It’s officially the start of Sad Girl Fall, which can only mean one thing: This Is Us is back on air to make us cry uncontrollably every week. Season 4 kicked off in September with a classic Big Three birthday, but, as promised, the show is expanding its world this season, introducing a slew of new characters that are connected to the Pearson family in some way or another.
And because it’s This Is Us, who knows how many surprises are still to come? Below, a list of all the major, exciting, shocking, wild, emotional moments from season 4 so far. And if it’s not obvious already, beware, there are spoilers ahead!
Season 4, Episode 1: “Strangers”
Kate and Toby’s blind son Jack grows up to become a famous musician.
When we’re first introduced to grown-up Jack (Blake Stadnik), who’s lying naked on a bed and has an adorable dog, we have no idea who he is or who is parents are. But as the episode unfolds, we learn that Jack—who ends up getting married and has his own baby on the way—is an accomplished musician, playing what looks to be a sold-out stadium. In short, he’s fulfilling the dreams of his mother, Kate, and grandmother, Rebecca, who always wanted to be professional singers.
Uncle Nicky gets arrested and gives Kevin’s number for his bail money.
One of the new characters is Cassidy Sharp (Jennifer Morrison), a marine who was deployed in the Middle East. Cassidy is struggling with PTSD when she returns home, so she heads to a local Veterans’ Affairs. During an emotional therapy session at the VA, someone smashes the window and subsequently gets arrested. That someone? Another This Is Us veteran, Uncle Nicky, who will surely continue his storyline alongside Cassidy’s. Upon getting arrested, Nicky gives the police Kevin’s number, prompting him to buy a plane ticket out to Pittsburgh.
Does Deja have a boyfriend coming her way??
Another new character is Malik (Asante Blackk), a caring teen dad living in Philadelphia with his parents. It’s unclear at first how Malik will fit into the Pearson storyline until we see him at a barbecue flirting with Deja. And she’s super smiley afterwards.
Rebecca’s dad never wanted her to be with Jack.
Young Jack and Rebecca are back! After returning from their cross-country road trip, Jack goes out to dinner with Rebecca and her parents where he gives a patented Jack Pearson monologue and seems to win their respect. That is, until Rebecca’s dad (Tim Matheson) pulls Jack aside and basically says he’s not good enough for his daughter and that he’ll do whatever he can to try and break them up.
Season 4, Episode 2: “The Pool: Part Two”
Kevin goes to be with Uncle Nicky.
This next episode of This Is Us was true to form: focusing on the Big Three while jumping through timelines. We see Jack and Rebecca take their disgruntled teenage kids to the pool; adult Randall and Beth are dealing with their own children adjusting to life in Philadelphia; and Kate and Toby are learning how to care for their blind newborn. Most scenes are filled with small dramas, the kind of moments that make up a life but aren’t necessarily bombshell plot twists.
However, toward the end of the episode, we’re led to believe that Kevin is heading to Chicago to work on a new Spike Jonze movie and focus on his sobriety. Instead, where does he end up? At Nicky’s door, prepared to take care of his troubled uncle, who he’s been trying to get in touch with after wiring him bail money.
Season 4, Episode 3: “Unhinged”
Kevin finally meets Cassidy.
Ever since the first episode, it was pretty obvious that Cassidy would be crossing paths with Kevin Pearson sooner or later. Now—in the midst of an otherwise slow episode—we finally see it happen: Kevin accompanies Nicky to a doctor assessment, so he can continue his treatments at the V.A. and potentially avoid jail time for his stunt, and ends up meeting Cassidy in the waiting room. The two cross paths again when Kevin drags Nicky to an A.A. meeting, where Cassidy also happens to be. Normally I’d say there’s romance in the air, but it’s This Is Us, so anything is possible.
Season 4, Episode 4: “Flip a Coin”
Malik meets Randall.
Malik, brave teenager that he is, introduces himself to Randall and Beth in the hopes that they’ll approve of him and he’ll get to date Deja. However, he makes the mistake of telling them he has a baby daughter (a detail Deja had conveniently left out!), and let’s just say the Pearson parents aren’t too thrilled with this matchup.
Kevin tells Rebecca he married Sophie.
We’re jumping back to the teen timeline! When the Big Three first graduated high school, Kevin moved to New York to explore an acting career. In this episode, after we watch Rebecca and Kate sweetly dance around to Carole King, they listen to a voicemail from Kevin who reveals that, oh yeah, he got married to Sophie. Mic dropped.
Kevin moves in next to Nicky.
Now we’re back in present day, and if you thought the Kevin-Helping-Nicky storyline was ending anytime soon, it’s not! At the end of the episode, after Kevin fails to convince Nicky to let him buy him a new trailer, Kevin decides to do the next best thing: Buy himself a trailer and park it right next to Nicky’s. Kevin is here for the long haul, so buckle up.
Season 4, Episode 5: “Storybook Love”
Tess has a panic attack.
In the present-day timeline, Randall learns that Tess had a panic attack at school and feels terrible that he passed his anxiety to his daughter. Later, when Beth tells Randall she found a therapist for Tess, Randall is supportive, but when Beth shares that she found one for him, too, he’s resistant. He insists he can take care of himself, even after Beth points out that he’s been displaying all his anxiety symptoms: working long hours, running 10 miles every day, and tapping his leg constantly. Though Randall tells Beth he’s fine, it’s clear this storyline is far from over.
Something’s up with teenage Kate’s new boyfriend.
A good chunk of this episode takes place back in the teen timeline, where Randall is in college and Kevin is married to Sophie. Kate is living at home with Rebecca and working at a record store, though most of her time is actually spent making out with Marc, the other record store employee. And when Marc spontaneously shows up at a dramatic Pearson family dinner, Kate is excited.
But then, jumping back to present day, Kate finds an old photo of her and Marc and shows it to Rebecca. They both remark how they “didn’t realize what was going on.” We don’t yet know why, but Marc is clearly no good for Kate Pearson.
This post will continue to be updated.