‘This Is Us’: The Producers Reveal That Randall and Kevin’s Feud Stems From ‘Lingering Issues’ From Their Past

In this week’s episode of NBC’S This Is Us, the brothers’ sibling rivalry didn’t blow up like many thought it would. Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) seem to be pretty close, although we know they have had their issues over the years. 

The massive question on fans’ minds over the past several episodes is, “Why aren’t Kevin and Randall on speaking terms in the future?” It sounds like the show’s producers might finally have answered that question.

[Warning: This Is Us Season 4 spoilers ahead]

Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown
Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Kevin and Randall are not speaking on their 40th birthday celebration in the future

During the midseason finale back in November 2019, fans saw a flash-forward nine months into the future. It was a quick snippet, but we found out that Randall and Kevin were not speaking. Since then, fans thought it was because of Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) health issues.

Randall recently took Rebecca to a specialist to figure out why she keeps forgetting things. The doctor told her, Randall and Miguel (Jon Huertas), that she has a “cognitive impairment.” However, she asked Randall to keep it a secret from his siblings.

During the latest installment of the show, Randall and Kate finally tell Kevin what is going on. Although he is livid at first, by the end of the episode, things seem to have blown over.

Fans all gave one massive sigh of relief. However, that doesn’t resolve the issue of why the brothers are not speaking in the future. Luckily, the producers might have the answer.

‘This Is Us’ Producers explain that they ‘like to bubble things up’ on the show

“The thing about Kevin and Randall’s relationship,” Elizabeth Berger told Entertainment Weekly, “like many sibling relationships, is that you can move on from issues and you can be there for each other in the moment, but the past never really goes away; it kind of just lives underneath the surface.”

Although it looks like the secret didn’t blow up into something bigger right now, it sounds like we might be revisiting it in an upcoming episode.

“I think these brothers are definitely like that,” Berger continues. “Where there’s a history there, that’s extremely complicated, and the same issues of the relationship play over and over again and come out at unexpected times.”

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The issues we watched in the past with the brothers revolve around Randall taking care of Rebecca after Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) dies. Kevin often leaves the family to be with his girlfriend at the time. Randall, on the other hand, is always the one taking the struggles of the household on his shoulders. 

“And then they’re able to have smooth moments and smooth passages of time,” the producer concludes. “But it is safe to say that those lingering issues always live inside of them and may be reemerging at some point, too.”

In short, both Berger and producer Issac Aptaker reveal that the past “may bubble back up.”

Fans think they know what the producers are talking about with Kevin and Randall’s Fight

“I wonder why Kevin is not talking to Randall,” one user on Reddit wrote. “Clearly, this isn’t why. I wonder what therapy will bring up for Randall. Maybe that is what will lead to an argument.”

Initially, fans thought that the secret about Rebecca that Randall was keeping from Kevin would cause the rift in their relationship. However, at the cabin, the brothers seem to get over it rather quickly.

“And wow, Randall is proud,” another viewer commented. “‘If it wasn’t for me, this whole family would’ve fallen apart.’ I see his point but that’s quite the hero complex he has going on. Like another user said, therapy just might trigger the fight.”

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If we take the producers’ revelation and the fans opinions together, it sounds like Randall might have a breakthrough in therapy that causes a massive fight. He might confront Kevin about always having the weight of the family on his shoulders, but Kevin will retaliate because he never asked Randall to take it on. 

We will be watching next week to see if more is revealed surrounding this sibling struggle when This Is Us returns on Tuesday at 9 pm ET on NBC.

Read more: ‘This Is Us’: The Producers Reveal That Jack Is Not the Perfect Dad—He Caused Randall’s Anxiety