‘This Is Us’ Griffin Dunne Spills: There Will Be More Than a Normal Amount of Thanksgiving Dysfunction’ for the Fall Finale

As we come upon Thanksgiving dinner with the Pearsons, we know trouble is brewing. The last three seasons have shown us that huge problems often occur on Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) favorite holiday. The poor guy wants to celebrate the holiday like his father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), always did, but something always messes it up for him.

Let’s take a look at what tragedy could strike this Thanksgiving on This Is Us. We will also share teasers from Griffin Dunne, who plays Nicky, as well as the producers. Warning: Season 4 spoilers.

This Is Us The Pearsons Thanksgiving Flashback
Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore with 8-year old Kate, Kevin, and Randall | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Mandy Moore’s character, Rebecca Pearson, begins to show severe signs of deterioration 

Perhaps the biggest mystery this season is what happens to Rebecca to lead her to her deathbed in just 10-20 years. We are finally getting some answers, although it’s not what we want to hear. 

“Randall knows Rebecca better than anyone on this planet, and the fact that he can tell something’s brewing within her is a pretty good indication that that is indeed what’s happening.” This Is Us producer, Elizabeth Berger confirmed fan suspicions that something is wrong with Rebecca. 

The promo for next week’s episode portrayed Rebecca looking somewhat confused on a sidewalk somewhere. Fans were quick to point this out, “She looks really bewildered. Getting lost is another sign of Alzheimer’s, especially if she’s in a familiar location.”

Isaac Aptaker teased, “That’s something that is going to be a big part [of] our season and our storytelling going forward.” It looks like Rebecca’s impending illness will affect more than just the Thanksgiving episode of This Is Us

Deja’s mother, Shauna, could cause drama on Thanksgiving day

Recently, Deja (Lyric Ross) could not get up the nerve to ask Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) to see her birth mother, Shauna (Joy Brunson). Thankfully, Malik (Asante Blackk) told Beth what was going on. Deja finally asks if she could invite her mom to Thanksgiving, and Beth agrees.

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Mama C is back for business tonight. Enjoy

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In the past, any situation where we have seen Shauna does not end well. “I think it’s a very unpredictable episode,” Griffin Dunne told TV Guide. It sounds like there may be even bigger trouble than we have seen before with Deja and her mother. 

There are so many recipes for disaster that we are not sure which one could develop. Shauna could want Deja back, Deja could wish to go back to her, Randall and Beth could exchange harsh words with Shauna. Any combination of these things could cause a very awkward situation for all involved. 

Nicky is very nervous about attending the Pearson family Thanksgiving dinner

In the scenes for next week’s episode, we can see that Nicky is becoming increasingly nervous about going to dinner. We also noted him looking at pictures of Jack and the kids when they were younger. 

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Who else serves their ice cream like this? #ThisIsUs

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We are afraid that seeing all of these memories that he was not in will send him on a downward spiral. Nicky was getting better, so it would be devastating to see him relapse and begin drinking again. 

Dunne alluded to such drama in the fall finale, “This one is much more of a high wire act. It doesn’t follow a cliche of a normal Thanksgiving dysfunction. It’s a lot more than that.”

Berger confirmed what Dunne already said, “I feel like Randall might want to choose a new favorite holiday because he’s not had a relaxing Thanksgiving in quite a few years. And it’s not going to get any calmer this year.”

Grab the tissues and get ready for an evening of drama next week on This Is Us. You can catch all-new episodes Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.