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For "This Is Us" fans, every episode is bursting with clues about Jack's demise. But, after last week's episode, some fans have been worrying we'll soon be grieving another Pearson's death.
The fretting started after viewers witnessed an ominous moment between Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) when Randall mournfully points out their dad "has already been gone longer than we had him."
Randall also reveals he can't picture himself living to be an old man either — and that's when fans began worrying Randall may not be long for this world.
Kevin's response didn't help matters. "You’re not going anywhere anytime soon, right? You got your health, you got a beautiful family… You got a tough-as-nails, kick-ass wife who literally will not let you die on her. You’re not going anywhere," he tells Randall.
Fans of the hit NBC drama know heartfelt assurances like that often get turned on their head.
But viewers needn't worry, says the show's creator Dan Fogelman.
"I can assure everybody that we’re not killing Randall this season, so everybody can relax," Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly with a laugh, adding. "I think they would burn my house down."
The scene, Fogelman explained, came from talks he's had with friends who've lost a parent.
"I’ve experienced with a lot of friends, when you’ve lost a parent, particularly for whatever reason a parent of the same sex — a guy losing his father or a girl losing her mother early — there can be a slight mortality clock that kicks in a bit earlier than it does on other people, especially since it was formative. And I think that’s something Randall and Kevin feel," he said.
Besides, added Fogelman, shouldn't the scene have made viewers worry more about Kevin than Randall?
“Watching that scene between Randall and Kevin, the hairs on my arms go up more for Kevin, how assuredly he talks to Randall about how you’re never gonna die but doesn’t say anything about himself,” he says.
"We’re not (hinting at) anybody’s death," said the writer, "but it’s always interesting the way that people view their own mortality."