‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Episode 8: Who is the Indian man and his lady love? Here's how they helped Pearsons connect
On a moonlit night, two strangers meet each other and their lives change forever. ‘This Is Us’ brings a new twist to the heartwarming tale of the new Big Three and the Pearson family through an adorable couple.
It's 1963. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, out walks a dainty young girl from the international students' wing. With a cigarette in one hand, she trots in her heels and walks up to a lonesome man sitting on a ledge. “What are you and do you have a light?” she asks. “I'm Nasir from India,” he replies. Introducing herself, she says, “I'm Esther from Argentina... And I need a light.” The poignant first scene is like a puzzle that makes you wonder: Who really is the Indian man and his lady love — and what is their connection to the Pearsons?
“New Mexico isn't what I imagined,” Esther starts complaining. When he seems distracted, she indirectly asks what's keeping him busy. “You don't talk much, do you?” Nasir then explains how he just can't get his mind off a book on Advanced Computer Programming.
Nasir explains the mathematical concepts and Esther carefully listens to him but says, “I have no idea what you are talking about... But I love hearing you talk.” It's love at first sight for Nasir and Esther right from that moment.
When we next see the couple, the two are having a baby. As Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) and Madison (Caitlin Thompson) wait for their little ones, Nasir holds his son in his hands and exclaims, “He is perfect. He looks just like me. This baby is a mathematical anomaly. He is a product greater than the constants multiplied to make him.”
The pair are seen again when Nasir is late from work and Esther is angry. “What is the time on your watch?” Telling her the exact time, he replies, “9.53...” She snaps back, “I didn't want to yell at you for being 3 hours and 53 minutes late for no reason.”
In an accusatory tone, she says, “One night. I asked you to be home early one night to have dinner with your son. He was so excited to feed you the pizza he made for you.” When he tries to explain that he wanted to be home, she says, “What are you doing that is more important than us? If I am going to forgive you, I need to understand why what you are doing is so important to you.”
Nasir then explains, “When your mother wants a picture of you, what do we have to do? What if instead of waiting for the mail, she could see it instantly? They will be able to share images... Imagine if you could talk to someone on the screen but with a video.” That's how the seeds of a video call were first sown. In the next scene, we see how the Pearson family gets to be together despite the distances.
So who is the couple? The final scene reads, “In the 1970s, Nasir Ahmed led a team of researchers who developed the Discrete Cosine Transform... This technique is still used by companies as part of their image and video sharing technology.” The epilogue continues, “You don't know his name, but Nasir and his team are responsible got keeping us connected today. He and his wife Esther recently celebrated their 56th anniversary.”
On the screen, we then see how creator Dan Fogelman, the writer of the episode Vera Herbert and film producer Jess Rosenthal can be seen in a video chat with the real-life Nasir Ahmed and Esther — who narrate their story.
The beautiful love story and the heroic tale of Nasir and his team — known for inventing the Discrete Cosine Transform in the early 1970s — will help you appreciate the technological advancements a little more, especially as the world grapples with the global pandemic.
‘This Is Us’ premiered on Tuesday at 9 pm ET on NBC after the mid-season winter break with Episode 5 titled ‘A Long Road Home’ on January 5, 2021, and Episode 8 ‘In The Room’ will air on February 16, 2021, from 9 pm ET to 10 pm ET.
Binge-watch Season 5 episodes on NBC.com and the NBC App. Not just that, you can stream old seasons on Amazon Prime too.