‘This Is Us’: How Randall’s Therapy Sessions Are Helping Fans Around the World

In a world where patriarch, Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia), survived the fire that destroyed the family home, This Is Us went above and beyond exploring the ramifications — good and bad — of what that might mean, moving forward. This scenario is a prime example of what happens during Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) therapy sessions. Here’s why fans say the episode was accurate and necessary.

[Spoiler alert for This Is Us Season4, Episode 17]

Randall struggled through his therapy session on ‘This Is Us’

'This Is Us'
Sterling K. Brown as Randall | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Fans of This Is Us previously watched as Randall Pearson (Brown) sought therapeutic treatment after a random break-in stirred up his lifelong anxiety.

His first attempt with Dr. Leigh (Pamela Adlon) didn’t go so well. Randall walked out, frustrated, but his anxiety only increased. In “After the Fire,” Randall returned to Dr. Leigh for another attempt to reconcile losses — of Jack and his biological father, William Hill (Ron Cephas Jones) — he’s carried through the years.

“After the Fire” focused on one particular therapy session that answered the question “what if Jack lived?” The answer wasn’t an easy one for Randall to hear but gave way to deep-rooted realizations about his relationship with Rebecca (Mandy Moore).

By the end of the episode, Randall confronted Rebecca and asked her to agree to the 9-month clinical trial in St. Louis. The ultimatum didn’t sit well with Rebecca or fans. This will likely be where the wedge between Randall and Kevin (Justin Hartley) pushes a little deeper. The finale will, no doubt, leave their relationship in shreds (and no, we’re not ready).

“When you have a family who’s so defined by one tragedy and one day in their lives, as writers who have spent countless hours talking and thinking about these characters, it’s only natural for our brains to go, ‘Well, I wonder what would it be like if that had panned out differently,'” executive producer, Isaac Aptaker told Entertainment Weekly about the episode.

“Especially for a character like Randall, who holds himself so responsible for his father’s death. For him to be able to release that and then see all the good ways, but also the negative ways, that it would affect his life is just something that we’ve always been talking about wanting to do one day.”

The all-too-real session with Dr. Leigh resonated with many ‘This Is Us’ fans

One thing many fans praised about the episode is the accurate portrayal of a therapy session that works to unpack trauma. Dr. Leigh’s exercise to induce the alternate scenarios of Randall’s “what if” life serves to heal old wounds and give him a new perspective on his lack of control regarding those losses, and what to do about it.

Many commented on the session and how it may have helped them, too.

“Therapy saved my life. Thank you for spotlighting this critical health need. Broke me when he said he’d already lost 3,” one viewer said.

“These therapy sessions so legit about work of therapy by both participants. #thisisus@ThisIsUsWriters” this fan tweeted.

“I would like to sign up with this therapist please, thank you!” this viewer shared.

“I love that Randall is in therapy! Therapy is so helpful and needs the spotlight. And having @pamelaadlon as therapist just makes it perfection. On a side note, can we just keep Jack around until he is elderly?! #thisisus,” this person shared.

“Wow that was kind of heavy it shows how the events in your life that shaped you as a person and losing all of that from being abandoned at birth to losing two fathers to probably going to lose a mother Has weighed heavy on Randall all his life,” another fan said.

“She’s the REALEST not gonna lie,” this fan added.

Clearly, addressing Randall’s issues head-on in real-time, have not only helped the character, but fans of This Is Us, too.

The season 4 finale of ‘This Is Us’ is coming up and it’s ‘a doozy’ according to Chrissy Metz

The Sept. 2019 season 4 premiere, “Strangers” introduced new characters such as Malik (Asante Blackk) and Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison). The finale, “Strangers: Part Two,” may expand on those storylines as the family gathers for baby Jack’s 1st birthday. As for what’s to expect, Ventimiglia previously told People it’s hard to describe

“I don’t know if there’s a word so much as just get ready. Just get ready,” he said. “It’s heavy, it’s beautiful and it’s really incredible.”

Chrissy Metz, who plays present-day Kate Pearson, said she was “a mess” after reading the finale’s script.

“Dan [Fogelman] wrote the finale,” she said about the show’s creator. “So Dan sent it to us, I texted him immediately, and there were some redacted scenes that were secret scenes. I was like, ‘Wait. What’s going on?’ He sent me the redacted scenes, and I was like, ‘Oh!’ I mean, I was a mess.”

The episode is said to bring more questions than answers — per typical This Is Us standards.

“There’s a lot to unpack. It’s going to be a doozy of a finale,” Metz added.

The This Is Us finale airs Tues., March 24 at 9 p.m. on NBC.