William’s Ex, Jessie, Was Introduced On ‘This Is Us,’ Reminding Randall That He Has A Lot To Learn About His Father

Randall has to catch up on after not knowing his biological father, William, for 36 years, and the This Is Us midseason finale let viewers (and Randall) in on one big facet of William’s life — his former lover, Jessie. William went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting on Christmas Eve, told the story about how he reunited with his family, and how happy he's been since then. Then Jessie spoke next to tell the story about how he had a love that left him and he didn’t know what to do about it. It quickly became apparent that William was the love Jessie was talking about, and their story made it clear that Randall still has a lot learn about his father's life.

After the NA meeting, William tried to explain what happened to Jessie. He said that he got a second chance to know his family, to meet his granddaughters, to bond with his son, and it was something that he couldn’t pass up. I can see how William feels here — if you know you’re dying, you have to be with the people you love as much as possible — but I also see how Jessie could be upset. William and Jessie basically got clean together, and they shared a lot. It's still hurtful to have your love just up and leave one day with no explanation. Jessie said he would visit William’s neighbor just so he could see William’s old, crotchety cat. At the end, Jessie asks William if he’s dying tomorrow (thankfully, the answer is no) and if they could spend time together. Then William brings him home for Christmas. The gang’s all here!

No one but Randall was surprised that his father brought home a boyfriend for Christmas, and they all welcomed Jessie into their Christmas Eve celebration. Until now, the only thing that viewers had known about William’s backstory is what happened surrounding Randall’s birth and adoption, but he lived an entire life before and after that. I’m looking forward to seeing the bittersweet way This Is Us evolves William’s relationships and lets viewers (and Randall) get to know him better.

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