This Is Us spent the last few minutes of the Season 3 fall finale throwing twist after twist against the wall. The revelations were big. The "her" the family was gathering to visit was Rebecca, most likely in a hospital or old folks home. After a clip that looked for all the world like Nicky blew himself up in a boat in Vietnam, Kevin discovers his name isn't on the record books as having died in the war. But all the audience cared about was Randall and Beth's relationship floundering. These tweets about Randall and Beth "divorcing" in the future timeline nearly took over all other "#ThisIsUs" hashtags as viewers freaked out.
It shouldn't be unexpected viewers are so invested in Beth and Randall's relationship. Unlike Kate, Randall has had it together with his spouse for going on two decades. They have two kids and are fostering another. They have a gorgeous home that must be paid off or something because neither are working right now and I never hear them worry about the mortgage. The show has made them the ideal of what a relationship should be, from their respect for each other to their obvious physical attraction after all these years.
For the show to casually tear it apart was devastating.
The truth is, no one actually knows if the two of them are divorced. But all the signs were there in the flash forward scene. Consider, for instance, Randall doesn't text or call Beth himself to say they were heading over to see "her." He asks Tess if she's contacted her mother yet. Tess responds, sounding a little harried, "I'll text her from the car."
This is the kind of response one would expect from an adult kid who has spent way too much time acting as the go-between for a set of parents who haven't been communicating directly for years.
Twitter fans blamed the writers and begged them not to do this.
But the idea of Beth leaving Randall wasn't the only shock. There was also the life she's leading now, which doesn't look anything like the one she had with Randall. Beth is no longer working in a high powered office with her hair done up just so. Instead, she's wearing her hair down and natural, dressed in bright comfy clothes, standing upon a catwalk overlooking a group of ballet dancers rehearsing. To my eye, Beth looked every inch the owner of a high-end dance studio, down to having a well-dressed assistant come to check on her.
Fans were stunned by the change in lifestyle and career. If nothing else, Beth's world has gone in such a completely different direction also spoke to massive changes in her life and, most likely, her marriage.
But at least one fan saw a silver lining in this development. After all, without a breakup, Randall and Beth can't get back together, can they?
Fans will find out what's in store for the future when This Is Us returns on Jan. 15, 2019.