When it comes to serving up twists, This Is Us is in a league of its own, and that's exactly why we're not buying that Cassidy is the mother of Kevin's son in the future. That's way too obvious, right? But what's not obvious is having Madison be the mom of Kevin's kid. Yes, Kate's BFF Madison who has been on the show since day one, and who, so far, hasn't had any positive interactions with Kev. We know, it seems far-fetched, but we're not the only ones picking up on potential vibes between these two.
Reddit user Imfangirl1DTVSwiftie noticed something interesting in the second episode of season four when both Madison and Kevin join Kate, Toby, Miguel, and Rebecca in checking out Kate and Toby's new home for potential dangers to baby Jack. They wrote: "They showed the transition of Kevin looking at baby Jack then cut straight to Madison if that isn't foreshadowing then idk what is." The moment could be nothing more than a simple transition or it could be one more hint that Kate's best friend and her brother are going to be a couple with a little boy of their own in the future. Not convinced? Then allow us to serve up five more reasons why Madison is definitely the mom.
- Madison and Kevin have the same coping mechanism. In season three, Kevin blows up at Madison for joining the Pearson family in the waiting room. He's drinking again and stressed out about Kate going into early labor, so he's being the worst version of himself. Meanwhile, Madison is being peppy and upbeat. She brings donuts so everyone will eat, and she engages in nervous chatter about Instagram and Kevin's trip to Vietnam. Her coping mechanism is to present a cheerful exterior even when she's terrified. It's something she's done throughout the series, and as a result, people don't always take her seriously. Toby and Kate even initially bond over Kate mocking her at their support group meeting.
There's someone else on the show who hides behind a cheerful facade and isn't always taken seriously, and that person is Kevin. His family often trivializes his issues, because he always seems like his life is perfect. He uses a happy exterior to keep people from getting too close to the truth that he's carrying around pain and emotional baggage. The same is true for Madison, who has only ever really let her defenses down around Kate.
- Madison's season three chat with Miguel. In the same episode where Kevin tells Madison she doesn't have a place at the hospital, she has a chat with Miguel that seems like a clue about her future role in the family in retrospect. Miguel bonds with Madison about how hard it is for the Pearsons to let anyone have a seat at their table, and his chat inspires her to find a way to get the Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll that Kate purchased for baby Jack to the hospital. Their bonding moment suggests that Madison is in the same club as Toby, Miguel, and Beth, but if she's just Kate's best friend that's a weird way to frame her place in the family. Randall's new pal Jae-won hasn't received a similar talk, and he's Randall's Madison.
That makes it feel like Miguel's chat with Madison was actually about laying the groundwork for a future where she's not just a friend of a Pearson but a Pearson family member.
- Kevin's first love was Kate's best friend. The first girl Kevin ever falls for is Sophie, who also happens to be Kate's best friend. This Is Us has dropped the ball in terms of fleshing out Sophie and Kate's friendship, but it still seems important that without his twin sister, Kev never would have met his first love. And on a show that's all about full-circle moments, having Kate be the reason he meets his last great love, the one who is also the mother of his son, seems fitting.
- Cassidy is part of Kevin's journey of self-discovery, not the point of it. Calling Cassidy a red herring would be a disservice to her character. From what we've seen of season four so far, Kevin is helping her and Nicky stay on track with their sobriety while also working on himself and discovering what he wants in his future. In the most recent episode, he vows to help Cassidy stay with her husband. They're forming a friendship that's going to help the oldest member of the Big Three get to that place in the future where he has a beautiful home that his family will come to when it's time to say goodbye to Rebecca.
But, the constant grounding force in Kevin's life so far this season isn't Cassidy and Nicky, it's baby Jack. He wants to be there for his nephew, and that means staying clean and sober. Who else is determined to be there for Kate and Toby's son no matter what? Madison. There's just no scenario where Kevin doesn't end up back in California to be near the baby by the end of the season, and you can bet that Madison will still be there, showing Kev that's she's already a part of his family, whether he realizes it or not.
- Series creator Dan Fogelman said it won't happen. Buzz that Madison and Kevin are going to end up together actually started way back in season two when she made eyes at Kev before Kate and Toby's wedding. The former Manny dismisses Madison as "crazy," which is rude, and he ends up with Beth's cousin Zoe instead. At the time, Fogelman, who is married to Caitlin Thompson — the actress who plays Madison — in real life, tweeted: "Just FYI: Madison is my wife in real life @CaitwithaC And if you thought I was letting her sleep with @justinhartley on national television you're nuts." That should be the end of the story, right? There's just one problem: Fogelman loves to throw us off the scent.
Remember, he previously suggested the show wouldn't explore the future beyond the family gathering at Rebecca's bed side, and then in the season four premiere we get to see baby Jack all grown-up and preparing to be a father. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fogelman also said that we will definitely have met the mother of Kevin's son by the end of season four. The only thing he wouldn't say is whether or not we've already met her. Could that be because the mom has been Madison since day one?
This Is Us is all about the twists, and having Madison and Kevin end up together in the future feels like one the show might have been laying the groundwork for all along.