If anyone deserves a breather, it’s This Is Us‘ Randall and Beth.
Because after his locating Randall’s biological father, learning the man was terminally ill and caring for him until the end — not to mention uncovering some serious deceit on his mother’s part and suffering a slight emotional breakdown in the process — the couple’s hardest stuff has to be behind them, right?
“I don’t think so,” star Susan Kelechi Watson says, chuckling as she winces apologetically.
Though Tess and Annie’s folks may not arrive at their next trial in tonight’s season finale (NBC, 9/8c), the actress tells TVLine that the drama’s entire freshman run has been moving toward making Randall a different person than we saw in the premiere. And naturally, that affects both Beth and their marriage.
“Him hitting that milestone of 36 opened up something now that is going to stay open. It leaves room for a lot of change to want to come forth, and a lot of stuff that we’ll still be grappling with,” she says.
We saw some of that in last week’s episode, as Randall celebrated his father’s life and then — buoyed by William’s spirit — quit his job.
Watson continues: “This chapter, of course, has come to an end. But the door is still open for more things to change, especially as Randall begins to find who he is now that his father’s gone… something that reflects Randall and honors not just William, but his whole journey.”
Though she was hesitant to offer too many details, the actress said that she’d spoken with producers about their plans for Beth in Season 2 — “I know some of the big topics, but we haven’t carved out all of the other stuff” — and that she was “pleased, so far.”
Co-star Justin Hartley said he’s has similar, broad stroke conversations with the show’s Powers That Be about Kevin’s future, particularly where it concerns his ex-wife/current girlfriend/forever love.
“I know a few of the things, like about the Kevin and Sophie thing, where that’s going to go,” Hartley says. “I love that storyline. It gives so much depth, and answers so many questions, doesn’t it? Like why’d he behave the way he behaved, trying to fill his life with these empty things. He’s been in love with this girl his whole life. It’s fantastic.”
If a full-on, let’s-do-this reunion is in the works for the older-and-wiser lovebirds, he adds, it won’t be a quick thing.
“Anytime you have betrayal of trust, it takes time to earn it back — if the person’s even willing to let you earn it back,” he says. “There’s a lot of work to be done. It takes a lot of time. But he’s going to put the time in. He’s convinced that this is where he needs to be, and this is the love of his life. He’s ready.”
But before (if?) any of that happens, we’ve got to get through the season-ender. Hartley prepares us, saying, “I can tell you that it is a little different than what you’re used to seeing,” adding with a grin that the hour is “intense as hell.”