The second season of This Is Us came to a close in March, but our journey with the Pearson clan is far from over. NBC, recognizing the show's massive popularity, picked it up for a third season far in advance, and the cast and crew have already let some bits of information about the upcoming episodes slip.
In the second season finale, "The Wedding," creator Dan Fogelman teased more scenes in the future for season three. We saw Kevin (Justin Heartley) taking a trip to Vietnam with his girlfriend, Beth's (Susan Kelechi-Watson) cousin Zoe (Melanie Liburd), Kate (Chrissy Metz) taking care of husband Toby (Chris Sullivan) and there was a hint that Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth's marriage might not be as perfect as we think.
While the summer gives us plenty of opportunities to re-watch every heartbreaking and happy moment of the last 18 episodes of This Is Us, it also gives us time to look into the future.
Here is what we know about This Is Us' third season so far.
While we have seen the tension between Beth's realist vision and Randall's habit of jumping to action before thinking, season three will test their relationship in new ways.
“There will be a bit of an exploration of marriage with regards to Randall and Beth going through times that aren’t all sunshine and rainbows,” Brown told PEOPLE. “And that’s not to say that they are in danger of parting ways, but marriage is real and takes work.”
During "The Wedding," we also saw a hint that Beth might be ill or die. Randall's scene in the future showed him telling a grown-up Tess she needs to "go see her." Who that pronoun refers to is unknown, but the scene ended with a cut to Beth in the present, implying that it might be her.
"The Wedding" teased a new love interest for Kevin, who just destroyed his chance at getting back with Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge). First, it looked like Kate's friend Madison (Caitlin Thompson) might fall for Kevin, but the scene in the future showed him with Beth's cousin Zoe. The two were on a plane to Vietnam, to see where Kevin's father Jack served during the Vietnam War.
Kevin's battle with alcoholism and drug addiction could still play a role in future episodes.
“I’m not sure that’s something you ever beat, I’m pretty sure you don’t, but I think he’s figured out that it’s not something that you can sort of handle on your own,” Heartley said at SXSW. “You need people around you and a support system.”
Toby's parents warned him that the marriage with Kate will not be easy. Co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger told Entertainment Weekly that there will be plenty of "stressful situations" to test the newlyweds.
"Depression is something that Toby struggled with before, and it’s something that he’s gotten a hold of. But I think as many people can attest to, the path of dealing with depression isn’t always a straight line, and sometimes you get off-course," Berger said. "And especially when there are stressful situations going on, things can sort of come to a head. And Kate and Toby will be thrust into some stressful situations as we move forward, and that will definitely have an impact on Toby’s state of mind."
In the future, we saw Kate caring for Toby in a bedroom. He might be having more heart problems, as we saw him have a heart attack in season one.
Deja's (Lyric Moss) story is not over just because her mother gave up parental rights. Deja is not happy about that, and is having trouble adjusting to joining the Pearson family.
"I think Deja’s going through something really complex, where she’s generally filled with anger right now and not exactly sure where to direct it," Berger told EW. "I mean, she’s angry and betrayed by her mom, she feels angry and betrayed by Randall and Beth just for being involved in the whole situation. And yeah, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about her, and one of the things that we may come to know more about next season is Deja’s father, because we haven’t yet talked about it at all. Obviously, Deja has had almost no relationship with him, but she may know more about him than we previously let on. So, we’ll get to know a little bit more about what that relationship is moving forward."
This Is Us is also not finished with exploring the impact of Jack's death on the Big Three as teenagers. Co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker told Glamour that the year after their father's death is a major part of upcoming episodes.
"I’m really excited to dig into this period that we haven’t touched, which is this seminal year for the big three after the death of their father. It happened in February of their senior year of high school, which is a seminal time no matter what," he said. "They also had this tragedy occur, which affects the rest of their lives, so we’re going to dive into that year where there’re so many stories to tell about the decisions they make and the way they react to their father’s death shaped the trajectory for the next 20 years of their lives."
Considering that Kevin is going to be in Vietnam, flashbacks will also take us there to see how the war shaped Jack. This means Milo Ventimiglia will still be a part of the show.
Season three is "a big Vietnam season for us. We’re doing some cool stuff. Milo (Ventimiglia) will get a real showcase as younger Jack and there will be more Jack and Rebecca origin stories," Fogelman said at SXSW, reports Deadline.
Despite theories about Beth's death, there will be no major death in the present day storyline, at least.
"It's safe to say they’re talking about someone extremely close to them, but I don't think [the audience] is meant to think any particular person is dead or alive or ill," Fogelman told Glamour when asked about Tess and Randall's discussion in the future.
Fogelman also told Glamour, "We don't have any other deaths coming in a present day storyline anytime soon."
During "The Wedding," it was clear that we need more scenes with Randall and Kevin together, especially since Heartley and Brown have great chemistry on the screen. Expect to see more of that.
“There is something about the two brothers together, you see a lot of it in the finale, there is something so real about them as brothers …. so I go ‘S—, we need to get Randall and Kevin on camera more,'" Fogelman told PEOPLE.
Aside from Jack's time in Vietnam, there are more secrets about his life that we have not learned so far. These will be uncovered in season three.
"I think season two was so much about Jack's death obviously, and I think season three, in a really cool way, is going to be more about his life and sort of focusing on these chapters that we haven't yet seen," Berger told E! News. "I think Jack has alluded to Rebecca that he has a lot of secrets and there are parts of his life that even she hasn't been privy to, and we're going go get to really explore those parts in a really exciting way."
In the middle of This Is Us' first season, NBC took the unprecedented step of renewing the freshman show for two more seasons. The peacock ordered 18 episodes for both new seasons, to which the first season also only ran 18 episodes.
Fogelman told Glamour that the new season is "our most ambitious yet."
This Is Us returns on Sept. 25, 2018.