This Is Us will kick off with the Big Three’s 40th birthday when the series returns next week, but based on sneak peek photos from the episode, it looks like a glum celebration.
“In the two-hour premiere, the Pearsons gather to celebrate their 40th birthday while musing about the day they were born,” the synopsis for the premiere reads, per The Futon Critic.
However, newly released pictures from the episode speak louder than words.
The photos for the two-hour Season 5 premiere, titled “Forty: Part 1/Forty: Part 2,” show a masked Kevin (Justin Hartley) in a pandemic-era present-day, as well as Randall (Sterling K. Brown) at home in Philadelphia with a candle-lit cake in front of him.
But additional photos make it clear that Randall makes the trip to the cabin where his siblings are celebrating their milestone. He’s even wearing the same clothes as he was in Philly.
In additional preview pics shared on NBC’s press site, the awkward reunion is teased with a pic of a tense-looking Big Three, as is the presence of Kevin’s “mystery” fiancée, Madison (Caitlin Thompson).
Madison appears in several pics, including one of her in the car with Kevin and another of the two looking surprised by something during the bash. Party balloons can also be seen in the background, but the mood looks less than celebratory.
Last season, viewers were stunned when Kevin’s one-night stand with his sister Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) best friend resulted in her becoming pregnant with twins. After Madison told the wealthy actor that she didn’t expect anything from him, he shocked her by saying he was all-in.
“Whatever you need, I’m all in,” Kevin said. “I want this … I want to be a father, I think I’d be great at it. The love of my life will be my child.”
But does that mean the two are engaged now? A previous flash-forward to the 40th birthday party at the cabin showed Kevin saying his “pregnant fiancee” was in the other room. Now that Madison is confirmed to be at the Pearson vacation home, it would seem that something more happened in the relationship.
Still, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman – who happens to be the real-life husband of the actress who plays Madison – would not confirm that Kevin put a ring on it.
“I think that there’s basically many more chapters in Kevin’s romantic story,” he said earlier this year.
As for that other big story, a previously released promo for the fifth season of the NBC drama teased Randall’s arrival at the Pearsons’ mountain house.
After a flashback of Kevin telling his adopted brother that the worst day of his life was the day their parents brought him home, the trailer ended with Kevin opening the door to the cabin to see his estranged brother standing there.