one saw coming.
We open one day before a big milestone for the Pearsons: Baby Jack’s birthday and Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) first year of sobriety. The family gathers at Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) home in Los Angeles and Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and their girls even fly out from the east coast. It’s a day of firsts, including Deja’s (Lyric Ross) first plane ride, and comes to a crescendo when Rebecca (Mandy Moore) tells her children that she and Miguel (Jon Huertas) have decided to opt in to the clinical trial in St. Louis. They’re moving in three weeks and they’ll be there for nine months.
This takes Kevin and Kate by surprise and Randall (who, as you’ll remember, guilted her into the whole ordeal in the first place) tries to act like he had no idea. Afterward, Kevin wonders what made her change her mind and he eventually realizes it was all Randall’s doing. Things get heated and right when the brothers are about to really blow up at each other, Madison (Caitlin Thompson) knocks on the door and tells Kevin she’s pregnant.
They sit down to talk and in the midst of learning this life-altering news, Kevin goes outside to get some fresh air and he and Randall really get into it. Kevin admits that he blames Randall for not doing more to save Jack the night of that fateful fire and Randall retorts that Jack died ashamed of Kevin. Then, the nail in the coffin of their relationship: Kevin tells Randall that the worst day of his life wasn’t the day Jack died; it was the day they brought Randall home from the hospital. Ouch.
After breaking his brother’s heart, Kevin goes right on inside and tells Madison he’s “all in,” that he wants to be a father and that he thinks he’d “be great at it.” She responds by telling him they’re actually having twins. (Oh, wow.)
Meanwhile, Toby and Kate sneak off to the NICU where Jack was born and Toby tells her that he wants another child and thinks they should adopt. Kate is unsure since their first year as parents has been incredibly trying on their marriage, but she’s undoubtedly excited.
In a flashforward about 11 years or so in the future (when Randall and Kevin arrive to visit an ailing Rebecca), we see Kevin’s beautiful twins (one boy and one girl) and Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) with what looks like a wedding ring on. We also watch Kevin put his hand on Randall’s shoulder in an affectionate way. *Breathes a sigh of relief*
So, here’s what we’re thinking: It will probably take some time, a lot of painful conversations and maybe some family therapy, but Kevin and Randall will eventually make up. Uncle Nicky will continue to improve and find someone to share his life with. Rebecca’s clinical trial will be successful enough to give her another 11 or so years with her family. Kate and Toby’s fate is still unclear, but for now, we can rest assured that hopefully, good times lie ahead.
As for Kevin’s romantic status, we have our doubts. We know that Kevin proposes to his baby mama, who we now know to be Madison (called it!), but we can’t help but feel that he might just be saying he’s “all in” because he likes the idea of becoming a dad. Perhaps that also means being a husband is up in the air since he and Madison barely know each other and he’s never been overly fond of her.
Also up for interpretation are the new and new-ish cast members we see interspersed throughout the episode. We watch grown-up baby Jack and his wife welcome their first child and meet his wife’s sister, who works in an art gallery. Will they all play a bigger role in the coming season? We also are introduced to a family of horse trainers. What part will they play in the Pearsons’ lives?
For now, we have to say we’re content to know who the mother of Kevin’s child is and that he and Randall will eventually make up. We’ll find out all about the rest when This Is Us returns for its fifth season, presumably this fall.
It’s been real, folks.