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This Is Us Season 3 Guide to Cast News, Premiere Date, Predictions and Rumors
It’s not hard to figure out why This Is Us became such a massive television phenomenon in the past two years. While America’s off-screen reality reached what felt like a peak of shamelessness and moral ineptitude, here was a family drama that focused on mostly good people that were largely just trying to do the right thing.
Add in the Lost-style timeline surprises, an addicting mystery surrounding patriarch Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death, and a central love story that’s unattainably romantic, and NBC had an enduring hit on its hands. Even when the Pearson family was making you sob, it still felt oddly comforting.
Always a big fan of a cliffhanger, last season left off with a few flash-forwards. The new future timeline will be a central part of Season Three, along with continuing the stories from flashbacks and the current era of the Pearson family. Even with Jack’s death finally explained, there are still plenty of stories left to be told, so get the wine and Kleenex ready, and brace yourself for another emotionally traumatizing year of This Is Us. Here’s what to expect when the show returns.
Jack’s Past in Vietnam Will Be Explored
As of now, we don’t know much about Jack’s time as a soldier in the Vietnam War, other than he served with his brother, Nicky, who will be played by Michael Angarano. But creator Dan Fogelman said that audiences will learn more about this portion of his life throughout the new season. Most of the Vietnam scenes have been shot in Southern California, but there are plans to shoot on location in Vietnam as well. While it’s been implied that Nicky died in Vietnam, This Is Us isn’t exactly known for a straightforward narrative, so don’t necessarily expect that to be the case.
The Big New Mystery Revolves Around a Mysterious “Her”
In a major “whoa, didn’t see that coming” moment, the Super Bowl episode of Season Two showed Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his now-adult daughter Tess (Iantha Richardson) at least a decade into the future, which set up the new future timeline. In the Season Two finale, there’s a brief scene where the older Randall tells adult Tess, “It’s time to go see her, Tess,” to which she replies, “I’m not ready.”
It’s unclear who the “her” is, but it’s evident that visiting the mysterious person will be painful for Randall and Tess. Fans have already started speculating that they’re referring to Deja, who might now be estranged from the family, or Rebecca (Mandy Moore), whose health might be failing in old age. There was also a growing belief among fans that This Is Us would kill off another beloved character, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), and that she might be the “her” in question, but Watson said she was assured by Fogelman that her character wouldn’t die.
Whoever the “her” is, we’ll find out this season. Unlike Jack’s death, this mystery won’t be dragged out for multiple years.
The Flash-Forwards Will Continue Throughout the Season
In the Season Two finale, Randall gave a toast at Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) wedding saying, “Nobody knows where we’ll be, not even a year from now,” while audiences were shown that Kevin (Justin Hartley) was on a plane en route to Vietnam with Beth’s cousin, Zoe (Melanie Liburd), whom he met at Kate’s wedding. The flash-forward also showed Kate telling a severely depressed Toby (Chris Sullivan) that the doctor wants to adjust his medication. These shorter flash-forwards combined with the more distant ones with Randall and Tess, will be a big part of the next season. In addition to the future timeline, Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly that additional past timelines might be introduced, as well.
Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson in the season two finale of This Is Us
Non-Pearson Family Members Will Get Their Moment in the Sun
Season Three promises to (finally) give us more insight into Beth’s life and immediate family. Fogelman said that Beth will get a “showcase” episode so we can learn what her life was like prior to marrying Randall. More focus will also be put on Toby and developing his character outside of his relationship to Kate. His family and experiences with depression will be explored in greater detail, and he’ll be getting his own “showcase” episode as well.
Audiences will also learn more about the oft-forgotten Miguel (Jon Huertas) this season. The show has shied away from giving much insight into his relationship with Rebecca, and it’s unclear whether he’s still in touch with his children from his first marriage. Rebecca’s relationship with Jack has obviously been the heart of the series, so fans (and the Pearson kids) aren’t exactly Miguel’s biggest supporters. But that might change as viewers get to know Miguel better. Executive producer Issac Aptaker told Variety that Miguel’s role in helping the Pearson family put their lives back together after Jack’s death will be a big part of this season.
Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth Pearson in the season three premiere of This Is Us
There Are a Few New Series Regulars and Recurring Stars
Lyric Ross, who plays Deja, has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming season, so you can expect to see her in more episodes, along with Melanie Liburd who played Zoe in the Season Two finale. Though we’ve only seen her in one episode so far, Zoe’s role as Beth’s cousin and Kevin’s new girlfriend will be interesting to watch. Also joining the cast in a recurring role is Michael Angarano as Nicky.
Season Three Starts Airing in Late September
This Is Us will return Tuesday, September 25 at 9 p.m. ET. The premiere will pick up a few months from where the season two finale left off, and will take place around the Big Three’s 38th birthday.