The This Is Us Season 4 finale delivered drama and answered the season’s biggest questions. Let’s discuss it!
Spoiler alert: This post contains details from This Is Us Season 4, Episode 18.
Kevin’s Fiancée Revealed
The mystery woman has finally been revealed, and it’s Madison! The big reveal came after an extended sequence that followed Madison’s OB-GYN. In the sequence, the doctor is also a rancher who’s growing impatient trying to train a rambunctious horse.
Once his daughter steps in and tames the horse with ease, she chastises her father for not giving the horse the chance to be himself.
Later on, he gives the same advice to Madison, who’s pregnant after being told she’d never have kids and is unwilling to share the news with Kevin.
[…] The only thing that I definitively know about him [Kevin] is that he…comes from a long line of great love stories. And this…This would not be what he wants.”
When her doctor advises her against prematurely judging Kevin, Madison seems to take the advice to heart, but we’ll get to that. I have to say, although I’m glad my prediction came true, this sequence seemed a bit heavy-handed to me. This Is Us juggles multiple timelines and storylines each week, and is unafraid to introduce and dedicate whole episodes to new characters as evident by the Season 4 premiere.
However, it seemed out-of-place to give a side character extended screen time solely to explain their interaction with a secondary character. Although the episode was titled “Strangers: Part Two,” a callback to the season premiere, I believe the show could’ve devoted more time to the other “strangers” of the episode that will likely have more bearing on the show.
Everyone’s Got Baby Fever
In the Damon household, Kate and Rebecca are preparing a special three-layered birthday cake for Baby Jack’s first birthday. When Miguel walks in and asks when Randall, Beth, and the girls will be arriving, Kate mentions that they likely won’t see them until the next day. Toby chimes in and reminds them that they’ll also be opening birthday presents early the next day as the Damon clan has a secret activity planned just for the three of them.
We soon find out what that activity is when the next day, Kate, Toby, and Baby Jack slip out of the party and head to Feliz Medical Center, where Baby Jack was born, to pin his photo on the NICU’s Wall of Fame. As Kate remarks on how weird it is being back, Toby reminds her about the moment she woke up after her C-section when he told her that Jack weighed two pounds and wasn’t breathing, but that Jack was there, and so was he.
He then apologized for his past behavior:
“I haven’t been the best version of myself this year, Kate. And I’m sorry. But I am still here. The three of us…are here.”
And tells her that he believes after watching the impact that Kate’s family has had on her life that Baby Jack deserves to have a sibling:
“[…]’Doesn’t Jack deserve that?’ Doesn’t he deserve someone to spend his childhood with? To lean on long after you and I are gone?”
Although Kate is unwilling to risk pregnancy again, Toby reminds her that the Pearson’s have a great track record with adoption. After considering it, both agree that this is something that they want to pursue. It’s so great to see Kate and Toby in a much better place than they were five episodes ago.
Like I’ve said, they’ve got a long road ahead of them, and they’ll need each other’s support now more than ever. They can’t let Baby Jack down. Luckily from the looks of it, Baby Jack seems to have turned out okay as this episode we follow him in the future as he and his pregnant fiancée have their first child.
Nothing much to report here other than they’re having a girl named Hope, and oh, yeah, Jack’s sister, Hailey, shows up at the hospital to congratulate them! We’re introduced to her earlier in the episode, where we learn that she’s an art curator with a knack for paying attention to detail, maybe because she spent most of her childhood describing things to Jack?
Kevin Has A Hard Day’s Night
Jack’s birthday isn’t the only event being celebrated this week, as Kevin is one-year sober! To celebrate the momentous occasion, he calls his Uncle Nicky. Nicky, of course, is his usual self, unable to muster up the enthusiasm or affection that Kevin is seeking.
However, we learn that Nicky does have a bit of a soft spot as he’s sent Kevin a pair of toddler’s sneakers for Jack’s birthday. At the party, later that day, Kevin confronts Randall for the first time since New York. Kevin explains that although he understands Randall put a lot of thought into the clinical trial, he wants Randall to understand his point of view.
Unfortunately for Kevin, he has yet to learn that Rebecca has agreed to go.
The only person besides Randall, Rebecca, and Miguel that knows is Beth, who, while supportive, makes it clear to Randall that she does not support the method he used to get Rebecca to reconsider. When Rebecca finally makes the announcement, Kevin and Kate are shocked. Randall is tight-lipped, simply telling them that Rebecca probably sees the clinical trial as an “investment in her future.”
Although Kevin laughs off the comment, he’s not laughing just a little while later when Rebecca feeds him that same line. Of course, Kevin automatically realizes what actually happened and goes to confront Randall as Beth ushers Rebecca, Miguel, and the girls away from the war zone. From there, the fight ensues.
It starts relatively tame with Kevin chastising Randall for refusing to respect Rebecca’s wishes or allowing her to take Kevin’s side. Randall shoots back, telling Kevin that once Rebecca’s good days run out, they’ll all wish that they’d fought for more. Before things can get too heated, the doorbell rings. It’s Madison.
Although Kevin tells her it’s not a good time, Randall tells her it’s the perfect time and storms out. She sits down, braces her self, and tells Kevin that she’s pregnant and is quick to assure him that she expects nothing from him emotionally or financially. This is all too much for Kevin to take at once, and he excuses himself, letting her know that he’ll be back. Unfortunately for him, Randall’s waiting for him, having come back for Round Two.
After a series of low blows, wherein Randall essentially calls Kevin self-centered, a tired, stale actor, and says that Jack died ashamed of him, Kevin delivers the final blow:
“You know, I used to think the worst thing that happened to me was the day that Dad died. It’s the day they brought you home.”
With that, Randall gets in his car and drives off. Here, the brothers reach a point of no return, at least, it’ll be very hard to come back from this. I believe that this conversation goes very differently had Kevin not received life-changing news on an already emotionally charged day for him.
However, he does, so when Randall confronts him, he unleashes years of pent-up anger. As a result, Randall goes on the defensive, and it becomes a game of “Who Can Hurt Who More?” as the brothers feed on each other’s insecurities one-by-one. Although it’s clear that Randall’s always felt unwanted, Kevin’s a bit harder to read.
Still, it does seem as though Kevin does regret not being there for his family the night Jack died and not being emotionally able to be there for them in the wake of Jack’s death. Both Randall and Kevin wish to emulate Jack and so, I think Kevin believes that he never quite lived up to Jack’s image. That is likely the reason that he heads back inside following his argument with Randall and tells Madison that he’ll help her raise their children.
That’s right, it’s twins, which we learn as we head back to the future we first saw in Season 3, Episode 18. There, Kevin finally heads inside his house to see Rebecca. He greets his son, daughter, Uncle Nicky – who we see is wearing a wedding ring – and Randall.
It’s hard to read the brother’s faces when they greet each other, so I’m not sure whether they’ve patched things up by this point. As he walks up to Rebecca, we see a flash of Kevin’s own wedding ring, leaving us to wonder if he has a happily ever after with Madison or Sophie or Cassidy, who both appear for brief cameos at the end of the episode.
What did you think of the This Is Us Season 4 finale? Will Kevin and Randall ever be able to repair the damage that’s been done? Are Kevin and Madison endgame? Where is Kate in the future? Let us know what you think!
This Is Us is tentatively set to returns for Season 5 this fall on NBC. If you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on Season 4 via Hulu or the NBC app.