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A Look Back at Beth Pearson's Best This Is Us Moments
For six seasons, we've seen Susan Kelechi Watson's character bring wit, humor, and calm to the Pearson family.
Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) has been through his fair share of angst and heartache on This Is Us. He's lost family members, adopted a child, gotten into politics—all the while grappling with his own adoption into a white family. But through it all, Randall has remained resilient, and he has his wife, the powerful Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson), to thank for that.
For six years, we've seen Beth bring her wit, humor, and calming presence to the Pearson family. In honor of the fan favorite character, NBC Insider has taken a look back at her best moments from the series. Read on.
Season 1: Beth sticks by Randall's side when his biological father William comes into his life.
When we first were introduced to Randall, he'd just found his biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones). Things got even more complicated when he found out William was dying of cancer. Beth was Randall's true ride or die in this scenario, supporting her husband through his tears, breakdowns, and even when he quit his job. Beth also stood up to Randall's mother, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), after it was revealed Rebecca had secretly known William's identity for years. "I don’t know how things work in your marriage," Beth said to Rebecca. "But in mine, we don't keep secrets."
Season 2: Beth decides she's ready to adopt a child.
When faced with Randall's desire to adopt a child, an initially-hesitant Beth agrees it's the right choice for their family—one one condition. She wants the couple to take in an older kid, since they typically have a more difficult time finding a forever home. And when Randall nearly succumbs to the pressures that come with adoption, Beth is right there to remind him that together, they can get through anything.
As we all know, the couple fosters a then-12-year-old Deja (Lyric Ross), eventually making her an official member of their family.
Season 3: Beth takes a stand in her marriage, and her origin story is revealed.
Season 3 was a big one for Beth, as she struggled with unemployment, dealt with the reality of her not-so perfect relationship with Randall, and reacted to her daughter, Tess (Eris Baker), coming out as queer. With so much going on, it was only natural that we finally got a look at her origin story with the Beth-focused episode, "Our Little Island Girl."
As she confronted her mother, Carol (played by Phylicia Rashad), over their strained relationship, the episode took us back in time when Beth was a young, aspiring dancer. We meet her father—who died of lung cancer when she was a teen—and learn of his faith in her talent. "Our little island girl who danced before she walked," he would say. We soon learn that Carol stopped paying for Beth's dancing lessons, encouraging her to go to college instead. But, ironically, that slight was the beginning of Beth and Randall's love story: It led to her first chance encounter with Randall at a Carnegie Mellon freshmen mixer.
Later on in the season, tensions come to a head between the couple in the episode titled "R&B." The source of their problems center around Randall's bid for city councilman. He promised Beth early on that if she asked him to drop out of the race, he would. But, of course, when that time comes, Randall doesn't follow through and continues on in the campaign. This results in a mid-season finale in which Beth sentences her husband to sleeping on the couch.
In "R&B," we're also treated to a timeline of Randall and Beth's relationship, from their awkward first date to their (naturally, beautiful) wedding. But peppered in between scenes from their heartwarming past, we're thrust into the present-day fight between the couple. "We made a promise to one another that we would never get lost in each other, and I broke that promise. And you let me," she said. "You have let me bend to your every need, time and time again."
Fans feared the worst: divorce. But this is Randall and Beth, thankfully, and they figured it out. Beth accepted Randall's city council win, and the two started a new chapter in Philadelphia that worked for them both. He got his start in politics, and she opened her own dance studio.
Season 4: Beth encourages Randall to go to therapy.
While balancing the growing pains that come with opening a brand new dance studio, Beth is also there for Randall amidst his mounting anxiety. With the return of nightmares that plagued him during college and an emotional breakdown, it's Beth who ultimately motivates Randall to finally seek therapy—or else their marriage would suffer.
Interestingly, when asked by TV Insider about her favorite Season 4 Beth moment, Watson pointed to Episode 7: "The Dinner and the Date," a.k.a the incredibly awkward dinner between Beth, Randall, and Malik's parents, Darnell (Omar Epps) and Kelly (Marsha Stephanie Blake). "I love my whole drama with them and the two families fighting for the kids and fighting to be heard," she said. "I loved that because it was such a fine line between, 'I’m going to fight, but we’re not going to take this outside. We’re going to settle this the best way we can,' but I liked that they were just unapologetic about being serious about it."
Season 5: Beth is forced to close her dance studio.
Beth continues to be there for Randall amidst his falling out with Kevin and invites her mom to stay at the family's home indefinitely. But the most pivotal storyline for Beth in Season 5 is Episode 14's "The Music and the Mirror," which shows that even the Pearsons aren't immune from the affects of the pandemic. Beth is forced to shut down her once-thriving dance studio as COVID-19 takes a toll on her business. This is definitely not a happy moment for Beth, but a flash-forward shows that success is in her future.
Season 6: Our "Little Island Girl" gets her happy ending.
With "Little Island Girl: Part 2," fans got their closure. Despite the disappointment of the previous season, Beth has scored a top spot in the recruitment department at the City Ballet of Philadelphia. We see her make it a point to find young, diverse talent to attend the school. She even takes the time to mentor a struggling young woman, and in a truly Beth move, joins the girl on stage as she freezes during a major showcase performance.
However, it's a flash-forward that reveals the best Beth moment since Season 1. A look into her future reveals she is finally fulfilled in her career: She eventually becomes the director of the City Ballet. "I knew this was the last time we would have a Beth-centered storyline. I was told this was going to be that moment," Watson, who co-wrote the episode, told NBC Insider. "It's a very proud moment. When I was in that scene, tears were really coming to my eyes when I thought of this journey that she took with these students."
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.