It's only been a couple of weeks since the one-two punch of This Is Us Superbowl special followed by the Tuesday funeral aftermath. Since then NBC has been wall-to-wall Olympics while their regular primetime line up is on hiatus. But with the show coming back next Tuesday, Feb. 27, fans are ramping up the worry for what the season-ending episodes will drop on us, especially when it comes to the newly revealed "flash forwards." The current concern: Does Beth die on This Is Us?
It may seem like fans are worrying needlessly over which death will fill the gap left by Jack's passing, but there's cause for concern. The show has been dropping big circular hints Randall's mortality has been weighing on him heavily. But when the show finally pulled back the curtain, and the social worker with the foster child was Tess all grown up, we saw Randall as an old man. So the show was pulling out leg: Randall didn't die. But Tess didn't ask how mom was either. In fact, there was no mention of Beth at all.
Did Beth finally reach the end of her rope with Randall? Or did something worse happen?
What we do know is this: This Is Us creator Dan Fogelson has said he has several "Jack's Death" type moments, all of which he pitched to NBC when he first brought them the show. The Super Bowl episode was just the first "turning point" as it were. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Fogelson said:
[Jack's death] was one of a couple of episodes that were part of my initial pitch to NBC. Many of the episodes were for future seasons upcoming, but this was one of the first ones.
This means there's a much longer game going on here than just a simple tale of three broken children who lost their dad at age 17. With the discovery we've been seeing glimpses somewhere between 10-20 years into the future since winter break when Deja left, fans are starting to realize there's an entire saga being played out over the generations.
The question is, while there are joyous moments this future will hold, what about the tragedies which befall the family too?
Beth is one of the characters fans love and identify with when they watch the show. She's an outsider to the Pearson clan, and their twisted issues born of grief are outside her understanding. But she's still a very important part of the family. She's Randall's partner and his strength. Moreover, though it's never explicitly said, she's one of the main reasons he got his stuff together far ahead of his adopted siblings. They are, as they say, relationship goals.
Beth dying would also play into Randall's issues in a way which losing a spouse would not with Kevin or Kate. Kevin is an addict and a narcissist who can't even hold a relationship in the present. For him to have a dead spouse in the future would just be odd. Kate's entire deal is figuring out how to have a relationship with Toby which is based on trust and honesty. Divorce might make sense for the future, but two urns to watch football on Sundays with is a little much.
Randall, on the other hand, is our resident control freak. His addiction isn't to food (like Kate) or opioids (like Kevin). He's addicted to perfection and being able to control every situation. Losing Beth, and not being able to do anything about it, would put him back in the walking wounded category his siblings currently reside in.
Could this be the future we're facing? Let's hope not. This is Us returns to NBC this coming Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.