Straighten those ties: The next episode of This Is Us is fast approaching, and it means business. Airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, “The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World” will not only take you inside a sibling rivalry, it will bring a dangerous secret to the surface.
The episode also carries a different theme than the last one. “In episode 6, all of our characters tried to figure out what their next move is,” This Is Us executive producer Ken Olin tells EW. “In episode 7, it’s sort of the opposite: All of them are confronting certain things that they haven’t dealt with…. We see the impact of some of those things that we’ve been setting up with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan), even with Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and her relationship with William (Ron Cephas Jones).”
As you may have surmised from past episodes, things between Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) have been suboptimal for a long time. This episode will explore the tensions that began when the brothers were young, and give you a peek at the brothers as teenagers. “One thing that’s fun is we’re going to see a whole new age for the kids,” says Olin. “We’re in a whole different phase of their development. We begin to see the ways in which some of the issues between Randall and Kevin — that we teased a little bit in the fourth episode — become a little more complicated. There’s a little more friction.”
This, of course, will carry into the present day, where they have been struggling to find a bond. “We touched on Kevin’s resentment of his position in the family, and now as they’re adults, we start to see how far apart they actually are,” notes Olin. “We’ve teased [it] a couple times, but now we actually see them trying to spend time together as adults and how different they are — and also how difficult it is.”
In other stories, look for Beth and William, the biological father of husband Randall, to “interact in some great ways, in some ways that aren’t expected, and then Beth learns a big secret,” hints Olin. “That becomes something which sets up the next few episodes. Beth learns some things that are going to eventually dramatically change a lot of the dynamics for the family.”
As for Kate and Toby, “for the first time, we’re going to actually see them come up against very different choices that they want to make,” Olin adds. “And I don’t think we’ve seen them come up against a real impasse. They get to a place where they have a real problem.”
Want to get to the place where Olin breaks down the previous episode, “Career Days”? It’s right here.