This Is Us‘ decision to obscure the face of Randall’s therapist for most of Tuesday’s episode prompted a steady chorus of “WTF?!” (as in “Where’s the Face?!”) on social media. Viewers did eventually catch a glimpse of Dr. Leigh (and her portrayer, Pamela Adlon), but the big reveal was held until the hour’s closing moments.
“A lot of that had to do with what Sterling [K. Brown] can do as a performer,” co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger told EW.com of the reason behind the creative choice. “As we were talking about this, we started realizing that it would just be absolutely incredible to stay in these long takes with Sterling where you’re getting into his psychology and you’re watching him turn her words over and over again in his mind. And because Sterling is the type of actor that can do that and to live in those minutes-long takes, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do it that way.”
And how did all of this sit with Better Things auteur Adlon? “She was totally on board,” Berger maintained to the site. “She was just like, ‘You mean, I don’t have to memorize my lines? That’s great!’ But she was a great sport about it and totally, totally understood why it works for that episode… When she returns, you’ll get to see what she can do — and this woman is incredible with Sterling.”