Spoilers ahead for This Is Us Season 4, Episode 12 "Trust me, Kevin, this is the ending everyone wants, and they still won't see it coming," M. Night Shyamalan (yes, that M. Night Shyamalan) assured Kevin during a set pep talk in the Tuesday, Jan. 28 This Is Us episode, "A Hell of a Week: Part Two." The director may have been referring to the Pearson sibling's fictional movie, but barring any unforeseen Shyamalan-esque twists, one ending that everyone now does see coming is that how Kevin gets a kid is going to be revealed fairly soon. And Sophie can still be the mother of Kevin's son on This Is Us — even though he hooked up with Madison. Hear me out.
Fans have certainly considered Kevin and his childhood sweetheart as potentially being endgame, ever since the Season 3 finale flash forward scene showed he'd be settled down and the father of at least one child in the future. The This Is Us fall finale added even more intrigue, revealing that just nine months post Thanksgiving, Kevin would be engaged and expecting a baby with somebody.
Given that, at the time, Kevin had no stable romantic prospects on the horizon, jumping to such an uncharacteristic level of commitment would seem to indicate that the woman was someone with whom he already had a romantic history. Sorry, Cassidy, Madison, and "hall pass" Lizzy, but you just didn't quite seem to fit that bill. And it seems Sophie may just be that somebody given that longing look she gave those rings at the end of the episode.
Their past was certainly more deeply examined in this week's Kevin-centered episode. As it turns out, Kevin was extremely close with Sophie's mother, Claire, who had just died in the episode from MS. Her death ultimately precipitated the on-and-off exes' reunion. Sophie desired the warmth of her old flame because, unlike her current fiancé, Grant, he'd not only already dealt with the crushing blow of losing a parent, but had also shared a special bond with her late mom. "It's crazy I'm going to spend the rest of my life with somebody who never really knew her," Sophie admits to Kevin in one scene in the episode.
Aside from their "history of getting each other through funerals," Kevin and Sophie also have this comforting, ongoing game of imagining endings to Good Will Hunting. That was because their trip to see the 1997 Robin Williams and Matt Damon movie as teens had ended abruptly due to technical difficulties at their local dollar theater.
The duo made a pact at the time to never watch the movie's real ending, so they could imagine their own perfect conclusions for the rest of their lives. That changed, of course, when Kevin flew from L.A. to Pittsburgh to attend Claire's funeral, and he and Sophie ended up watching the final scene together in his car.
Even from beyond the grave, Claire seemed to be the powerful "force of nature" that Kevin knew in childhood. The episode revealed that he'd, as a teen, asked her for Sophie's grandmother's emerald ring, but Claire reluctantly had to refuse his request. "I love you, kiddo, but I can't give you that ring. Not yet," she told Kevin. "Your marriage is too new and you're too young. You've gotta earn it, baby doll."
In the present day, Sophie shared with Kevin that she'd found her mom had held on to his teenage acting headshot (complete with their "never settle" mantra written on it in Sharpie). "She was always rooting for you," Sophie told him. "She was your biggest fan." While pouring out a Fresca and Prosecco (or "Fresecco") for Claire at her gravesite, Kevin expressed regret that he'd "messed things up" with Sophie — more than once — and wished he "had another crack" at earning that emerald ring. Alas, he lamented, "it's too late."
Or was it? Throwing in yet another classic This Is Us twist, back in L.A., Kevin encountered Madison, fresh off a breakup, at Kate's apartment. For a moment Kevin even showed some growth and maturity, and for a brief second, it seemed like maybe, Madison would be the woman with whom Kevin ends up starting a family. It also seemed like he and Madison had slept together, given that they're in bed together at the end of the episode. But Kevin seems hell bent on getting Sophie back — there's still a chance!
In subsequent scenes, however, Claire had a final trick up her sleeve, seemingly leading Sophie to find her grandma's ring in her belongings. After doing a side-by-side comparison with the sparkler Grant had given her, Sophie likely had a change of heart. Ending up with Madison just seems too easy for this hopelessly romantic show.
What happens between that moment and the few months that will follow until viewers catch up to the future timeline where Kevin's an engaged dad-to-be at the Pearson family cabin remains to be seen. Either way, Kevin may have said it best when he remarked to Randall, "It's been a hell of a week."