PEOPLE exclusively has the first look at the "Birth Mother" episode, in which Randall uncovers new truths about his past and biological mom

By Karen Mizoguchi
January 11, 2021 08:00 AM

Make sure to have plenty of tissues on hand when watching This Is Us this week.

PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the highly-anticipated "Birth Mother" episode before it airs on NBC Tuesday. The sixth episode of the fifth season follows Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) traveling to New Orleans, after taking all of the COVID-19 precautions, to finally meet Hai (Vien Hong) and learn about the life of Randall's biological mother Laurel (Jennifer C. Holmes), who died of breast cancer in May 2015 and was never able to meet her son.

In the sneak peek footage, Randall and Beth reminisce about their previous trip to New Orleans together before arriving at the property where Hai resides.

Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Vien Hong in This Is Us
| Credit: nbc

"You okay babe? You haven't said much since we got in last night," Beth asks her husband, who responds: "I'm just thinking about the last time we were here."

"Our fifth anniversary, oh we tried absinthe for the first time. That was a good night. Five-hour man," Beth recalls, smiling.

Though Beth's memory brings a brief moment of levity, Randall brings the conversation back to how he was never able to meet his mother, whom he was told had died after his birth by biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones).

"We were here for what? Five, six days? Could've walked right past her and wouldn't have even known it," Randall says.

Credit: nbc

Shortly after, the couple arrives at the blue and white house where fans previously saw Hai and his granddaughter together. "Randall, welcome. It's nice to finally meet you in person," he says.

In last week's episode, the trio had a phone conversation about Laurel after Hai sent a message and an old photo of Laurel and William to the city councilman. The call led to an invitation by Hai for Randall and Beth to travel to New Orleans and see the city where Laurel spent the latter years of her life.

"Thank you for agreeing to this," Randall tells Hai.

"Thank you for testing and quarantining," Hai says. "I know it's a lot to ask."

After the introductions, Beth compliments Hai on the property, and he unveils a surprise to the pair. "Your place is beautiful," she says.

"Actually, it's yours," Hai tells Randall. "This house, this land, it was your mother's. And now it's yours."

The news hilariously prompts Beth to whisper, "I'm going to need some absinthe tonight," while Randall is in shock.

Tuesday's episode, which was directed by Kay Oyegun and written by Oyegun and Eboni Freeman, will not only feature Randall and Beth's adventure in New Orleans in the present timeline, but it will also explore the past and uncover the stories of Laurel and her life with Hai.

Brown, 44, previously spoke with PEOPLE about diving into Randall's past and the family dynamic with William, teasing, "I look forward to the excavation of this storyline that will be explored. ... I can't say too much about it because it's really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really cool."

This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.