“This Is Us”: Five new developments from Season 3, Episode 1


A screenshot from Season 3, Episode 1 of “This Is Us” (Hayley Solomon/Amherst Wire)

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

The best day of the week is officially back. The hit series “This Is Us” returned on Tuesday, Sept. 25 for a new season. Season 3 will be going deeper into the past and the future of the Pearson family’s lives, while still discussing the present, of course. There will be twist and turns, ups and downs, and a lot of tears. This episode we got a deeper look into problems that the end of season two left us wondering. If you missed it, or have lingering questions after watching it, check out these five major plot developments that the first episode brought.

Randall may have finally won over Deja’s heart.

We see what happens with Deja after she faces the consequences for her actions at the end of season two. We first see her in court as her mother legally disowns her and states that her father also wants no part in her life either. Randall had tried for months to win over Deja, each time failing, but this season he takes a different approach. He takes step back and let Deja come to him. Randall and Beth offer Deja a contract to become her official guardians. While Deja originally says no, she goes to pay her father a visit after Randall calls her “exceptional.” She says she wants nothing more than a pair of red Nike sneakers to give to Randall for his birthday. Although at first upset with Deja for sneaking out of the house, his mood changes when she gives him his gift and tells Randall he can sign the papers.

Kevin and Zoe’s relationship is going to cause a lot of drama this season.

We also see the start of Kevin and Zoe’s relationship, previewed at the end of season two. After battling a serious drug addiction, battling demons that never left after his father’s death, and being dumped by his high school sweetheart, Sophie, we see that he has moved on and found a new love. Beth, Zoe’s cousin, is not happy about it and asks if they have been “knocking boots.” While Beth yells at Zoe for getting involved with Randall’s brother, she warns Kevin that Zoe’s dating record is not great and that she “chews men up and spits them out.” We saw a preview into the development of their relationship, so it will be exciting to see how it goes.

Toby and Kate may be having a baby after all.

We also see the development of Kate and Toby as they attempt to start IVF treatment, as Kate suffers from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Because of this disorder and her weight, they are denied the opportunity for treatment. Kate has dealt with many issues, both physical and mental, throughout the seasons — obesity, having a miscarriage and low self-esteem. What makes matters worse for her is that the visit to the fertility doctor was on her birthday.

We then see Kate surrounded by her friends for her birthday (and a carrot cake that is actually just raw carrots made into the shape of a cake). She gives a powerful and emotional speech to her friends about the hardships she is facing. In the end, the doctor calls Kate and Toby back to say she changed her mind and to discuss starting the fertility treatment. Even though it is a 90 percent chance of failure, they decide to “look at the 10 percent.”

We see the heartbreaking scene at the end of the episode when Toby dumps his antidepressant medication down the toilet. Toby on antidepressant medication was a possible cause of not having a baby that the doctor also stated. We saw at the end of the season two that his depression returns, so it is assumed this is the leading cause.

Jack and Rebecca’s relationship did not start off picture perfect.

This episode gives us a peek into Jack and Rebecca’s first date, which actually went terribly. He takes her to a carnival after convincing her to go out with him on the night that they met. We learn that Jack is home from Vietnam with no money after recently losing his brother. The night is going somewhat well until it starts raining and Jack doesn’t have money to pay for an umbrella. After Rebecca calls it a night, Jack opens his heart to her, and contrary to how she likes to end first dates, leans in with a first-kiss and “forgets” her jacket in his car so he must return it to her.

At the episode’s end, we see a man at Rebecca’s door, bringing her flowers, who is not Jack. The worst part is that Jack was pulling up to bring her flowers as well when he sees the man at the door with Rebecca. This leaves us to wonder, who is the mystery man?

The mystery of older Randall and Tess remains.

While all these different storylines are being developed, viewers were left with one question: Who is “her”?

As we saw at the end of season two, there is a hint toward the future where we see Randall has aged and his daughter Tess is a grown adult. He tells Tess “it’s time to go see ‘her’,” and she responds saying, “I’m not ready.” At the end of the episode, we see more into that situation when they are on their way to see “her.” Randall calls Toby to ask if he is coming down, as Toby “promised he would be there.” We then see he is alone, without Kate.

This leads us to wonder, who is “her?” When season two came to a close, many thought it was Beth, Randall’s wife, but now many have speculated it is Rebecca or Kate. Odds are, it will be something unpredictable and leave us surprised.

So, how do all these instances relate? What will we find out next? When will we find out the answers we want? We’ll have to tune in next week for more.

“This Is Us” is on Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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