Your relationship with your partner's mother is always a little unpredictable, and nobody seems to know that better than Beth on This Is Us. Although she has a tepidly pleasant relationship with Randall's mother Rebecca in 2019, Beth might have had a way more honest relationship with her back in the day. Ahead of Beth's engagement to Randall in March 26's "R & B," Rebecca opened up about how confident Randall has always felt about her. Given this bonding moment and the hints that they have a strained relationship in the show's future timeline, what happened between Beth and Rebecca on This Is Us? We might not get a clear answer soon, but their relationship is definitely more complicated than it seems.
The episode "R & B" detailed different phrases of Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth's (Susan Kelechi Watson) relationship, covering everything from their first date in college to as recently as when both William (Ron Cephas Jones) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) were living with them. In the middle of this trip down memory lane, viewers saw Randall repeatedly proposing to Beth in their mid-20s. Although she was certain she'd marry Randall someday, Beth wanted to figure out her life before officially making the commitment.
Little did she know, Randall had been confiding in Rebecca (Mandy Moore) about Beth's constant dismissals of his proposals. When she discovered this, Beth expressed a feeling of being consumed by Randall, which upset him. As he left for a minute on his own, Rebecca promised Beth that Randall would never let her lose herself in him. Calling back to Randall telling Jack about feeling off balance, Rebecca revealed that Randall also experienced the same lack of purpose as a child. But after meeting Beth, he called Rebecca and said he no longer felt that way. As fans had already suspected, Beth's presence in his life centered Randall in a completely new way.
Rebecca's story prompted Beth to take Randall to her ideal setting for a date and encourage him to propose again. This time, she said yes, but the heartfelt moment between Rebecca and Beth seemed to be far more intimate than anything they experienced together later in life.
In the show's present timeline, Beth is warily respectful of Randall's close relationship with Rebecca. As far as we know, she's yet to ever join in on Kevin and Kate's (Chrissy Metz) jokes about their deep love for each other, but Beth definitely gets that Randall and Rebecca's bond is one on which she has to tread lightly. Based on the present day, Beth's relationship with Rebecca isn't particularly close or distant, hinting that the pre-proposal exchange with Rebecca was rare. But Beth's first appearance in the drama's grim future timeline definitely suggests that something has changed since 2019.
When future Beth appeared overseeing a dance class, her assistant brought her a Pin the Tail on the Donkey set. Beth said it was for their visit with Randall's mother. Her expression is obviously open to greater interpretation, but Beth definitely came across as a little resigned and uneasy in that moment.
Is there a particular reason why she seems reluctant about going into this apparently emotional meeting with Rebecca? Those doubting the stability of Randall and Beth's marriage could see this as a clue that they've separated by that point, but in 2019, Beth very willingly inserts herself into Randall's traumatic family emergencies. Does her trepidation mean that something has happened between her and Rebecca that is separate from her experience with Randall?
The Pearsons are no strangers to family secrets, but it looks like more surprises between Rebecca and Beth are due to come up in the next few years. The Season 3 finale of This Is Us airs on Tuesday, April 2, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.