This Is Us' Season 4 premiere played a little bit like a brand new pilot episode inside an already established world. It was not an actual soft reboot; the Pearsons aren't going anywhere. But it did introduce three brand new faces, entirely independently of our known characters, to let viewers form their own opinions. But not to worry, the Pearson clan will be back, and the This Is Us Season 4 Episode 2 promo promises a return to familiar locales, too.
Season 4 Episode 2 is entitled "The Pool Part 2." Like the title suggests, a significant component of the episode is a return to the Pearson family summer haunt during the long days when the kids are home. It will be good to go back to when the Big Three were kids, after spending almost zero time with them in the premiere.
For those last night protesting the absence of Randall and Beth content, don't worry. The synopsis promises they too will be a part of next week's episode.
Beth and Randall adjust to life in Philadelphia. Jack and Rebecca take the Big Three to the pool.
Here's the trailer:
The choice to go back to the pool, four seasons in, will not only be a popular one with fans, but an interesting choice, artistically. This Is Us' original Season 1 episode, "The Pool," came very early on in the show's run, in Episode 4. It was only the second episode for the 8-year old iterations of the Big Three, and the first one directly confronting the reality of Rebecca and Jack's interracial adoption of Randall.
It's been almost four years to the day since that episode aired, on Oct. 18, 2016. Now, on Oct. 1, 2019, this same set of characters, featuring the same set of child actors playing the Big Three, will head back to the pool. As creator Dan Fogelman explained it to Entertainment Weekly:
[Y]ou’re able to go back to the same pool at the same time of year and remind our audience — and us — how long it’s been since those little kids first started in the first season to where they are now, and really focus on what a big part of this season is about, which is: As kids get older, the problems don’t go away. They just get more complicated and nuanced.
"The Pool Part 2" may revolve around the 10-year-old versions of the Big Three, but the present-day Big Three are part of the story too. After being sidelined for the premiere, it's time for the new characters to start butting up against the old. In the wake of Uncle Nicky's meltdown, Cassidy and Kevin are on a collision course to meet. Malik's courtship of Deja is going to find him directly in Randall's and Beth's sights.
As for Jack, now that fans have seen Baby Jack's future, it's time for Kate and Toby to take the first steps to get him there. It will be a long road for everyone, but at least everyone knows there's a happy ending at the end of the tunnel.