This Is Us shared a behind-the-scenes moment from the set of the January 12 episode, where Sterling K. Brown and his co-star Angela Gibbs were seen in character as son and mother, Randall and Laurel. The pic was apparently snapped shortly after Randall let out a cathartic scream and released the demons from his past in the episode titled “Birth Mother.”
In the Instagram pic, as seen below, the actors were in a pool which was used to represent a river that ran behind a home owned by Laurel’s Aunt Mae. It was a place where Laurel went to reflect and release any feelings of fear or sadness she had experienced in her life.
Under normal filming circumstances, the series would have taken its cast and crew on location to film in the areas they referenced. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, these plans were altered.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sterling revealed that if the show states they are going to a city, they will oftentimes go to that place for exteriors. He said that they had already gone to Philadelphia, Memphis, Washington DC, Las Vegas, and Vietnam in the five seasons of filming thus far.
“But because of COVID and just trying to do things as safely as possible, we weren’t actually able to go this time,” he shared.
Therefore, the actors filmed in a pool on the set, crafting one of the most touching scenes in This Is Us history. Randall faced his past and cleansed himself of any feelings of inferiority he had felt as the adopted son of Rebecca and Jack Pearson, who brought him home as an infant from the hospital along with their own twins, Kate and Kevin.
Randall faced the ghost of his mother in the water after stripping off his clothing and wading into the river, an act that always seemed to help Laurel as she dealt with her own troubles.
He learned after speaking with her longtime love, Hai, that Laurel had always loved him. She always wondered what happened to Randall and revealed it was one of the greatest regrets of her life that she never searched for him.
After Randall let out a loud, cathartic scream, the actors faced one another in the water and said the words all viewers of This Is Us wanted to hear directed toward Randall — that his mom loved him and he was able to reciprocate those feelings as well.
Viewers posted their own remarks regarding the touching scene and hoped for better days for the character of Randall in the future.
“Those scenes had me crying my eyes out! What a satisfying ending! I would like to know more about Hi’s children and the little girl at the table. Wonderful job by all,” wrote one fan.
“Beautiful episode; love that Randall has closure! Powerful acting by all!” penned a second follower.
“Mama! Beautiful Emmy winning scene for both! ‘…you have my eyes…’ I died!” remarked a third Instagram user.