Randall and beth divorce

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This post contains spoilers for the This Is Us Season 3 finale.

After a long season of rocky confrontations between Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), it appears This Is Us is finally willing to let its sturdiest couple breathe.

Randall’s run for city council put a strain on his pathologically perfect branch of the Pearson family tree—and especially on his marriage with Beth, whose own career has taken an unexpected turn as she’s chosen to become a ballet instructor. For a brief minute, it appeared like the two might really be headed for a divorce, as both sides dug in their feet—Randall insisting Beth should stay home to provide the kids a stable family environment, while Beth asks why it’s her career that should take a backseat. But instead, during Tuesday’s finale, the two finally found a solution that worked for both of them. Rather than hiring a babysitter—seriously, why not just hire a babysitter?!—Beth and Randall decided to kill two birds with one stone: they’ll move to Philadelphia, cutting down Randall’s commute while giving Beth a fresh start as she plans to open her own dance studio.

But this is This Is Us, and therefore everything can’t be all sunshine and roses leading into a potential Season 4. (The series, so far, has not yet been renewed.) We need a central mystery with potentially soul-crushing ramifications to keep things interesting! For those purposes, look no further than a few dangling threads left hanging: Kevin and Zoe break up because Zoe knows she’ll never want kids and Kevin does (wah!). But in a flash-forward on Tuesday night, viewers got to meet Kevin’s son (yay!). Who he had this child with remains to be seen—as does whatever happened to Kate and Toby to make them apparently split up.

We’ve known something was amiss with Future Kate and Toby for a while. In a previous flash-forward, Toby said he didn’t think “she” would want him around—a statement that could have pertained to either Kate or Rebecca, whom everyone is going to visit in the future. At this point, he and Kate have welcomed their son, Jack—yes, named for Kate’s dead father (Milo Ventimiglia)—who was born prematurely and, as such, requires a little more care. Both Rebecca and Kevin opted in the finale to move closer to Kate to help out with the baby—but in a flash-forward, we see Toby once again without his wedding ring. He says he’s talked to Jack, and “they’re” on their way. It’s unclear who “they” are, but it seems safe to assume we’ll spend some time next season unpacking that line, as well as whatever happened between him and Kate.

Oh, and we should probably talk about the whole reason for this gathering of future Pearsons: a very old, bed-ridden Rebecca was finally revealed in the finale and appears to be senile, perhaps (probably) on her deathbed. Jack’s long-lost, once presumed dead brother, Nicky, whom we got to know this season, is already at her bedside as Randall enters the room at the end of the episode, reminding his adoptive mother who he is as the camera finally unveils Mandy Moore under even more old-age makeup. Guess we can call that case closed.

At this point, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman says we’re at the midpoint of the show’s story. “We never set out to make a television series that was going to last 18 seasons, and so we have a very direct plan,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview. “I have script pages I have written and I’m writing that really are deep, deep, deep into the future. Like, we have a plan for what we’re going to do and I know what the plan is. I’m not allowed to talk about it too much because they freak out.” That specifically goes for Toby and Kate, who he said are “at some real crossroads,” and for Kevin, who just decided to break up with the woman he loves because he wants to one day be a father.

‘This Is Us’: Could This Fan-Favorite Couple Be Headed for Divorce?

After several weeks of multi-generational Pearson family drama, Tuesday’s penultimate episode of This Is Us’ third season takes a closer look at two characters in particular: Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson).

While the second-to-last episode of season two also focused on a singular character — Randall and Beth’s foster daughter, Deja — the season three installment, “R & B,” chronicles the married couple’s relationship from their first meeting at Carnegie Mellon as teenagers to their present-day, potentially relationship-shattering fight.

The duo has been at odds nearly the entire season, with Randall deciding to run for office in a city hours away from the family’s home, and Beth reigniting her passion for dance. With Randall spending more and more time in Philadelphia and Beth’s schedule as a dance teacher not conducive to child care, the pair are at a crossroads in their relationship.

“This is when it all hits, the ish hits the fan, and it’s kind of no holds barred,” Watson told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet before the series’ PaleyFest panel Sunday — and a screening of the March 26 episode. “So we’ll learn what’s at the core of why their rhythm is off now.”

Brown told THR and a small group of reporters that he understands why people are nervous for the two characters.

“To see Beth rediscover herself, rediscover her passion, the idea that Randall could do anything to step or tread on that passion is really disappointing to people — and understandably so,” he said. “Some people are like, ‘No, she’s being selfish, he’s trying to do what’s right for the family.’ And you know, most people — especially the ladies — are like, ‘Come on, man. You gotta step on this woman’s dreams right now?’ So I completely understand. What I love most of all is that are invested and not indifferent. I think if people didn’t care at all, we’re doing something wrong. But the fact that folks are like Team Beth, Team Randall — they’re mostly Team Beth.”

Creator Dan Fogelman pointed out on the show’s packed PaleyFest panel that Randall and Beth’s episode echoes Jack and Rebecca’s big blowout in “Moonshadow,” episode 18 of the first season. But who’s in the right this time?

Said Watson, “They both have two perspectives. Nobody’s ever 100 percent wrong, nobody’s 100 percent right. But now is it’s sort of a time where Beth really is coming into her own and she really wants space to do that. And what I know is that she’s going to take it. So now what happens?”

“R & B,” which screened to a packed house at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on Sunday night, closing out 2019’s week of PaleyFest programming, will chronicle the couple’s history and provide even more context for their current fight. Fogelman said the episode alone won’t reveal the fate of their relationship, but it’ll be clear soon.

“This one combined with the next one will,” he said. Later on the panel, he noted the tension in the couple’s storyline, and revealed that the finale will hold “an answer there as to the long-term health” of the relationship.

In addition to past and present-day storylines, the finale will again flash forward to several of the characters in the future — and the final five minutes of the episode are “gigantic,” Fogelman confirmed. (In fact, those pages were so top-secret that they weren’t distributed in the draft of the script sent to the stars.)

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

‘This Is Us’: How Did Randall and Beth Pearson’s Relationship Leave Off in Season 3?

For most of season 3 of NBC’s hit show This Is Us, we thought that fan-favorite couple, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) might end up divorcing. Thankfully, instead, they ended their rocky relationship days with a plan to move to Philadelphia to allow for both to fulfill their career dreams.

As we await the This Is Us Season 4 premiere, let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of Randall and Beth Pearson’s relationship on season 3 and where it is headed in the future.

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Every Pearson in this selfie is perfect. #ThisIsUs | : @sterlingkbrown

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Randall and Beth almost split in ‘This Is Us’ Season 3

Since the beginning of This Is Us, fans have always loved the strong, always reliable Randall and Beth love story. In season 3, we were all worried that our favorite couple was going to break up.

The season began with Randall deciding he wanted to run for city council so he could improve the community where his father lived. At first, Beth supported his decision, even becoming his campaign manager. However, midway through the season, the campaign efforts were not going well and Beth believed Randall should step down.

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“Hello, old friend.” #ThisIsUs | : @susankelechiwatson

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In a move that shocked us all, Randall did not listen to his wife. He moved forward with the campaign and ended up sleeping on the couch. Beth continued to pursue her dreams of teaching dance and we saw how the two career moves conflicted. For the rest of the season, the couple’s relationship was in question and the family suffered.

Randall and Beth find a way to pursue both of their professional goals

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Beth Pearson out here making MOVES! #ThisIsUs

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In the season 3 finale of This Is Us, we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel for Beth and Randall. The two came to a compromise and found a way to allow both of their professional career choices to work together.

The family decided to move to Philadelphia so that Randall could be closer to his job on the city council and Beth could finally pursue her dreams of opening her own dance studio.

Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown)| Jeff Lipsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Fans were relieved that the couple made things work and spoke out on Instagram. One user wrote, “Thank you for showing that even the healthiest of marriages can hit a breaking point and still recover.”

What does the move mean for Beth and Randall’s family in ‘This Is Us’ Season 4?

Thanks to flash-forwards, fans rejoiced when we saw in the season 3 finale that the move to Philadelphia works out. Twenty years from the present-day Pearsons, we saw that Beth and Randall are still married when they visited an elderly Rebecca.

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We think we won the lottery, too. ❤️#ThisIsUs

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The move is not without its hiccups though. In an interview with EW, Brown revealed, “So there are plans coming into season 4, which I cannot unveil, but they will definitely have repercussions on Deja and Tess specifically. And then on Annie unwillingly as well. But Deja will probably be the person who’s affected by it most. The stability that she found in the Pearson home will now be disrupted, and they have to collectively find their new normal.”

While we are all so happy to hear that Beth and Randall’s marriage stands the test of time, we hope that the Pearson daughters do not struggle too much in the big move to Philadelphia.

This Is Us Season 4 will return to NBC on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Jack & Rebecca’s Relationship Timeline On ‘This Is Us’ Shows True Love Takes Work

This Is Us fans were so excited to see Rebecca and Jack’s first date play out on the Season 3 premiere — that is until it didn’t go very well. They didn’t have a very good time at first, and it was painful to watch them be so awkward around each other. Then, in a dagger to the hearts of all Jack and Rebecca fans, when he was on his way to return her coat — he saw her kiss another man. So, in an effort to reassure fans that this other man is likely a blip on Rebecca’s radar, this Jack and Rebecca relationship timeline for This Is Us hints at how long it will be before they’re together for good.

During the first date episode, Jack watched Franco Harris complete the Immaculate Reception during a Steelers game, which in real life fell on this Dec. 23, 1972. Jack was 28 at the time, according to Life and Style reporting on this quote of his from a previous episode:

“You know when I was a little boy I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Adults always ask little kids that. I never had a good answer. Not until I was 28. Until the day that I met you. That’s when I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be the man that made you happy.”

So, that 1972 was the fateful year that they met. Here are some other major moments leading up to Jack’s death last season.

1975 — Jack And Rebecca Considered Themselves A Family


TV Guide pointed out that the Season 1 premiere shows that Jack and Rebecca have family photos dating back to 1975. So they were at least together starting then, if not earlier.

1976 — Jack And Rebecca Get Married


In the Season 2 episode “Vegas, Baby,” Jack and Rebecca are shown celebrating several wedding anniversaries. In one, Rebecca is clearly pregnant and she and Jack are celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary. Fans learned in the Season 1 premiere that the Big Three were born on August 31, 1980 and we learned they were conceived during the January 20, 1980 Super Bowl. That means that Rebecca was pregnant between January and August 1980 and celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary. That puts the date of their marriage between January and August 1976.

January 20, 1980 — Rebecca Gets Pregnant


Jack and Rebecca conceive the triplets during Super Bowl XIV, according to the TV shown during the episode. That Super Bowl aired on January 20, 1980

August 31, 1980 — The Big Three Are Born, Jack Turns 36


Rebecca and Jack’s kids are born on Jack’s 36th birthday and they adopt Randall after their son Kyle passes away during birth.

1980 — 1996 — Jack And Rebecca Raise Their Kids


Fans see a lot of these years, but nothing particularly important happens between Jack and Rebecca in their marriage until the kids are teenagers and Rebecca wants to start her singing career back up again.

February 14, 1997 — Jack And Rebecca Have A Huge Fight

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The Season 1 finale shows Jack breaking his sobriety and fighting with Rebecca’s fellow bandmate after he finds out the two of them used to date. Rebecca drives Jack home from her gig and the two get into a huge blow up, venting years of frustration about failed dreams, child-rearing struggles, and marital frustrations. Rebecca eventually suggests that the two separate and Jack leaves for Miguel’s house.

Viewers know that it’s a Valentine’s Day gig that Rebecca was playing, and she mentions that she’s put everyone ahead of herself for 16 years, which would make her kids 16 and the year 1997.

1997 — Rebecca & Jack Reunite, Jack Goes To AA


As Vulture pointed out, the Season 2 premiere picks up right where Rebecca and Jack left off, and shows Rebecca being able to make it only a few hours without Jack before she drives to Miguel’s to work this thing out. Jack confesses his drinking problem has returned and Rebecca promises they can make it through together. Jack starts going to AA with Rebecca’s support.

January 25 & 26, 1998 — The Pearson House Catches On Fire, Jack Dies

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According to SB Nation, the Pearson fire broke out following Super Bowl XXXII, which took place on January 25, 1998. Although Jack was able to get all of his family out of the house (including the dog) he passed away in the hospital later on from a smoke-induced cardiac arrest.

All together, Jack and Rebecca knew each other for 25 years and were together for at least 22 of them. While I’m sure these soul mates would have wanted more time together, they had a beautiful life while it lasted. And we can all rest assured that Jack and Rebecca will be together in the past timeline before long — nothing can keep true love apart forever.

NBC’s hit show, This is Us, has had nothing but ratings success, and that’s partially due to the wild twists and turns we see on each episode. But now, the biggest twist that remains to be seen is, will we see Jack and Rebecca divorce before he dies?

Warning: this post contains spoilers. Please do not read this post if you do not wish to read This is Us spoilers.

In previous reports by the Inquisitr, we reported that Jack was, indeed, dead in the present day. And according to the latest This is Us spoilers by Us Weekly, Milo Ventimiglia confirms that we will be seeing a rocky road ahead for our favorite couple before it comes to the “final conclusion.”

“I think there’s going to be a whole lot of disrepair and repair that happens between where we see Jack now as well as where his end is met. I would urge people to not worry too much about how and when, and just accept that Jack has limited time, and know that every moment he has with his kids, with his wife, is going to be the most important thing to him.”

We’re not crying. YOU’RE crying.

Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, revealed some pretty shocking “This is Us” spoilers.

Another set of This is Us spoilers come to us courtesy of the iTech Post, who reveal that the details of Jack’s death are a little bit difficult to explain, and therefore, will involve more than one episode to reveal the true nature of his demise. We also know that, at the very least, Jack will be seen alive for the upcoming episodes. In fact, in the next episode, we will see Jack in a suit and tie, ready to go to his children’s school during career day.

And we’ll see some daddy and career issues in the present day, as well, namely in the form of Randall. In flashbacks, we see him test as a gifted child, but he tells his mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore) that he settles for less and refuses to shine just so he doesn’t stand out more than he already does. How, then, will this attitude translate to Randall in the present day? And will we also see how Randall’s biological father, William, died? Because as we know, it was already revealed that he has passed away, as well. And how will producers explore the grief that Randall feels in losing two fathers? The father he’s always known (Jack), and the father he just found (William).

Milo Ventimiglia has revealed that more “This is Us” spoilers will be coming, and will be guaranteed to make you cry.

Finally, Movie News Guide’s latest round of This is Us spoilers reveal that this isn’t the end of the heartbreak we’ll all experience from the Pearson family. The outlet talked to Milo Ventimiglia, who revealed that he has been crying a lot since the first “big reveal” about Jack because he knows that what’s coming is only going to be even worse.

“Now comes all the questions, now comes all the speculation. For all of us on this side of things, now comes the moment where we get to open the story up and really let people into the lives of Jack and Rebecca and the kids. Yeah, I know how and when. I know it all!”

The next episode of This is Us will air next Tuesday at 9p.m. EST on NBC.

What do you think of the latest round of This is Us spoilers? Leave your thoughts about the latest This is Us spoilers in the comments below.

The following story contains spoilers about Tuesday’s This Is Us finale. Proceed at your own peril.

If that argument between Jack and Rebecca in the This Is Us season finale felt like a heartbreaking, soul-crushing heap of hurt feelings and regret, executive producer Ken Olin says, that’s because it was — in the best way.

“It’s really intense, isn’t it?’ he asks in an I’m-with-ya tone of voice. And the man should know: He directed the NBC drama’s final Season 1 hour, which included Mr. and Mrs. Pearson’s angry blowout (preceded by his drunken, violent appearance at her first tour date) and the couple’s subsequent, informal separation. (For a full finale recap, go here.)

We wanted all the goods on the tough scene, as well as what the episode’s ending might mean for all of the family members when Season 2 begins, and Olin graciously obliged. Read on for his thoughts on guiding Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore through one of Rebecca and Jack’s worst days.

TVLINE | Can we please start talking about the fight in the house? It was so intense.
KEN OLIN | It’s really intense, isn’t it? Dan wrote it with Issac and Elizabeth , and we had always talked about the idea of playing that scene with as few cuts as possible. It’s always really important to me that, ultimately, Dan’s happy with the work. And he was so moved by that scene. The two of them are incredible in it. But to me, part of the thing that makes that scene so special is that it’s very free. It’s all about their acting. Dan was just so proud of that scene… It’s not trying to show off as writers. It’s not trying to show off as directors. It’s just them.

TVLINE | The first thing that struck me was that they fight so dirty.
And we haven’t seen that before from the two of them. I think that’s one of the reasons that it’s so cool, and there are so few edits in it. It feels real. There’s nothing manipulative about it. They just went there. I think any of us who have been in really intimate or intense or long-term relationships, it does get dirty sometimes. It’s not nice. It’s upsetting.

TVLINE | How many takes did it take to get what you wanted?
We did six takes… The thing that’s great really trust each other. And I think they trust me. And we played with the levels of intensity and how much anger and how much was revealed. They were both like, “Let’s do it until we get the most truthful tone of where these two people are at after this many years of marriage and the kind of people they are.” It was intense. We were tired. They were really tired.

TVLINE | Was it as tough between takes? Did the mood lighten at all, or did they stay in that emotional place?
Mandy, particularly, stays to herself. Mandy is a bit of a savant as an actor. She just allows whatever to infect her. It takes her over. If Rebecca is really happy and being silly, then Mandy tends to be happy and silly. And if she’s grumpy, Mandy tends to be a little grumpy. And Milo, he’ll be in and out. He’s very conscientious about the crew and the other actors and what’s going on in the scene. Milo has a real director’s sensibility that way.

But scene required more, emotionally, from the two of them and sustained concentration. Because we didn’t the normal way you’d do a scene… we did multiple takes and put it together from that. It’s a four-minute scene; that’s a long scene to do without cutting… They conserved their energy. It is probably the most intense scene we’d done in terms of their marriage and any dissention in their marriage.

TVLINE | At the end of the episode, how much should we read into the juxtaposition of Jack’s narration and the scenes set in the present day? For instance, he says “They’ll make good choices” as we see Kate decide she wants to become a singer, and then he talks about making bad choices as Kevin leaves Sophie to head to Los Angeles.
In terms of the writing, Dan and Isaac and Elizabeth wanted deliberately to tee up things for next season. But they wanted to do it on terms that were truthful to the show. At the end of this finale, the chapters in these people’s lives have come to an end, and we’re just hinting at the beginning of these next chapters. So there’s a real satisfaction in terms of Kate. She’s come through a period where she’s finally beginning to deal with some of her internal damage, and also: What does she really want from her life? We began the season with seeing saying, “I can’t be this kind of actor. I don’t want to live like this anymore. I’m going to pursue this thing” and we see him come full circle in terms of that story. He’s succeeded in resurrecting his career and being taken seriously. But now this is potentially going to jeopardize this other thing that he’s found, this woman that he really cares about. And in terms of Randall, there was something that was not satisfying or fulfilling in his life. He didn’t have a relationship with his father. There was a real absence there, something he didn’t understand. We took him all the way through not only finding his father, but having a mature relationship with his father, losing his father, and now having the ability to really explore what was meaningful to him about his family — both his adopted family and his own family. We set it up like, “Wow, this guy has a lot of things that are unknown for him and open.” Randall was a character that absolutely knew what his next move was going to be, all the time. And he’s jumping off into the unknown. And the big story: So what happened with marriage? Is their marriage going to be put back together? And where does Miguel fit into their marriage?

TVLINE | I know you’re not in the writers’ room all the time…

TVLINE | …but are you aware of any time that a story or a line was nixed because it would eventually mess with the marriage reveal or the ultimate Jack’s death reveal?
Oh, I’m sure. What I’m always surprised at, because I’ve worked at a lot of shows where this wasn’t true, I come in with a big, overarching question in terms of the tone of a scene or how I’m going to direct a certain thing, I come in with a question and I’m thinking, “What are the chances that Dan is going to have an answer for this?,” because it pertains to the future. He knows. I don’t know how much he always shares. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan had a big, long plan for the whole thing. Like in some way he knows what the show will be five years from now, and maybe 10 years from now. In his mind, somehow, he can merge the feeling of a saga with these very intimate, small stories. So if something were to come up that would be untruthful and that maybe would be effective in the moment but would ultimately be untruthful, I don’t think he would do that.

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Randall & Beth Don’t Get Divorced On ‘This Is Us,’ So Fans Can Breathe Easy

This post contains spoilers for the This Is Us season finale. Every relationship has a bumpy patch, and that includes the seemingly indestructible pairs like Beth and Randall Pearson on This Is Us. The NBC drama last chronicled a massive blowup between the two that ended with them sleeping separately and feeling unsure of how to iron out their differences. Given their ambiguous marital status in the show’s flash-forward scenes, Randall and Beth’s future together was a mystery, but fans can calm down after seeing the pair reconcile in the Season 3 finale. It turns out that Randall and Beth don’t get divorced on This Is Us, so I’m officially ready to accept anything that may happen next for the Pearsons.

Last week’s reflective “R & B” concluded its insight into Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) history with the two reeling from their biggest argument yet. A compromising Beth felt swept to the side whenever Randall was distracted by the latest shiny thing in his life, but she felt betrayed by Randall’s reluctance to allow room for her to pursue dance again. Randall disagreed with her take on the situation and how their relationship worked in the past, but their tense evening apart led to them approaching the issue with clear heads.

In April 2’s season finale “Her,” Beth and Randall calmly reunited to agree that they needed to talk things through again. Beth was a little cautious, saying she couldn’t find the door of the escape room that was their current dilemma. Their own responsibilities then forced them apart for the day as Randall had to drive Deja (Lyric Ross) to a debate tournament and Beth had a dance class to teach.


But it turns out that a wise Deja lied about joining the debate team in order to pull a Randall and deliver a speech in an emotionally significant location. Directing him to one of her former foster homes, Deja shared that the adults there spent their government stipend on lottery tickets rather than food for the kids in their care. They never won money, but Deja told Randall, “Most people don’t win, Randall, but you did — you won the lottery twice. Once when you got adopted and again when you met Beth.”

In Deja’s words, Randall owed it to the world that let him succeed to make up with Beth. As he began to contemplate quitting his city council job, Beth felt limited in teaching dance to housewives rather than aspiring professionals. She drove out to Philadelphia and met with a realtor to look at places where she could open a dance studio.


She presented her grand idea to Randall later that day, shutting down his announcement that he was going to resign from city council. Beth convinced him that a move to Philadelphia would benefit them both, as Randall could work without a long commute and Beth could pursue her career goal. The couple’s present-day storyline ended with them embracing the new chapter and packing up their New Jersey home ahead of the fresh start.

However, it wasn’t until the season’s closing moments that fans learned if their plan paid off. When This Is Us flashed forward previously, Randall and Beth appeared separately, and the future timeline’s ominous tones fueled fans’ speculation that the two were then divorced. But the finale’s flash-forward scene had Randall and an adult Tess (Iantha Richardson) meeting Beth at Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) home, giving viewers an answer about how Randall and Beth’s relationship fared in later years.

In an exchange that’s what This Is Us dreams are made of, Randall greeted Beth with, “Hey, baby.” The two kissed and hugged, and as Beth’s arms wrapped around Randall, her wedding ring was on full display. Team R & B is still going strong, folks!


Just as speculation about Jack and Rebecca’s separation sparked during the first season of This Is Us, this phase of Beth and Randall’s life is a reminder that even our ultimate couple goals don’t have a perfect relationship. Their move to Philadelphia is bound to have some challenges, but the flash-forwards definitely tease that Beth’s dance studio is a success and she’s still happy with Randall. The conclusion of their story is far from being on our screens, but for now, all’s well that ends well for R. & B.

Season 4 of This Is Us premieres this fall on NBC.

  • The new trailer for season 4 of This Is Us proves there are so many twists and turns—and new faces— to come.
  • “It’s so strange, isn’t it? How just like that a complete stranger can become a big part of your story. It’s actually kind of terrifying, you know? How a single cross with one person you’ve never met can change everything,” Mandy Moore’s Rebecca Pearson says, hinting at new characters.
  • But what’s going on with Beth and Randall? Here, a quick recap.

This Is Us returns for season 4 in less than a month (it premieres September 24 at 9 p.m. ET), which means that Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson)—a.k.a one of the greatest TV couples of all time—will also be back to bless our screens.

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Though they’ve been fan favorites since day one, the couple really took center stage last season, as Randall’s new political career brought long-simmering tensions in their marriage to the surface. Things got so rough that fans were legitimately scared that Randall and Beth, who have repeatedly redefined the term “relationship goals,” could be headed for a split.

Thankfully, though, a Brandall divorce was not among the things that made us cry during the show’s season 3 finale back in April. They’re still going strong, and so to celebrate the imminent fourth season, here’s a full timeline of everything we know about R&B’s (their nickname, obviously) history.

Fall 1998: Beth and Randall meet at college (Season 3, Episode 13, “Our Little Island Girl”).

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Though he initially planned to attend Howard University, Randall decided on a college closer to home in Pittsburgh, so that he could be around to support his mom after Jack’s death. And as it turns out, there’s a silver lining to this particular cloud: at a freshman mixer at Carnegie Mellon University, Randall runs into Beth for the first time. Though their interaction is incredibly brief, he’s clearly smitten. The chance encounter that started it all!

1998 – 1999: Randall scores a date with Beth (Season 3, Episode 17, “R&B”).

Way back in season 2, when Beth and Randall’s courtship was still a total mystery, we learned that the adorably awkward 19-year-old Randall asked Beth out after meeting her at college—and had some help from an unexpected source. Despite their rocky relationship, Kevin is there for his brother when it counts, and coaches him on how to smoothly ask Beth out for dinner.

The date itself, though, doesn’t go as smoothly: Randall comes on a little too intense and picks an overly snooty restaurant where a racist waiter demands that they pay upfront for their meal. Poor Randall’s attempts to make things “perfect” end up backfiring, and Beth tells him not to contact her again. But back in his dorm, Randall tells his roommate that he’s just met the girl he’s going to marry. He may be awkward, but even at 19 he’s got confidence!

Sometime in the mid-aughts: Randall proposes to Beth. A lot. (Season 3, Episode 17, “R&B”).

Fans had been wondering for a long time exactly how Randall proposed to Beth, and as it turns out, he really got the chance to practice. As season 3’s penultimate episode revealed, Randall proposed to Beth multiple times in multiple places–including on a Jumbotron at a baseball game, because why not? Beth’s not ready for marriage, and specifically not ready to have her life “consumed by her husband’s”–which, years later, is exactly the issue that drives a wedge between the couple. But back in the mid-aughts, Beth finally gives in to the inevitable and accepts that Randall is her destiny, once he buys her her perfect meal of nachos and ginger beer.


Later in the mid-aughts: Randall and Beth get married (Season 3, Episode 17, “R&B”).

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When it finally arrived in a flashback, R&B’s wedding was every bit as intimate and touching as we all imagined it would be. Before the nuptials, Randall and Beth are both separately in crisis with opposing yet similar problems: Beth hasn’t written her vows yet because she’s been so overwhelmed with wedding planning, while Randall has obsessed over his to the point that they’ve become “a deeply boring dissertation on marriage.”

When they finally open up to each other, they come up with a joint solution that creates one of the most romantic scenes in This Is Us history–and maybe also in television history, honestly. Beth suggests that they write their vows together, pointing out, “We’re better together. That’s why we’re doing this whole thing. Let’s just take turns and speak from the heart.” They do, and it’s magical.

October 31, 2008: Tess Pearson is born (Season 2, Episode 6, “The 20s”).


Beth memorably gave birth to eldest daughter Tess on Halloween night, while Rebecca is visiting and Randall is recovering from a debilitating anxiety attack. In the run-up to the birth, Randall’s anxiety has understandably gone into overdrive, and he’s so wrapped up in trying to make sure that every detail of the house is perfect that he hasn’t really been emotionally present for Beth.

All of that changes, though, when Beth unexpectedly goes into labor on Halloween–when the roads are closed and she’s trapped at home with Rebecca. Randall is stuck in traffic, but ends up making it home. Thanks to a cathartic conversation with a hardware store employee (we’ve all been there, right?) Randall’s able to snap out of his funk and deliver his new baby daughter on the living room floor.

2010-2011: Annie Pearson is born.

Annie’s age has never been confirmed, but she seems to be a couple of years younger than Tess, so she must have been born somewhere around 2010 or 2011.

September 2016: William moves into Beth and Randall’s house (Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”).

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After years and years of searching for the biological father who abandoned him as a baby, Randall finally found William in the This Is Us pilot, and is justifiably furious when he confronts him. But after learning that William only has a few months to live, Randall can’t just walk away from him, and ultimately invites him to move into the family home. Not every spouse would have been down with this plan, and it’s a testament to Beth and the strength of her bond with Randall that she was willing to welcome William, since it wasn’t immediately obvious just how awesome he would turn out to be.

Fall 2017: Beth and Randall take in Deja (Season 2, Episode 3, “Déjà Vu”).

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After William’s death, Randall wants to adopt a baby to honor both of his late fathers, but Beth suggests that they should instead foster an older child who would likely have a harder time getting placed with a family. Deja joining the family is a huge moment for the Pearsons, and though she temporarily goes back to her birth mom after Thanksgiving, she’s ultimately adopted for good by Randall and Beth.

Fall 2018: Randall runs for Philadelphia City Council (Season 3, Episode 6, “Kamsahamnida”).

Randall’s new political aspirations put a major strain on his marriage to Beth, who’s reassessing her own professional dreams and realizing that she’s put them on hold in order to be a wife and a mom. After Randall wins the election and becomes a city councilman, Beth decides to pursue her long-dormant passion of dancing professionally, which causes some pretty heartbreaking friction between her and Randall.

Spring 2019: Beth and Randall decide to move to Philadelphia (Season 3, Episode 18, “Her”).

The tension between Beth and Randall builds to a boiling point in the latter episodes of season 3, and it was deeply, deeply stressful for every single viewer. Neither is willing to give up on their professional dream, but finally, they reach a compromise: Randall dividing his time between Philadelphia and New Jersey doesn’t make any sense, and the couple’s reduced income means that they need to downsize. So in the finale, they agree to move to a smaller place in Philadelphia, where Randall can focus 0n politics while Beth plans to open her own dance studio. And thanks to the magic of flash-forwards, we know that the seemingly risky Philly move pays off big time.


The Future: Beth and Randall are still together! (Season 3, Episode 18, “Her”).

Season 2’s finale was the first episode to introduce the flash-forward timeline, in which a much older Randall and Tess are on their way to visit “her”–revealed in the season three finale to be a dementia-stricken Rebecca. We still don’t know exactly when the Ominous Flash-Forwards are taking place, but based on the aging of everyone involved, we can guess it’s at least 20 years on from the show’s present day timeline, so maybe around 2040. One thing we do finally know for sure, though? Randall and Beth are still together, thank the Lord.


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