The show picked up right where it left off after the fall finale, with many viewer questions being answered — though, in TIU fashion, several new season 3 cliffhangers arose.
The “The Last Seven Weeks” episode did exactly what the title said, in that Sterling K. Brown’s Randall Pearson raced to the finish line in his election for the city councilman position against longtime politician Sol Brown (Rob Morgan).
What was projected as a landslide loss for Randall at the start of the campaign turned out to be too close to call as Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), Rebecca (Mandy Moore), Miguel (Jon Huertas), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and his girlfriend Zoey (Melanie Liburd) came together to watch the final results trickle in.
Meanwhile, the episode’s overall focus spotlighted the adult Big Three in pivotal points in their romances.
Though the marital status of Randall and Beth was left hanging in November, the stress of the election did not come between them despite a Christmas blowup. Ultimately, Beth came on board with the election after a slice of “booberry” pie and being reminded of how her husband is a man “who cares too much and tries too hard.”
In the end, those qualities (and the throwing away of records showing Sol’s alleged DUI cover-up) were what guaranteed Randall a victory over his opponent, thus leading into a new chapter of local politics.
However, Randall and Beth were not the only couple facing challenges in their relationship.
New duo Kevin and Zoey — adorably named #Zevin by fans — moved in together as she accepted his spare key that was decorated with a keychain of Stamos’ Full House character. “Tess and Annie got it for me, there was a whole phase they were calling me Uncle Jesse,” Kevin explained. (Stamos appeared again as Uncle Jesse when Randall and his daughters streamed Fuller House on Netflix.)
And in their continued efforts to find out about his uncle Nicky, the couple came face-to-face with Zoey’s past as they met her ex, Congressman Andy, whom she asked to find Nicky’s military records. The congressman still helped Kevin and Zoey, even after she previously dumped him via email — a move that briefly tripped Kevin up.
“We’ll get to see a lot about Zoey’s backstory,” Liburd recently told PEOPLE, also teasing that fans will get to see more of “Kevin and Zoey’s challenges, what they’ve worked through together and their adventures.”
After Kevin’s many romantic pursuits (starting from Kate’s wedding to Vietnam and moving in together), it was actually Zoey who said “I love you” first and cemented a major milestone in their nearly one-year relationship.
Another happy ending during the episode: Kevin and Zoey uncovered a mysterious 1992 postcard addressed to Jack from Nicky, with the younger sibling’s post-war mailing address. “Jack, Last one – C.K.,” the message read. As fans learned, Nicky had discharged himself from the military hospital under the name Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman, which was the nickname he used to call Jack.
Across town, Chrissy Metz‘s Kate was getting ready for her baby boy with husband Toby (Chris Sullivan) and giving constant updates about the growth — from lime to tomato — of the new Pearson family member.
The parents-to-be assembled a nursery in Toby’s old office where he displayed many of his treasured Star Wars memorabilia, including his action figures that Kate decided to sell to her college classmate for extra money.
“They are just not toys, they are action figures. Action figures that traveled house to house after my parents got divorced. Into my college dorm room through six L.A. apartments, so that someday I can pass them onto my kid,” he frustratingly explained.
Though Kate made her best efforts to convince her millennial classmate to give them back to Toby — even recalling how her childhood home burnt down and her dad Jack died — she had to replace them by buying new action figures on eBay.
And being the romantic that he is, Toby even recreated Kate’s beloved replica of Three Rivers Stadium, where the Steelers used to play, so his wife could have her favorite childhood toy back in her life after it was destroyed in the house fire.
What could be next? As the preview showed, the Big Three visit Nicky’s trailer in Bradford.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.