This Is Us is three episodes into this penultimate season and has now established the timelines the series will focus on going forward. In the past, new episodes will address the very early months of the Pearson triplets and possibly the contemporaneous events concerning Randall's mother, Laurel. In the mid-history, all three 13-year old kids are undergoing puberty. In the present, Kevin and Kate are expanding their families under pandemic conditions, while Randall seems to be headed for an unexpected family expansion of his own. Now, the This Is Us Season 5, Episode 4 promo gives viewers a glimpse of the turn some of these plot points will take.
Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 5, Episode 3 follow. Though the biggest mystery for the first half of Season 5 is Laurel's story, that's only one small part of Randall's growth this season. In Episode 3, "Changes," Randall dug back in his memory to long-forgotten microaggressions that affected him deeply during his teen years. The new promo focuses on another installment of the triplets' experiences at age 13. Though the point of view seems to be Jack and Rebecca's, it seems likely Randall will bring up other memories along the way as well.
Check out the full promo:
This Is Us Season 5, Episode 4 is titled "Honestly." The synopsis, interestingly enough, hints at storylines not shown in the trailer:
Malik shadows Randall at work. Kevin struggles to connect with his new movie director. Jack and Rebecca struggle to sleep train their babies.
Showrunner Dan Fogelman also offered an interesting note on this week's coming episode, dropping insight into how Laurel's story fits into next week's upcoming installment. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Fogelman said:
What you've seen right now is the first point of connection. In next week's episode, that will start locking in a little further, and we're not too far away from sharing a lot of information with the audience.
Perhaps fans will get more scenes between the grandfather and granddaughter introduced in Episode 3. The most critical missing piece right now is the whereabouts of the generation in between, the person who could be Randall's step-sibling, and if they (or Laurel) are still alive in 2020.