This Is Us has tortured fans with so many emotional moments and tragedies that they finally deserve a happier season finale, and co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker agrees.
The series has been obsessed with the death of patriarch Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) for almost two full seasons. It came to a head with the Super Bowl episode and the following one, in which audiences saw Jack die then attended his funeral. Those were "perhaps the two saddest episodes we've ever done on this show, so it was very important to us to return with something a bit lighter and a bit more celebratory," Aptaker told The Hollywood Reporter.
Tuesday's episode, the first since the 2018 Winter Olympics, will include a trip to Las Vegas for Toby's (Chris Sullivan) bachelor party and Kate's (Chrissy Metz) bachelorette party. That gives the entire Pearson family — and the audience — a chance to blow off some steam.
Aptaker said things will "definitely get a little crazy" in Vegas, but the Pearson family dynamics will still take the plot to "an unexpected place like usual."
Overall though, there are far more more light-hearted moments in Tuesday's episode than in past ones.
"Toby and Kate are going to Vegas and having a joint bachelor/bachelorette party," Aptaker told THR. "He's very, very excited to kind of bro down with Kevin [Justin Hartley] and Randall [Sterling K. Brown] for the weekend, and Kate is actually a little bit trepidatious to spend the weekend with Beth [Susan Kelechi Watson] because the two of them aren't the closest of sister-in-laws and honestly don't really know us each other all that well, so she has a bit of anxiety about this weekend with her sister-in-law."
The story in the past will follow the teen versions of the Big Three planning an anniversary party for Jack and Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
After that, there will be an episode about Randall and Beth's foster daughter, Deja (Lyric Ross). There will also be another flash-forward, skipping ahead 10 to 15 years into the future. The season finale in March will show the family moving on from Jack's death and will hopefully leave a more uplifting feeling for the audience heading into season three.
"They're always going to miss him, they're always going to mourn him, but looking forward they're hopefully going to be doing it in a more healthy way," Aptaker explained.
Aptaker is an executive producer on This Is Us, along with Elizabeth Berger and creator Dan Fogelman. New episodes of the series air on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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