This Is Us fans get very nervous when they see Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) in the late 1990s era. The Pearson patriarch’s telltale goatee means the day of his death is near, and any episode with scenes in that era could give more clues to the character’s untimely demise. Now, in the upcoming This Is Us episode “Number One,” viewers will get one step closer to Jack’s death day as his teen son Kevin (Logan Shroyer) suffers a football injury that leaves his leg in a cast. This Is Us viewers previously saw that Kevin was wearing a cast on his leg on the day his father died.
The next three episodes of This Is Us will be titled “Number One,” “Number Two,” and “Number Three.” Each episode will focus on one of the Pearson siblings, and firstborn Kevin is number one. The Kevin-heavily episode will provide a lot of clues about Kevin’s past—and his future.
In an episode description posted by the Futon Critic, in the “Number One” episode “Kevin goes back to his high school to accept an award. Jack and Rebecca get excited about their kids’ futures.” The episode will flash back to the late 1990s as well as include scenes set in the present day.
NBC has released episodic photos from the “Number One” episode which shows that football was a big part of Kevin’s past. In the sneak peek photos, which you can see below, an adult (and newly bearded) Kevin (Justin Hartley) returns to his high school where he looks at a trophy case that houses his football jersey and trophies.
In a previous episode of This Is Us, Kevin revealed that he was headed to a big-time football career, with college recruiters calling, before his high school injury sidelined him for good. The injury was aggravated earlier this season when Kevin got hurt while filming a Sylvester Stallone movie, and viewers have seen his dependence on painkillers as he spins out of control.
The promo for the “Number One” episode (which you can see at the bottom of this article) shows a teen Kevin in the hospital after his football accident and an adult Kevin returning to his high school to accept his award.
The arrival of movie star Kevin back in his Pittsburgh hometown has his high school celebrating their most famous alumnus, but unfortunately, it comes as Kevin is going through a downward spiral. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us executive producer Isaac Aptaker said Kevin is close to hitting rock bottom.
“Yes, we are very, very close to rock bottom with him. These painkillers, he’s fallen in love with them because they allow him not to feel,” Aptaker said.
As for why Kevin broke things off with his longtime love, Sophie, Aptaker revealed he is just trying to protect her.
“He can’t bear to bring her down into his spiral with him and mess up her life yet again,” the This Is Us producer said. “So he’s setting her free by breaking her heart, and it’s really painful.”
Take a look at the trailer or the This Is Us episode, “Number One,” below.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Featured Image by Ron Batzdorff/NBC]