If you are a fan of “This Is Us” like I am, then you must be ecstatic that season 5 has officially kicked off. What I loved about the new season is that it completely jumped into our current reality regarding the global pandemic.
Before the two-hour premiere, I wasn’t aware that it was the show’s goal to completely be authentic with their perspectives of the world. According to Vulture.com, “When the show went back into production for season five, it announced that it wouldn’t be shying away from the complete garbage can that is the world right now and instead would be tackling both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial reckoning our country is going through head-on.”
The “birthday” episode immediately begins from where we left off with the cliffhanger regarding Kevin and Randall’s unsettling argument and the news from Madison’s unexpected pregnancy that Kevin’s the father. This is shocking and completely satisfying for questions to be answered immediately into the new season due to their unusual dynamic.
Also, I praise that the show exposed and provided the racial police brutality and injustice that occurred to George Floyd. We can tell there’s been a shift in the Pearson’s home as Randall takes in the reality of the times we’re living in. Thus, taking us into his reality of where he’s further conflicted with identity and connection to the Black community because of the White parents he was raised by.
The blatant racial tension happening today has made being Black exhausting. The unbelievable sadness that the Black community shares does not go overlooked in this show. It’s a true thought provoking moment at the end of the episode when Randall questions Kate as to why she never tried to understand or connect with him when it came to this particular topic.
This episode brings with it a shocking revelation about the relationship that Randall’s birth parents, William and Laurel, had. Flashbacks gave us a glimpse into how their love story came to be and the last minutes of the show even hinted that she didn’t die the way we thought. It brings into question what truly happened the day Randall was left on the doorstep of the station.
This show definitely knows how to keep the audience on their toes. This first episode of the new season left us with more cliffhanger’s regarding the status of Randall’s relationship with his parents, Kevin and Madison’s relationship, Rebecca’s health status with her memory, and Kate and Toby’s status on the potential adoption of a new baby.
Catch the new episode tonight on NBC at 8:00 CST.
By Kori Barnes, Junior, NLV