This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown posted some happy holiday photos with his TV family, but it sounds like it won’t exactly be a happy new year for the Pearson clan when the NBC drama returns from its lengthy hiatus. In a new interview, the Emmy-winning star says the midseason This Is Us episode, “Lights and Shadows,” will take an unexpected turn that will have fans talking.
Ahead of the new episode, the first since mid-November, Brown, who plays Randall Pearson on the series, posted a series of photos of his TV family decorating their Christmas tree and prepping for the holiday season.
In one photo, Brown and his TV wife, Susan Kelechi Watson, pose in front of a fireplace that is adorned with Christmas stockings for their fictional daughters — Tess, Annie, and Deja. In another pic, a plate of decorated Christmas cookies can be seen. A final photo reveals a copy of the Christmas card sent out by Randall’s sister, Kate (Chrissy Metz), and her family. The hilariously edited Christmas card pic features Kate alongside her husband, Toby (Chris Sullivan), their baby boy Jack, and the family dog, Audio, as they all wear Santa hats. The card is signed from the Damon family.
In the comments to Brown’s post, This Is Us fans expressed fear over what will happen in the new episode, based on spoiler warnings and the Pearson family’s rocky history.
“I’ve been waiting,” one fan wrote. “I’m ready not ready for what’s about to come… [Sterling K. Brown] please don’t make me cry.”
“I’ve been saving my love and my tears for weeks!! I can’t wait!” another fan wrote.
“Don’t fool us – we know Katoby doesn’t make it to Christmas,” another viewer wrote of Kate and Toby.
At last week’s Television Critics Association panel, Brown teased that the new episode will delve deeply into Randall’s mental health. The character has a history of debilitating panic attacks.
“It allows us to delve further into Randall’s mental health and how he takes care of himself, what’s right and what’s wrong about how he takes care of himself, and how he could possibly do a better job at that,” Brown said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “The show’s going along, it’s like, ‘Oh, this is nice. It’s a nice little episode of This Is Us… And then this moment happens where you’re like, ‘Oh, sh*t. This is about to go a little sideways.'”
Susan Kelechi Watson told THR that Randall’s mental health issues will also affect Randall’s wife Beth and their daughters.
Brown previously revealed that the ending to the midseason premiere will shock viewers.
“The end of [the episode] had me screaming at the TV out loud,” Brown told Us Weekly last month. “It’s one of the more shocking things that I’ve seen.”
The actor admitted that while he “knew” what was going to happen, he was taken aback when he saw the mystery scene play out onscreen. Brown said the This Is Us audience will not be “ready” for what takes place in the new episode.