‘This Is Us’ Creator Teases How 2 New Characters ‘Come To Play a Large Role in Our Story’

This week’s episode of This Is Us begins with two brand new characters fans have never seen before. The producers flash back to a grandfather (Vien Hong) and granddaughter (Brandilyn Cheah) several times. They don’t give any indication as to how they are related to “the big three” until the last few minutes. However, creator Dan Fogelman gave several new hints in an interview after the show aired.

'This Is Us' cast
‘This Is Us’ Cast: Ron Cephas Jones, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Chris Sullivan, Justin Hartley, Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Michael Angarano, and Milo Ventimiglia | Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

‘This Is Us’ brought in 2 Vietnamese characters this week

When This Is Us opened up this week, fans were a bit confused. A little girl named Lin is speaking Vietnamese with her grandfather as they try to catch a fish. He encourages her to be patient, and the two eventually catch a rather large fish. 

Later on, the two speak English while he cooks. The young girl has many questions for her grandfather, and eventually, he answers an important one. 

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“The woman, the one you were trying to impress with your cooking, is she the woman in all the pictures around here?” Lin asks.

Her grandfather tells her that she’s correct, and then the camera pans to a photo of the grandfather when he was younger. He has his arms around Randall’s birth mother, Laurel (Jennifer C Holmes). Fans want to know if the scene is a flashback, a flash-forward, or a new storyline in the present-day. 

‘This Is Us’ creator Dan Fogelman gave clues about the 2 Vietnamese characters

This Is Us series creator Dan Fogelman spoke to Entertainment Weekly about this week’s episode. He indicated that we saw a character who will play a massive role in the storyline.

“The story right now is not only incomplete, it’s barely even painted,” Fogelman said about the scene with the grandfather and Lin. “So, in short order, a full, beautiful story is going to be told. I think it will be a satisfying and elegant answer to a lot of stuff, as opposed to something that necessarily begs more questions.”

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Viewers know that Vietnam is an important place in the show. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Nicky (Michael Angaran) were stationed there during the Vietname War. When asked if it is crucial that the new characters are speaking Vietnamese, Fogelman said they did that on purpose.

“When the story is told to completion, you will see that it has to do with time and real-world history,” he began. “I’ve always set out to make the show feel like one of those sprawling family sagas that spans a few generations in a novel, where there’s different chapters, different periods, and different points of connection, even if they’re not direct points of continuation. The Vietnam War could have had a myriad of butterfly-type effects that could have affected the same family’s story in surprising and different ways.”

When will Randall find out more about his birth mother?

Fogelman also added that next week’s episode would add more to the layer about Randall’s biological mother. 

“What you’ve seen right now is the first point of connection,” he told the outlet. “In next week’s episode, that will start locking in a little further, and we’re not too far away from sharing a lot of information with the audience.”

In real This Is Us fashion, it will take several episodes to find out how these two new characters relate to the Pearson family.