Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from This Is Us Episode 2.14, “Super Bowl Sunday.”
This Is Us is known for its surprising plot twists, but no one saw this one coming. Amid a devastating post-Super Bowl episode that detailed the cause and timing of Jack Pearson’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death, fans got a glimpse of the future of one of his sons: Randall (played by Sterling K. Brown).
Yes, despite Randall’s worries that he couldn’t picture himself outliving his dad, who died from complications after a 1998 house fire when Randall was just 17, viewers found out that the Pearson son lives long enough to see his oldest daughter into adulthood. The revelation was made during a rare This Is Us flash forward into the future.
In the “Super Bowl Sunday” episode, This Is Us fans saw present-day Randall telling his pre-teen daughter Tess that she is his number one. Tess (Eris Baker) has been going through a bit of a rebellious phase due to all of the changes in her house — first, her dying grandfather William (Ron Cephas Jones) came and went, then foster sister Deja (Lyric Ross), and now, another foster sibling is looming. Attention-seeking Tess even attempted to run away from home but got caught up in her Uncle Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) DUI in the process.
But in true Jack Pearson fashion, Randall gave his eldest daughter a pep talk in the “Super Bowl Sunday” episode, telling her, “You’re the little girl that made my life somersault. So, even if we get another foster kid, even if we get one tomorrow, you will always be my number one. And you will live with me until you’re 25. And even after you move out, you will have dinner with me once a week near your fancy office, and you will tell me everything.”
Then, in a surprise move, This Is Us then flashed to the future, revealing that Tess grows up to be a social worker who is working toward placing a young boy, Jordan (Jonny Berryman), with a new family. Fans saw proud papa Randall, who appears to be in his mid-50s, checking in on his daughter (played as an adult by Iantha Richardson) at her office. You can see the surprising This Is Us flash-forward scene below.
Eagle-eyed fans noted that the little boy that adult Tess was finding a home for was actually the little boy seen in an earlier episode of This Is Us.
Sterling K. Brown previously teased the story of the little boy who needed a home at the end of the This Is Us episode “Number Three,” telling Variety, “I can tell you that you get a chance to see the fruition of that happen with our Super Bowl episode.”
This Is Us fans originally thought Randall and Beth would foster the adorable little boy, but now it seems little Jordan wasn’t even born by 2018.
Fans also noted that this wasn’t the first time adult Tess was shown, as she was the social worker handling the case in the “Number Three” episode earlier this season. In that episode, Iantha Richards’ character was credited as “Essex County Social Worker,” according to IMDb.
Randall Pearson previously expressed his fears that he won’t live to see his kids grow up.
In the This Is Us episode “That’ll Be the Day,” Randall told his brother Kevin, “It’s hard to imagine me outliving Dad. He’s already been gone longer than we had him.”
Based on that conversation, some This Is Us fans even feared that producers were planning to kill off Sterling K. Brown’s character.
So it’s no surprise that This Is Us fans were emotional over the surprising flash-forward scene, which now puts to rest Randall’s fears that he won’t live as long as his dad Jack, who died when he was just 53 years old.
The This Is Us Super Bowl episode ended with the return of Deja, which suggests she moves back into the present-day Pearson home and could possibly become a permanent part of the family — and maybe even become the inspiration for her sister Tess to go into social work in the future.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.