‘This Is Us’ Season 5: Randall Pearson Faces New ‘Levels of Conflict’

In the all-new episode of This Is Us Season 5 on April 6, Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) went to his first transracial adoption support group meeting. The beloved character has always been open about his adoption story. But this time around, the city councilman chose to listen to other stories as his emotions played out on his face. So how will the experience impact Randall as This Is Us moves forward? Here’s how Randall really felt about the group and what to expect next.

Randall Pearson attends a transracial adoption support group in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 12

Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson at the transracial adoption support group in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 12
Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Throughout This Is Us Season 5, the Pearsons delved deeper into Randall’s past, particularly as a Black man who was raised in a white household. Then in episode 12, titled “Both Things Can Be True,” Randall joined a transracial adoption support group. 

At first, Randall seemed to connect with the stories shared at the group. With every story, the NBC drama would flash back to Randall’s childhood with Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). But Randall’s reaction to the final story was a bit more complicated.

The woman at the support group revealed she wished she had never been adopted. “I made the mistake of telling my adopted family how I’ve been feeling,” the woman said. “I said, ‘I love you, but I wish I never knew you.’ Because if I could go back in time and choose, I’d choose to stay with my bipolar birth mom. Now half of them won’t talk to me.”

Meanwhile, Randall looked at the woman with a mix of emotions.

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 writers tease what’s next for Randall Pearson

RELATED: ‘This Is Us’ Season 5: Sterling K. Brown Teases the Next Randall and Kevin Storyline in Episode 13

Following This Is Us Season 5 Episode 12, co-executive producer K.J. Steinberg touched on the adoption support group’s impact on Randall. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Steinberg noted that the group brought the character “comfort.” But ultimately, it seems Randall was presented with “new ideas that were really hard to wrestle with.”

“Like any support group, it doesn’t always bring comfort,” Steinberg said. “It brings challenging ideas from people who are further down the road than he is on healing the wounds or understanding how knotted up he’s been inside and understanding what it might take to untie those knots.”

The co-executive producer added, “There’s nobody better than Sterling to play those levels of conflict.”

Randall and Kevin Pearson will discuss the past in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 13

RELATED: The ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 13 Promo Trailer Highlights Randall and Kevin’s Emotional Journey

At the end of This Is Us Season 5 Episode 12, Kevin (Justin Hartley) asked Randall to be his best man. But he didn’t want anything between them at the wedding. So Kevin wanted to come to Randall to discuss their childhoods and growing up in the Pearson family. Now, the two brothers will hash things out in episode 13 on April 13.

Meanwhile, Brown teased what to expect when Kevin and Randall open up about their upbringing in an interview with Hollywood Life from March 2021. 

“I think it’s a continuing dialogue that everyone has to be open to and be comfortable in their discomfort,” Brown said when asked about Kevin and Randall’s conversation. “It’s not always going to make people feel like in our 501, the first episode of the season, and the conversation between Kate [Chrissy Metz] and Randall. It’s not something that is always going to make people feel good, but I think we have to learn how to be comfortable with our discomfort.”

This Is Us Season 5 airs Tuesday nights on NBC.