Clear. 50.8   F New York
AI-Powered News Summarizer
Entertainment

'This is Us' veers into current events, while introducing a new twist

October 28, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

THIS IS US -- "Forty Part 1/Forty Part 2" Episode 501/502 -- Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Justin Hartley as Kevin -- (Photo by: NBC)

"This is Us" pivoted directly into current events, tackling the pandemic and, more pointedly, the fallout from the killing of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests. Yet the show also closed its two-hour premiere with another major twist in the Pearson family history, potentially adding a new long-lost relative to its ranks.

The following contains spoilers about the "This is Us" fifth-season premiere.

Yet the show also closed its two-hour premiere with another major twist in the Pearson family history, potentially adding a new long-lost relative to its ranks.

The big-picture moments, though, had to be balanced against those specific to the show's dense history, which, as is so often the case in such fare, keeps layering new wrinkles on top of the older ones, in ways that can easily begin to look a trifle forced.

That included, in the two-part premiere, a look back at the circumstances surrounding Randall's birth and how he wound up left at the hospital, punctuated by the stunning last-gasp (literally) revelation that his birth mother -- long presumed dead -- might actually still be alive.

Yes, the scene was genuinely surprising, but after the return of Randall's since-departed biological dad and the family's troubled uncle, the prospect of another unexpected reunion risks proving repetitious in a way destined to yield diminishing returns.

"This is Us" occupied more familiar ground with the Pearson-specific plots in the opening episodes, including the continuing tension between Randall and his brother Kevin (Justin Hartley), concerns about their mom (Mandy Moore) and her early-stage Alzheimer's, and the prospect of Kevin becoming a father thanks to the unplanned pregnancy of Madison (Caitlin Thompson).

While its fate beyond that remains unclear, the way the fifth-season premiere folded back in on the original pilot episode feels like setting the stage to start building toward a finale, although Fogelman has so frequently bent time -- with flashforwards as well as flashbacks -- that there are clearly still plenty of untapped possibilities.

Summarizer is on Google News. Now you can get the latest AI summarized news on your favorite news platform.

Don't like Google News? We have an RSS Feed for you.

Suggestions