This Is Us took a break from the current present-day storylines in Season 5, Episode 11 to backfill Uncle Nicky's story. But as much as the show's past continues to prove itself an undiscovered country, the present has several plots in the air as well. The focus has been chiefly on parents — either new parents like Kevin and Kate or older parents like Beth's Mama C and Randall's deceased biological mom. But the This Is Us Season 5, Episode 12 promo promises teen life has not been forgotten, as Tess gets the spotlight.
Season 5 hasn't spent a considerable amount of time with its teen cast recently, either in the past or present. But around the margins, things have been developing for the next generation. Tess's story has been the most intricate, starting with her coming out to her parents. Season 5 has continued with this story, including her rebelling on social media with her group of friends at school. Recently, in Episode 10 (titled "I've Got This"), Tess revealed she's now dating Alex, who had been up, until now, just her BFF.
Tess' life as a teenager has been an adjustment for everyone, especially Beth. She desperately wants to be a good mother to Tess, but she's also having trouble wrapping her head around things that are newer to her, like Alex's use of they/them pronouns. It's not that she's not supportive; she's just slower on the uptake.
As the trailer for the April 6 episode shows, things will come to a head between Beth and Tess:
The synopsis for the episode, which is titled "Both Things Can Be True," hints there's a lot more than just Beth and Tess's storyline to be explored:
Jack and Miguel bond. Kevin and Madison navigate challenges. Randall seeks out a new kind of support network.
Randall finding a "new kind of support network" in the face of his mother-in-law's residency in his home is to be expected. "Jack and Miguel bonding" feels like a sign that the past will pick up not long after Jack's dinner with the bosses.
As for Kevin and Madison's challenges, Episode 11 suggests Nicky's return trip to the East Coast is probably not happening anytime soon. Uncle Nicky makes five in their house (six, if you count the live-in nanny), which would be challenging to any relationship, but especially for new parents. There may be a third and final official proposal of marriage between the, too — one that includes a ring this time. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us' story editor Laura Kenar promised the upcoming includes a ring, and "there might be some butter involved." It sounds like a sticky situation, but hopefully it will also be sweet. After all, both things can be true.
This Is Us continues Tuesday, April 6, on NBC.