This Is Us 4×01 Season 4, Episode 1, “Strangers” aired Sept. 25, 2019 on NBC
(Warning: spoilers for the This Is Us premiere)
Welcome back, This Is Us fans! The season 4 premiere was a lot to process and the majority of the episode left viewers confused. The This Is Us world is expanding as we are introduced to new characters and storylines with little glimpses to past Jack and Rebecca throughout. Of course the writing on this show is genius though, and each new story is somehow connected to the characters we know and love.
“I’m not gonna call you first”
The episode starts off with Jack and Rebecca, giving us all the feels!! God bless a shaved Milo! *swoons* It picks up after their road trip, and the chemistry between these two is always a joy to watch.
Jack calling Rebecca after he said he wasn’t going to call first was adorable. The two have dinner with Rebecca’s snobby parents, and Jack really puts in an effort to impress them by getting a new suit and everything. Being the amazing guy that he is though, Jack is unapologetically himself and is very honest with them about his life. (Why aren’t more guys like Jack Pearson?) Despite his best efforts though, her father doesn’t approve and is clearly going to try to sabotage their relationship.
It really is a true fairytale that these two fell in love so quickly after just meeting. That brings in the quote about strangers, and how someone who you don’t know can change your life. This becomes significant in this episode, especially towards the end with new characters.
The New Characters
During the premiere we’re introduced to three new storylines with new families and characters. The writers did a good job of keeping their stories engaging and interesting. After all, we already have four seasons of established characters that we know and love. Although at first it was confusing as to why we were being introduced to so many new faces in the fourth season of a show, it all started making sense.
We are introduced to a young boy who‘s a single father, living with his parents and little girl. It is clear that he doesn’t have the easiest life, however he makes the best of it and seems like a smart and kind boy. Towards the end, he meets Dayshia and this is clearly going to be a love interest this season for her, so cute!! We think that these two have similarities and could bond nicely together and be positive influences in each other’s lives.
Another storyline we are thrown into in the premiere was Cassidy’s, a military woman who is struggling with PTSD and drinking. We see many scenes of her in Afghanistan and the effect it had on her when she returns home to her husband and young son. She accidentally hits her son and turns to a support group to try and better herself for her family. It is only when Nikki throws the chair through the window that we realize how she is connected to our main characters.
A Stranger Can Become Part of your Story
The most shocking new character was the young blind man that we are introduced to. His story begins by dropping his plate of breakfast at his house, forcing him to go to the diner where he meets a young waitress. Their connection is similar to that love at first sight connection Jack and Rebecca had. We are shown glimpses into their relationship together from getting engaged, moving in together, and finding out they’re having a baby.
It isn’t until the end of the episode that it is revealed that HE IS BABY JACK. Talk about your plot twist! We then get flashbacks of Kate and Toby with baby Jack at the doctors learning that their son is losing his vision. This alternates between the past and the present as he sings at the bar.
The alternate shots of Jack singing at the bar and then Rebecca singing really parallels them and shows how similar their love story is. Both couples started off as complete strangers that ended up changing one another’s lives. It’s also amazing to see that even though Rebecca didn’t get to live the full dream of her music career, her grandson did!
We went almost the whole episode without getting emotional, and then they show a very old Rebecca on what looks to be her deathbed. The whole family seems to be showing up and we can assume that Rebecca’s time is coming to an end. This beautifully transitions from young Randall as he is walking into the hospital room with his siblings to see his mother, to older Randall in the future.
By showing the flashbacks of The Big Three and how much they were affected when Rebecca got into a car accident and broke her arm, it places an emphasis on how much her eventual death will affect them. It was a parallel to her getting better in a hospital bed to what appears to be her eventual deathbed where she won’t get better. We feel that this is where the show is heading for when it ends; Rebecca passing away and then reuniting with Jack *cue the tears*
What We’re Excited For This Season
There are so many exciting things to look forward to this season! We are eager to find out more about Kevin’s storyline, as it was made clear that he does in fact have a son in the future. We think his storyline will connect with Cassidy in an extremely significant way, that could possibly lead to that little boy we see strolling through the kitchen in the future.
Obviously we have a lot of new faces so it will be cool to learn more about them. We can’t wait to eventually see baby Jack as an adult with his family in the future scenes; but it will be especially exciting and emotional to see Toby and Kate juggle parenthood!
It’s going to be interesting on how they will interweave the new storylines with current ones. The writing on this show is incredible though, so we have faith that fans will come to love the new characters just as much! It’s going to be another great season!
Tune in to This Is Us every Tuesday at 9pm EST on ABC or stream it on Hulu!