The road trip episode of This Is Us may have given us something we were all expecting, but that didn’t stop it from completely and totally wrecking us when it did. The episode titled “Memphis” followed only William and Randall and gave viewers the chance to see William’s life before drugs. With the episode essentially wrapping up Randall’s main story so far on This Is Us, what directions can his character take now? Let’s discuss.
William has officially left the building, This Is Us fans. On a “last hurrah” type of road trip with Randall, he got to learn some intimacies of his son’s life and also shared a great deal about himself. This beautiful episode was a perfect culmination of the story we’ve been watching since the pilot episode, and we all knew it would end this way (even if we might have been in denial.)
William was only in Randall’s life for a short time, but he still managed to impart a lot of life lessons to not only Randall, but his wife, kids and even his brother. Given that the main storyline for Randall so far has been him finding his biological father and getting to know him before he dies, what’s next for Randall Pearson?
It’s important to differentiate between “what’s next” and “what’s left” because there’s still so much story left to be told for all of these characters, it’s just a matter of choosing. Randall has a loving wife and kids and a great mother, siblings and … Miguel (ugh.) Everyone in his life has an interesting story which he can now get more involved in. He’s even got a job that he loves (even if no one’s quite sure what it is that he does.) With William now gone, you could argue that he has more time to devote to his work and family, thus maybe reducing any chance of another anxiety attack? Maybe, but not likely.
Remember what Beth first told William about his son — that Randall isn’t without vice. His vice is his innate drive to be good and help people. It’s what cripples him into anxiety when it’s particularly weighing heavily on him. Just because he had another episode very recently doesn’t mean that will go away. Given that Kevin made a huge career blunder in order to be there for his brother, maybe Randall will now step up to the plate to return the favor.
Randall’s story could now shift towards further repairing his relationship with his brother. There’s a lot going on for Kevin right now, and without Kate right at his side, he could use some sibling support. Whether that means figuring out what’s next for his career or sorting out his messy love life, we have a feeling Randall’s attention will now be focused on helping Kevin get his life in order.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)