This Is Us fans may have gotten through Jack's death, but we should all know by now that the NBC family drama is not going to stop going straight for the emotional jugular. Case in point, a new theory about Beth and Randall Pearson getting divorced on This Is Us, which could become the show's new central heartbreaking event now that Jack's death has finally been fully explored. So do we have to start worrying about Beth and Randall, almost definitely the show's most beloved couple? Let's get into the theory.
Basically, the new fan fear about Randall and Beth's impending divorce all boils down to that surprise flash forward scene we got at the end of the most recent episode, when we saw an older Randall meeting up with an adult version of his daughter Tess for dinner. Now, this was only a short scene at the very end of the last episode, but fans know that it was a huge deal. Not only did it mark the first time that This Is Us has done a massive flash forward, hinting that we will be seeing more of the Big Three later in life as the show moves forward, but it also potentially revealed huge details about Randall's future.
The theory is that Randall and Beth will have gotten divorced sometime between the present-day storyline and the future storyline that we caught a glimpse of with Randall and Tess' dinner. And that all stems from the suspicious fact that we never saw future-Randall's hands.
A This Is Us fan on Reddit noticed that the show seemed to go out of its way to keep Randall's hands hidden during his flash forward scene, and even in the cast photo that Sterling K. Brown posted to Instagram of old Randall, he keeps his hands behind his back. Is he wearing his wedding ring or not!? We don't know. Couple that with the fact that only Randall and Tess have dinner, strangely without Beth for some reason, and it all adds up to something fishy. Check out the full theory for yourself:
So how likely is this theory? Well, we know that family tragedy is the bread and butter of This Is Us, and now that they have finally blown the Jack's death reveal that they've been teasing since the very first episode, they will likely seek out another initially ambiguous Pearson tragedy to tease out for a year. There have already been theories that Randall could replace Jack as the new tragic figure of the series, and the fact that he was the focus of the flash forward seems to add some weight to that. Maybe a Randall/Beth divorce really is the next tragedy to befall the Pearson family, possibly spurred on by Randall's anxiety attacks?
Then again... I know that Randall and Beth's marriage is beloved, but is a divorce really on the same emotional level as Jack's death? If the This Is Us team is looking for another central tragedy to replace Jack's death, then they will likely try for something much more heartbreaking than a divorce. Instead of separation, Beth's absence from the future dinner scene could actually mean that she will die — that would certainly seem to fit into the show's wheelhouse better. The only issue is that the death theory doesn't seem to explain why we didn't see future-Randall's hands: don't you think he would probably continue to wear his wedding ring even after Beth's death?
This Is Us has three episodes left in its second season to set up the new storyline that will make all of us cry even more. The show returns from its Olympics-imposed break with an episode called "Vegas, Baby" on Tuesday, Feb. 27 on NBC.