Poor Randall. Thanksgiving probably isn't his favorite holiday anymore. "This Is Us" Season 1, Episode 8, "Pilgrim Rick," revealed a long-coming truth when Randall (Sterling K. Brown) found a letter from his mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore) to William (Ron Cephas Jones), including a photo of young Randall. Rebecca had always told Randall she didn't know his biological father, and Randall discovered his beloved mother's betrayal on Thanksgiving.
Randall confronted Rebecca -- in front of William and the rest of the family, minus Kate -- at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It was awkward. It was painful. Rebecca and William didn't get to try to explain, Randall was too upset, and the NBC show creator Dan Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly his feelings of betrayal will only get stronger next week in Episode 9, "The Trip."
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EW asked Fogelman how he would characterize Randall's anger at the moment that we left him, since he couldn't even look at his mother. Here's Fogelman's response:
"And as we get into next week, the anger level will really be ratcheted up. Sterling played it so beautifully — more than anger he's stunned, and you feel his entire world spinning on its axis. I think anger comes with processing. Right now is disbelief and emotion in all the visceral, weird, ugly ways. There's this moment at his hottest at the end of this scene, he's almost laughing through it with a smile, because you don't just play anger or sadness or disbelief — it's all these things coming out. By the time we get to next week, whatever the scale of anger is, he's ratcheted it up high. But it takes this moment of this episode to get him to even process."
Fogelman said Rebecca won't be the only outlet for Randall's anger, although she's the main target. EW asked how Randall will handle William, who was "complicit" in this secret.
"The first scene of next week's episode gives the answer to exactly that. If you're rating on an anger scale — 'Where is Randall toward varying characters that have maybe misled him or not been completely truthful to him?' — he basically breaks down his scale of anger, to answer your question very clearly. [Laughs.] It's fair to say that the carnal, original sin he views as being Rebecca's. Everybody else is complicit, and it's not that he's letting everybody off the hook, but where he's focusing is on his mother."
It's a tough situation. Here's NBC's synopsis for "The Trip," which airs next Tuesday, November 29:
"Kate, Kevin and Randall head to their family's cabin to get away after their chaotic family Thanksgiving. A very angry Randall finds comfort and explanation from his father, Jack. Olivia speaks a harsh truth to Kate, which drives a wedge between Kate and Kevin. Rebecca and Jack struggle with what to do when 9-year-old Randall tells them that he's been looking for his birth parents."
How do you think Randall and Rebecca should handle this to heal their relationship?
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