The Pearson family is back as This Is Us returns to NBC tonight at 9 p.m. When we last left the Big Three, Kevin was on his way to Vietnam with Beth’s cousin, Kate and Toby were married, and Randall had to go see “her” in a flash forward. There are a lot of storylines that Dan Fogelman can tackle this season. Here are some focal points and questions I have for the upcoming season.
Jack and Rebecca’s First Date
From what I read, the early stages of Jack and Rebecca’s courtship are going to be explored. Instead of questioning how Jack died, which was the biggest mystery in Season 2, it will be nice to see how a young couple fell in love before the Big Three came into their lives.
Jack’s Time in Vietnam
This is my number one storyline. Once it was teased in Season 2, you knew that the writers would eventually circle back to Jack’s time in the war. From what we know so far, Jack had a rough childhood due to his father’s alcoholism. This may have been the reason why he decided to serve in in the first place. Last season, we also learned that Jack had a brother, Nicky, who also served in Vietnam. Jack rarely talked about his brother so it will be interesting to see their dynamic in Vietnam and play out on screen since Michael Angarano was cast as Nicky. Milo Ventimiglia stated that there will be an entire episode focused on Vietnam. Bring it, on.
Kevin and Zoe Head to Vietnam
The Season 3 finale revealed that Kevin was headed to Vietnam to learn more about Jack’s past. However, he wasn’t alone and the woman with him was not Sophie (who I still think Kevin ends up with). Kevin was snuggled up next to Zoe, Beth’s cousin. In the video preview above, Beth is very dismissive of the relationship so we’ll see how serious the courtship is this season. Also, no more dark turns for Kevin, please. Kevin was meant to be lovable and vibrant, not gloomy and depressed.
Kate Wants a Baby While Toby is Depressed
The honeymoon stage is over for Kate and Toby. In last season’s finale, a flash-forward revealed a depressed Toby in bed while Kate sat bedside. What is the cause of the depression? Only time will tell, but Toby has to face his problems sooner than later because Kate announced that she wants to have a baby in the video preview. Calling my shot now, Kate is pregnant by the Season 3 finale.
Who is the “her” in Randall’s Flash-forward?
Randall is going into the future. In a flash-forward from last season, Randall tells adult Tess that it’s time to see “her.” Who is this mysterious woman? This might be the biggest mystery of the upcoming season. Right away, the obvious answer is Beth. If I know anything about this show, it’s that the obvious answer is not always right so I don’t think this is Beth. Perhaps it’s Deja, Annie, or Rebecca. I just can’t see it being Beth. For some reason, I think the “her” might be a child that is sick and needs to live in a hospital.
Randall, Beth, and Deja
The other Big Three will have to continue to learn how to coexist as a family. Deja unloaded on a car with a bat in last season’s finale so I’m sure Randall and Beth will have to bring that up. Will Deja finally learn to accept her new family? I’m expecting more violent outbursts before her acceptance.
Introducing flash-forwards makes sense in the grand scheme of things. A show about the past and the present needs to incorporate the future. In fact, the show will end in the future timeline. That being said, three different timelines can cause some confusion. For the first few episodes, my hope is that Jack and Rebecca are the past, the Big Three are the present, and only Randall is the future. The more characters introduced in each timeline, the more chances for confusion. Expect to learn more about Toby, Beth, and my boy Miguel as well.
I’m excited for Season 3, which has been called by the cast the “most ambitious season yet.” Here’s to a good season.
Look for my recaps every Wednesday morning on this website and on Twitter @danny_giro.