Plot Summary: This is Us


“This is Us” is a television show that came out in 2016. The show tells the story of three siblings and focuses on each individual’s struggle in life, with frequent childhood flashbacks that are used to help fill in the blanks. The show starts during a flashback of the day the siblings were born, specifically it was when Rebecca, the mother, realized her water broke. The show then comes back to real time and cuts to the three siblings on their 36th birthday, showing each of them in their homes or place of employment.

THIS IS US — “The Trip” Episode 109 — Pictured: (l-r) Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Chrissy Metz as Kate, Justin Hartley as Kevin — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Each sibling reaches a personal crossroads in their life, all at the same time in the show. Kate, the sister, comes to terms with her obesity and decides that she is going to “lose the damn weight” (TV show citation). Kevin, the second sibling, decides that his job as an actor in Hollywood is not fulfilling in life, and he has to make a change before it is too late. Randall, the third sibling, has found his biological father who gave him up as a baby. This project is going to primarily focus on Randall’s story and his life as a transracially adopted child. A transracially adopted child is someone who is adopted by parents of a completely different race. Randall is a black child that was adopted into an all-white family. Randall’s difference in race from the rest of his family is the source of many problems in his life.

The show starts as a flashback, with Rebecca and Jack Pearson giving birth to their children. There were complications with the third baby, and he ended up being stillborn. The day Kate and Kevin were born, Randall was dropped off at the local fire station by his biological father, and was brought to the hospital. Jack and Rebecca took a bad situation for two parties and turned it into something good for both of them. The Pearson family was complete with their three children. The show goes on to describe the parents’ struggles with having an adopted black infant, and Rebecca struggles to bond with Randall, claiming he feels like a stranger, because he didn’t grow inside of her. The show then cuts to present day, and it shows Randall going to the home of his biological father. He knocks heavily on the door, and spews a rehearsed spiel of how he did not need William in his life, because he is a happy and successful man who grew up in a loving family, and now has a family of his own. His only purpose of going there was to tell William that, but when William invited him inside, he complied without hesitation. Following going inside, Randall invited William to his home to meet his wife, Beth, and his children. William stayed the night that night, and ended staying every night afterwards as well. William developed a relationship with Randall, Beth, and his granddaughters, Tess and Annie. He revealed on his first night at the house that he was a dying man, he was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and given a short while to live. Randall took it upon himself to make William’s last days comfortable and enjoyable, and even paid for his treatment so he could enjoy his life a little longer. Randall and William took a father-son trip to Memphis, and enjoyed William’s childhood city together. William ended up dying in Memphis, but he left a memory so strong, that he will forever live on in Randall and his family.