‘This Is Us’: Sterling K. Brown Knowns Fans Are Split on Randall Ahead of Season 5

Season 5 of This Is Us officially returns to screen on November 10, 2020. But, fans are still reeling from last season. There’s plenty to unpack from the previous season of the hit NBC show. From Rebecca’s diagnosis to Madison’s pregnancy, the audience has a lot to grapple with. But, perhaps the most polarizing part of the show right now isn’t a plot point, but rather a person. Fans of This Is Us are completely split about Randall.

This Is Us Season 5 star, Sterling K. Brown
Sterling K. Brown | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Randall’s character has certainly had a robust arc throughout the past four seasons of This Is Us. Sometimes fans see him as a loveable super dad and other times people find him to be self-centered and emotionally stunted. Throughout season 4, opinions on Randall became more and more split across the This Is Us fan base. But, things came to head when Randall forced his mother to make a difficult decision about the clinical trial.

A quick recap on ‘This Is Us’ Season 4

During the last season of This Is Us, Rebecca’s struggles with memory came to a head. Though her eventual diagnosis isn’t crystal clear, the doctors believe she’s displaying symptoms of the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Given Randall’s close relationship with his mother, as well as his penchant for control, he’s the first to notice some of Rebecca’s more erratic behavior. Rather than clue his siblings in on his fears, he makes the decision to keep the information from the other members of the Big Three at first.

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When Rebecca finally does talk with Kate and Kevin about what she’s experiencing, the children are split on what next steps she should take. Kevin wants his mother to spend as much time as possible with her family. Randall, on the other hand, has his mind set on a nine-month clinical trial for Rebecca that could possibly slow down some of the mild cognitive impairment that she is struggling with.

Randall manipulated Rebecca into going to the clinical trial

Though Rebecca seriously considered her options, ultimately she decided that she wanted to spend more time with her family in lieu of a trial. Thus, This Is Us fans were shocked when Randall emotionally manipulated Rebecca into attending the trial against her wishes. This decision caused fans to be completely split on their opinions about Randall. While some people empathized with him and felt he was only doing what was best for his mom, others found his behavior disgusting and manipulative.

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For his part, Sterling K. Brown (who plays Randall on This Is Us) has seen and heard the polarizing opinions about his character. In an interview with Gold Derby, the Emmy nominee called all of the criticism “completley and totally fair.”

Cast member, Sterling K. Brown understands why fans have mixed feelings about his character

“It’s funny because I’ll check out the tweets and it’s interesting, they’re like, ‘I can’t believe he did that.’ And some people were like, ‘I totally understand why he did it. He thought that this was the only way to give his mother this quality of life,'” Brown shared about This Is Us fan reactions. Though Brown admits that he can see both sides, he also knows that it’s his job as an actor to find the justification of his character’s behavior.

“So it was interesting to see how people understood and were simultaneously upset and that’s kind of how I felt as an actor, too,” the This Is Us star confessed. “Like, I understand. Your job is not always to love everything that your character does, but you have to understand their motivations for why they do what they do, and I understood it. So however you reacted, fair.”

What’s next for Randall in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5?

It’ll be interesting to see what direction the writers choose to take Randall’s character in for season 5. We’re sure fans of This Is Us are chomping at the bit to weigh in on the Pearsons once again.