As the first part of This Is Us Season 3 winds down, the Big Three are each going on their own journey. Kevin is searching for Jack's past in Vietnam, Kate is finally pregnant through IVF, and Randall ... well, Randall is running for city council in Philadelphia. Randall's campaign on This Is Us has been taking up a decent portion of this season. But you might be struggling to accept Randall's slightly random political aspirations — especially as they are taking place in a city he doesn't live in.
For the midseason finale on Nov. 27, Randall is going to face off with opposing candidate Solomon Brown in a debate, so this storyline isn't over. If you're not feeling "Randall Pearson for City Council," you're far from alone because his campaign really doesn't make much sense. And it's starting to mess with his relationship with his family.
Randall's journey to Philadelphia's City Council started in "A Philadelphia Story" when he saw that the neighborhood surrounding the apartment complex he bought was struggling. But his yearning to help out has, with Pearson predictability, grown into the giant gesture of running to represent Philadelphia's 12th District. While there is most likely a bigger plot reason for Randall doing this — like, maybe the strain will pull the beloved couple of Beth and Randall apart? or it will cause him to have another emotional break? — Randall's political career is also taking its toll on some viewers. And that's for a very good reason as the following list highlights.
He Could Be More Present For His Family
Randall is so committed to helping Philly's 12th District that he hasn't been as present for his family. Beth and he just adopted Deja, so maybe his time would be better spent engaging with his three daughters as they inevitably should be still adjusting to this new family dynamic. And when Beth lost her job, he was so wrapped up in his new project that he didn't really emotionally support her.
Running for office in Philadelphia also means that Randall is physically less available since his home in Alpine, New Jersey, is a solid two-hour drive away from the City of Brotherly Love. That's not even sustainable.
No One Is Paying For It
Speaking of Beth losing her job, this means that no one is earning a salary in the family. Obviously, they are well off as Randall had a job as a broker previously. But they just added another child to financially support. And while they can be collecting rent, they recently purchased the apartment complex and needed to put a lot of money into the run-down building.
Plus, "hiring" Beth isn't going to produce any new income. As evidenced by this Reddit thread, audiences would very much appreciate even a single line about the state of the Pearson family finances since viewers aren't convinced that Randall isn't putting them into debt.
Hiring Beth Is A Flawed Decision
In Randall terms, Beth "needs a win." So he hired her as his field manager for the campaign. Unfortunately, this doesn't actually deal with what Beth went through and it feels like a self-absorbed way for Randall to handle the problem. Then, there's how Randall is using the campaign to boost Beth's self-confidence in insincere ways by agreeing with all her ideas even if he doesn't believe in them.
As William told her in a flashback, there will be a time when Beth needs to put herself first. Now's that time since she should be finding something that brings her happiness after losing her job — and working for her husband isn't it.
Now, Neither Beth Or Randall Are Home
On top of Randall not being around the house, Beth being his field manager means they both are traveling back and forth from Philly. So when Tess got her period, it was Aunt Kate that she had to speak to. Thankfully, Tess, Annie, and Deja all seem fine for now, but this back and forth will inevitably put strain on the family. There's no way around it.
He's Neglecting The Apartment Building
The whole reason Randall even has a connection to Philadelphia is because he bought William's apartment building! Yet, he's more fixated on cleaning up the surrounding district (a worthy cause) then managing the rental property he just purchased.
He says in "Toby" that he fixed up the building quickly and is now looking to help the neighborhood, but he has displayed an unhealthy pattern of jumping from one project to another without seeing the initial project through and this appears to be another case of that. Shaking my head over here.
Is Sol Brown *Really* The Enemy?
The current councilperson has been neglecting certain communities in his district and places like the rec center. But as Randall's conversations with Sol Brown have shown, he's not all that bad of a guy. He understands the needs of a large portion of his base as he was born and raised in Philly and many of his constituents love him. So maybe a better solution would have been Randall trying to find ways to work WITH Councilperson Brown to better serve everyone in the 12th District rather than unseat him.
The Trouble With Koreatown
Randall prides himself in being better than Councilman Brown. But it's interesting that Randall then used his brother's fame to win over the Koreatown community. The Korean population in the 12th District have been largely ignored by Brown, which isn't right. And it's good to encourage more voter participation since Randall notes only 25 percent of people voted in the last election. But rallying the people of Korean descent is also a manipulative political ploy on Randall's part to earn more votes. Randall promises to listen to the needs of his prospective constituents and Jae-Won believes in him since he signs on as campaign manager, but it still was a slightly shady move by Randall Pearson.
He Doesn't Have Any Political Experience
Even if he was harsh to Beth in "Six Thanksgivings," thank goodness Jae-Won did join the team because Randall has no idea what he's doing. Again, he could volunteer for Brown's campaign and get more done.
He Doesn't Need This To Honor His Fathers
Randall was inspired to run because Chichi's daughter Sky got assaulted. But he was also motivated because Kate had made an unintentional insensitive comment about being the only Pearson child able to pass on their father's traits. Randall and Kate made amends, but Randall still seems to be on a quest to fulfill the legacies of Jack and William. Randall has already proven himself to be a man of compassionate action like both his adopted father and his biological father were. But this campaign comes off as a selfish attempt for validation.
Again, HE DOESN'T LIVE THERE.
Yeah, this one was covered already, but it's worthy of two entries on this list. As Chichi noted, he's not a member of the community. "You are not one of us," she told him in "A Philadelphia Story." Randall has always struggled to find his place and so this is his way of joining the group that William belonged to. But he should engage with the community in a more genuine way — especially because, again, it's really not right for him to represent a place he doesn't live in. Come on Pearson, be better.
Even with all these reasons, This Is Us may reveal the bigger purpose of why Randall has been going on this peculiar political run in the midseason finale. But whether he succeeds or fails, expect there to be some negative repercussions.