Hear that? That’s the sound of millions of This Is Us fans buying more tissues in bulk ahead of the season three premiere, set to air Sept. 25 on NBC. One week before that event, the network will air a one-hour special dedicated to all things Pearson. To truly be prepared, you should already have this list of theories memorized and discussed at length with other TiU fans. My tear ducts will never be ready. Altogether now (and to quote Jack and Randall): breathe.
1. Forget the Big Three for a second. Randall has a biological sibling.
In August 2018, show runner Dan Fogelman stopped hearts when he shared this season three photo of William (Ron Cephas Jones) holding a baby. “Brace yourselves,” Fogelman wrote.
One possible explanation for this photo is that William went on to father another child, long after Randall’s birth. (This supports why we’re seeing Jones’s William in the photo, not the actor who played Young William when baby Randall was dropped off at the fire station.)
Not convinced that’s Randall’s sibling in the pic? Could the baby be Randall’s daughter Tess (or maybe Annie)? Given Rebecca and William’s secret correspondence over the years, this could very well be a touching scene of William meeting one of his granddaughters for the first time?
Rebecca brought one of Randall’s daughters to meet him!- Courtney (@courtneyadaum) August 17, 2018
2. Beth isn’t going to die, but she’s still the “her” mentioned in the season two finale.
The final moments of the season two finale saw Future Randall and Future Tess mulling over going to see “her.” Viewers immediately thought this meant Beth on her deathbed, but Susan Kelechi Watson has since debunked that theory. Still, there’s nothing that suggests Beth isn’t the “her” Randall and Tess are sad about seeing. Whatever it is, it’s nothing to celebrate. “It’s not good,” Chrissy Metz told Entertainment Weekly in April 2018. “It’s actually very heartbreaking.”
3. Or, the “her” is Future Rebecca, and she’s about to join Jack in the sweet, sweet afterlife.
Anyone else notice that along with Beth (and Annie), Rebecca wasn’t in any of the flash forwards in the finale? At this point, you might want to give yourself a 10-minute break after thinking about Rebecca and Jack reuniting somewhere in this universe and feeling all the emotions related to this thought about fictional characters on TV.
I HAVE A #ThisIsUs THEORY: the “her” that Tess and Randall refer to is neither Beth nor Deja, but Rebecca. Rebecca didn’t have any type of flash forward scene (which makes me worried), so I think there could be something wrong with Rebecca. Who knows? We’ll see in September. 😭- Gretchen Nelson (@GretchanaNelson) March 15, 2018
4. Future Toby’s depression is related to KaToby’s infertility.
The flash forwards in the season two finale also saw Kate talking to Toby about possibly adjusting his meds. One explanation for his depression could be the couple’s ongoing challenge of trying to conceive. (Recall: Kate suffered a miscarriage on season two.)
Chrissy Metz actually hinted at this storyline in March 2018 while promoting her memoir, This Is Me. Speaking to TV Insider, Metz said KaToby’s baby making process “might not be in the most conventional way.” She added, “I’m really looking forward to that because, as the writers and Dan have shown in the past seasons, every time you think they’re taking you one way, I’m always thrown for a loop. So it’s definitely going to be unconventional in the approach but also really figuring out what Toby’s depression is all about.” Buy the Book
5. Jack’s brother Nicky died while saving Jack in Vietnam.
So far, it’s been implied that Jack’s brother died while serving in Vietnam. But it’s This Is Us. Things have to be more than implied. Kind of like the way Jack took his last breath (albeit off camera) following the Crock-Pot induced house fire.
One longstanding theory has been that Jack has never really talked about his brother because of something traumatic that happened while the two served together. Was it because Jack’s brother died while saving him? Or was Jack forced to leave an injured Nicky behind, making the words he always said when they were kids all the more heartbreaking? Refresher: the season two episode, “Brothers,” included a flashback of an 8-year-old Jack telling his little brother, “Don’t worry, Nicky. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere.” Did Jack ultimately have to go somewhere (safety) and did he end up regretting this tragedy for the rest of his life?
6. Jack’s brother is still alive and has been living in Vietnam. Kevin will meet him on season three.
The season two finale saw Kevin (and Beth’s cousin Zoe) heading off to Vietnam together. Besides the obvious-learning more about Jack’s time in Vietnam-what will Kevin be doing there? One theory is that through Zoe’s connections, Kevin has discovered that his Uncle Nicky has been alive this whole time and is on his way to meet him for the first time.
Justin Hartley basically gave a wink and nudge to this theory an interview with PEOPLE in May 2018. “I think it’s more of [him] trying to find out what exactly his father did over there, besides the obvious, and who he might have met, who might still be around. Are there people available that he could talk to that sort of fill in some clues as to who Jack was?” In August, NBC announced that the show had cast Will & Grace alum Michael Angarano as Nicky. Raise your hand if you can definitely see This Is Us aging the baby-faced actor to play Kevin’s uncle in present day.
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