The This Is Us Coming Out Storyline Deserves More Attention
After seven long weeks, This Is Us returned from its mid-season hiatus with an episode titled “The Last Seven Weeks.” Meta AF, NBC.
So what did the last seven weeks have in store for the Pearson clan? Honestly, not a whole lot, especially considering that the mid-season finale introduced every plot-twist imaginable in its final three minutes.
Picking up where we dropped off in November (Jack’s brother “who died in Vietnam” is alive! The long mysterious “her” is Rebecca! Tess comes out to her parents!), Us decided to pretty much ignore the plot progression of the finale and instead feed us just one morsel of OMFG goodness: Jack knew his brother was alive. How? Why? Nah. In true This Is Us fashion, the circumstances of Nick Pearson’s existence will roll out in the slowest of slow burns.
And OK, I wasn’t really expecting to have every cliff-hanger resolved off the bat, but there is one storyline I was hoping would receive its fair due: Tess’s coming out.
Though Us is better than most network series when it comes to representation, the episode’s side-stepping of Tess’s announcement feels like a sign of things to come — and by “things” I mean the exploration of Tess’s sexuality condensed into a side-note.
Us has the opportunity to really break new network TV ground. If Tess’s journey receives even a fraction of the screen time as any other character's development on the show, fans (this one, at least) will feel vindicated.
Speaking of Randall, the family man extraordinaire added a new notch to his jack of all trades tool belt this episode: he’s officially a city councilman. Though I’m personally very proud of Randall (and *may* have cried a little when he received the news), it feels like the political aspirations storyline has run its course. We’ve already endured the oh-so-predictable “Randall faces familial conflict when pursuing his dreams” arc, so where can we go from here? And before you even think it — NO, Randall Pearson will not be having an affair with a Philadelphia-based political staffer who “really gets him.”
Maybe next week Us will once ignore every established storyline from this season and take a deep dive into why Beth loves blueberry pie? P.S. Did blueberry pie actually win Randall his election? We have much to unpack.