This is who’s who on
. The Pearson family is back this week to continue the sprawling story of the family from the ’70s through today. That is a lot of characters and timelines to keep track of, but it’s totally worth it. Even if characters have died, you still need to know who they are for flashbacks. This Is Us
This is Us was the best reviewed and most watched new show of 2016-17. Even for the most rabid fans tracing the Pearson family tree, it’s been six months since the season 1 finale. So Rotten Tomatoes is here to help with a guide to the 12 main characters on This Is Us before season 2 premieres, including new photos.
Jack (Milo Ventimiglia)
Jack is Rebecca’s husband and father of the big three. He seemed perfect at first. After all, it was his idea to adopt Randall when they tragically lost their third twin. However, he’s got flaws too. He still drinks, his father is so abusive Jack doesn’t even tell him he’s married, and Rebecca and Jack split at the end of season 1. We know Jack dies at some point, because Kate keeps his urn. When and how are the show’s current big mysteries.
Rebecca (Mandy Moore)
The mother of the big three, Rebecca lost one of her triplets in childbirth, but agreed to adopt Randall. She remarried to Miguel after Jack’s death. And they didn’t cast multi-talented Mandy Moore by accident: Rebecca can sing.
Kate (Chrissy Metz)
Jack and Rebecca’s only daughter, Kate had always struggled with her weight. She meets Toby at a weight loss meeting and she’s considered gastric bypass surgery. She also blames herself for Jack’s death.
Kevin (Justin Hartley)
The second surviving triplet, Kevin, starred on the hit sitcom The Manny, but blew it all up in front of a live studio audience (who promptly made it a viral video). Theater was just as dramatic behind the scenes, but Kevin discovered the root of his unhappiness was screwing things up with his wife. That’s right, Kevin was married once. Just when things looked good for Kevin and Sophie, he got a movie offer from Ron Howard. Can their relationship survive the Kevinaissance?
Randall (Sterling K. Brown)
The late addition to the big three, Randall grew up knowing he was different, but feeling like part of the family. As an adult, he sought out his biological father, William and cared for him as he faced terminal cancer. Randall suffers from breakdowns, but has realized his job didn’t deserve the focus of his attention, so he quit to be more available to his wife, two daughters, and then-ailing father.
Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson)
Randall’s wife, she was concerned at first about introducing William to their children knowing he didn’t have long to live. She ended up becoming close with William, supporting Randall all the while, and ultimately got the chance to eulogize William at his funeral.
William (Ron Cephas Jones)
A drug addict who’d lost his wife, William couldn’t take care of a baby, so he left Randall at a firehouse. Once he’d gotten his life together, Randall had a new family. At the end of William’s life, he got to know his grandchildren and show Randall where he came from on a road trip to Memphis. William didn’t make it home from Memphis, but expect to see more of him in the years before Randall found him.
Toby (Chris Sullivan)
Kate met Toby at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. They’ve moved on to other weight loss programs, but they still have each other. Toby’s sense of humor might not be right for every occasion, but she likes it when he gives her the red carpet treatment. Toby almost died of a heart attack at Christmastime. Of all the major characters, Toby is the only one whose past This Is Us has not yet explored.
Dr. K (Gerald McRaney)
A substitute for Jack and Rebecca’s regular doctor, Dr. K delivered the twins and helped Jack with the awful news about losing the third baby. Dr. K showed up again as a patient the same night Kate had appendicitis. Dr. K is still grieving the death of his wife and fighting his children to keep the family home.
Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge)
The failure of Kevin’s marriage to Sophie, by his own admission his fault, led him down the path of womanizing and avoiding emotional attachment. Toby helped Kevin realize he had one true love, and Kevin showed up at her doorstep. Now that he’s making a movie in Los Angeles, will history repeat itself with Sophie?
Fireman Joe (Brian Oblak)
The fireman who brought Randall to the hospital has more to his story too. It turns out, the day Randall was left at the firehouse, Joe considered adopting him himself. His wife talked him out of it, but agreed to work on their marriage, so it seems Randall helped heal two families that day.
Miguel (Jon Huertas)
Homewrecker! Just kidding, but everyone’s been suspicious of Miguel since he showed up as Rebecca’s modern-day husband. By the end of season 1, flashbacks showed that Miguel and Jack were close friends. Miguel was Jack’s best man. No one even knows how Jack died yet, let alone how Miguel moved in on Rebecca.
This Is Us returns Tuesday, September 26 at 9 p.m. on NBC.