Last season, This Is Us threw a spanner into the works of the Randall and Beth part of the Pearson clan. First, Randall decided to run for City Council in Philly, a three-hour commute from their home. Then Beth lost her job. In the end, the family picked up and moved to the city to be closer to Randall's career and allow Beth to pursue her dream of opening a dance studio. But how much has that upended the family? The This Is Us Season 4 Episode 4 promo suggests next week's episode will deep dive into it. Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 4 follow.
Randall and Beth's relationship is a fan favorite. But thus far, the show has been stingy in the "how they met" department. It took until Season 3 for the show to reveal their first meeting in college, and to introduce Beth's mother, Carol (Phylicia Rashad), to the story.
Now the series is going to show an even more fraught moment: How Randall Met Beth's Mother. Even better, the move to Philadelphia seems to have drawn Carol back into the Pearson family's lives, and Randall does not look best pleased. In fact, the trailer shows him having to put his foot down when it comes to his meddling mother-in-law.
But as much as fans might have liked a Randall and Beth standalone hour, the synopsis promises other characters will also be featured. The episode is titled "Flip A Coin."
Kevin reflects on his past; Rebecca visits Randall at college; Beth's mom comes to visit; Kate and Toby share new experiences with baby Jack.
The "Kevin reflects on his past" line suggests that this could be a "getting to know you" episode for him and Cassidy. The good news is that the Season 4 premiere handed fans an overview into Cassidy's story already. That means this episode won't need to waste time filling in those details. It also means viewers will have an idea of how Cassidy will take learning about Kevin's past traumas.
As for Kate and Toby, their struggles are far from over. It seemed by the end of last week they had reached a peaceful plateau in the current state of their rocky marriage. But upending lives are what babies are for, and "share new experiences" with Baby Jack could go a couple of different ways. Does it mean taking him for baby's first outing? Or does it mean taking him for baby's first spiking fever at 1 a.m. to the ER?
All that being said, viewers will be most interested in the arrival of Beth's mom and how it affects the Pearson household. And it's not just her effect on her daughter and her son-in-law. Both Deja and Tess are already having the drama of new school, new friends, and navigating teen hormones all at the same time. Do they need a judgmental grandma to suddenly waltz on in and start poking her nose where no one asked her to?
Could Carol's visit be a disaster? I suppose it'll be decided on the flip of a coin.