NBC’s This Is Us isn’t just here to make us cry uncontrollably week after week as we follow the life and times of the Pearson family through highs and lows. It’s also here to make us FEEL things about our own life, and the latest episode of the series, “Jack Pearson’s Son,” does just that with Randall, who we learn has struggled with anxiety for the better part of his life.
Randall’s anxiety has been hinted at before, when a few episodes prior Beth explained to William that Randall once worked himself so hard (and stayed up for a few days straight) that he experienced some loss of vision. At the end of the last episode, we learned that Randall’s hand was shaking — which could actually be happening for a few different reasons. But, we learned the real root of it in “Jack Pearson’s Son” when everything piles on for Randall, and he buckles under the weight of everything, leading to a nervous breakdown.
Just before the opening of Kevin’s play, Randall calls Kevin to say he can’t make it, and you can HEAR the anxiety in Randall’s voice. Kevin can, too, and in a flashback we see Little Kevin notice Little Randall have an anxiety attack and he does nothing to help his brother — but not this time. Kevin runs out of the theater, totally abandoning his play, to go and be with his brother.
So first up, the internet absolutely loves Kevin for knowing what’s bothering Randall, and he goes rushing to his side to be there for him (since he wasn’t as a kid). Second, the internet absolutely LOVES the raw and honest portrayal of anxiety in this episode, since it’s not something you see on TV every day.
While all anxiety is different, and can strike different people in different ways, it’s not shown on TV so much. And when it is, it always tends to be a glazed-over version. But not for This Is Us. They showed the signs, reactions, and aftermath of a panic attack, and the internet is all YASSSS 👏.
And, as he should be every single day, the internet just absolutely adores Sterling K. Brown for his performance.
Now, let’s for a second look at the tweet Sterling sent his on-screen brother, Justin Hartley.
Okay, back to crying — mostly because there are only THREE EPISODES left of This Is Us this season.