This Is Us has been hinting around that the real-life fairytale marriage that exists between Randall and Beth will hit an iceberg before all is said and done. The flash-forwards have not confirmed the couple has split, but all the signs are there, with Beth less than enthused about seeing Rebecca, and Tess seemingly acting like the go-between that connects her now estranged parents. The question has been, what happened? The This Is Us Season 3 episode 17 promo may finally answer the question.
Since the first hints of their separation surfaced, this is the episode fans have been waiting for. It's not just the scene where the two of them have it out though; this is "R & B," the episode dedicated to the relationship between Beth and Randall. The flashbacks will be nothing but their story, from their first meeting in college to their wedding, and now to what might be the end of their marriage: This Is Randall & Beth.
The synopsis for this week (utterly unhelpful) is as follows:
A history of Beth and Randall through the ages.
Thanks for that totally enlightening episode description, NBC.
Let's check out the trailer, which at least has a few more details.
This apparent blow out has been a few weeks in the making. It's a continuation of the conversation Kate's rush to the ER helped stall, establishing a temporary truce. In the meantime, Randall has not wised up to how badly he's screwing this up. After refusing to drop out of the City Council race at Beth's request, because the strain on the family was too high, he's now demanding she put her passions on the back burner to support him because the stress he's putting on the family is too high. Last week's capper of a voicemail, where he accused her of wrecking their family to "teach bored housewives to twirl" and demanded she grow the hell up was beyond the pale.
The episode ended with Randall closing the bedroom door so they could have it out once and for all. They're going to do this, and fans have no choice but to watch.
Executive producer Elizabeth Berger is excited for this moment. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she praised everyone involved including Susan Kelechi Watson and Sterling K. Brown who play Beth and Randall.
Next week’s episode is one of our favorite we’ve ever done, and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t just focusing on fraught moments of their relationship or difficult ones; we wanted to really show the whole picture. So you’re going to see some really beautiful moments, some really funny moments, some really difficult moments. And there are just powerhouse performances by Susan, Sterling, Niles [Fitch, who plays teenage Randall], and Rachel [Hilson, who plays teenage Beth], and we can’t wait for everyone to see them.
The producers also promise that the fall out from next week will carry the story through to the season finale in two weeks. Whether that's a good or bad thing, fans will have to wait to find out next week.