Kevin and Randall finally hashed out their differences in a powerful episode of “This Is Us” on Tuesday that put a spotlight on race.
The pair had a vicious argument in last year’s season finale and had been dancing around trying to patch things up before things came to a head when Kevin (Justin Hartley) flew out to Philadelphia after asking Randall (Sterling K. Brown) to be his best man. In an episode that revolved solely around them, the brothers had a serious and heated conversation where race took center stage.
Watch TODAY All Day! Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long.
“I understand that it must have been difficult for you growing up a Black kid in a white family,” Kevin said. He apologized if Randall felt alone or his childhood wasn’t great and if he had a hand in making him feel “alone or bad, ever.”
"You're just glossing over one overt moment of racism with an obviously prepared speech of things that you think I want to hear," said Randall.
Kevin was at a loss for why Randall was still upset.
“All you wanted was the perception of doing the right thing,” Randall said.
Kevin said Randall was always so special as a child, but Randall sought something more.
"I never wanted to be special, man. I just wanted to blend in like everybody else. But that was impossible in our family, because I always stood out. Everywhere we went. The store, the park, vacations. And the last thing I needed, man, the last thing, was for my brother to use my Blackness to other me also," Randall explained to Kevin before acknowledging, "You had racial blind spots, Kev. Deep ones that affected me."
Kevin, who recognized they had different experiences growing up, said he felt some jealousy toward Randall.
"You're not just my smart, successful brother, Randall," he said. "You're my Black, smart, successful brother. And I think maybe I did resent that. And maybe I thought you getting special treatment was mixed up with you being Black. And I wanted to take you down a notch."
“It feels like Randall and Kevin needed to have this conversation regardless,” Jon Dorsey, who wrote the episode, told People. “Obviously people are going to make those connections to real world events going on right now because it's so relatable to each other.”
The episode certainly resonated with viewers, who were left cheering how the show handled the subject matter.
"Sometimes those tough conversations are needed... don’t be afraid of them..," one person wrote on Twitter.
"Wow this is such an honest and necessary conversation. I love Kevin and Randall scenes," someone else wrote.
"The latest #ThisIsUs episode was a masterclass in acting and writing," another person wrote. "Both @SterlingKBrown and @justinhartley were phenomenal. This series keeps getting better and better - definitely in the top 3 best Dramas written in the last 20 years."
Fans can take a few weeks to catch their breath after Kevin and Randall's emotional meeting: The drama returns May 11 with the first of three new episodes to end the season.