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So, apparently there is suppose to be a "big twist" in the pilot.  Anyone know what that is?

 

Season-Zero.com (who apparently got a look at the pilot script, or at least a significant amount of sides pages):

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and there’s a twist “à la Shyamalan” I don’t want to spoil -but I guess the promos will, if it’s ultimately ordered to series.

 

Deadline.com:

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What’s more, the trailer, which does not reveal the big twist in the pilot...

Edited by Just Here · Reason: Forgot the spoiler tag

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I really need to know the twist! I am on the fence about watching it, I don't need a show that makes me cry every week like Parenthood did until I gave it up.

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On June 15, 2016 at 2:44 PM, Arynm said:

I really need to know the twist! I am on the fence about watching it, I don't need a show that makes me cry every week like Parenthood did until I gave it up.

Someone on the IMDB message board speculated that Milo Ventimilga ( I hope I spelled the name right) and Mandy Moore's characters are the parents of the hot guy and the overweight girl.  

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Yes, I read the script. Mariah's correct, but also they're the adoptive parents of Sterling K. Brown's character as well. They're supposed to be having triplets, but one dies, and Sterling is brought in to hospital by a fireman as an abandoned baby at the same time and they end up adopting him. It's revealed in the last five minutes or so of the pilot.

I think it's definitely aiming for a Parenthood waterworks vibe, so be prepared!

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Is the fact that they're family the sole twist of the pilot? I'd have thought the comparisons to Lost and a la Shyamalan hinted at something a little more... supernatural. In any case, I'm looking forward to the show.

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I was hoping for something a bit bigger? maybe for the twist. What has been stated already doesn't seem that big of a twist to me.

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There's definitely nothing supernatural a la Lost or Shyamalan. They're aiming very squarely at a Parenthood vibe here. The fact that the scenes with Milo and Mandy are actually taking place in the 80s, while other scenes are 36 years later is probably fairly twisty in the execution --especially if they don't make it obvious with wardrobe/props/scenery that their part is 1980s-set. Maybe that time twist is what they consider to be Lost-like because technically the M/M parts are flashbacks?

Edited by taragel

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I like this twist. We will watching the parents raising the children at the same time we watch their lives as adults. 

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I was hoping that the characters who shared a birthday were the same person at different times in their life, so I suppose this is something like that. It also sounds like the pilot of Modern Family, when we had no idea the three families being interviewed were all  part of Jay's family. Are the triplets somehow split up after their childhoods? A summary I read said that the people born on the same day started noticing strange coincidences about their lives, as if they didn't know they were siblings.

Edited by Cardie
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Fogelman discusses how the rest of the season will unfold at TVLine:

So as Season 1 moves forward, scenes will be set in 2016 and 1980… and numerous periods in between. “We kind of refer to it as ‘a dramedy version of Lost,'” Fogelman says. For example, “You’re going to get a real feeling of the evolution of a marriage” with Ventimiglia and Moore’s characters, checking in on them before the pregnancy, or with the three children living at home. (That’s why the facial hair worn by Ventimiglia during press rounds doesn’t match the 1986 scenes; only the mustache is constant.)  “You might even meet them in the present day,” Fogelman suggests, “as older versions of themselves.”

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“You might even meet them in the present day,” Fogelman suggests, “as older versions of themselves.”

So they're not dead by 2016? The pilot gave the impression that they are, or at least Jack is, the way Kate talked about him in the past tense. And if he's still alive, I would have expected some sort of mention by one of his kids that they share a birthday with their dad or phone calls between the parents and kids, if not a family gathering on the day.

Maybe Jack's alive and suffering from dementia or Alzheimers; that would explain the lack of communication between him and the children.

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I watched a preview on Youtube and Sterling K. Brown said his character has been without his adoptive father for some time. I assumed Jack's dead by 2016, but Alzheimer's or dementia could fit too. 

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As to the parents being alive, quite aside from the birthday greetings, the so-called meltdown would call for comment. If the parents aren't alive, they are estranged from the Manny and Giggles. And Specs appears to be estranged from the adoptive siblings as well, poster on the wall notwithstanding.

As to Fogelman's comments, it's my belief that listening to producers and writers talk in their own person is a risky business, they have far too much incentive to promote illusions. Not to mention, parents are not always very informative about their children.

Edited by sjohnson

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Yeah, I'm still under the impression that one or both parents are dead, just by the dialogue in the Pilot. I'm trying to think of ways that they could still be alive and the dialogue still making sense. Are the kids estranged from their parents? I really don't get the sense that they would be. Everything from the pilot sets up how close the family happen to be. Each kid talks about their parents in a loving way, so the estrangement might feel a little forced if that's what it is. I guess the other possibility of one or both parents being in a home would make some more sense, but it still wouldn't feel right with the pilot. 

The only other explanation is that Fogelman is being consciously ambiguous and leaving the door up to interpretations until they explain on the show where Jack and Rebecca are. I'm sticking with the "They're Dead" theory, though. But it's entirely possible that they change the dialogue in episode two to indicate that the parents are alive. A lot of shows do change minor details from the early episodes when they figure out better footing for their show. 

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I've got some theories after watching the pilot and seeing some minor spoilers after the twist (the spoilers were still somewhat vague).

  • The creator said that the family lived in Pittsburgh.  The kids were apparently born and raised there.  While Kevin and Kate live in the LA area, I think Randall still lives somewhere in the Eastern US (my best guesses are Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or NYC).  SKB said the distance wasn't just because of the twist.
  • Randall is closer to Kate than he is to Kevin.
  • Kevin and Randall have a rivalry.  According to those vague spoilers and speculation, they are secretly jealous of the other.  Kevin wants what Randall has: a career he loves that he got on his own terms, plus a wife and kids.  Randall is jealous because Kevin is the biological son.  Randall also is jealous of the deep bond that Kevin and Kate have.
  • Randall may secretly feel like he's the "replacement kid" and throughout the season we will him come to terms with this and reconnect with his siblings.
  • It looks like Randall was the "star child" in the family.  He got the good grades, went to a top college, has a thriving career, a huge house, etc.  Even though Jack and Rebecca will probably very good parents, any parent would extremely proud and brag about him to friends and family, also say to the twins "why can't you be a little bit like your brother?".  Kevin, and probably to a lesser extent, Kate would be a little jealous of this.

That's all I got.

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Do we know whether the flashbacks to the parents will be told chronologically or if they will jump around in time based on the story being told? It looks like from the description of the next episode that the kids are 8 so I'm guessing that there will be some time jumping (especially because I read somewhere that the show was being likened to "Lost" and that did more than it's fair share of time line jumping)

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2 hours ago, Indy said:

Do we know whether the flashbacks to the parents will be told chronologically or if they will jump around in time based on the story being told? It looks like from the description of the next episode that the kids are 8 so I'm guessing that there will be some time jumping (especially because I read somewhere that the show was being likened to "Lost" and that did more than it's fair share of time line jumping)

In one interview, I believe it did say that they would be exploring the parents' relationship, pre and post babies, so there will be time jumping. I'm guessing to fit whatever themes are happening in the present day timeline for parallels. 

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More indication the parents, or at least the father, may be dead in the present:

"Randall lost his adoptive dad relatively early on and is looking to reconnect with a man he's never known," explains Brown. "My dad passed away when I was very young, so the parallel for me that was most easy to tap into is that while Randall is a successful businessman with a beautiful wife, beautiful children, a gorgeous home, he has this hole in his heart because his father is not present."

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I just watched a clip from episode 3 where they are telling Dr.K what they named the kids, Kevin, Kate, and Kyle. I wonder when Kyle became Randall instead. 

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13 minutes ago, emcmac87 said:

I just watched a clip from episode 3 where they are telling Dr.K what they named the kids, Kevin, Kate, and Kyle. I wonder when Kyle became Randall instead. 

I assume that they still considered the dead triplet to be Kyle, so they came up with a new name for Randall.  Anyway, giving him that name would have been a huge mistake. It's pretty hard to be a "replacement" child after a previous child dies, or after a stillbirth.  How much harder to be "substituted in" immediately for a dead child! 

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9 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I assume that they still considered the dead triplet to be Kyle, so they came up with a new name for Randall.  Anyway, giving him that name would have been a huge mistake. It's pretty hard to be a "replacement" child after a previous child dies, or after a stillbirth.  How much harder to be "substituted in" immediately for a dead child! 

The scene is on Facebook, but the impression they gave is that they didn't have names until after they were born, since they were named after the dr they had never met. They definitely introduced the African American baby as Kyle in the hospital. 

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1 hour ago, emcmac87 said:
1 hour ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I assume that they still considered the dead triplet to be Kyle, so they came up with a new name for Randall.  Anyway, giving him that name would have been a huge mistake. It's pretty hard to be a "replacement" child after a previous child dies, or after a stillbirth.  How much harder to be "substituted in" immediately for a dead child! 

The scene is on Facebook, but the impression they gave is that they didn't have names until after they were born, since they were named after the dr they had never met. They definitely introduced the African American baby as Kyle in the hospital. 

Sorry - should have watched the clip. For some reason I assumed when you said "I just watched a clip from episode 3 where they are telling Dr.K what they named the kids, Kevin, Kate, and Kyle. I wonder when Kyle became Randall instead " that you meant they were referring to what they had "named" the yet-to-be-born triplets, not the three living infants.

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Somebody in another thread wondered if it will be shown that Kate got her singing talent from Rebecca.  I saw Mandy and Milo on a talk show, and she said she will be singing in episode 5 I think -- so, yes, looks like it's like mother, like daughter. 

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I'm sure glad that did not come across any of this before watching :)

Now, about losing dad, and all the talk about running oft to Mexico, I'm starting to think Jack at some stage lost it and did run off to Mexico, or India, or Thailand, or wherever would or would not be usual in the time frame involve. I sure wouldn't mind former hippy dad or enlightened dad showing up again soon. Beats death, Alzheimer and other permanent horrors.   

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On 2016-10-10 at 6:21 PM, DearEvette said:

I just love grown ass Randall calling Rebecca "Mommy" in that clip.  Heh.

Maybe it's what Randall does when he really needs her. :)

In some cultures, it's not common to call one's parents (the equivalent to) "mommy and daddy" well into adulthood.  My cousins who grew up in Hong Kong still ask me how my "Mommy and Daddy" are doing - because that's how they refer to THEIR parents.  They're in their mid to late 30s. 

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1 hour ago, romantic idiot said:

If Jack ran off, I don't see the kids wanting to emulate him. 

Yes, an abandonment or dramatic decline into alcoholism would be hard to square both with his children's memories of him as well as his portrayal in the flashbacks. I'm taking it at face value that he is/was a good guy who struggled somewhat with the pressures of raising and providing for his children (as many good people do).

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If Jack is still alive, and they divorced, I don't see Rebecca still wearing that necklace he gave her decades ago.  In the same talk show where Mandy said she'd be singing in a couple episodes, she also mentioned something about how we'd be getting some clue as to what happened with Jack.  My feeling is that he died in the not-too-distant past and that is why Randall exhibits some coolness to Miguel.  It will be too bad if Milo only appears in flashback, but then again, aging him up to the 70s might be heinous. 

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2 hours ago, ShadowFacts said:

If Jack is still alive, and they divorced, I don't see Rebecca still wearing that necklace he gave her decades ago.  In the same talk show where Mandy said she'd be singing in a couple episodes, she also mentioned something about how we'd be getting some clue as to what happened with Jack.  My feeling is that he died in the not-too-distant past and that is why Randall exhibits some coolness to Miguel.  It will be too bad if Milo only appears in flashback, but then again, aging him up to the 70s might be heinous. 

We don't know how Kevin and Kate feel about Miguel just yet.  They might dislike him as well.  I think Rebecca might have remarried when the three were in their teens.  I don't know if the marriage occurred when they were in their 20s. 

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I wasn't sure if I should place this here or in the media thread. Dan Fogleman talks about Rebecca and William's relationship

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This development means that Randall has something of a false narrative about William. William didn’t just abandon him; he actually wanted to be a part of his life. When is he going to get that story?
That’s maybe our biggest story pulling us through our first season — at least the first half of our first season. It’s exactly that: Randall has a false narrative of his existence. For a kid like Randall, it’s a huge formative part of his existence. In the fourth episode, you see that. You see little Randall marking little slashes in a notebook, and what he reveals as a grown man is that as a little boy he was growing up in a very white neighborhood, and whenever he saw a black person he marked it down, and wondered if that could be his father. So he has this false narrative that’s defined him. And in later episodes, actually at 8 years old, he starts questioning, as one would, and it causes Rebecca to go further than we’ve seen her in the third episode and track down — years later — and find William in much different shape, which scares her even more. It’s very complicated, and when the truth comes out to Randall, it’s going to be a big part of our first season of the show.

So Rebecca and William have interacted more than once. What a heartbreaking storyline. There is a lot of adoption in my life (adopted siblings, and I'm an adoptive mom) and this storyline is really doing some interesting things with all parts of the triad.

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The more I hear and watch this series, the more I'm becoming convinced that it's a tragedy in the making. I mean, Jack dies (probably), Kate is screwed up, Kevin is screwed up, Randall is screwed up and never fit in and then has to watch his father die. It's moved from poignant & heartwarming into bittersweet territory and might even move into full on melancholia. At which point i have to really ask myself if I can continue to watch because I really really can't bear sad endings in my escapism. 

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1 hour ago, romantic idiot said:

The more I hear and watch this series, the more I'm becoming convinced that it's a tragedy in the making. I mean, Jack dies (probably), Kate is screwed up, Kevin is screwed up, Randall is screwed up and never fit in and then has to watch his father die. It's moved from poignant & heartwarming into bittersweet territory and might even move into full on melancholia. At which point i have to really ask myself if I can continue to watch because I really really can't bear sad endings in my escapism. 

I know what you mean.  I don't think there's any doubt it's going to be bittersweet and melancholic when William dies.  The lost time that Randall's probably going to find out about . . . that's going to be pretty bad.  But I don't think they're going for unrelentingly grim, there have been dashes of humor sprinkled in, and Randall himself has a way with an unexpected quip or line delivery.  I hope that's enough to keep it from being too dour. 

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Hmmm.  I don't get why Rebecca would still be wearing the necklace if he is still among the living.  Could be one of those situations where the spouse is in an Alzheimer's fog, or in a vegetative state, or something, and the other spouse has done their grieving of the loss of the relationship . . . but whoa, tricky for the kids.  I wonder how soon we'll find out?

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I was so sure that Jack was dead; despite me wanting to see present day Milo in old age make-up, I was accepting that he had to be dead. But now that Milo spilled the beans to a degree, now the speculation is what happened to Jack. Is he in a home? Has he remarried? Is he in some sort of coma? 

Again, the only way I feel like Jack can be alive and healthy and have Rebecca wearing their necklace is if we get a flashback to Jack with Miguel, picking out the necklace and it's Miguel who tells Jack to buy it. Even then, it doesn't make that much sense. So I guess we'll see what happens! 

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If Jack is still alive, that makes me wonder who Randall was talking about when he told William what a great man his dad was--Jack or (gulp) Miguel?  I would hope that it is Jack, but I could possibly see how they might try to push the story line that Miguel came in at time when Jack's parenting went down the drain.

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1 hour ago, ShadowFacts said:

Hmmm.  I don't get why Rebecca would still be wearing the necklace if he is still among the living.  Could be one of those situations where the spouse is in an Alzheimer's fog, or in a vegetative state, or something, and the other spouse has done their grieving of the loss of the relationship . . . but whoa, tricky for the kids.  I wonder how soon we'll find out?

Some kind of medical condition was my first thought as well.  Rebecca wearing the necklace is odd otherwise.

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15 minutes ago, RealSpyGirl said:

I feel like Milo could be playing coy. "appears in the present" could just mean we see his gravestone.

That was my first thought.

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After this latest episode, and Jack again referring to being off the sauce, I wonder if he went down some hard road of alcoholism--got in an accident, brain damage, whatever.   In a show like this, I think the alcohol hints will lead somewhere.   I'm also thinking that if he is dead, that might take something away from the flashbacks.  To me those type of flashbacks have more punch if the person is still in the present timeline. 

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3 hours ago, ShadowFacts said:

After this latest episode, and Jack again referring to being off the sauce, I wonder if he went down some hard road of alcoholism--got in an accident, brain damage, whatever.   In a show like this, I think the alcohol hints will lead somewhere.   I'm also thinking that if he is dead, that might take something away from the flashbacks.  To me those type of flashbacks have more punch if the person is still in the present timeline. 

I agree. Also, the biggest twist would be for them to not kill Jack off. They could have it make sense too, and it would allow Milo to be present in the current timeline for future seasons. Limiting him to just flashbacks does seem to take away from Jack as a character to an extent. So it's why I'm becoming convinced that maybe he isn't dead, even if it does make sense. 

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How about he's not dead, but he went so far down with the drinking that at some stage Rebecca called it quits, and shut him (with his blessing, because he knew/felt he was screwed up) from the kids' life, but he's been sober for a while now and feels he can come back on the scene? (all these alcohol references have to mean something unexpected, right?) 

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7 hours ago, NutMeg said:

How about he's not dead, but he went so far down with the drinking that at some stage Rebecca called it quits, and shut him (with his blessing, because he knew/felt he was screwed up) from the kids' life, but he's been sober for a while now and feels he can come back on the scene? (all these alcohol references have to mean something unexpected, right?) 

Yes, the alcohol talk is for a reason.  Kate has made a positive reference about him, something like she thought she'd marry a man like dad, so I don't think he burned all bridges.  And of course Rebecca still wears the necklace.  I am noticing that I don't think we've seen Randall drinking, but have seen the twins drink often and much.  That's probably not accidental, either.  I always do a double take when I see people much beyond their twenties doing binge drinking (though sadly it's not uncommon in my beer-soaked state).  Maybe Randall is conscious of setting an example for his girls. 

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