This Is Us returns to NBC on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET after a mid-season hiatus and won’t hesitate to dive right back into the drama. In the last episode, we saw Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, eventually being arrested for a DUI while his young niece was in the backseat.
On Tuesday night’s new episode, “The Fifth Wheel,” Kevin will face his problems head on, and it turns out, much of his struggle with addiction can be traced back to his dad Jack (Milo Ventimiglia).
“We’re a family of addicts,” he tells Kate, Randall and Rebecca in Tuesday’s episode. “Our father was an addict, his father was an addict, I’m an addict.”
One explosive scene centers around the big three sorting out what has happened over the last three episodes, which focused on Randall’s adoption saga, Kate’s miscarriage, and Kevin’s struggle with addiction. The episode will show these family members trying to “sort out how to best be there for their brother and son,” executive producer Issac Aptaker told EW, and “in a really, really explosive way, playing out a lot of their family drama in this 11-page, nonstop, tour de force scene.”
A lot of that drama stems from their father Jack’s death, which we still have yet to see play out on screen. According to Aptaker, once we meet teenage Randall’s red-headed girlfriend, we’ll finally find out how Jack meets his end.
“Once we meet her, everything that we’ve seen is now in place,” he said of the flashback scene. “It’s safe to say that the time is closing in. For sure.”
“We all know that Jack’s dying soon, so I think as an audience that’s a hard pill to swallow,” Ventimiglia told the Huffington Post. “I don’t think anyone is going to be really prepared for it. It’s going to crush people.”
With that miserable promise in mind, tune in to This Is Us for its mid-season premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. Don't forget to grab the tissues.