The This Is Us season 3 premiere may have set up the death of another beloved Pearson family member.
Spoilers ahead for This Is Us season 3, episode 1.
At the end of season 2, viewers saw several glimpses into the Pearson family's future.
At the conclusion of the new episode, another flash forward into the future is shown. Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) and his daughter Tess (Iantha Richardson) are shown preparing to visit an unknown woman.
Randall then calls his brother-in-law Toby (Chris Sullivan), who is shown in bed with a greying beard.
"You coming down?" Randall asks.
A saddened Toby replies, "I don't know if I should."
Randall insists that the woman in question would like to see him, and Toby appears to agree to come.
The camera zooms out to show Toby has been sleeping alone. The other half of the bed is untouched. The room seems bare, as if Toby is the only person living there.
An obvious read of the situation is that Kate (Chrissy Metz) may have died, leaving Toby a widower. This is supported by the emphasis on Kate's health problems throughout the episode.
However, it may simply imply that Toby and Kate have broken up. It is intentionally left unclear.
This misdirect may be intentional, as the previous flash forward led to many other theories about the Pearson family's future.
With Randall and Tess nervously preparing to visit a woman. Many thought it could be Randall's wife Beth in poor health. Others tied in a fit of rage shown by stepdaughter Deja in the season finale and predicted they were visiting her in prison.
Others thought the woman in question could be matriarch Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who could be at the end of her life. The father and daughter could be visiting her to say goodbye.
This scene with Toby does not rule out those options, but it does make scenes like the Deja option less likely.
As far as what the cast have said about the mystery woman, they are staying quiet. However, Brown has said the persona has already appeared on the series.
"The 'her' is a woman. I can tell you that much," Brown told Entertainment Weekly. "It is someone that we have met over the first two seasons, so it won't be something that comes out of nowhere. Dan has already spoken to the fact that we've already shot parts of how he wants the series to end that's dealing with that particular 'her' as well. I think by about midseason, maybe episode 9 or so, the audience will know who that individual is."1comments
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo Credit: NBC