It’s been a week since This Is Us aired the episode “Kyle” and I’m still thinking about what we learned about Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) earlier involvement and the ramifications for Randall (Sterling K. Brown) should he learn the secret they have been keeping from him his entire life.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode “Kyle” please do not continue reading.
In the episode, viewers learned more of the circumstances surrounding Randall’s birth including how his parents met on a city bus. After Randall’s birth, William made the decision to leave him at a local fire station. It was revealed that Rebecca caught a glimpse of William as she was leaving the hospital with her three babies and managed to track down her new adopted son’s birth father.
William told Rebecca how he met Randall’s mother and gave her advice on how to bond with the baby when she expressed that she was having difficulty in doing so. He encouraged her to give the baby his own name as Rebecca had named her son Kyle (which would have been the name of her deceased baby boy). She decides on the name Randall after his birth mother’s favorite poet. Learning this touched me as a viewer, Rebecca honored the woman who gave her new son life and provided a link between the mother he’d never know. At Rebecca’s urging, William also promised not to change his mind about giving up his son. And Rebecca would never tell Randall that they had met or that she knew where he was.
Now 36 years later, Rebecca comes face-to-face with William again at her adult son’s home. The two discuss their past and the secret they have kept from their son. Rebecca feared that if Randall found out the truth that he could have met his birth father any time while he was growing up and that she kept it from him, her relationship with her son will be forever changed. Randall will never forgive her.
The scenario is a reality for many adoptive parents who struggle with whether the children they choose to become a part of their lives should know where they came from. There’s no right or wrong answer in this situation.
The actors involved in this poignant story Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown and Ron Celphas Jones have been amazing in making Rebecca, Randall and William real. The emotions they convey in their scenes are powerful and stirs feelings for viewers. I found myself feeling sorry for William when he made the decision to give his son up. I also understood Rebecca’s decision to keep the truth from Randall and worry for her about what will happen when he learns the truth (which you know he eventually will). As for Randall, Sterling K. Brown has made him a character to admire and respect. Although understandably angry at his birth father for giving him up, Randall has since opened up his home to William and showed concern over William’s failing health. Additionally, Randall worried how Rebecca would feel upon seeing William at his home.
These three actors have been dynamic to watch and a part of the reason This Is Us is helping to transform television drama.
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