Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 5, Episode 6 follow. This Is Us has always been a series that relies on audiences’ assumptions and the misdirection of characters. Keeping the details of Jack’s death tucked away for a season and a half was only the beginning. The show has also revealed that Randall’s biological parents lived long lives after he was born, despite his inability to find them for so many years. After finding out Laurel didn’t die of an overdose hours after he was born and actually lived until 2015, Randall finally went to New Orleans to learn more about his mother’s life. But will Randall meet Laurel’s family on This Is Us? It turns out he’s related to people he never knew existed.
When This Is Us first started, the show didn’t seem like it would get into the details about who Randall’s mother was. Other than Laurel being someone who used drugs and overdosed, there was little to her history. But once Randall arrived in New Orleans, he learned Hai, the man who contacted him and said he knew Laurel, didn’t meet Randall’s mother later in life like many fans assumed. He knew her in the years before Randall was born.
As fans learned in the episode, Laurel was the daughter of a wealthy New Orleans family, the DuBois family. Randall’s biological grandparents were parent of a family who sincerely believed in respectability politics. When Laurel’s Aunt May got pregnant out of wedlock, the family disowned her. They were also conservative Christians who believed in having the bible memorized and children upholding their duty to their parents. They were so strict, her father insisted Laurel marry someone of his choosing, someone they judged worthy of her — instead of Hai, the man she loved. It drove her to run away. Even after she returned home to New Orleans and Aunt May — after the overdose, after losing Randall, and after years in prison for drug possession — she seemingly never contacted her parents again.
Randall found peace in learning his mother’s history, and as the episode ended, he and Beth headed back to Pennsylvania. But Randall has ties to Louisiana now, including the inheritance of his mother’s farmhouse, where Aunt May once lived. That gives him a place to return, should he choose to. But does he have any other tie to New Orleans now— such as any other living relatives of the DuBois family?
It’s unclear if there is anyone else for Randall to seek out. Laurel’s older brother, Jackson, died in the Vietnam War, seemingly without having had a family of his own, making Laurel their sole descendant of her immediate family. The only child she ever had was Randall.
Aside from Laurel’s parents, Aunt May seemed to have been the only other living relative. She told Laurel she got pregnant by a married man and “lost them both.” It’s unclear if the baby died or was taken from her and put up for adoption. Perhaps there is a story there, but perhaps not; perhaps the Dubois family line is ended, save Randall Pearson. But unless he decides to seek it out, the world may never know.
This Is Us continues Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.