‘This Is Us’: Kevin & Sophie Reflect on Their Love in ‘The Night Before the Wedding’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 14 of This Is Us, “The Night Before the Wedding.”]
This Is Us is turning back the clock by a few hours in this week’s episode as it fills in some missing time for Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) between the rehearsal ceremony and wedding for Kate (Chrissy Metz) in “The Night Before the Wedding.”
After Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Madison’s (Caitlin Thompson) attempt to uncover the woman that Kevin is hung up on, answers are finally emerging and some fans will certainly be satisfied. Below, we’re breaking down all of the key moments from this pivotal installment so beware of spoilers ahead.
In the opening moments of the episode, a young Kevin (Kaz Womack) sits at a school desk and surrounding decorations indicate it’s Valentine’s Day. Looking down at the papers in front of him, Kevin carefully fills out Valentines for his female classmates as some look on in admiration. In a return to this flashback, it is later revealed that it happens to be Sophie’s first day in the class as the teacher introduces the new girl. Locking eyes with her, Kevin begins scrawling out a new Valentine card for the bright-eyed girl in front of him.
In another flashback set not long before Kate’s wedding to Philip (Chris Geere), Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) and her husband attend the engagement party. It’s the first time that Kevin has seen Sophie since her mother’s funeral and he saunters over to catch up and meet Sophie’s husband. His approach is a little awkward as he accidentally causes Sophie to spill wine on herself. Meanwhile, Sophie’s husband is conversational and teases Kevin by saying he sees his nipples in subway ads for The Manny all of the time.
Kevin’s Love Story Comes Full Circle
Most of the episode is set in the hours before Kate’s wedding and as Kevin chats with his sister and Philip at the rehearsal, he mentions how cute the wedding singer (played by guest star Katie Lowes) is. Before he can say too much, Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) shows up and he’s introduced to Philip’s cousin Oliver who informs Kevin they’re the only two bachelors at the wedding.
Kevin tells Oliver that he’s not looking for anyone but when he walks off and connects with Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Kevin’s brother reminds him that Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) is married. Kevin gets a bit defensive over the idea, but his feeling isn’t hard to read when she walks into the celebration.
Walking over to Rebecca (Mandy Moore), Sophie hugs her former mother-in-law who talks to her as though she’s still in her twenties and married to Kevin. Sophie begins to realize it’s because of her Alzheimer’s that Rebecca’s so confused. Across the room, the wedding singer introduces herself to Kevin, revealing her name is Ariel. She then goes in for a hug much to Kevin’s surprise, but it’s mostly done in an attempt to escape thirsty bachelor Oliver from seeking her out.
Initially, she’s very animated and tells Kevin that she’s a big fan, but once the coast is clear, Ariel admits that she’s never seen his show before. After they bid each other adieu, Ariel walks away and Kevin searches for Sophie but bumps into twins, Nicky and Franny, and Madison before he can meet her.
The twins ask if they can have s’mores at the bonfire later that evening and Madison gives the okay if Kevin agrees to pick up the supplies which he graciously does. Finally free to try and find Sophie, he turns to see that she’s nowhere in sight. Instead, she’s in the lobby at the concierge desk where she’s come to the realization that the airline has lost her luggage.
Kevin overhears and does his best to comfort Sophie who says she at least has a clean pair of underwear, a trick her mother taught her when it came to traveling. When Kevin inquires about her husband, Sophie informs him that something came up and he had to stay behind in New York. In an attempt to help Sophie with her predicament, Kevin offers her a ride as he has to go pick up the s’mores ingredients anyways.
When they exit the hotel, a valet drives a convertible up to the curb and Kevin explains it’s the only vehicle option before yanking the “Just Married” sign off of the back. When they arrive in town all of the dress shops are closed, but Sophie spots a cleaner’s shop and has an idea. The owner informs them he’s closing up shop soon but allows them to look at the unclaimed clothing rack.
Sifting through the dresses, Sophie explains to Kevin that after her mother’s divorce, they would go thrifting to save money. As the search continues, Sophie asks Kevin about his kids and he admits that while every parent thinks their kids are special, his kids really are. As he describes his son to her, Sophie can’t help but call out the fact that he sounds a lot like Kevin.
Once she finds a dress, Sophie turns to the dressing room where Kevin holds the curtain up. Following the successful find, the duo hits up the grocery store for Kevin to pick up marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for later. Kevin tells her about the success of his non-profit, Big Three Homes, and the impact it’s having on veterans.
Meanwhile, Sophie has been busy saving lives in a town outside of Berlin, Germany as she tells Kevin about her job as a traveling nurse. She says that her mother’s death inspired her to get out and travel, even if it was for work. Kevin asks about long-distance struggles with her husband and she admits that the red-eye flights are killing her. As she looks closer at him, Sophie makes a comment about how Kevin doesn’t age and he mentions how he has some gray in his beard and she tells him in a flirty way that he’s forbidden from ever shaving it.
Talking about chins, Kevin tells Sophie there was a recent occasion when his son Nicky fell and cut his chin, and he wishes he could have called her. Sophie tells Kevin he can always call her and she agrees to go for a little ride out in the countryside as they continue to chat. While walking among the vineyard-like terrain, Sophie tells Kevin that she’s divorced.
Before asking any major questions, Kevin tells Sophie he’s sorry and that he liked her husband when he met him at Kate’s engagement party. Sophie says her ex was a good guy and that although she’d grown up a lot in the relationship, it had been over for a while. Kevin goes on to ask why she didn’t say something sooner and Sophie admits she needed to make peace with the situation first, before mentioning that Rebecca still thinks she and Kevin are married. Kevin tells Sophie that Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s is a family disease that they’re all struggling with.
The topic leads Sophie to ask if Kevin is dating and he admits he’s had bad luck in recent years and isn’t currently seeing anyone. Instead, he’s been focusing on his kids and non-profit organization. Noticing Sophie shivering, Kevin offers her his coat and the moment is mirrored at different points in their lives, ranging from their youth and high school years to now.
Back at the hotel where Kate’s wedding is set for the next day, Sophie and Kevin sit at different bonfires as the twins cook their s’mores. But the eye connection between Sophie and Kevin is rarely broken. As guests turn in for the night, Kevin remains seated until Sophie gets up and they head inside and into the elevator together. When they get out on the same floor, Sophie follows Kevin to his room and the pair begin kissing and as Sophie’s shirt comes off and her bra is revealed, we discover that it is the bra that was found in Kevin’s room the next day by Madison and Beth.
When he begins to say that her hair smells the same, though, Sophie gets upset as she tells Kevin it isn’t the same as she doesn’t use the same shampoo. She takes that as a sign to leave, complaining that she can’t go backward and their decades of history make it difficult to move forward. Kevin argues that he doesn’t want to go backward, but Sophie runs out before he can convince her otherwise.
Heading down to the bar, Kevin sits and chats with Ariel who is extremely observant as she orders him a ginger ale. He asks what all of her scrawlings are, she informs him that they’re song lyrics and observations. When Kevin asks her to share observations of him, it turns out that it’s the poem Beth and Madison found in his room as Ariel gives him the napkin before he leaves to head upstairs.
Upon returning to his room, Kevin runs into Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) who is grabbing ice in the hallway. Kevin explains that he’s done with love after this night, but Nicky argues that it’s like an old game he used to play, you think it’s over and then something pulls you back into the game. At this moment, Cassidy rounds the corner and asks Kevin for help.
Heading into his room, Kevin helps Cassidy unzip her dress and after changing in the bathroom she comes out to chat for a minute. She mentions that she needs to find someone else to bother and Kevin argues that Cassidy isn’t a bother to him. He then addresses her seriously and hints that maybe they’re meant to be together, but she shuts him down and says that they’re best friends not each other’s person. Kevin agrees and calls it a night.
The next day, the action picks up where viewers have been before as Kevin practices his speech and lives through Kate’s wedding day. Catching up with Randall after the speeches, ceremony, and some dancing, Kevin informs his brother that Sophie is single and Beth overhears, she scurries off to inform Madison that the case has been cracked.
Kevin worries aloud to his brother that he’ll just mess things up again. Meanwhile, Sophie catches up with Rebecca, complimenting her moving performance. Rebecca can tell something is off and she asks if it’s Kevin? Still mixed up on timing, Rebecca tells Sophie that although she loves Kevin, he’s an idiot and he might not be ready now in his twenties for her, but he will be someday, in other words, now.
Realizing that they’re avoiding what’s right, Kevin and Sophie finally connect and she stops him from delivering a speech, instead, taking over the conversation herself. Sophie tells Kevin that he’s become the person she’s always wanted and since they’ve both changed, she wants to fall in love with this version of him and have him fall in love with who she is now.
In response, he pulls a faded Valentine from his wallet, the same one he’d written out the day he first saw her. Kevin tells her he’s always carried her with him and they finally kiss. As the Pearson family watches on and cheers, they kiss again, sealing their fate for the future and viewers.
Let us know what you think of the reveal in the comments section, below, and stay tuned for what’s ahead on This Is Us as the final season continues on NBC.
This Is Us, Season 6, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC