This Is Us Offers a New Clue About Randall's Birth Mom

This Is Us gave us a new clue about Randall's birth mother in a sweet and cozy episode of the NBC drama.

By Lauren Piester Nov 11, 2020 3:00 AMTags
This Is Us, Season 5ABC

That might have been the coziest episode of This Is Us yet. 

"Changes" certainly wasn't without its conflict, but there was something about it that was just so nice and pleasant. Creator Dan Fogelman described it on Twitter as "warm and fuzzy" and yes, that's exactly what it was. Randall has found himself a new therapist who's already got him working on some of his troublesome childhood memories. Kevin and Madison are getting to know each other. Kate and Toby are on their way to adopting another baby, and the little versions of the Big Three aren't so little anymore. 

The biggest surprise of the episode was a subtle one. Throughout the hour, we got to know a Vietnamese man and his granddaughter. He was teaching her how to fish and how to cook, and he told her he liked to cook for a specific woman. That woman turned out to be Randall's birth mother, who was only seen in photos in the man's home. 

The Future of This Is Us

That's all we know so far about the woman who secretly survived childbirth and for some reason never sought out William or Randall after her near-death, but the Vietnam aspect does make us wonder if she'll be somehow related to Jack's time in Vietnam, which was heavily covered in season three. 


Beyond that, "Changes" mostly just kept the train rolling towards the future we've already gotten glimpses of. Kevin has twins, though we don't know if he and Madison ever actually make it to marriage. Baby Jack gets an adopted sister named Hailey while Kate and Toby are still dealing with their own ups and downs. Tess eventually becomes a social worker, though her dance/rap video about how much her teacher sucks doesn't quite have us headed in that direction just yet. 

Season four was the first season of this show that was focused more on the future than on the past, and it also happened to be the show's best season. So far, season five is back in the past and we haven't gotten any flash-forwards just yet, though Fogelman said in an interview with THR that the show is "not backing off of" flash-forwards and a big one is on its way. 

Watch: Justin Hartley Reveals He Knows How "This Is Us" Ends

As we wait for more hints of the future, scroll down for everything we know so far. 

Kevin's Son

We knew about Kevin's middle-school-aged son since we saw him as the family gathered for Rebecca, and as of season five, we know his name: Nicholas!

Kevin's Daughter

Kevin's daughter was a surprise from the season four finale, since Madison revealed she was pregnant with twins. Her name is Frances. 

Kevin's House

We saw Kevin rediscover a sketch his dad had made of the house he wanted to build, and now we know he had that house built on the hill next to the family cabin. 

Brothers Again

By the time this family gathering takes place 12 years after the birthday party at the cabin, Kevin and Randall have apparently mended their rift. We saw them work through their issues in season five, so it's nice to see that they can still be in the same room together.

Randall and Beth

Despite some questions about whether Randall and Beth's marriage might make it, they're still happily together in the future, which is good to know. 

Toby's Alone

He says when he arrives at Kevin's house that he talked to Jack, and "they're on their way." We assume that "they" includes Kate, but we don't know, since there's no mention of her. Kate is one of the few who has not yet appeared in this future story yet (along with Miguel). 

Nicky's in the Picture

Nicky plays a significant role in the family by the time they all gather in Kevin's house in the future. He's sitting by Rebecca's bedside, and Randall asked about him when he arrived at the house. He is also wearing a wedding ring. 

Rebecca's Not Well

By 12 years in the future, Rebecca's health seems to have deteriorated. Randall has to reintroduce himself when he visits her.

Kevin Looks Great

This is what Kevin looks like in the future. That's all. 

Meet Jack Damon

Kate and Toby's son Jack grows up to be a successful singer. In the latest flashforward, he and his wife Lucy have just had a new baby named Hope. 

Meet Hailey Damon

The season four finale revealed that Kate and Toby were adopting a daughter, revealed to be played in the future by Adelaide Kane. Her name is Hailey, she works at an art gallery, and she dropped everything to be there to visit her brother's new baby in the hospital. 

Randall's Daughters

The season five episode "The Ride" finally introduced adult Deja (La Trice Harper) and adult Annie (Iyana Hailey) and brought all of Randall and Beth's daughters together for the first time in the future. We learned that at the time of this gathering around Rebecca's bedside, Deja is studying to be a doctor and is secretly pregnant, and she and Annie are close enough for Annie to be one of the few who knows. Annie also seems to know a lot about babies! 

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC. 

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