Warning: This story contains spoilers from the This Is Us season 4 premiere.
Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) is a military officer who suffered in Afghanistan and couldn’t adjust to her life back home. When she returned, she began drinking and alienated her husband (Nick Wechsler). She even became so frustrated that she lashed out at her son and was kicked out of the house. Later, she recounted her time overseas in a veteran’s support group, but was interrupted when a chair was thrown through the window from outside — by a drunk Nicky Pearson (Griffin Dunne).
Audiences were also introduced to Malik (Asante Blackk), a teenager trying to attend high school while also raising his own child. Luckily, he has extremely supportive parents, who even volunteer to babysit while he goes to a cookout. Did we mention they live in Philly? At the cookout, Malik met Deja (Lyric Ross).
The third new story of the episode was that of a blind man, who was romantic, funny and interested in music. He fell in love, got married and found out his wife is pregnant. At the end of the episode, it was revealed that that man was Jack Damon — the son of Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) who was born premature and blind. It made sense that he was funny, just like Toby, and that he was musical, just like Kate and Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
While new actors were announced ahead of the premiere, the actor playing Jack was not — in order to keep the secret. “It was an interesting casting process because we wanted to cast a blind actor. We had started our casting process very early, even in our off-season. I was looking for a leading man who was without sight and who could be funny, charming, accessible and sweet,” creator Dan Fogelman told reporters on Tuesday. “One of the wonderful things about our casting department was it wasn’t like they only found Blake [Stadnik]. There were a bunch of really viable, wonderful casting choices that came through our casting department. Blake, when he came to us, was clearly the guy.”
While some dots were connected, the new characters also introduced many new questions. Scroll through below for the biggest questions and (some) answers!