‘This Is Us’: The Real Reason Why Kevin Is the Last to Find Out About Rebecca’s Diagnosis Will Break Your Heart

The This Is Us Season 4 trilogy episodes are behind us, and the Sad Three are headed to the cabin for a much-needed venting session. Kate (Chrissy Metz), Randall (Sterling K. Brown), and Kevin (Justin Hartley) all have their personal struggles to deal with. However, it’s likely Rebecca’s memory loss diagnosis will bring them together very soon. As of the Kate-centric episode, two-thirds of the Pearson siblings know about Rebecca’s condition. But once again, Kevin is left in the dark. So how will Kevin react to Rebecca’s diagnosis on This Is Us? Hartley recently opened up about his character’s response.

Kate and Randall learn about Rebecca’s diagnosis in ‘This Is Us’ Season 4

In This Is Us Season 4, Randall is the first one to point out Rebecca’s memory loss. At first, Rebecca shuts down her son’s concern and observations. But on Thanksgiving, Rebecca leaves the house to see a movie. Then halfway through the preview trailers, she realizes she doesn’t know what movie she went in to see. This causes Rebecca to seek out a doctor.

Later, Randall sets up an appointment with a neurologist in Los Angeles. Rebecca undergoes a series of memory tests. She is then diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, which could lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia. That said, further testing is required for confirmation.

Fast-forward to Kate’s trilogy episode. Rebecca attends a retreat with her daughter and grandson. Finally, Rebecca tells Kate about her diagnosis. But even so, Rebecca doesn’t seem afraid. Rather, the Pearson matriarch is relieved and feels more “powerful” and “fun” now that she knows something is going on. 

Justin Hartley explains why Kate and Randall find out about Rebecca before Kevin 

Following the Kate-centric episode on Feb. 11, Hartley opened up about This Is Us Season 4 Episode 14, titled “The Cabin” in an interview with The Wrap. The actor shared Kate, Randall, and Kevin are headed out to “decompress.” And of course, there are secrets that get out.

“There’s a bunch of information that gets let out that wasn’t supposed to be,” Hartley said. “There’s information that was supposed to be held when it was in confidence, but is told — not nefariously — but forced out a little bit. People find out stuff and people get hurt and wonder why they were left out of the loop.”

Even so, the unleashed secrets still bring the Big Three together “in a way that is so perfect and so surprising and also kind of obvious.” The actor also promised character growth from each Pearson sibling.

Justin Hartley as Kevin on 'This Is Us' - Season 4
Justin Hartley as Kevin on ‘This Is Us’ | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

So what is the “information” that leaks? Hartley wasn’t able to confirm anything. Thus, it’s possible Randall and Kate continue to hide Rebecca’s diagnosis from Kevin in the episode. However, Hartley did say Kevin finds out about Rebecca eventually. 

“The cold reality is that because of his past and because of the things he’s gone through — and quite frankly, put the family through — there’s this sort of idea that Kevin’s this delicate person and that he can’t handle certain things. And it’s for his own good, I think,” Hartley said. “Truthfully, these are the kind of things that people that love each other do. They protect people in certain situations.”

He continued: “But I also think Kevin has turned a page and he’s doing everything the right way, and in a way, he’s showing that he’s the one that’s actually the strongest out of the three of them, but he’s left out because of the sins of his past.”

Does Rebecca’s diagnosis have anything to do with the rift between Kevin and Randall?

The This Is Us Season 4 fall finale introduced a rift between Kevin and Randall nine months from Thanksgiving. The reason behind the fight will be unveiled by the fifth season premiere, as it takes place on the Big Three’s birthday. Then when speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Isaac Aptaker confirmed Kevin and Randall’s feud begins at the cabin. 

“That’s something that’s more going to be growing and building over the course of our remaining five episodes,” Aptaker said. “But we’ll definitely see some of the beginnings of that next week.”

Many fans also speculated Kevin and Randall’s issues stem from keeping Rebecca’s condition a secret. But now that Kate knows, the theory seems — for the most part — debunked. Nonetheless, Aptaker shared the topic is more complex than we think.

“There is much more of the story that we don’t know,” he said. “But there’s certainly a brewing tension that we’ll see over the next handful of episodes surrounding Rebecca and her mental health.”

For now, fans will just have to wait and see what happens between Kevin and Randall. But according to Hartley, their issues ultimately stem from their fundamental values as people, rather than just one argument.

“It’s big. No, it’s big, big,” Hartley told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s more than a misunderstanding. I think it’s a philosophy. It’s like, ‘This is how you handle your life and this is how you deal with things and this is what you think. I go about my business a different way.’”

He added: “This is not like we’re going to argue about something. This is two men, two brothers each taking a stand that suggests that if they don’t bend, the other one will not be in their life. I mean, it is a big deal.”

Read more: ‘This Is Us’: Was Sophie’s Return Foreshadowed in Kevin’s Trilogy Episode?