‘This is Us’ just keeps on getting it right. Here are five times the show totally nailed the adoption experience.
5. My son’s father.
During Randall and William’s trip to Memphis, the pair takes a detour so William can pay his respects to Jack. Randall explains that Kate has Jack’s ashes, but some had been spread at his favorite spot in the park. Upon their arrival, William asks for a private moment. He says to Jack, “Thank you for doing what I couldn’t, for raising him to be the man he is.” William conveys his regret toward being unable to meet the man who others spoke so highly of. He adds, “I would love to have met my son’s father.”
4. My child became my life.
After Randall decides to honor his birth father’s legacy through adoption, Beth struggles with the idea and what it could mean for their family. Not understanding her resistance, Randall visits the only person he thinks can provide some insight, Rebecca. Randall asked her how she and Jack decided to adopt him. He pierces her charming answer and gets to the reality that Jack pushed for the adoption while she was weary. Rebecca admits, “That stranger became my child, and my child became my life, he became you.”
3. I don’t want to be different.
The big three get report cards that show less-than-stellar grades. Randall’s has an attached request for a parent/teacher conference at the school. When Jack and Rebecca attend they learn that Randall is gifted. He receives a referral for a private school. One day at work Jack delves into why Randall is making average grades despite his knowledge. Randall brings up Kate and Kevin. He reveals, “I don’t want to be different from them!” Wanting to fit in with siblings is an desire many adoptees empathize with.
2. My life started with you leaving me.
Randall hires a private investigator to find his birth father. He shows up at William’s apartment to prove to himself and everyone else that he doesn’t need anything from the man, but finds himself with an innate need to be accepted. When William opens the door Randall lays into him, saying, “My name is Randall Pearson. I’m your biological son . . . I turned out all right, which might surprise a lot of folks considering the fact that 36 years ago my life started with you leaving me on a fire station doorstep with nothing but a ratty blanket and a crap filled diaper.” After a brief pause William asks, “Do you wanna come in?” Randall replies, “Okay.”
1. That would have made all the difference.
There is noticeable friction between Rebecca and Randall after he discovers she lied about knowing the identity of his birth father. On a trip with his siblings to the family cabin, Randall accidentally drinks psychedelic mushrooms. He hallucinates a conversation with Jack about the situation. He admits what most adoptees feel when he tells Jack, “If I had known that the man who abandoned me regretted it, that he wanted me back, that would have made all the difference in the world.”