Throughout the five seasons of This Is Us, there has always been a character who has played a key role in the story, but whose journey has never deepened. All we knew about Randall’s birth mother was that she had a drug problem and overdosed after Randall was born, leaving William feeling helpless and making the painful decision to leave his newborn baby in the barracks.
Then, in a surprising twist, we found out that Randall’s mother wasn’t dead after all. On the contrary, shortly after William left, convinced that she had been declared dead, she breathed a sigh of relief. The question was why, if she had survived, she was not looking for William and his son. These questions were answered in this week’s episode, aptly titled Birth of a Mother.
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The story of Laurel DuBois is told through the eyes of High Lang, a man who loved the people of New Orleans all his life. She grew up in a wealthy family where her father was very strict about her good education. Growing up with her older brother Jackson, Laurel never played by the rules. The girl often sneaked out to visit her Aunt May, who was not related to her brother.
One of the main themes of this episode was water and how it reflects the abandonment of the pain and evil you carry within. Laurel often bathed in the lake near her aunt’s house and cried to get rid of the pain she began to feel after her brother’s death in Vietnam.
Similarly, Laurel met Hi, who thought she was drowning in the water while fishing, and came to her rescue. Later, when Laurel met High at the market where her aunt sold vegetables, they began a friendship that turned into a romance.
Unfortunately, Laurel’s father wanted her to marry a man named Marshall who worked with him at the bank and was a respectable man in his eyes. Not wanting to get stuck in a marriage she didn’t want, Laurel walked away. Although he asked Hai to accompany him, he couldn’t leave his job to go to his family. Originally she wanted to go to Chicago, but the ticket only took her to Pittsburgh. There she will meet William.
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When High tells this story to Beth and Randall, it is clear that it has a profound effect on Randall. He just wants to know why Laurel wasn’t trying to find him. It turns out she was arrested for drug possession after recovering from an overdose in the hospital. She was sent to a California prison for five years, where she had to think about her baby every night. Because of everything that had happened, Laurel was hard on herself and didn’t think she deserved to be a mother.
Eventually Laurel went back to her aunt’s house in New Orleans and helped her at the market. She saw Hai there often, but they weren’t as close since he was married. When she got cancer, Hai took care of her in the last years of her life.
After learning his mother’s story, Randall is deeply moved and tries to make sense of everything he has heard. Besides, the house where High lived had been her farm, and now she had moved to Randall.
After Beth fell asleep, Randall went swimming, and there he had his own connection with his mother’s spirit. Here he could see, hear and feel her touch and know that she truly loved him. Randall realizes that he doesn’t want to hold on to the pain and grief he’s felt his entire life. In a scene where the author is crying, he lets out a guttural scream.
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Laurel’s story is heartbreaking as we realize how awful it was for her not to know what happened to her child. How, if things had gone differently, Randall could have lived with her. What kind of life would that be? Would he ever meet the Pearsons? It’s amazing to think about the paths you take that can impact your life.
There always seems to be a connection between the Pearsons and other characters, such as William. Jack and William collided without knowing it. Is it possible that this happened to Laurel? That would be a bit of an exaggeration, especially when neither Jack nor Rebecca had ever been to New Orleans. But you never know with this show, especially since Jack and Laurel’s brother was in Vietnam. And with the new season, you never know what the writers are going to surprise you with.
Randall is able to let go of his pain and is willing to talk to his brother. Of course, since the two men don’t seem to know that it’s inappropriate to have such discussions while driving, he calls Kevin at that point. Unfortunately, Kevin is distracted this time because Madison is in labor and stuck in Vancouver.
Next week’s promotion won’t make it easy, as it looks like Kevin had an accident. We can only hope that he is fine, because we know he will be fine in the future. Or is he? Theories about Kevin abound at the moment, and I need absinthe with Beth afterwards.
Let us know in the comments what you think will happen in the next episode. Let us know what you think of Mother Christmas, and we’ll see you next week! Follow us on Twitter for more content!