Warning: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us midseason premiere episode, “Light and Shadows.”
This Is Us fans were left with a rare cliffhanger when the NBC drama returned this week after a lengthy hiatus. Now, executive producer Isaac Aptaker is revealing what fans can expect when the show picks up next week.
At the end of an episode when Randall (Sterling K. Brown) returned home to Philadelphia in the middle of the night after a trip to California, he came face to face with an intruder standing in his kitchen holding a knife. The imagery had This Is Us fans’ hearts skipping a beat as the scene cut to black.
In the comments section to photos posted on the This Is Us Instagram account, fans revealed they were “triggered” by the scary cliffhanger scene.
“My heart is pounding,” one fan wrote.
“I literally gasped,” another added.
“I was shook, I was not ready for that,” a third fan revealed.
Other fans wondered if the intruder was “real” or if Randall was having an anxiety-related night terror. Others just hope Randall and his family make it past the knife-wielding man who invaded their home.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us EP Aptaker confirmed that Randall’s mental health issues will take a toll on him, especially now that he has taken on his mom Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) medical issues.
“The pressure is just cranking up,” Aptaker said. “And now he’s returned home from this emotional trip, and there’s a man standing in his kitchen. And it is going to be the straw that leads to Randall to have to re-evaluate what’s going on with his own mental health and how much he can handle.”
Aptaker also confirmed that despite the scene and the scary teaser for next week’s episode, the show will not take a Six Feet Under-style turn.
“I would hope that audiences trust that we’re not going to have Randall [killed] in his own home,” Aptaker added.
Brown previously teased the shocking scene ahead of the This Is Us winter premiere. The Emmy-winning star admitted even he was taken aback when he saw the ending to the episode. But based on viewers’ comments, no one saw this coming.
Next week’s This Is Us episode, titled “A Hell of a Week: Part One,” will kick off a trilogy of episodes focusing on each member of the Big Three. It’s no surprise that Randall is up first. You can see the promo below.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.