This Is Us Ballot: How Will The Large Twist Of The Season Premiere Presumably Pay Off?


The following contains the biggest spoiler from NBC’s This Is Us premiere on October 27th.

At the end of its fifth season premiere, NBC’s This Is Us uncorked the mother of all twists and turns by revealing that Randall’s birth mother had not died 40 years ago, shortly after giving birth – although his father William broke up on the scene and believed she was doing well.

But how, we have to ask, will the two ever reconnect with decades of unrecognizable actions and name changes between them? Check out what we know and what conclusions we can draw, then vote on the poll / sound-off in the comments below!


* Laurel (played by Jennifer C. Holmes) gave birth abruptly in the Pittsburgh apartment and asked William (Jermel Nakia) to get her “some things” to treat the remaining pain afterward. The next morning, William found the former addict on the couch unresponsive after an OD.

* Rescue workers called on site attempted to revive Laurel but were unsuccessful and had no choice but to determine a time of death. Fearful of dealing with police and childcare issues, heroin addict William fled with his newborn son.

* Just as they realized the father was gone, a very surprised EMT noticed a pulse on Laurel – at which point she suddenly gasped, just like us.

* After William rode the local bus and finally decided to leave his son on the doorstep of a fire station, he was apparently not returning to the Pittsburgh apartment – at least not soon or as we know it. About 36 years later, the adult Randall, who had hired a PI to find his biological father, knocked on William’s front door in Philadelphia.

* After reuniting with his son and moving into his family home, William succumbed to stage IV cancer in episode 16 of the first season.


* Whether she ended up in rehab for a week or years after the cheating, Laurel would have nothing more to do if she ever made up her mind to find her son if she assumed AWOL William stayed with the child . And if she’d ever caught William before Randall found him 36 years later, William would surely have said something – and he surely wouldn’t have pretended Randall’s mother was dead.

* Even though a rehabilitated Laurel has decided – and found a way (e.g., matching hospital records if she speculated William freaked out as a father?) – to track down her son … why now, 40 years later? Why not 20 years ago? Or 10?

* And it goes without saying that Randall at the back would have no reason to visit his mother because he believes she was long dead.

Back to the here and now: Randall just “broke up” with his white shrunken woman and found that he can express and discuss feelings that are better suited to a black person.

When some got out of the season premiere, some were quick to speculate that it will turn out to be Laurel when Randall finds the new shrink. And that … a lot of viewers would ask. The randomness of it all aside, we need a story about how Laurel not only recovered from her addiction, but had the means and resources (remember, she and William were pretty poor) to graduate from college.

So isn’t it more likely that Laurel is a fellow patient with Randall’s new psychiatrist who he might be talking to in the waiting room? (Perhaps both are not waiting for the same shrinkage, but are in the common waiting room for an exercise.)

But how is their bond visible in this scenario too? Laurel doesn’t know Randall (he left the hospital as “Kyle” as a newborn). And while Randall may know his mother’s name was Laurel, meeting a stranger with the same name is quite a jump, knowing that his mother is dead. Unless the strangers’ passing conversations go into details like their partner’s name and the Pittsburgh neighborhood.

How can you guess that Randall and Laurel will ever crossbreed only to eventually discover their connection? We have listed a few options in the following survey – and also asked whether Randall will actually be the first to find out about this shocking “resurrection”.

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