Brotherly love. Randall dealt with anxiety after surviving a home invasion during the Tuesday, January 21, episode of This Is Us — titled “A Hell of a Week: Part 1.” The episode is the first of three that will follow the same day; the next two will be from Kevin and Kate’s points of view.
The hour picked up with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) face-to-face with an intruder in his house. He offered the man, who was armed with a knife, cash and warned him to leave before the police arrived. The man took the money and ran.
Randall later revealed that he was bluffing about having a security system, so the police advised him to have one installed. He told Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) to take the girls to a hotel in case the intruder returned. Randall couldn’t sleep and ended up pacing the house all night looking for signs of the trespasser.
At one point, Randall talked to Kevin (Justin Hartley), who happened to be in Pittsburgh for Sophie’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) mother’s funeral. Randall acted as if he was fine and lied about visiting Rebecca (Mandy Moore) in L.A. for her doctor’s appointment. However, Randall discovered that the man was in his and Beth’s bedroom while Beth was asleep and stole her earrings and his cufflinks. The revelation led Randall to have nightmares about the encounter.
Randall trudged on with work, trying to convince the community that a new housing bill was in the city’s best interest. Darnell (Omar Epps) was opposed to the move, but Randall brushed off his concerns as he fretted over the security system on his phone. Malik (Asante Blackk) informed his dad about the break-in, leading Darnell to suggest Randall go to therapy as he did.
Randall again insisted he was OK and explained how he used running as a coping mechanism. He proved he wasn’t all right when he saw a man mugging a woman in town. He intervened, punching the man until he broke his hand. The incident only delayed a conversation he and Beth were supposed to have about managing their stress.
Randall reached his breaking point when a staff member in his office called him a hero. He rushed home and locked himself in the bathroom crying. He called Kevin to admit he was not OK and asked him to just talk as he breathed through his anxiety. Kevin — who had a woman in his bed — promised to get Randall through the ordeal, noting that he’d also had “a hell of a week.”
In flashbacks, college-aged Randall (Niles Fitch) experienced haunting dreams after Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death. Beth (Rachel Hilson) encouraged him to talk to a grief support group, but that plan fell through when Kevin (Logan Shroyer) called to tell him something was wrong with Kate (Hannah Zeile) amid issues with her boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams).
Even earlier in Randall’s life, Jack asked him to be the good kid because Kate and Kevin were so high maintenance.
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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