This Is Us has, in the course of its two seasons, given fans hints and glimpses into the terminally fractured relationship between Kevin and Randall Pearson. The show has made no secret of the fact that the boys have always been at odds with one another. Kevin has frequently directed his envy at Randall, who shares a very close bond with their mother and who often got softer treatment from their father while Kevin got Jack’s tough love most of the time. Randall, as earnestly as he has attempted to live and love, seemed to have given up on trying to earn Kevin’s love and approval and instead, as an adult, couldn’t really understand or relate to his ultra-famous brother.
With Season 2 still on hiatus (until its return on Jan. 9), some of the latest tidbits and teases are rolling in from the This Is Us cast in regard to what exactly we can expect in the coming episodes. Viewers will likely have prepared themselves for lots of uncomfortable family conversations and reckonings with the truth. However, in the specific case of Randall and Kevin’s relationship, it seems like Kevin’s arrest for driving under the influence while his niece, Tess, was in the backseat will result in Randall and Kevin’s recently mended relationship crumbling all over again.
Sterling K. Brown recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly to discuss just how bad things are about to get between Randall and Kevin. “I can tell you that is something that we address directly when we come back. It’s complicated because it has to do with the nature of why Kevin thinks he’s an addict, and it has to do with whether or not Randall validates his brother’s perspective,” Brown revealed.
And it sounds like the reopening of old wounds between these constantly-at-odds brothers will cause each of the Pearson children to fundamentally reassess their lives and the memories they have of growing up with one another (heavy, heavy stuff, right?).
“When you think about the nature of memory, everyone tends to highlight those things that reaffirm their own perspective of truth,” Brown told EW. “And Kevin, Kate and Randall all have their own different versions of what their childhoods were that shaped who they are, and then they have very different ideas of how other people perceive themselves…. You see Randall working very hard to extend graciousness to his brother because his brother was present for him at one of the lowest points of his life, and now he wants to reciprocate that. But it’s hard to do that when you endanger somebody’s child.”
We know things are about to get really hard for the Pearsons before they can get any better, but Brown’s warning about Randall and Kevin might just be a knife in the heart of any viewer who was hoping these two men had put their differences behind them.