- This Is Us -4 Theories About Randall’s Birth Mom On ‘This Is Us’ & What It Could Mean For The Pearsons
In true This Is Us fashion, the Season 5 premiere ended with an emotionally charged twist that no one could see coming — least of all poor Beth, who was looking forward to a year without surprises. So it turns out, Randall's mom, Laurel, didn't die right after giving birth to Randall after all. In fact, it's unclear whether she's dead at all, and we have a lot of questions. Thankfully, we also have plenty of theories about what This Is Us has in store for Randall and his biological mom in season 5.
Before we dive into the many, many things we don't know about what series creator Dan Fogelman is planning for Randall and our tear ducts this season, there is one popular fan theory the show's writers have already debunked: Laurel is not going to be Randall's new therapist. While the buzzy theory made the rounds on Twitter and Reddit immediately after the episode aired, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, the official This Is Us writers Twitter account tweeted: "She is not going to end up as Randall's therapist."
This Is Us loves a good chance encounter — Jack and William brushing shoulders at the hospital chapel, anyone? — but it seems even Fogelman draws the line at Randall randomly choosing his presumed dead birth mom to be his therapist. However, just because that theory has been busted that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of emotionally charged theories still in play.
Laurel Did Die In Childbirth, Just Not When She Had Randall
Join me, if you will, on a trip back to simpler times when This Is Us was still in Season 1 and we had no idea that Jack would be murdered by a slow cooker. During these early, halcyon days of the series, Randall hired a P.I. to find out who his birth parents were, and that P.I. told him that his mother died during childbirth. Now, in order for the P.I. to have that information, he would presumably have seen a death certificate, right?
Randall is far too detail-oriented to just take someone's word on a matter of such importance, so surely this is something he checked out. But maybe he didn't look into the matter closely enough to realize that his bio mom didn't die giving birth to him, but rather to his sibling. Now, there are two ways this could shake out: 1) Randall has a twin that Laurel delivered at the hospital after she was revived, or 2) she survived and went on to have other children after Randall.
The prospect of Randall being a twin feels a little bit too Days of Our Lives, especially since this show is already brimming with multiples, but the idea that he has a biological sibling out there would open up so many doors for the writers to explore. Was the child raised by someone in Laurel's family? Were they adopted, too? How would Randall's life have been different if he knew he had a biological brother or sister?
Plausibility factor: High. Fogelman and company are usually vigilant about not creating plot holes, so that P.I. report is going to need to be addressed in some manner.
Randall's Activism Will Lead Him To His Parents' Friends & Eventually To His Mother
In the history of This Is Us, the show has never introduced a character that didn't play a role in the bigger narrative of the Pearson family saga. (Come on, even the Crockpot owners got a mini-storyline.) With that in mind, it stands to reason William and Laurel's activist friends, Grace and Ervin, will encounter Randall at some point this season, especially since the Black Lives Matter movement, and Randall's personal reckoning with his identity are playing a role in Season 5.
The last time Laurel mentions Grace, she tells William that her friend was arrested for handing out flyers. Assuming that her activism is still going strong, Grace and Randall could connect at a protest, or perhaps she or Ervin could end up being the therapist who is most definitely not going to be Randall's mom. Either way, it feels likely that these two will show up again, and that they'll be the ones to lead Randall to his mother.
If Laurel is alive, she may have reconnected with her friends after discovering that William left Pittsburg for Philadelphia. And even if she didn't these are two potentially living people who actually knew Randall's birth mother, both at her best and when she was dealing with her addiction. With William gone, they're the most tangible connection that he has left to his parents, and given that they were already engaged in protesting systemic racism in the '80s, they would almost certainly take part in the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
Plausibility factor: Likely. This Is Us isn't in the habit of introducing characters that don't have a significant role to play in the lives of the Pearsons.
A Laurel-Centric Road Trip Will Give Randall Answers About His Birth Mom
One of the standout episodes of Season 1 was the ugly-cry inducing "Memphis," in which Randall and William traveled to William's hometown, allowing his biological father to reunite with family members he hadn't seen in decades. It was a pivotal episode for the eldest member of the Big Three as it marked his first time connecting with his extended biological family. And it now sounds like Randall could embark on a similar trip as he delves into his mother's history.
In a pre-season interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sterling K. Brown teased, "We'll be adding another city to our repertoire. We will be going somewhere else that will have something to do with Randall's past and him finding healing." That certainly makes it sound like in order for Randall to find answers, he'll embark on a journey into his mother's past that could potentially lead him to her front door.
During the emotional Season 4 episode "After the Fire," Randall's therapist notes that his biological mother is merely a footnote in his story, and as he delves into who he is as a person and the events that made him with his new therapist, it makes sense that he'll be inspired to change that. The idea that one tiny lead could send him on a road trip through his mother's past and ultimately to answers about what happened the day he was born (including his true birthdate) is powerful stuff. And it sounds like the sort of odyssey that This Is Us might just try to pull off twice.
Plausibility factor: Definitely possible. This Is Us loves sending characters on road trips, and this sounds like the perfect setup for another stellar Randall standalone episode.
The EMT Who Saved Laurel's Life Will Reconnect Her With Randall
If Laurel is still alive in the present, and she never reconnected with William, then it stands to reason something huge happened after she was taken to the hospital. It seems notable that the younger EMT refused to give up on her even after his colleague told him to call her time of death. If he hadn't refused to stop performing CPR, she wouldn't have been given a second chance at life.
Now the question becomes what did she do with that second chance? Given the state she was in after giving birth to Randall and potentially overdosing, Laurel's rode to recovery may very well have been a long one, and with William believing she was dead, she would have been all alone. But what if the EMT continued to check in with her after he brought her to the hospital, what if a friendship grew blossomed and he helped Laurel get back on her feet after it seemed as if the man she loved had abandoned her?
When you consider the level of negligence the older EMT exhibited, he seems just careless enough to have somehow filed the paperwork he was already filling out in the apartment about Laurel's supposed demise. That could explain why Randall's P.I. found an erroneous cause of death. It could also explain why William believed she was dead.
That EMT may be the only person who knows Laurel is still alive, and a chance encounter with Randall at a protest, or maybe even a therapist's waiting room, could lead the two men to realize that they have someone special in common.
Plausibility factor: Unlikely, since the odds of Randall randomly bumping into that EMT feel astronomical, but since the This Is Us writers are total suckers for random encounters loaded with unexpected meaning, it's not completely off the table.
This Is Us loves nothing more than serving up twists that make us cry and gasp, so no matter what's next for Laurel and Randall, it's probably a good idea to have tissues at the ready.
Images: Courtesy of NBC