SPOILER ALERT: The story includes details about Episode 614 of This Is Is“The Night Before the Wedding.”
The conclusion of a two-parter, tonight’s episode of This Is Us was supposed to reveal who Kevin spent the night before Kate’s wedding after the end of last week’s episode, “The Day of the Wedding,” teased him having one-on-one time with his ex-wife Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge), Kevin’s friend with occasional benefits, Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison), and the wedding singer, Arielle, played by Katie Lowes.
Fans got a lot more as “The Night Before the Wedding” actually revealed who Kevin will be spending the rest of his life with, his newly divorced childhood sweetheart Sophie.
It was probably fitting that Kate, who has been there for Kevin in his lowest moments, was the one who brought him and Sophie back together by inviting her former friend to her engagement to Phillip, where Kevin and then-married Sophie exchanged longing glances, and to her actual wedding.
The other Pearsons also played key roles. Randall saw through Kevin’s feelings for Sophie from the get-go, and then gave him the final push to overcome his self doubt and go profess his love for her, telling him “You are not going to screw it up this time.”
And Rebecca, whose Alzheimer’s made her see Sophie and Kevin as the 20-year-old newlyweds they once were, helped convince Sophie to give Kevin another shot by telling her, “Timing is just off right now, he’s not ready for you . He will be but it’s going to take awhile, and I don’t know if you can wait around for that – personally I don’t know if I could – but when the timing is right, he is going to be so great. ”
Sophie did reference Rebecca’s comments in her speech to Kevin before he took out the valentine he had written for her when they were six and the two kissed to a huge applause from the entire wedding party.
“I have spent years of my life praying that you would grow up,” Sophie said. “Now here you are 20 years later, and you are finally the man I knew you could possibly be.”
The episode, written by Danielle Bauman, did chronicle Kevin’s time with all three women. Of them, only the outing with Sophie qualified as a date. Kevin gave her a ride – in a classic car with “Just Married” sign he had rented for Kate and Phillip no less – to town to get a dress after her luggage got lost. The store was closed, so the two spent time in the back of a dry cleaners where Sophie tried an unclaimed frock and then the two went to the store and walked through a vineyard where she dropped the bombshell that she had divorced her husband who had accompanied her to Kate’s engagement party.
After more long glances at the hotel, the two went to Kevin’s room but Sophie couldn’t go through with it.
“It’s too much we have decades of history between us, I can’t go backwards,” she said and ran out.
Arielle and Kevin had a classic rom-com meet-cute moment when she bumped into him and made him pretend to be interested in her to shake off Phillip’s annoying cousin Oliver who had been hitting on her. But the two never had a proper date. Kevin ran into her when he went down to the bar after Sophie had left him, and Arielle only reinforced his feelings for his ex by handing him a napkin with a poem she had written based on her observations about the way he had looked at Sophie.
As for Cassidy, it was also a no-go. She did come to his room as she needed help with the zipper on her dress and he suggested that maybe she should try being a couple but she shut it down quickly.
“You are not my person, and I’m not yours, and you know that,” she said and the two agreed that they should remain best friends (and employer-employee).
The three items Beth and Madison had found in Kevin’s room that sparked their investigation into who Kevin had spent the night with belonged to each of the three women, Sophie’s bra, Arielle’s napkin and Cassidy’s flower wrap.
In the end, Kevin spent the night alone. It was likely his last one as a bachelor. After a handful of serious relationships and a string of fleeting ones, Kevin had rediscovered the love of his life in Sophie. As the main flash-forward at Kevin’s house in the future shows, he is still married, so their reunion will last this time, just like Kevin has hoped for, taking a page from the fairytale love story of his parents.
Here are This Is Us creator Dab Fogelman, Hartley and Virgin River star Breckenrige’s reactions to Kevin finding happily ever after with Sophie:
DEADLINE: When did you know that Kevin would end up with his childhood sweetheart Sophie?
FOGELMAN: I felt internally pretty early on that Sophie was endgame. It was never “set in stone,” and in the course of the seasons of the show we opened ourselves up to possibilities much like the character himself. But we loved Alex Breckenridge from go, and Sophie’s chemistry with Kevin was always pretty impossible to deny.
HARTLEY: I think that was probably the plan all along. I’ve known for quite a bit.
BRECKENRIDGE: I knew that Dan had hoped the characters would find their way back to each other from the beginning but also knew they had a long road to travel with Kevin before he’d be ready. I was always hoping Kevin and Sophie would make it. Both from an audience perspective and from my own just wanting to have more time on the show.
DEADLINE: Why did you think Kevin had to have a happily ever after and go full circle with Sophie to get it?
FOGELMAN: The thing that always drew me to Kevin-Sophie as the ultimate endgame, was that this decades long love story took actual decades to work the right way. Kevin needed to become a fully realized version of himself first. Our challenge was always to evolve Kevin enough to earn Sophie’s trust back (the other challenge being the fact that as Kevin got his shit together, Alex became the lead character on one of the biggest shows on Netflix).
DEADLINE: What was your reaction to the duo ending up back together after a lengthy detour?
HARTLEY: I think it’s a great love story.
BRECKENRIDGE: It feels incredibly satisfying to me that these two people that have been in love since they were six years old, had this tumultuous relationship over 40 years were able to become whole people on their own and then find love with each other again as adults I think it’s extremely romantic. I believe you have to live yourself to be capable of being loved and at 46 they are both finally there.