'This Is Us' Writers Shut Down Popular Fan Theory About Randall's Mother

Kayla Keegan
·4-min read
'This Is Us' Writers Shut Down Popular Fan Theory About Randall's Mother
'This Is Us' Writers Shut Down Popular Fan Theory About Randall's Mother

From Good Housekeeping

The season 5 premiere of This Is Us was surprising for many reasons, but especially because of what happened at the end of the episode. Though it's presumed that Randall (Sterling K. Brown)'s biological mother, Laurel (Jennifer C. Holmes), died from a drug overdose after childbirth, viewers were shocked to discover that the paramedics were able to revive her — in other words, she may still be alive after all.

This new revelation has fans spinning about what this could mean for Randall, who is currently living under the assumption that both of his biological parents are dead. If you find yourself asking all sorts of questions about Laurel, keep on scrolling — below, we try to answer them all.

What happened to Randall's mom on This Is Us?

Based on what we saw in the season 5 premiere, Laurel and Randall's father, William (Jermel Nakia), meet on a bus and bond over their big dreams and shared determination to fight their drug addictions. But when Laurel is giving birth in their apartment, she begs William for some drugs to help her cope with the pain of childbirth. Soon after, William wakes up to find Laurel unresponsive and calls the paramedics for help.

After watching first responders try to revive Laurel and seemingly fail to bring her back to life, a distraught and scared William takes off with baby Randall and leaves him at a fire station. This, of course, leads to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) taking in the infant as their own. Meanwhile, back at William's apartment, the paramedics are just about to give up and record the time of Laurel's death when suddenly we see her eyes flash open.

Is Randall's mom alive then?

At this point, we don't know for sure if Randall's mom is alive in the show's present-day storyline. That said, it's a pretty safe bet that Randall and Laurel's paths will cross in some way at some point — after all, it would be a bit odd for the show's writers to bring Laurel back only to have Randall never know she survived.

What's more, show creator Dan Fogelman confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Laurel will, in fact, re-enter the fold in season 5. He also hinted that Randall's job as a politician may have something to do with the two learning about each other. Further, we'll get questions answered about why Laurel didn't seem to track William or Randall down.

"The first half of the season will give all the answers — and even before then," Dan said about the Laurel mystery. "A bigger question coming is with those answers provided, especially for Randall, what does that do for him? And how does that effect change — or not effect change — in his life?"

One thing is certain, however: The This Is Us writers have flat-out denied the popular fan theory that Laurel will end up being Randall's new therapist.

Regardless, Dan told TheWrap he is really interested in discovering who Laurel was before meeting William and becoming a mother. We are given hints that a fuller Laurel storyline may be coming soon in the last few minutes of episode 3 in season 5. In a throwback scene, a granddaughter asks her grandfather about a woman in a picture — the woman is, of course, Laurel.

"When the story is told to completion, you will see that it has to do with time and real-world history," Dan told Entertainment Weekly about Laurel's story. "And the fact that you're going back into a story in the past, it's existing inside of the same world and world events that were existing in that same time period when Jack was in Vietnam [for the Vietnam War]. So there is connective tissue."

Who is the actress that plays Randall's mom on This Is Us?

Since first appearing in the 2016 episode "Kyle," Jennifer C. Holmes has portrayed Randall's mother on the NBC hit show. If she looks familiar, fans might recognize her from CSI: Miami, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Story of Miya.

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