[This story contains spoilers to the April 26 episode of 'The Night Before the Wedding.'
Kevin Pearson has finally returned to the series after four episodes of The Is Us finale.
The previous episode had teased a whodunnit of sorts about Kevin's () love life, as it swam at Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison), the wedding singer (played by Katie Lowes), and his ex-wife Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) who met Kevin and the entire Pearson family at the hotel for Kate's () to Phillip (Chris Geere. The perennially single Kevin was facing a life-threatening catastrophe.
The wife in question turned out to be Kevin's on-and-off love but forever soul partner Sophie. It took a long time to make the journey there.
Kevin has such a large character arc in terms of growth, Breckenridge tells The Hollywood Reporter of watching the final season, alongside viewers, and seeing the Pearson sibling grow into the man her character always wanted to be. It took him years, she said. It took him years, however, for him to get out of his own way. In the end, he did, coming from one direction of being and moving into another entirely.
Kevin's adult romances have been incredibly wreaking. Most recently, after announcing his wedding to Madison (Caitlin Thompson), the mother of their twins, flash-forwards have drew Kevin back into his serial dating ways, particularly after an ill-timed attempt to woo Cassidy falls flat. However, any relationship attempts after Sophie have failed. It takes Sophie to notice the changes with her own eyes to convince her.
After receiving the This Is Us invitation, Breckenridge has returned for the whole series, appearing in all six seasons. During season one, Kevin, unsure about a new relationship, met Sophie back, hoping to be the youngest child in the first season. Finally, Sophie, who was given a visit from Kevin after her mother died in season five, was grateful for her attendance at Kate's nuptials.
Breckenridge claims that the creator had planned for Kevin and Sophie to fall in love early in season 5. Then, "I think in season five, I had a conversation with Dan where he said, "This is how we would like it to go. " We weren't really sure how it was going to shake out," she says.
Breckenridge was able to return to film Sophie's funeral in Vancouver, but then she was forced to pause all productions. Eventually, Virgin River was one of the first shows to restart production, and when she was able to begin filming its third season, she said it became clear that she was not going to be able to travel from Canada back to Los Angeles, because of COVID-19.
"This Is Us came and said, "We want Alex to return for these many episodes." But she says she was not able to do it. "It was a horrible happy situation to have," she adds. "But once we knew that it wasn't going to happen, I thought they made a different plan for Kevin and Sophie to conclude up together in the end. They were like, "OK." So this isn't going to happen this way. We're going to do it this way."
As a result, both Kevin and Sophie decided to get back to each other again. When Kate's wedding concluded, Sophie is happily divorced and a traveling nurse, motivated by her late mother, and Kevin has established his own business, inspired by his late father, and is moving toward a fatherhood while co-parenting with Madison.
"I think it ended up being paid off, because it gave the two characters greater growth on their own as two individuals. "I think that's the best way people can come together, is being whole on your own before you can engage in a bond," she said of their love story.
Breckenridge says she's grateful that the two productions were able to complete the series' production, causing Sophie to continue to appear until the end of the series. If she hadn't been able to see the storyline, she would have been "devastated." Her scene partner, however, took a lighter approach.
Rebecca is noticing into the present. She thinks she's seeing into the future, but it's the present. What she says in that moment is so powerful and powerful in the present, that it makes Sophie to take that leap once more, says Breckenridge.
Sophie was pretty much always there and more willing to be in a relationship than Kevin was capable of in a relationship with her, because Kevin's orbit was in and around himself. He wasn't capable to show up for her in the way she needed, or that both of them needed to have a stable relationship. I think it's remarkable how everything turned out. I think Kevin's storyline really needed to take that journey on its own to do it on its own.
The episode doesn't fill in the blanks on why Sophie and her husband divorced. Breckenridge says there was a sort of transition between the two, but it didn't make the final cut. Instead, she shares her own opinion.
"She was willing to take a chance with him in their 30s and return to him, and he ended up feeling chastised," she said. In that moment, she found someone who was strong and kind, but she wasn't envious of him. So when she returns to see Kevin [at the wedding], she realizes that things have changed, and she takes that leap once more because she has never realized what he meant.
This Is Us will be released for the second time, especially as it approaches the flash-forward with the family coming to Rebecca's bedside at the luxury cabin built by Kevin, who was seen wearing a wedding ring in the first video. Breckenridge said that viewers will see Sophie throughout several timelines.
It's bittersweet because you get this satisfaction of Kevin and Sophie finally coming together, but at the same time, you realize there is really not much time to see them together. Especially with Rebecca's illness and her rapid decline, there's just a lot of ground to cover, she says. But Sophie remains to be a huge support for Kevin and their family, i mean, they are her family, too. I believe she feels particularly connected to them; they all really raised up together.
On NBC, the last season of This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m.. Read THR's chat with Fogelman and the cast about the finale season and the entire series run.