‘This Is Us’ leaves audience with more questions than answers 


If you’re a long time fan of the hit NBC drama, “This Is Us,” you are no stranger to the complex and interweaving storyline of the series, evident in last night’s Season 4 premiere. As promised by the show’s creative team, new characters and plot lines were introduced alongside the continuing saga of one of America’s favorite families: The Pearsons. Just a warning, there are a few spoilers to watch out for. 

Season 4 began with another snapshot of the budding romance between Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore), years before the Big Three were even a thought.  After their third date, Rebecca admits that Jack has already had a large impact on her life despite the fact that they are still practically strangers. They joke about who will call each other first and it is ultimately Jack. When they try to make plans for another date, Rebecca invites Jack to meet her parents over dinner. At their country club. In Connecticut. Need I say more? 

To prepare for this unconventional fourth date, Jack goes out to shop for a suit jacket. While watching a character shop for an outfit to impress his girlfriend’s parents may seem ridiculous to include in a season premiere, “This Is Us” shows us,  once again, that every detail is important.  At this moment, the audience finds out how Jack met his long time best friend, Miguel. Since Jack is out of a job and cannot afford the suit, Miguel tells him to tuck in the tag of the jacket and return it after the date. 

At dinner, things could not be worse for Jack as the topics of conversation include Vietnam and his family.  Jack later takes command of the conversation by opening up to Rebecca’s parents — and their friends who are awkwardly sitting at the table the entire time — about the very real experiences he faced in Vietnam, with the death of his brother, as well as the failed marriage of his parents. Rebecca is stunned but clearly head over heels for Jack by the end of the episode. The evening ends on a seemingly positive note, until Rebecca’s father warns Jack that he will do everything in his power to keep her from him.  

The biggest shockers of the episode, however, were not from the returning characters, but rather from the new characters introduced. Jennifer Morrison played Cassidy, a U.S. Marine who returns from serving in the Middle East and struggles with her transition to civilian life. Asante Blackk played Malik, a seemingly normal high school teen from Philadelphia, until we learn that the baby he’s caring for is his own. We later learn both have ties to the Pearson family, as Cassidy attends a Veterans Affairs support group where the Pearsons’ Uncle Nicky smashes the window, while Malik is hinted to become the love interest of Deja, Randall and Beth’s adopted daughter. 

The most mysterious of the new characters we meet in this episode is the blind musician who falls in love with the diner waitress, Lucy. We do not learn his name until the very last moment of the episode where we find out that he is none other than Jack, Kate and Toby’s baby boy.  

I think it is safe to say that this episode has opened a world of possibilities for where the story will develop from here, and I cannot wait to see what will happen next. 

Gino Giansanti is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at gino.giansanti_jr@uconn.edu.

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