[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Episode 3 of This Is Us! Read at your own risk]
It's that time of the week to grab your tissues and talk about another heartstring-tugging episode of This Is Us.
After two weeks of episode-ending bombshells, This Is Us decided to reveal its big secret at the top of the episode. Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and William (Ron Cephas Jones) met mere days after the triplets were born and Rebecca is the one who asked William to stay away from Randall (Sterling K. Brown). It wasn't a cruel-hearted request, but one that needed to be made in order for Rebecca to feel like she was really Randall's mother.
She saw William standing outside of the hospital on the day she went home with the babies and tracked him down to find out his story. Nursing the baby who wasn't naturally born to her had proven difficult and Rebecca felt like knowing his story could help her connect to him more. At the time, the third child was named Kyle -- all of the children were given K names after Dr. K (Gerald McRaney) -- but it was actually William who suggested Rebecca change it. Randall comes from the name of William's favorite poet, giving him a connection to his biological son 36 years before he officially met him.
The story of how Rebecca and William originally met and the significance of that meeting are revealed through flashbacks throughout the episode. Step by step, we get to see how this one meeting 36 years ago shaped these characters and how it affects the relationship they have with each other now. While the reveals in the first two episodes, especially in the premiere, were jaw-droppers, this episode played more for the emotional tension and inevitably was more satisfying. The change in structure proved that This Is Us doesn't have to rely on a reveal gimmick to work, but is as versatile as it is emotionally touching, which makes it a pleasure to tune into every week.
Not only did This Is Us break its structural chains, but it also freed Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) from each other. The twins have a very endearing relationship, but it was an important step for them to realize that their codependent bond was making them too comfortable and stopping them from reaching their true happiness. It feels like their real journeys are finally beginning and it's exciting to wonder where the two of them can go if they're free to make their own mistakes and discoveries.
This show finds a way to surprise its viewers every week, but it's extra special when it finds surprising ways to make those reveals. If it wasn't clear already, Episode 3 cemented This Is Us as the most creative and well-made new show of the fall.
What did you think of the latest twist?
This is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.