I double-dog dare you — 1980s style — to watch the Season Two promo video for NBC’s This Is Us without running through an entire box of tissues. I’m serious: It can’t be done.
Once again, it looks like The Big Three are taking us on an epic emotional journey (along with their parents, Jack and Rebecca), starting with Randall revealing some heavy news to his mom.
Last season, Randall left us all pretty surprised when he told his wife Beth that he wanted to adopt. And now, it seems Beth has been having some second thoughts about taking the next step.
“How did you decide?” Randall asks his mom, Rebecca, before clarifying: “With me?”
“There was nothing to decide,” Rebecca responds. “The moment we saw you … ”
“You knew,” Randall finishes her sentence. “That’s a hell of a story, Ma. One of my favorites.”
But to any fan who’s been closely watching, it’s clear that Jack and Rebecca’s fateful decision 36 years ago — to take home an abandoned baby at the hospital, shortly after losing one of their triplets — was anything but easy.
And it seems clear from Randall’s face, that he knows his mom’s story is just that: A story; carefully worded to protect him from the painful sting of the truth. And so, he presses on, seeking an honest answer.
Flashing back to the past, we see a young Jack and Rebecca, staring through the nursery glass at baby Randall, their grief raw over the death of one of their babies.
“Can’t you just feel it?” Jack whispers to his wife, trying to convince her that Randall should be theirs. “Now can’t you just see it?”
Snapping back to the present, where Randall and his mother now stand together in the kitchen, Rebecca confesses the truth: That Jack “pushed a stranger on me. And that stranger became my child. And that child became my life.”
And cue the sobbing.
In more ways than one, This Is Us does a masterful job of showing us just how overwhelming the winding road to adoption can be. I would know — for over a decade, my husband and I have been on the adoption journey ourselves, and have added four amazing children to our family. Though adoption is beautiful, sacred, and miraculous, it is also wrapped in loss, struggle, and, as Rebecca so eloquently shares, complexity. Each person in the “adoption triad” — which consists of birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee — has their own unique responses to the circumstances surrounding the adoption. And those responses can be powerful.
So far, the latest This Is Us preview has garnered 2 million views and 88,000 likes (and counting). And once again, every scene shown tenderly entices us to learn more about the Pearson family.
Fans have big questions and anticipate equally big answers this season: Do Beth and Randall adopt a child? What will happen between Kevin and his ex-wife, Olivia? Will Kate and Toby tie-the-knot? How will Randall carry on after the death of his biological father? And of course, How did Jack die?
What we do know for certain is that every episode of This Is Us captivates and leaves us to reflect on our own lives and those we love the most. And that is what truly keeps us coming back for more each week.
Season Two of This Is Us premieres September 26 at 9/8 central on NBC.