“This Is Us” fans should brace themselves for the final installment of the Big Three trilogy.
The trilogy episodes of “This Is Us,” are chapters that specifically focus on either Kevin, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kate (Chrissy Metz). This time, each character is grappling with Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) big speech in episode seven about her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
“You’re going to see the impact that had on the three kids and what they choose to do because of that very powerful speech,” Hartley told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Tuesday.
Last week, Rebecca encouraged her children to be “fearless” despite her illness and to not make their lives “smaller” because of her. At the time, Kevin, Randall and Kate all agreed, but Hartley teased that carrying out that promise will be difficult.
He explained, “(They’re) very clear about what she wanted — until they go to do it. And that’s one of the things that happens in the episode: Kevin has this idea of what his mom wants, and he’s on a mission, like, ‘Okay, this is going to be my thing.’”
Hartley then revealed that an unexpected event will occur that leads Kevin to discover “a really beautiful part of himself through all of that tragedy.” The actor added that all three Pearson kids will have to deal with the devastation.
He described the trilogy episodes as “seminal.”
“I would say that they are significant and emotional and dangerous,” Hartley shared. “Each character is making a decision that is going to change the course of their life from here. So it’s a defining moment — a line in the sand kind of thing.”
He also said that fans should be prepared to see all of the characters begin to lead “different lives” than what they have been used to seeing since the show premiered in 2016.
“These people came together in times of tragedy — they all had their own stuff going on — and it comes to a head and it boils over sometimes,” Hartley revealed.
In Kevin’s episode, he will spend time with Cassidy, played by Jennifer Morrison, and get some advice from Nicky, played by Griffin Dunne. The following episode will focus on Kate, who is struggling to make her marriage with Toby (Chris Sullivan) work after their major disagreement last week over Jack’s feeding. Last up is Randall, who wants to care for Rebecca while also pursuing his political dreams.
“There are maybe greater things that he can affect more people than just one, and he might be able to do some things that can affect an entire nation or a world,” explained Hartley, who also directed the Randall-centered chapter. “And he certainly can’t do those things if he’s hindered by the things that he’s allowed to hinder him in the past. It’s a really moving episode. I can’t wait for everybody to see it.”
This could be the most emotional Big Three trilogy yet.