Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This Is Us "Twist" Ending


If you haven’t seen ‘This Is Us’ yet, but are planning to, don’t read this. 

Okay…you’ve been warned.

I’ll let you know a little secret. I am sort of a television whisperer. I often figure out the “twists” in shows (and movies) pretty easily. I used to shock my former roommate by always saying the next line a character was going to say before he/she actually said it. Maybe it’s that, yeah, I watch a lot of TV. Also, I’m a writer so I listen to the dialogue and if you do that it is usually pretty clear what will come next.

One thing you should also never tell a writer is that your show has an “unexpected twist” at the end. Right. That triggers my brain to start coming up with thousands of “twists”.

Such is the case for ‘This Is Us’, a new show on NBC. I’ve been seeing the previews for weeks now and it looked pretty good. A lot of the reviewers said it was good. But then I read one of the Fall Preview magazines and it mentioned that there was an “unexpected twist” at the end.

Specifically, the article mentioned the show features interwoven stories of several people who are turning 36, and they are connected in a surprising way. Well shoot…now my brain has have to come up with scenarios about how they are connected and what exactly is the "twist" at the end.

Things I knew from the previews:
-The first couple (Milo & Mandy) is having triplets, but they lose one baby. Milo is 36.
-There’s an overweight woman asking the actor guy how it’s possible they’re 36.
-There’s a black guy who finds his father (he was abandoned as a baby). He is also 36.

My conclusion:

-Milo/Mandy are most likely the parents and all their scenes are in the past, specifically 1980 (36 years prior to 2016).

-The woman & actor guy are the surviving babies all grown up. Their scenes are present day.

Note: My writer brain actually took it one step further, wondering if the woman & actor even know they’re brother & sister. One scenario I dreamed up was that Milo/Mandy are killed somehow and the “twins” are raised by other families.

The puzzle was the black guy who was abandoned by his father. In my scenario Milo/Mandy are killed by a drunk driver and the black guy’s father was responsible. That’s why the son was left at the fire station.

Okay, I got that one wrong. The overweight woman & actor do know they are siblings. They are clearly in the present day though. People have cell phones and the actor’s on-set rant is on YouTube. 

Contrast that to the Milo/Mandy scenes. No cell phones anywhere, no computers. They are pretty good about not showing clothing. Most of the people are wearing hospital scrubs. The hospital room doesn’t have much technology though.

The real question was how the black guy fit in. He emphasizes several times that he was adopted. Then he brings the father home and he picks up a picture frame. “This is your family?” But the picture was not shown. Okay then… Milo/Mandy adopted that baby after one of their triplets died.

The nail in the coffin is of course Milo standing in front of the nursery looking at his daughter/son and there’s the abandoned baby right next to them.

And oh yeah...The fireman who brought the baby in offers Milo a cigarette. This happens IN THE HOSPITAL. Can’t smoke anywhere near a hospital anymore. That’s when the camera pulls back and you suddenly see all these people in 80s clothes and the TV screen is news with a picture of Ronald Regan.

BINGO…I am good.

Did you watch it? Did you figure out the “twist”?

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