This post contains spoilers for the Tuesday, Jan. 15, episode of This Is Us.
Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) was just drifting off to sleep in the final moments of NBC’s This Is Us on Tuesday night when his phone rang.
“Thanks for letting me know,” he told the caller, then turned to his wife, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), and said, “I won.”
What’s wrong with this picture?
Well, for one thing, the location. His upset victory occurred in Philadelphia’s fictional 12th District, where he’d apparently defeated incumbent Councilman Sol Brown (Rob Morgan) in an election in which only weeks ago he’d been running far behind. The conversation was taking place in the master bedroom of his family’s upscale home in Alpine, N.J., which, as the show acknowledged, is about a two-hour drive from Philly.
Yes, I’ve complained about this before, but it never occurred to me Randall, who shouldn’t have been allowed to run in the first place — owning a building and claiming his late father’s old West Philly address wouldn’t pass muster — would actually win.
In truth, I was already annoyed with Tuesday’s episode before Randall’s phone rang.
Earlier, when his campaign manager, Jae-won Yoo (Tim Jo), sprang his opposition research on a bemused Randall, who was just trying to get Beth a blueberry pie for New Year’s Eve, the show had taken a casual swipe at both the Philadelphia police and the city’s newspapers.
“Six years ago Sol Brown was arrested for drunk driving, but he was never charged. Randall, he paid off the police to have the charges dropped. And then he paid the paper to have the story buried,” said Yoo, excitedly.
Randall, to his credit, doesn’t appear to have used the information in his campaign. And while I can’t speak to how things work on the police end, I’ve spent two-thirds of my life in newspapers — mostly in Philadelphia — and can tell you that this is probably the most far-fetched thing I’ve heard on a show that is all about the far-fetched (but often tear-inducing) plot lines.