The This Is Us Season 3 finale left viewers with many questions, and one of the biggest revolves around Future Kevin (Justin Hartley) and his role as a father. The “Number One” Pearson son was not seen in the flash-forward finale scene that was set at his home, but his “mini-me” was.
That’s right — viewers were left with the cliffhanger revelation that some 10-12 years in the future, Kevin Pearson is a dad to a tween boy. But This Is Us fans have no idea who the mother of Kevin’s child is or if he’s even in a relationship at all at that point. In the final scene of the Season 3 finale episode, “Her,” Kevin was nowhere to be seen. The former Manny star was MIA after running out to pick up take-out because he realized he had no food in the house to offer his visiting family.
In a new interview with TV Line, Hartley admitted he never knew his character wanted to be a father until this season. The This Is Us star attributed Kevin’s emotional trip to Vietnam to search for clues about his late dad Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) past, and his subsequent meeting with his presumed-dead uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) may have spawned Kevin’s paternal desires.
Justin Hartley went so far as to speculate that the Kevin-as-a-dad storyline may not have been in This Is Us showrunner Dan Fogelman’s master plan for the Emmy-nominated drama series. Hartley said that based on the way Season 3 played out, he feels that some things were possibly written into the show that weren’t part of the original plan.
“I don’t remember any time in Season 2, thinking, ‘Oh, Kevin’s going to be a dad.’ But we still don’t know who the mom is.”
When asked if he knows who the mother of Kevin’s son is, Justin Hartley chose not to confirm nor deny anything.
“No,” Hartley said, before pausing to add, “I don’t want to say no. I tell you what, if I say yes, it gives… I don’t want to tell you if I know or not. How about that?”
Many This Is Us fans think the mother of Kevin’s son could be Sophie, his childhood sweetheart and ex-wife, played by Alexandra Breckenridge.
Hartley said he thinks that Kevin’s son is somewhere between 8- and 10-years-old in the flash forward scene, which is set about 12 years in the future. Hartley predicted that next season This Is Us will dive into what Kevin’s future “relationship” looks like, be it with his kid or the boy’s mother, and he teased that viewers will see a fifty-something Kevin Pearson soon.
But unlike his TV mom Mandy Moore, who spends hours in the makeup chair for a grueling prosthetics process, Justin Hartley joked that he thinks golden child Kevin will enter his 50s relatively unscathed.
“I think they’re just going to tell me to skip the make-up trailer and head straight to set. ‘Wake up, don’t shower, don’t shave, go straight to set.’ That’s older Kevin.”
Hartley admitted that while This Is Us producers have not yet told him when older Kevin will appear onscreen, he thinks it will happen early on in Season 4. The “Her” finale scene was set at Kevin’s house where his ailing mom Rebecca (Mandy Moore) was bedridden as her family members gathered to visit her. Hartley figures 50-year-old Kevin will have to show up at some point since his family is at his house.
“No one’s told me specifically like what day, or what year, what season, or even if. But you’ve seen his son, we’ve been in his house. We see that his mom is in a bed there, on what looks like her deathbed, and so you assume that he’s taking care of her. He’s not Santa Claus — we’ll see him — but I would imagine it will be this year.”
Of course, This Is Us fans should take Justin Hartley’s spoilers with a grain of salt. The actor previously told People that he sometimes makes up fake spoilers to keep himself from getting into trouble with the This Is Us powers-that-be.
“I’ll get nervous and make something up that isn’t in the show. I’ll just lie,” Hartley said earlier this year.
Take a look at the This Is Us Season 3 finale scene above, where Kevin Pearson’s future fatherhood is revealed for the first time.
This Is Us returns to NBC this fall for Season 4.