After the shocking revelation that Jack, father of triplets Kevin, Kate and Randall, had died, NBC’s “This is Us” is going to spend a little time looking towards the future.
In Season 1, episode 6 — aptly titled “Career Day” — Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) will question their chosen jobs and other life choices. Despite being the most stable and successful of The Big Three, Randall will begin to wonder whether he chose the right career. Additionally, “This is Us” fans will get another glimpse into his childhood, learning that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) learn early on that he is gifted and trying to hide it.
Kate will finally take control of her own life, interviewing for a new job that she believes is a perfect fit. Footage from the episode suggests it is hardly what she imagined it would be, but if she can handle cleaning up Kevin’s messes, she can handle anything. While Kate works on building her own resume, Kevin is still in career limbo and is very much focused on his relationship with Olivia (Janet Montgomery). Their interesting relationship will move in a new direction, according to NBC’s synopsis.
Both Randall and Kevin’s career questions were set up in episode 5 of “This is Us.” Back from Los Angeles, Kevin was working hard to stay in the acting game after “The Manny.” Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) have grown tired of his presence in their home and are looking for an escape. When they learn that he has a reservation at a swanky hotel nearby, they seize the opportunity to get away from their responsibilities for a night. Once in the hotel Randall made big plans for he and his wife, only to have his bubble burst by a shocking possible pregnancy announcement.
Their night quickly went from romantic to chaotic, as they began arguing about their individual plans for the future and how a new baby would change all that. By the time they both come to terms with the fact that the results are out of their hands and accept the possibility of having a third child, they learn that Beth isn’t pregnant after all.
Meanwhile, back at their house, Kevin enlisted the help of his two nieces and William (Ron Cephas Jones) in learning his lines for an upcoming play. The subject matter proves confusing and too adult for the girls, who began questioning the afterlife. Their questions prove to be deeply important to the storyline, creating a segue for Kate’s revelation to Toby (Chris Sullivan) that her father Jack is dead. Kevin took a little time out to address the concerns of Randall and Beth’s children, sharing his own experiences with loss and making the revelation to viewers that Williams time on “This is Us” may be limited.
Ventimiglia opened up about William’s “This is Us” fate during a Tuesday interview with Entertainment Weekly. He told the publication that he was unaware of his character’s path until after the pilot was picked up by NBC. Dan Fogelman revealed to him that Jack dies, promising that he would continue on the show in an interesting way.
“Honestly I hadn’t any idea that Jack was gone until after the pilot had been picked up and Dan started explaining more to us actors the idea where he wanted to go in the series,” Ventimiglia said. “When Dan told me, he goes, ‘Yeah, Jack dies.’ He of course told me when — I know when it all happens — but he said, ‘But it doesn’t mean you’re not on the show, Milo. You’re still here, but what we want to do is explore that idea of when the lessons of the parent stop. When you have given all you can to those kids and they move forward in the life of their own making.’”
Tune in to NBC Tuesday, Nov. 1, for more “This is Us.”