This Is Us might be about the Big Three and their lives in the past, present, and future, but the stories of the other people around them are just as important. Beth's past has been a mystery, with only a few occasional hints dropped about ballet dancing and meeting Randall in college. Now, viewers are about to meet the one of the most important people from her past, so who is Beth's mom on This Is Us? At the end of last weekend's episode, "Songbird Road: Part Two," Beth told Randall that her mom broke her hip so she had to fly to D.C. to check on her. So even if their relationship is strained, Beth does still have some kind of relationship with her mom.
In the promo for tonight's episode, "Our Little Island Girl," Beth tries opening up to her mom about the past. She asks why her mom made her give up ballet when she was younger, to which Beth's mom replies that Beth had gone as far as she could go. It definitely seems like there are some unresolved issues between them. Right now, it's unclear if Beth's mom will be around for just one episode to help explain some of Beth's backstory and help propel her story forward. However, it seems like having a long overdue talk with her mom is going to be what Beth needs to move forward and figure out what she wants to do next.
Susan Kalechi Watson, who plays Beth, spoke to TVLine about Beth's backstory on This Is Us and what fans can expect to take away after finally getting a look into her life before she became a Pearson.
She said that the This Is Us writers "found a way to create this really beautiful backstory, and a beginning of a resolution of Beth starting to get back on her footing again."
After getting fired and struggling to come to terms with Randall's city council race, Beth was a little lost about what her own next career move was. It sounds like seeing her mom will help her decide what to do even if it drudges up some negative feelings about the past. "We have some amazing surprises in it," Watson said, of the episode. "It’s going to be a really powerful episode."
Viewers already have an idea of Beth's next move, thanks to one of the flash-forwards which showed her overseeing a class of ballet dancers in what appeared to be her own studio. But for the first time, we're going to learn why she gave up dancing in the first place and what role her mom had in changing the course of her future.
Beth's mom, played by Clair Huxtable herself, Phylicia Rashad, doesn't seem as soft spoken as Rebecca or as delusional as Toby's mom. She might have had her daughter's best interests at heart years ago, but clearly her actions have affected Beth in a major way. Beth grew up to be a strong and encouraging mom, but this look into her past as she visits with her mother is finally going to shed light on the mystery of who Beth was before she met Randall and what her relationship with her mom is really like.
The fact that she was willing to drop everything to hurry home and see her shows that there is definitely still some love there. But Beth's mom does seem like she may have been hard on her growing up and because of that, they might have a different kind of relationship than Randall and Rebecca do.
Personally, I'm just excited to finally get Beth's backstory on This Is Us.