This Is Us will go back to the future next season, but it won’t go any further than fans have already seen. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman revealed viewers have already seen the show’s “ending timeline,” and he says the series will not delve past that timeline, which appeared to be about 15 years into the future.
The second season of This Is Us ended with an aging Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his now-adult daughter Tess (Iantha Richardson) as they discussed their reluctance to go see a mystery “her.”
Brown previously hinted to EW that the distant-future storyline “will ultimately help to illuminate what the end of our story will be.” And in the new interview, Fogelman elaborated on the Emmy-winning actor’s comment.
“I don’t imagine us going past this time period in the future so in terms of a timeline, this is our ending timeline. But we may have other past timelines we’re going to introduce in the course of the series, and also other future story lines that we might introduce as well.”
Fogelman also promised the season-ending storyline won’t be another mystery that leaves viewers hanging over several seasons.
“There will be answers given in the course of the season. Part of the fun of any family is looking at somebody in a certain time frame or a family in a present-day time frame and hypothetically jumping forward 15 years and [seeing] who’s still in the picture, who’s not in the picture anymore, who has become ill or other. We’ll be slowly getting pieces by process of elimination or more questions…until we get to the answer — and not string it out too long.”
Fogelman’s comment about “jumping forward 15 years” and seeing ” who’s not in the picture anymore, who has become ill or other,” has some fans worried that a major character won’t be part of the Pearson family’s future. The mystery “her” cliffhanger has many This Is Us fans convinced that Randall’s wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) is the unlucky lady, but the actress told the Los Angeles Times she thinks her character is safe.
“I don’t think I’m dying,” Kelechi Watson told the Times earlier this year.
“That’s a rumor…But I feel like I know … there is some real stuff that happens in the future. And it involves the whole family. Does it necessarily mean Beth is dying — no. That’s the spoiler I can give — she’s not dead.”
This Is Us star Chrissy Metz also gave a spoiler about the future-set Randall-Tess mystery, telling Entertainment Tonight, “It’s not good. It’s actually very heartbreaking.”
And last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, This Is Us star Mandy Moore, who plays patriarch Rebecca Pearson on the NBC hit, also added a wrench into things when she teased that her character might not be part of the series finale scene, making some wonder if Rebecca falls ill and dies by the finale. Moore told the late-night host she knows how This Is Us will end and she confirmed previous reports that some scenes for the series finale have already been shot.
“I don’t know if I was in any of that footage,” Moore teased.
This Is Us returns to NBC on Tuesday, Sept. 25.