‘This Is Us’: Randall Pearson’s Script Was Originally Completely Different for Madison’s Labor

In an all-new This Is Us, Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) talked Madison Simons (Caitlin Thompson) through her labor. She was about to give birth to twins, but Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) hadn’t arrived yet. It turns out, in the This Is Us original script, there was a completely different version of what Randall did to help.

This Is Us Randall Pearson portrayed by Sterling K. Brown
‘This Is Us’ Randall Pearson portrayed by Sterling K. Brown | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

‘This Is Us’ Randall FaceTimed with Madison through her labor

On the Feb. 16, 2021, episode of This Is Us, Randall helped Madison through her labor until Kevin could arrive. He and his wife, Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson), talked to Madison while they drove home from New Orleans. 

When Madison suggested they get off the FaceTime video, Randall and Beth insisted they were not stopping to get a hotel room because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They planned to drive through the night to get home rather than risk contracting the virus by stopping somewhere. 

Randall told Madison funny stories about Kevin while she got her epidural. He even suggested that her contractions were getting worse and she should call the nurse. They spent hours on the video call with Madison until Kevin arrived at the hospital. 

‘This Is Us’ Season 5: Covid-19 changed the script for Randall

Director Ken Olin and writer Vera Herbert spoke to People about how COVID-19 changed the script for This Is Us Season 5. The season was always going to include the Pearsons having babies and forming new families. However, FaceTime calling was never part of the script.

“Originally, there was one version of the script where Randall actually flew to be with Madison in the room,” Olin explained. “Dan [Fogelman] and Vera came to the conclusion that you can’t have a character fly across the country, jump on the plane and be in a room with someone having a birth. We can’t do that, so it was like, wow, we’re going to play 15 pages [of dialogue] on an iPad.”

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Before COVID-19, Randall flew across the country for his family very often. However, with the risk of contracting the virus on the plane, he couldn’t fly to be with Madison. It would no longer look realistic since the characters are going through the pandemic that the world is enveloped in right now.

‘This Is Us’ next episode; the babies travel home

In the next episode of This Is Us, viewers will watch Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore) bring their three babies home from the hospital. However, on the way home, Jack stops at a gas station and buys a small whiskey bottle. He chugs it while still in the store and then presumably drives the babies home. 

Fans worry that the preview for next week suggests that Kevin has a relapse with alcoholism. However, Kevin and Kate are not in the previews. The show typically parallels their flashbacks with the present time. Viewers will find out what happens with Randall, Kevin, and Kate when This Is Us returns on Feb. 23, 2021.