This Is Us brought back Randall's biological father in a series of flashbacks, which gave us a look at William Hill before we knew him and made us cry all over again.
The flashbacks showed William in front of a judge about to be convicted for buying and using drugs. However, the judge pointed out that William had no record, not even a traffic violation. He told William that he found the arrest disappointing, and what William said next was heartbreaking. "What would you have me do, your Honor? On every corner, there's someone selling. So I buy and I use. If you had my life, you'd probably use, too. Just a year ago, my mother was alive, and my girl was alive, and we were having a son. Now, they're gone. They're all gone." He continued, saying, "So, I come here, and you tell me you're disappointed? Well, guess what? I am more disappointed. I am the most disappointed man you've ever met in your whole damn life. So, if you want to lock me up, lock me up. Put me inside, because there is nothing out here for me anymore."
Later, before William's sentencing, the judge visited him with some life-changing news. "I'm here, Mr. Hill, because you said something yesterday and it stuck with me. You said you were the most disappointed man in the world. And I'm here to tell you, I fear I am a close second, Mr. Hill. Because I'm the man who writes terrible stories day after day, and I can't change the endings. And that, sir, is a horrible disappointment," said the judge. He then told William that he was going to try to find a different ending for him. He was going to take a chance on him, and let him go, in hopes that he will find a different ending to his story. However, there was only one thing the judge asked of him. "I want you to look at my face. I want you to look at this too tired, too old, too fat face. Lock it in your brain. And if you ever start heading toward the ending I don't want to write, I want you to picture this ugly old mug. You picture this face, and you make a different choice."
William obliged. However, years later, the judge's face began to fade from William's mind and he began using again. That is, until someone else walked into his life. A familiar scene in which a 36-year old Randall Pearson showed up one day on his doorstep, the true catalyst that would forever change William Hill's ending.