'This Is Us' plot news, spoilers: Show creator explains William's fate, what to expect in last few episodes


The 16th episode of the comedy-drama series was not comedic, at all, and the “This Is Us” showrunner has got some explaining to do with that emotionally charged episode.

In the episode titled “Memphis,” William (Ron Cephas Jones) lost his battle with cancer. But before that, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) took his biological father on a road trip to Memphis, Tennessee.

“It had always been the plan … we would do a special road trip episode with Randall and William,” series creator Dan Fogelman spoke with Entertainment Weekly recently.

While in Memphis, the father-and-son duo dropped by a park where the ashes of Randall’s adoptive father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), was scattered, and William paid his respect and thanked Jack for raising his son. The duo had a fun-filled day, including a visit to William’s old home and his cousin’s club, where he played music on stage.

The following morning, William was unconscious in his bed and transported to a hospital. He woke up and asked his son to retrieve his “Book of Poems for My Son.” Then, Randall told his father to breathe until it’s over.

“The characters in your life don’t die during the season finales all the time. And they don’t always die exactly in a rhythm of how you expect it to happen or when or where, so that was part of the thinking,” Fogelman explained their decision of ending Jones’ character before the season ends.

The showrunner aimed to relate the series to the real life. He recalled that his mother died during a surgery when it’s not supposed to be life-threatening.

“Ron’s such an actor’s actor that nothing knocks him off stride,” Fogelman described Jones. “And everybody loves him so much that nobody wants him to leave that story line,” he added.

In the last two episodes, the series writer indicated that Randall would be figuring out how to honor his father’s legacy. Fogelman stated that the last episodes would be “really bleeding heavily.”

Additionally, Fogelman said that the character realizes that time is limited and that he would start making choices and decisions, which would affect the story of “This Is Us” season 2.