‘This Is Us’: Randall and Kevin’s Journey in Season 5 Will Make You Weep

On April 13, the new episode of This Is Us Season 5 dove headfirst into Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) relationship. The Pearson brothers had a devastating fight in the fourth season finale. Now, it  seems like both parties can finally move forward. But what pushed the conversation to happen now? Recently, This Is Us writers opened up about Randall and Kevin’s growth in season 5, and it’ll probably make you emotional.

What happened to Randall and Kevin before ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 13?

Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson talking to Justin Hartley as Kevin Pearson in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 13
Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson talking to Justin Hartley as Kevin Pearson in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 | NBC

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A few horrible things were said the last time Kevin and Randall came face-to-face on This Is Us. The Pearson brothers initially fought over Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) medical care. But eventually, they brought up a lifetime’s worth of resentment.

Randall told Kevin that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died ashamed of him. Kevin said the worst day of his life was the day Randall was adopted. Then in the end, the brothers stopped speaking. But as always, life continued.

In This Is Us Season 5, Randall took a trip to New Orleans and learned about his birth mother, Laurel (Jennifer C. Holmes). The experience also allowed Randall to start healing and ready to repair his relationship with Kevin. Meanwhile, Kevin hoped to make amends with Randall before his wedding.

A recap of Randall and Kevin’s conversation in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 13

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At the start of This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13, titled “Brotherly Love,” Kevin flew to Randall in Philadelphia. But once the ball started rolling, it was clear Kevin wasn’t exactly ready. The character apologized for one example of overt racism. Kevin also failed to recognize his own microaggressions, claiming that Randall received special treatment because he was adopted.

Meanwhile, Randall revealed that the day he was adopted by Rebecca and Jack was also the day he lost Laurel and William (Ron Cephas Jones). Then when Kevin admitted he thought Randall was being ungrateful, Randall explained that idea felt like a prison. 

The city councilman shared his childhood Ghost Kingdom, an alternate reality where he imagined the life he would’ve had if he were never adopted. Randall used to fantasize a librarian and meteorologist — the only Black adults he consistently saw — as his parents. But even so, Randall couldn’t fully escape into his fantasy because he felt too guilty. 

Finally, Kevin started coming around and apologized for what he didn’t — and still doesn’t — see. Randall also apologized for their fight and said he was proud of his brother. Then at the end of the episode, Kevin took some responsibility. 

“You’re not just my smart, successful brother, Randall. You’re my Black, smart, successful brother,” Kevin said. “I think maybe I did resent that. Maybe I thought you getting special treatment was mixed up with you being Black, and I wanted to take you down a notch.”

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 writers on Kevin and Randall’s reconciliation

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Randall and Kevin’s intense conversation in This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13 will hopefully allow the Pearson brothers to move forward and heal. Then when speaking with People, director Kay Oyegun and writer Jon Dorsey touched on Kevin and Randall’s growth over the season.

At first, Dorsey noted that Randall “needed to go on a journey” before his conversation with Kevin. “It couldn’t happen too fast,” Dorsey said. 

Then Oyegun shared that both Kevin and Randall had “a lot of growth since their fight.”

“Things that Randall are able to say now that he wouldn’t have been before. Things that Kevin are able to say that he wouldn’t have been before,” the director said. “The maturation process for both of them needed to take place over these episodes. We arc out a lot of these things and this one was finally arced for getting them to this place.”

Meanwhile, Oyegun hinted at what’s next for Kevin and Randall in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Oyegun suggested that the Pearson brothers can “begin to chip away at healing” because they’ve said the “ugly” thing. Now, viewers can look forward to some love and support.

“Randall and Kevin have come a long way together and can forge a beginning of a new dynamic,” Oyegun said. “So, as far as the support and the love — as best men, as brothers and all of those things — I think people can look forward to a lot of that.”