Spoiler alert: This article contains mild spoilers from the This Is Us Season 4 episode “Sorry.”
This Is Us viewers can officially start being worried about Rebecca. The Pearson matriarch, played by Emmy-nominated actress Mandy Moore, began to show signs of mental distress in the most recent episode of the NBC drama. Now, producers for the show say that the hints given in this episode will be more fully addressed throughout the fourth season.
In the present-day scenes in the “Sorry” episode, a frantic Rebecca freaked out after she misplaced her cellphone while visiting her son Randall (Sterling K. Brown) in Philadelphia. She also experienced a personality shift as she got extremely defensive when Randall asked her if she has been to a doctor lately.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us producer Isaac Aptaker said fans will have to wait to see if Rebecca is having a “senior moment” or if the memory and personality issues are a sign of a bigger problem with her health.
“Almost more alarming than anything else that’s happened in the episode is how zero to 60 she goes in defending herself. So, yeah, I think people are going to have to wait and see here,” Aptaker said.
Co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger noted that Randall knows Rebecca better than anyone, and the fact that he can tell something is wrong is a “pretty good indication that that is indeed what’s happening.”
Aptaker revealed that viewers of This Is Us should be “as alarmed as Randall is, which is fairly concerned.”
He added that the Rebecca storyline is something that is going to be “a big part” of this season going forward, but that he can’t reveal if Rebecca’s issues will have a slow progression “without ruining stuff.”
On Instagram, fans reacted to the episode in the comments section to a photo of Rebecca and teen Randall (Niles Fitch).
“Tell me she doesn’t have dementia,” one fan wrote.
“Yes, last night shook me with the way it looks like it’s going… Alzheimer’s,” another added.
“The Alzheimer’s has been touched upon before when they were in the hospital when baby Jack was born. It’s really sad and poignant but kind of appropriate given that so much of the show is based around memory and flashbacks to their younger lives,” another viewer wrote.
This Is Us fans know that things don’t look good for Rebecca in the future. In the Season 3 finale, titled “Her,” the then 80-something matriarch was shown frail and bedridden as Randall introduced himself to her as “your son.”
The episode also featured flashback clips of Rebecca’s three children visiting her in the hospital after a car crash in the 1980s. Fans have long thought Rebecca’s car crash injuries will come back to haunt her later, and the heartbreaking hints seem to be pointing in that direction.