In a recent interview with TVLine.com, Sterling K. Brown teased Randall’s apprehension to start therapy on Season 4, Episode 15 of This Is Us.
This decision, of course, stemmed from last week’s episode of This Is Us where Randall recounted his childhood anxiety over choosing an item to place in the family’s time capsule when they were kids:
“It was just a fun, silly time capsule, bro. And I choked. I’ve been anxious for so long…and… I don’t get better. Not really.”
At the root of his anxiety is his desire to be perfect, a desire that Brown says grew through Randall’s adulation of his father Jack. Although Jack had struggles of his own, Randall admired Jack’s ability to keep it together. However, now he’s considering that, unlike Jack, he might not always have to wear a brave face when he’s crumbling on the inside. Brown told TVLine about Randall’s journey:
“I’m [Randall] heading down a path which is similar to the path of my father’s, and while I love my father, I know that there’s a better path,” he says, speaking in character. “So after that trip to the cabin, there is a decision to ultimately go to therapy.”
For the past 4 seasons, we’ve seen Randall’s struggle with anxiety unfold as he’s tried to keep it together among life-changing events, e.g., connecting with his dying biological father, engaging in a custody battle, and running for city council. With every battle, he’s fought through the anxiety that comes with it, but with the house break-in, he’s reached his breaking point.
It’s time for Randall to realize that his anxiety isn’t going away on its own, and he cannot fool himself into thinking he’s always in control. For years, he’s been trying to be there for everyone but himself. He’s pushed away his feelings poorly, and now he must confront them in full-force.
To be honest, I am a bit surprised it’s taken Randall this long to accept help. Unlike Jack, he’s always worn his heart on his sleeve. He’s great at denying when things aren’t going well, while his emotions deceive him.
On the other hand, I can understand his struggle; he wants others to see him as he saw Jack, a fearless protector. What he needs to realize is that Jack was human, and so is he.
It’s not going to be easy, and Randall may resist help from his therapist at first, but ultimately I believe his aim for perfectionism will allow him to bring his guard down. Randall will do what it takes to get better for his family. One thing is for sure if he does resist help, he will continue down a path that is sure to destroy him.
How do you think Randall’s first therapy session will go?
To find out, tune in to This Is Us Season 4, Episode 15 on Tuesday at 9pm ET on NBC.