Season two of This Is Us was a wild ride for the Pearson family. The cause of Jack's death was finally revealed, Randall and Beth took in a foster child, Kate and Toby's never-dull relationship finally led to a wedding, Kevin's struggle with addiction came to a breaking point, and we were treated to numerous heart-melting romantic moments between Jack and Rebecca.
Thankfully, this isn't the end for the Pearson family: This Is Us will return for season three this fall. And today, NBC has blessed us with the first 30-second trailer for the new season.
In the new promo, the Big Three is seen celebrating their 38th birthday, with Kate wishing for a baby as she blows out her birthday candle. We also got a glimpse of Kevin with his new love, Zoe, and in a flashback scene, we see a young Jack telling Miguel he met "the girl." Cue the tears.
See the first scenes from season three here:
NBC confirmed the season three of This Is Us will premiere on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 9 pm ET. Here's what we can expect from the upcoming season:
1. Season three will be at least 18 episodes long.
In January 2017, NBC picked up seasons two and three at the same time for a minimum of 18 episodes each, Deadline reports. Both season one and season two kicked off near the end of September, and season three will follow: NBC just confirmed the show will return on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
2. The season will begin with the Big Three turning 38.
Just like in previous seasons, episode one of season three will begin on the Big Three's birthday, showrunner Isaac Aptaker confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter. Kevin, Randall, and Kate will turn 38.
3. Deja's father might be part of season three.
The final few episodes of season two were particularly emotional for Deja, Randall and Beth Pearson's foster child turned adoptive daughter. Executive producer Elizabeth Berger told Entertainment Weekly we'll learn more about Deja's backstory in the next season.
"There’s still a lot that we don’t know about her," Berger said. "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." We'll just let that cliffhanger simmer all summer long.
4. Get ready for more Toby.
Now that Toby and Kate are finally married, we'll get to know a bit more about him moving forward. The season two finale featured a flash-forward to a deeply depressed Toby, hinting at an incoming rocky road for KaToby.
Berger hinted at a new focus on Toby in the upcoming season while chatting with Entertainment Weekly. "Moving forward as we get to know Toby better in season 3, we’re definitely going to be exploring his family and his relationships in a deeper way," Berger said. "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."
5. Thankfully, Jack isn't going anywhere.
The heartbreaking cause of Jack's death was revealed in season two's Super Bowl episode, but Milo Ventimiglia will still be featured in season three. "Even though we saw Jack pass, that doesn’t mean that I, Milo, am leaving the show," Ventimiglia revealed on Megyn Kelly Today.
In fact, series creator and showrunner Dan Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly viewers will learn even more about Jack in the new season. "We can do things with Jack and learn things about Jack that we really can’t with a lot of our other characters," Fogelman told the magazine. "It’s one of the things I’m most excited about-where we go next in learning stuff about Jack. Which is ironic because the character just died in the most public way on national television.”
6. Jack's time in the Vietnam War will be a major plot point.
One Jack chapter we'll see in season three is parts of his early life, including his time in Vietnam. In fact, Fogelman told Deadline that season three is "a big Vietnam season for us." Fogelman added that Ventimiglia "will get a real showcase as younger Jack and there will be more Jack and Rebecca origin stories" in the next season.
Today, Fogelman shared a video of Ventimiglia in uniform as they presumably filmed a scene from the new season:
Ventimiglia reaffirmed the Vietnam War plotline at an Emmy consideration event, revealing that the story arc will include the details of how Jack lost his younger brother Nicky in the war. "It’s going to be about what happened to his brother,” said Ventimiglia, according to Vulture. “How did he lose his brother? That’s what I think at least for Jack what we’re really going to want to pay attention to. It’s just a pretty impactful thing to have loss at that level."
Michael Angarano has been cast as Nicky in season three, and will be a recurring character. The actor shared the news on Twitter in August.
i am beyond grateful and very excited to be a part of this show - my grandmother even told her dentist. https://t.co/WZaG3hFjVz- michael angarano (@MichaelAngarano) August 14, 2018
This Is Us producers and writers are dedicated to making the Vietnam story as realistic as possible, so they found the expert source on the war. "The name we kept saying was, ‘We need Tim O’Brien,’ who is this premier author on Vietnam and a former vet, but that seemed like too good to be true," executive producer Elizabeth Berger told Vulture. "That was like our dream-and then we got him. That’s been incredible, because we never want to take anything on that we can’t do authentically, and I think he’s giving it that stamp of authenticity.”
7. Kevin is on a better path in season three.
Kevin's battle with drug and alcohol addiction came to a dramatic breaking point in season two. We watched Justin Hartley's character hit an all-time low, and now fans are hopeful for a healthy and sober Kevin after a stint in rehab.
Hartley sounded off on Kevin's future during the Deadline studio at SXSW. "I think he’s figured out that it’s not something that you can sort of handle on your own," the actor said of his character's struggle with addiction. "You need people around you and a support system. Kevin has these tools now. He's understanding how to use them, and I think he's progressing in the right direction. I mean, I think he's on the right path, and he's only going to continue to get stronger."
Watch the full video of their SXSW session here:
8. Season three will explore how Kate, Kevin, and Randall cope in the year after Jack's death.
Executive producer and co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker told Glamour that the "seminal year for the big three after the death of their father" will be a season three storyline.
"It happened in February of their senior year of high school, which is a seminal time no matter what," Aptaker revealed to the magazine. "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."
Mandy Moore hinted that she's eager to explore what Kate, Kevin, and Randall were experiencing during this period. "They lost their father at 17, 18, that’s a really formidable period of their lives where they were supposed to go off to college," Moore told Variety in an interview. "Kate was going to study music and who knows what genius thing Randall was going to get up to, and I feel like it really derailed everybody, like to varying degrees. So I want to know how that fundamentally impacted them, as individuals, but also our relationship."
9. Randall and Beth's relationship will be tested.
Randall and Beth's relationship evolved throughout season two, as they decided to take in a foster child, Deja, and Randall started a new business. So will obstacles arrive for this fan-favorite couple thanks to these major changes? Since it's This Is Us we're talking about, the answer is likely yes.
“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,” Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall, revealed to People magazine. “And that’s not to say that they are in danger of parting ways, but marriage is real and takes work.”
At the 2018 Emmy Awards, Sterling K. Brown hinted at Randall and Beth's upcoming issues in the new season. "There's some tension between Randall and Beth," Brown told E! on the red carpet."This couple's not breaking up, this couple's not going anywhere, but just like in life, you have your highs and your lows. We're gonna go through some of the worst, so we can get to the better." Cue the tears.
10. We'll learn more about Rebecca and Miguel's relationship.
Many This Is Us fans (myself included) protest Rebecca's present-day marriage to Jack's best friend, Miguel. In season three, we'll get their full love story: Aptaker told Variety Rebecca and Miguel's relationship in the aftermath of Jack's death will develop next season.
"Miguel is the man who tries to step in and help Rebecca manage the Big Three as she’s putting her life back together,"Aptaker said. "What that looks like does lead to the future as we know it for them-but how exactly that plays out and how it leads to that moment we saw in the Halloween flashback episode, where he reaches out to her after many years, is going to be a big Season three story."
11. Expect plenty of flash-forwards in season three.
It's no secret that This Is Us is eager to show the past, present, and future of their beloved characters. In the upcoming season, we can expect even more scenes taking place in the future.
Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Beth in the series, hinted we'll see more flash-forwards featuring Randall and Tess (like we saw this season) soon. "Now we’ve seen Sterling’s character, we’ve seen Randall in the future," she told TVLine. "And we’ve seen Tess in the future. So that’s probably an avenue that is gonna get explored."
Ventimiglia also hinted at more flash-forwards in season three in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "[Creator Dan] Fogelman, his intention was always to jump into the future," Ventimiglia said. "That was something we all knew going in and when we saw that jump into grown-up Tess, adult Tess and older Randall, that was where he always wanted to go. I don't know that the show always lives there, but I think understanding that we do exist in the past, it makes sense that we'd exist in the future as well."
12. We'll learn more about Beth and Beth's family.
"I guess we’ll see more of Beth’s family," Kelechi Watson told TVLine in an interview. "We’ll see more of what’s happening between her and Randall in terms of this transition and what’s going to happen with Deja. That’s pretty much all I know so far."
In the final episode of season two, we met Beth's cousin Zoe, played by Melanie Liburd. We later see Zoe flying to Vietnam with Kevin in a flash-forward, and the duo appears to be dating in the future. Now that we've added Zoe into the mix, will we meet more members of the Beth's family? Elizabeth Berger hinted at yes to the Hollywood Reporter, saying "we're looking forward to including Beth and Zoe's extended family, and throwing them into scenes with Kevin and Randall."
13. Adult Kate and Rebecca appear to be in a better place.
After their emotional pre-wedding conversation in the season two finale, adult Kate and Rebecca appear to be moving in the right direction. Elizabeth Berger told Entertainment Weekly that the mother daughter duo are in a better place by the end of season two. " I think Rebecca and Kate can feel each other’s love for each other in a way that they haven’t in many, many years," Berger said. "I think they’re moving into season 3 in a really beautiful, healthy place."
Mandy Moore, for one, is pushing for a Rebecca-Kate duet in the future. While it's unclear if this dream duet will take place in season three, Moore is pushing for it. “My hope still is that I get to do a duet with Chrissy, so present day Rebecca and Kate get to sing together," Moore said in the Deadline interview at SXSW.
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