When the last few seconds of the This Is Us premiere showed Randall's birth mom, Laurel, regaining consciousness and gasping for air after a medic performed CPR, viewers collectively gasped too. Randall was told by a private investigator and his birth father that she died during childbirth, but as everyone saw, that's not the full story. Now that there's a possibility Laurel is still alive, fans are wondering if and how she and Randall will meet.
The leading fan theory is that she's Randall's new therapist, whom he began looking for during the premiere when he expressed the importance of talking to a Black professional. It would be the perfect set up, but sadly, the show's writers already debunked the idea on Twitter, writing, "She is not going to end up as Randall’s therapist." Though the writers crushed everyone's hopes, there's still a chance Randall's therapist plays a role in this storyline and that he and Laurel reunite.
Randall could be introduced to Laurel by his new therapist.
The writers may have denied that Laurel is Randall's therapist, but they didn't deny that he and the new therapist are related. Some fans think the therapist is a younger half-sibling who will hear Randall's complicated birth story, have a lightbulb moment, and introduce him to his mom.
Laurel could be incarcerated.
Laurel was open about her substance abuse before her overdose prompted medical attention on Randall's birth date. In the comment section of a recent Instagram post, one fan shared a theory that after Randall was born, Laurel was incarcerated for drug-related charges and has been too ashamed to reach out. Still, she could have a change of heart and want to connect with him now. The only catch here is that if this is true, why would the private investigator think she's dead?
Randall could cross paths with the EMT who saved Laurel's life.
When Laurel overdosed, two EMTs responded at the scene. The one responder who was filling out paperwork eventually discouraged the younger and clearly more empathetic one from continuing CPR when she was presumed dead. A theory from The Dipp suggests the older EMT could've filed a false time of death, which could explain the private investigator's findings. If all the stars align, Randall might have a run-in with the younger EMT who could tell him about what actually happened that day.
Randall's activism could introduce him to Laurel's friends, Grace and Ervin.
The latest flashbacks show Laurel and William's extended time with Grace and Ervin, who were passionate activists back in the day. Before Laurel overdosed, she learned that their friends were arrested for handing out flyers, which writers wouldn't have included if it didn't mean something. As Randall and his family navigate the Black Lives Matter movement in present day, there's a chance he connects with the pair at a demonstration where they tell him about his mom.
Laurel isn't alive.
This isn't the ideal theory, but there's a possibility that Laurel did die during childbirth, as The Dipp and some Instagram comments suggested. Though she didn't die after giving birth to Randall, there's a chance the intense pain she felt after he was born was because she was still in labor, meaning he could be a twin. She also could've had a baby with another man later on and died during that delivery. It goes without saying that there will be no reunion for Randall and Laurel if this theory ends up being true.
Whatever Laurel's fate is, head writer and creator Dan Fogelman is sure that no theory will be 100% correct. "There's no way to guess it," he told Entertainment Weekly. "And not because it's, like, crazy. It's just so specific that if somebody guessed, it would mean that they're a psychic."