10 secondary characters with the energy of the main character

With the last season of It’s us now underway, there are still a lot of unresolved things that fans are waiting to see completed. While audiences want to see what will become of The Big Three, there are a host of great supporting roles that have taken the stage.

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However, this left the other characters with little airtime to become well-developed and interesting puzzle pieces. Some secondary characters captured the screen and released the energy normally derived from the Pearsons.

William Hill

William and Randall holding hands at the table in This Is Us

William Hill (Ron Cephas Jones) is Randall’s biological father. Although he died of stomach cancer a few months after meeting his son, he has a significant impact on Randall and his immediate family throughout the series.


Although William died before the end of the first season, he is far from a forgotten character. Keeping William from Randall was one of the worst decisions Rebecca made and was a major plot and conflict within the series. He was well-liked with a depth of history, personality and influence throughout his time with his new family. If he had lived, he would have continued to play an interesting and complex role.

Tess Pearson

Eris Baker as Tess Pearson in This Is Us

Although Tess Pearson (Eris Baker) is part of the Pearson clan, she is a background character to add depth to Randall Pearson’s central character. When the show started, Tess and Annie were the innocent young daughters of Beth and Randall’s power couple.

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It’s not until the end of Season 3, when Tess reveals to her parents that she’s gay, that she becomes a more rounded and influential character. The show doesn’t seem to emphasize their young characters, but Tess’ struggles as a recently released gay teenager adds another layer of diversity to the mix of complicated subject matter encountered throughout the story. Tess’ relationship with gender neutral Alex is an interesting story that, if explored further, would be a great continuation in the development of Tess’ character.

Deja Pearson

Lyric Ross as Deja Pearson in This Is Us

Deja Pearson (Lyric Ross), formerly Deja Andrews, is another of Randall’s daughters. However, his story begins as anything but flat. She is welcomed into the Pearson household as a foster child and is eventually adopted into the family.

Deja’s story is complex, sad and heartwarming. Coming from a single mom’s home, going through different foster homes, and finally becoming part of the family after a few hardships, what seems to be the heartwarming story of Randall and Beth trying to win a child’s heart. Struggling Adopter is really the story of Deja and how she learns to care about herself and her needs.

Nicky Pearson

Griffin Dunne as Nicky Pearson in This Is Us

Nicky Pearson (Griffin Dunne) is first introduced as the character during a flashback to one of Jack’s childhood moments. When the audience learns about him and then learns that he is still alive, the main question is why Jack’s younger brother is estranged from him. However, Nicky’s character isn’t appealing just because he’s beloved Jack Pearson’s brother.

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Nicky has a depth of character that appeals to a wide range of audiences. Not only is he a Vietnam War veteran, but he struggles with addiction and PTSD, and spent a hermit life without love or family. When Kevin helps Nicky change and become part of the Pearson family, as well as someone who can make friends and interact with society, he becomes a character we can really root for.

Sophie Larson

Sophie looks wistful on the phone with Kevin Pearson in This Is Us

Sophie Larson (Alexandra Breckenridge) is Kevin Pearson’s longtime love interest who pops up from time to time through the various stages of life. Now that Kevin is single and the show is coming to an end, audiences are wondering if Kevin and Sophie will end up together in the end.

However, the character of Sophie is not interesting because she could be the love of Kevin Pearson’s life. She has a successful career as a nurse, is currently engaged, and lost her mother in a Season 4 episode. She is strong-willed and determined to live a happy life (whether that includes a Pearson or not).

Cassidy Sharp

Cassidy and Ryan Sharp in This Is Us

Although Cassidy Sharp (Jennifer Morrison) is memorably written into the story of Nicky’s recovery after she throws a chair out the window of her AA meeting, she is given her own depth of character before being embroiled in the Pearson’s story.

Cassidy Sharp served in the US Marines and returned home to battle PTSD and alcoholism. His sanity eventually ends his marriage and inevitably leads him to accidentally hit his son. However, she is able to commit to staying sober and getting her life in order. Although all of the plots connect to the Pearsons in some way, Cassidy is a complete and interesting person who appeals to those watching who have served in the military or who live with mental health issues.

carole clarke

Carol and Abe Clark in This Is Us

Carol Clarke (Phylicia Rashad) is Beth Pearson’s mother. Much of her backstory is shown through Beth’s backstory from childhood. Carol is a school principal who has always instilled in her children that they should work hard and make logical decisions that improve their lives.

Although Carol’s story is told to shed some light on Beth’s backstory which tasks her with making decisions for her happiness, Carol is one of the best characters introduced after Season 1. Although she deems Furiously Beth for her decisions to dance as a teenager and then left behind her big corporate life as an adult, it’s easy to see that she’s a sincere woman who just wants her kids to succeed.

Hai Lang

Hai Lang talks to Randall Pearson on the phone in This Is Us

Laurel Dubois is Randall’s biological mother who he learns lived after he overdosed as a baby. However, the entire episode, “Birth Mother,” dedicated to Laurel, also includes the story of Hai Lang (Vien Hong), a Vietnamese refugee who fell in love with Laurel before meeting William and having Randall.

Hai Lang has a whirlwind romance with Laurel but stays behind to care for her parents when she runs away from her oppressive father. Hai’s story is that of a young man who chooses to live a calm and peaceful life by taking care of his family. Although he reconnects with Laurel when she returns to New Orleans and spends their old years together, Hai’s story is a heartwarming story of a man determined to live a happy life.

Dr K

Gerald McRaney as Dr. Nathan Katowski in This Is Us

Dr. Nathan Katowsky appears in the pilot of It’s us as a doctor who delivers Kevin, Kate and the child they lost (Kyle). Dr. K (Gerald McRaney) appears in other episodes, however, in some flashbacks when Jack and Rebecca are raising the Big Three.

Although at present it is assumed that he is deceased (since he was an old man when the three were born in 1980), Dr. K is a character who should return for the final season even if it is in flashback. He was an inspirational person who encouraged the Pearsons to appreciate what they had while remembering what they had lost. Dr. K is not only the doctor who gave birth to the Big Three; he is a character who shared the intimate loss of his firstborn and his wife, portraying someone who lived a long and endearing life.


Gregory talks to Kate Pearson outside their home on This Is Us

When Kate first meets Gregory (Timothy Omundson), he looks like a grumpy neighbor who wants them to stop blocking the sidewalk with their van. Over time, he becomes a character that is not only relatable but unassumingly interesting.

Gregory is a man who suffered a severe stroke, forcing him to relearn how to do basic tasks like walking. Gregory is one of the only characters that doesn’t have a backstory, but says a lot about his character through his actions. By opening up to a stranger and pushing herself around the block, despite the slowness and difficulty, she is a character who shows the perseverance and complexity of living after a damaging experience.

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