Warning! The following contains spoilers for the latest episode of This Is Us. Read at your own risk!
It's official, Kevin Pearson is spiraling out of control. This Is Us fans were teased a week ago that Randall and Kevin would be emulating the different sides of their father Jack, for better or worse, and last night's episode saw Kevin pushing Sophie away in a manner similar to Jack keeping Rebecca back as he was struggling to battle his alcoholism. Unfortunately, Kevin's journey to rock bottom doesn't even end there, and producer Issac Aptaker said things will get a little worse for him before they get better:
Yes, we are very, very close to rock bottom with him. These painkillers, he's fallen in love with them because they allow him not to feel, and that's Episode 3 with Kate when Sylvester Stallone started to crack him open. And he's so, so scared of that, so he's just running in the complete opposite direction by numbing himself. But he's realizing that it's starting to have a pretty intense impact on the relationships in his life. He's just able to hide it from Kate in that scene. If he stayed there much longer, she would have realized something is up. And now with Sophie, this is really his way of saying, 'I've already ruined your life once. I cheated on you and got divorced, and it took you a long time to bounce back from that again. And I can't do that to you again.' And I so love in Justin's performance there, you can tell he's setting her free, and all you want him to do --- and all he wants to do --- is admit to her that he has a problem. But he can't bear to bring her down into his spiral with him and mess up her life yet again. So he's setting her free by breaking her heart, and it's really painful.
Kevin even went so far as to proclaim to Sophie he can't be like his father with romantic gestures, ironically while using drugs to numb his pain, just like his father in the past. Unlike Rebecca, though, Sophie wasn't able to see through the addiction and shut the door on Kevin as he tried shutting the door on their relationship. Why didn't he just tell her what he was going through? Better yet, why did Sophie (who is a nurse) need to be told what's going on, as she would surely see the signs of painkiller addiction, right?
Surprisingly, Issac Aptaker even had an answer for EW on that one. Yes, Kevin does look disheveled when he arrives on Sophie's doorstep in the middle of the night, but wouldn't that be the case with anyone who flew in on a red-eye flight and spent the day chasing her across town? Plus, our last interaction with Sophie and Kevin had him embarrassing her at an event by getting too drunk, so it's possible she may have thought he was just drinking as well. Does This Is Us literally think of everything when they film a scene?
If Kevin's version of rock bottom isn't him ending things with Sophie, how far does the This Is Us character fall? Given his Hollywood status, a public freakout that goes viral sounds like something that could happen, and often does prompt most celebrities to go into rehab. Hopefully, whatever happens doesn't ruin his big break in Hollywood as that's about all he has left going for him at this point.
This Is Us is all new on NBC on Tuesday, November 14th, at 9 p.m. ET. For more on the series, read about how the show recently re-edited an episode to replace a Kevin Spacey reference with a less controversial actor, or who Mandy Moore believes is the best crier on the show. For more on fall programming and a whole list of shows that are worth watching over the next couple of months, visit our fall premiere guide.