This Is Us won’t return to NBC until this fall, but fans of the NBC time-jumping drama are already jumping ahead as they look for clues as to what to expect for Season 3. This Is Us spoilers are few and far between—creator Dan Fogelman is in Matthew Weiner territory when it comes to keeping major reveals under lock and key—but producers and cast members have offered up some tidbits about potential story arcs and the fate of some characters. Here’s what we know so far.
With Jack Pearson’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death reveal wrapped up, This Is Us writers have nowhere to go but back in time with his character. In Season 3, the show will dive more into Jack’s backstory, including his relationship with his brother, Nicky, and his service in Vietnam. Milo Ventimiglia told People magazine that Jack’s experiences in Vietnam will be a major storyline for Season 3 as viewers learn more about his character’s pre-Rebecca (and pre-mustache!) years.
“We’re definitely going to see Jack in the Vietnam era,” Ventimiglia told People. “There was a trailer to show Jack in a helicopter over Vietnam in uniform. We’re going to explore that side of Jack’s 20s and what brought him into the man that we all knew.”
According to Deadline, Fogelman also teased that Season 3 is “a big Vietnam season.”
“We’re doing some cool stuff,” the This Is Us showrunner said. “Milo will get a real showcase as younger Jack and there will be more Jack and Rebecca origin stories.”
Rebecca and Miguel
This Is Us fans know very little about Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel’s (Jon Huertas) relationship, but that’s about to change. This Is Us co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger told TV Line Season 3 will focus more on the Pearson matriarch’s second marriage, “its origins, and what Miguel and Rebecca’s life in present times is like a little bit more behind closed doors.”
A Season 2 finale montage showed Toby (Chris Sullivan), who has a history of clinical depression, in the throes of a future crisis with his new wife Kate (Chrissy Metz) by his bedside. Elizabeth Berger told Entertainment Weekly that Toby’s history with depression will be addressed in Season 3 as the newlyweds come to terms with Kate’s earlier miscarriage and their continued struggle to have children.
“Kate and Toby will be thrust into some stressful situations as we move forward, and that will definitely have an impact on Toby’s state of mind,” Berger said.”Obviously, with the miscarriage, it was steps backward for Toby and Kate in terms of expanding their family, and I think that the desire to expand their family isn’t going to go away. So that, along with other stresses that come with the first year of marriage will definitely be at play as we move forward.”
Kevin’s New Relationship
Viewers also saw a budding romance between Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) and his sister-in-law Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) cousin, Zoe (Melanie Liburd). For Season 3, Kevin will still struggle with his sobriety, but he will have a huge support system, which will include Zoe. Of Kevin’s newfound romance, Fogelman told reporters it’s “a racial dynamic that’s interesting for us to explore.”
This Is Us executive producer Elizabeth Berger told TV Line the plan is for Kevin to get into a new relationship with Zoe next season after that bad breakup with his childhood sweetheart/first wife, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge). But don’t count Sophie out forever.
“We are really excited for Kevin to start this new chapter, and it doesn’t mean that we’ve heard the last of Sophie forever,” the This Is Us producer told TV Line. “But definitely when we come back, he’s going to be embarking on something new.”
Kevin’s relationship with Beth’s cousin will help pave the way for a closer look at her own family. Berger revealed that for Season 3, This Is Us fans will finally learn more about Beth’s pre-Pearson story.
“One of the fun things about Zoe being Beth’s cousin is that they share family,” The This Is Us EP told TV Line. “So now you have Kevin and Randall who have the same extended family, and we’re really excited to get to know members of Beth’s family that we haven’t seen before and throw everyone together in a way we haven’t yet.”
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Susan Kelechi Watson said viewers will meet more of Beth’s big family in the upcoming season.
“That’s something we’re going to learn about in Season 3 — that she has a Jamaican background,” the This Is Us star told the Times. “Her mom is still alive, her dad isn’t, obviously. She has sisters and comes from a big family. Seeing how that plays into her life, who does she go to for advice and help outside of the Pearson clan…she’s like a slow-peeling onion.”
The season 2 finale included a mystery moment between an adult Tess (Iantha Richardson) and her aging father Randall (Sterling K. Brown) in which he tells her, “It’s time to go see her, Tess.” Tess said she wasn’t ready, and Randall said he wasn’t either. But who’s the “her?” Fans seem to think the tragic mystery lady is either Beth, Annie (Faithe Herman), or Deja (Lyric Ross). According to Deadline, Fogelman described the futuristic father-daughter exchange as the beginning of the show’s next big mystery, telling reporters that, by the end of Season 3, viewers “will know where (this storyline) is going.”
This Is Us season 3: Sterling K. Brown hints flash-forward mystery contains key to 'end of our story' https://t.co/SuJ5tKeuGB— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) April 23, 2018
But be careful what you wish for because it doesn’t sound like this arc will have a happy ending. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us star Chrissy Metz revealed that she knows the details behind the mysterious flash-forward that affects her TV brother and his daughter—and she says it’s not good.
“It’s actually very heartbreaking,” she said.
Sterling K. Brown added that he also knows who the person is that future Randall is referring to and he says “it’s probably not what you suspect.” Sterling hinted that the somber storyline holds a clue to the end of the show’s overall story.
“When you see that flash-forward to the future, it will ultimately help to illuminate what the end of our story will be,” the This Is Us star revealed.
To see where This Is Us left off at the end of Season 2, take a look at the video below.
This Is Us returns to NBC this fall.