The 'This Is Us' Season 2 Fall Finale Promo Will Have You Reaching For Tissues

by Ani Bundel

Our Kate-focused episode of This Is Us has ended, and now it's time for the one we've been waiting for: our episode of "This Is Randall." Season 2 Episode 9 buttons with a next-time trailer, which is the third part of three week's worth of episodes each of which focuses on just one of the three Pearson siblings. The first was "Number One," the next was "Number Two," so of course, next week's episode follows the pattern and will be called "Number Three." And as promised, the This Is Us Season 2 Episode 10 promo and synopsis indicate this is going to be "All About Randall."

So far, this risk of drilling down on each character, both in present day and in the weeks leading up to the house fire, has worked wonders for the program. At first fans were worried. Kevin has never really been given enough material to hold his own, so will he be able to? But once we saw "Number One," and was one of the best episodes of the season so far, we all relaxed a bit.

Kate is an effecting character, and giving her the loss of the baby to deal with this week was a slam dunk tear jerker in the making.

And now we have "Number Three," which focuses on the strongest characters in the entire show: Randall and Beth.

Here's the synopsis:

Randall and Beth are faced with a hard choice. Jack takes Randall on a college tour.

And here's the trailer:

The first thing that jumps out is that, like the first two episodes of this series, "Number Three" will take place over the exact same time period, both in the present and in the "1997" flashback. One of the neat things about watching "Number Two" was seeing the phone calls Kevin received (and ignored) from Toby and Kate during "Number One" placed by those characters at the exact same time stamps.

Randall doesn't have those same cross over "moments in time" that Kate and Kevin did. But then again, he's never been quite as close as they are. From the looks of things, he was rather busy anyway. While Kate was having an emotional breakdown over the loss of her child and the loss of control over her life, and Kevin was having an emotional breakdown over the loss of his high school dreams and loss of control in his life, Randall was...having a emotional breakdown over the loss of Deja and the loss of control in his life. To the point that he wound up in a high speed car chase attempting to kidnap Deja from her biological mother? And getting arrested maybe?

That's very unlike Randall. But then again, Randall hasn't really been faced with situations he can't control.

Then there's the flashbacks. At this point, we know the one we'll see from the Fall of 1997. Jack and Randall take a drive down to DC to visit Howard University, which is basically the Ivy league equivalent of the HBCU set. (HBCU stands for the "Historically Black Colleges and Universities.") From the promo, Jack clearly has his heart set on Randall attending one of the white people's Ivy Leagues, but from the look on Randall's face, he's about to make sure that Jack's mind gets changed by the end of the visit... at least until it's interrupted by a phone call that Kevin's blown out his knee.

But there's one other flashback which doesn't match up with Kate and Kevin's episodes these past two weeks, that's shoehorned into the promo. That's the "Aged Ten Christmas" flashback. Exactly how December 1990 ties into the other two story lines is not clear, or why we're deviating from the pattern already set.

But this *is* the fall finale of This Is Us, which makes it the last episode before Christmas. I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised the series decided to make sure there was at least one reference to the holidays somewhere, even if it marred the three episodes lining up perfectly.