This Is Us might have teased a heartbreaking future for Randall and Beth as the pair dealt with the fallout of his political campaign and their daughters' latest revelations.
As the couple discussed whether Randall was properly prepared for his debate with the incumbent councilman, they noticed that Tess (Eris Baker) was not being as "sweet" as she once was since her big episode, in which she — unbeknownst to them — came out to her aunt Kate (Chrissy Metz).
Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) were also shocked to find our that Deja (Lyric Ross) had gotten back in contact with her mother, which she started doing on Thanksgiving.
Just before the debate, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Tess have a bonding moment in the car where the grandmother relives her own experiences in middle school as Tess seems distant.
"You don't have any issues?" Rebecca asks.
"Aunt Kate told you..." Tess wonders, but Rebecca doesn't know what she's talking about before admitting she did tell her.
"She only told me because she's across the country and she wants someone who's close by who can be there for you," Rebecca says, before she tells her that in modern times things are easier for LGBT people. Tess lashes out at her grandma saying she would've told her about it if she had wanted to discuss it with her.
Randall's debate has its own set of tension, as he and the incumbent councilman exchange tense remarks from the podium. Knowing that he is losing, he starts to list the individual way that the council ignored the district and their complaints. His enthusiasm and promises inspire the audience.
After the event, Tess continues to be detached and Rebecca tries to reach out once again. She shares that since she used to keep her emotions and some secrets bottled up in her twenties, it manifested as bodily pains. She tells her that she doesn't have to open up about her feelings right now, but she wants Tess to be honest with herself before her secrets hurt her permanently.
Randall, however, gets the bad news that the polls have him too far behind from his competitor; meaning that there's no chance he will win the competition.
Back at their house, Deja announces to Beth and Randall that her mother has a job in Delaware and she wants to go visit her. They agree to plan an outing soon. Tess then comes downstairs and apologizes for acting strange.
"I just... I feel uncomfortable around you guys all of a sudden... I don't want to keep a secret," Tess says. She talks about how people at her school have been having crushes and boyfriends and says she might like girls. "I didn't want to tell you guys because I didn't want it to become a thing."
They tell Tess that they love her unconditionally and that she can talk to them whenever. They later talk about the reveal and about the end of the campaign, disagreeing about whether or not to keep going given the changes the family is going through. With Randall refusing to back away from the campaign, Beth and him end the conversation in an angry place.
The episode ends with Beth laying sheets for Randall to sleep on the couch, before the flash forward shows grown-up Tess and Randall going to meet Beth — seemingly not together anymore — before she reveals that the "her" they were talking about in the previous flash-forward cliffhanger to be Rebecca.
Could the family be coming together to say goodbye to Rebecca Pearson? This Is Us returns with new episodes Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.