On the surface, This Is Us seems like your classic family drama, the kind specifically created for tear-jerking. But the way the series is structured makes it more akin to certain types of time-travel science fiction series, with multiple stories told simultaneously across several timelines. That heightens the mystery at specific points, especially when fans have foreknowledge of future events that contradict the current status quo. The series has another of those significant moments heading this way, as teased by the This Is Us Season 5, Episode 7 promo, in which a car accident could change everyone's lives.
Warning: Spoilers through This Is Us Season 5, Episode 6 follow. The latest episode spent a full hour away from most of the Pearson clan, as Randall and Beth took a journey to New Orleans. The story of Randall's birth mother, Laurel, changed Randall's perspective on life, especially after he communed with her spirit as he processed all he'd learned. It made him decide to reach out to Kevin, to bury the hatchet and make peace.
Except, while Randall was on this emotional ride to inner peace, Kevin had been on a different track. Against his instincts, he left California for Vancouver to finish filming his latest movie. Though it seemed like the practical movie-star decision, Kevin knew in his gut it was the wrong choice from the get-go. As the trailer shows, he should have listened:
Considering this feels very much like This Is Us' yearly triad of episodes in which each Pearson sibling gets a solo outing covering the same pivotal 24-hour period, it's a bit surprising this week's episode isn't titled "Birth Mother, Part 2." Instead, Season 5, Episode 7 is called "There."
Here's the synopsis:
Kevin embarks on a stressful road trip. Jack and young Kevin go to a football training camp.
As fans saw at the end of Episode 5, leaving Madison at this delicate time in their relationship was a risky move on Kevin's part, as she was entering the third trimester with twins. Although it seemed like he'd only be gone a few weeks, and would get back before the babies were born, Kevin already made this kind of mistake once before when he left Sophie in New York for a shot at stardom in Hollywood. Although fans don't have details yet on what really happened between Kevin and Sophie, it seems like that was the first step toward their divorce.
Whether or not Kevin has made the same mistake twice remains to be seen. Whatever happened in that car, audiences know Kevin survives and will one day live to build his dream home. The real question is whether Madison is also there.
This Is Us continues on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.