Stating the obvious here, but the This Is Us season 3 finale left a lot of questions on the table for season 4.
In attempt to get some answers to those burning questions (like, "when is season 4 of This Is Us coming?" and "why was Nicky in that last scene of the finale?"), GoodHousekeeping.com interviewed some of the NBC drama's writers and cast members, who gave us the firsthand scoop on what's going to happen in the Pearsons' lives.
If we had to sum it up, we'd say that there are definitely a few characters whose relationships will be tested to the max ... so get ready.
This Is Us season 4 is set to return September 24th.
Mark your calendars: Season 4 is returning on Tuesday, September 24th on NBC. The first episode will likely kick off with The Big Three's birthday (just as it has in prior seasons).
Season 4 will be the third to last season of the series.
Because of the show's continued success, This Is Us was renewed in May 2019 for three more 18-episode seasons. Showrunner Isaac Aptaker had previously told Deadline during season 3 that the series finale has already been written and fans would stop hearing from the Pearsons in "about three seasons." In other words, the three-season renewal falls perfectly in line with show creator Dan Fogelman's ultimate plan.
You'll be able to stream season 4 on Hulu.
Not a real-time viewing kind of person? Just like with the first three seasons, Hulu subscribers can tune in at Hulu.com. The streaming service offers a free trial or starter pack of $5.99 a month for a one-year subscription with limited or no commercials. There is also another option that costs $39.99 a month to watch live TV online and on iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV & Fire Stick, Apple TV (4th generation), LG (select TVs), Nintendo Switch, Chromecast, Xbox One & Xbox 360, and Samsung (select TVs).
If you prefer to catch This Is Us on a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, you can watch all new episodes on NBC.com/this-is-us/episodes. The NBC app, which is available for download via the app store, also allows fans of the show to stream on their phones. Lastly, NBC usually posts episodes on their on-demand feature around 24 hours after it airs.
The This Is Us cast will only get bigger in season 4.
"We have a big plan of expansion," Dan says. "The show is intended to be the expansive ways our lives evolve and connect us with our people … That starts happening more and more.”
In June, it was announced that Jennifer Morrison will be joining the cast, although her exact role hasn't been revealed. The actress, who has appeared in How I Met Your Mother and Once Upon a Time, tweeted out the exciting news to her fans.
Our guess is that she'll be playing another member of the Pearson Family Tree.
Season 4 will be a "restart for everyone."
Speaking of paying attention, Dan told Entertainment Weekly that he aims to play with the concept of time in a really "ambitious and sprawling" way for season 4.
"Many of our characters are in the middle of their stories, and that's a point where characters are opening up to new things and new things are starting," Dan spilled. "That becomes a very exciting period for almost all of the characters, and for some of them, maybe a very scary period in terms of how fraught their storylines are."
He continued: "It's going to feel in some ways almost like a version of season one in the middle of our series."
Huh, interesting ...
Toby and Kate are going to be a lot different.
The back-and-forth witty banter? Sure, that may still be around here and there, but Chrissy Metz tells us that the new baby is going to affect the dynamic of their relationship in a big way.
"We’ve seen a lot at the surface with stuff, and things start to get a little more serious and they realize that it’s not all fun and games," Chrissy says while talking about the couple's marriage. "We [Kate and Toby] can’t protect ourselves with humor and sarcasm."
When asked which character was going to struggle the most, Chrissy says Toby had some tough days ahead of him, indicating that there may be some more hurdles to overcome. Poor Tobes!
Kate may be in trouble ... keyword being "may."
The finale certainly did not put anyone who has been theorizing that Kate might die at ease. As fans can recall, when future Toby is asked about where his son was, Toby said, "They're on their way." A purposefully vague response, of course, considering that "they" could mean anybody.
Chrissy wouldn't tell US Weekly if she was part of the "they," but she did hint that things might not turn out so bad for Kate, after all.
“She could be anywhere. She could be at the grocery store, she could be at the dry cleaners,” she spilled. “Everyone is predicting the absolute worst, and Toby did say, ‘They’re on their way.’ Just saying!'”
Is Chrissy just throwing us off, though? Time will tell.
The show won't revolve around [older] Jack quite as much.
As Dan explains it, Jack and Rebecca will always be at the "center of the orbit" on the show, given that the whole premise of the series revolves around their nuclear family. But as far as revealing new shocking bits about Jack's past, those storylines are probably not going to be the focus anymore.
"I think a lot of the mystery of Jack has been kind of told by the end of this season [season 3], but it doesn’t necessarily mean it's any less interesting to go and live with those younger families," Dan told us. "We are starting to move towards new chapters in season 4 with The Big Three ... some of the more mysterious or dramatic pulls of the series might start falling into the hands of some of our other characters."
Season 4 is going to focus a lot on the past.
While Jack might not be the huge focus going forward, Dan told Hollywood Reporter that flashbacks will still be a large part of the show.
"Next season is a very past-heavy season. We're going to play in time in a surprising way as we move forward into next seasons of the show," Dan said. "At a certain point, our present becomes our past. That sounds really confusing, but it does in the show at some point."
Sooo .... "the past" will be what's going on in present day, and what's going on in present day will be used more and more to explain what happens in the future. Dan is right: That does sound confusing. 😥
That flash-forward scene will be explained a lot more.
Who is the mom of Kevin's son? Why are Annie and Deja missing? Sterling K. Brown assured Entertainment Weekly that all of these mysteries will be addressed soon enough.
"This particular day in the future that we’ve kept coming back to, is more than likely the last day of our series. So, we’re building toward the end of the show," Sterling began. "There’s the chalk, and there’s the Pin the Tail on the Donkey, there are all these things that don’t seemingly make sense, but there’s a method to the madness."
As for the question of where Miguel is in that future scene, Sterling hints we won't get answers until seasons 5 and 6.
The 12-year-old Pearsons are really going to shine.
"We have a lot more planned with our 12-year-old Big Three, who are rapidly approaching puberty. The way we write those kids is changing by the day," Isaac spills. "We’re really excited to enter that with all of them. And there are so many great, crazy stories there.”
Jack and Rebecca's younger days will likely be explored.
Milo Ventimiglia says that the writers are eager to touch on the early days of "Jack and Rebecca as kids."
"They were married for five years before they had kids … and might’ve been dating five years before they got married … they had their own lives free of parenthood," Milo explains. "I think that’s the stuff that I’d want to explore - what happened in that period of time."
Mandy Moore also confirms this will be the case, adding that we'll see even more about Jack and Rebecca falling in love and what Rebecca will do after her music dreams don't work out the way she had hoped.
"We're also going to follow Jack and Rebecca back from California to Pittsburgh, to see how they pick up on their relationship from there after that road trip [which went] a little south," Mandy tells us.
Rebecca might be seeing Jack "soon."
In an interview with Hollywood Life, Milo spilled that he was "excited for Rebecca," because "she's gonna see Jack soon, maybe." This, sadly, makes it seem as though Rebecca's death might occur in season 4.
Now, of course, we don't know how much of that ominous flash-forward scene in the season 3 finale (where an old Rebecca is lying in bed) is going to appear in season 4. But Milo is really making it sound like the bigger story behind it all will absolutely crush fans, especially as we start to better understand what's going on.
“My warnings these days are like, ‘It’s gonna make you cry,’ knowing what we’re going to get into this fourth season,” Milo teased. Great, just great.
Rebecca's father will be a part of the story.
While speaking at PaleyFest, Dan said: "Rebecca’s father is going to become a prominent part of the show ... Where we’re starting the season [next year] is as ambitious as we’ve been in a storytelling way."
Where will Rebecca's father fit in, though? Our best guess would be lots of flashbacks and maybe exploring his role during Rebecca and Jack's dating days before kids. But who knows ...
Redemption for Miguel is coming.
Soon, gone will be the days of hating on Miguel for marrying his best friend's wife ... at least, that's what Jon Huertas hopes. Jon says that season 4 will take a look at Rebecca and Miguel's budding relationship, where fans will see a much different side to him.
"I’d love to have that kind of scene between the three kids, where they apologize for being little punks in his and Rebecca’s marriage," Jon says.
Randall and Beth will STILL be put through the wringer.
While we do know that they're together in the future, it's definitely not going to be all sunshine and daisies from here on out. The subtle hints that seem to be pointing to trouble for Beth and Randall - i.e. the uncomfortable tension between the two during Randall's campaign - are going to be addressed.
"Randall has just won an election and is struggling [with] how he’s going to juggle that with his family and Beth’s new career," Isaac reveals. "We’ll continue to explore how that marriage and that family will survive when everyone’s life has been upended after season 3."
Jae-won and Randall are going to become pretty close.
On a positive note, Randall's campaign manager Jae-won Yoo (played by Tim Jo) will be making a comeback.
"There’s a trust and a friendship forming between Randall and Jae-won during very a tumultuous time in both of our lives," Tim tells us. "I’m really interested to see that evolution of that relationship between these two men, who have been given the duty to lead their community. Will it deepen our friendship? Will it make things harder? We’ve got a really big time ahead of us."
We may get a better sense of who future Deja is.
Tim hints that he would "love to see" what Deja becomes. The actress who plays Deja, Lyric Ross, tells us that it's something she's excited about, as well.
"Before, all you could see was the pain and the distrust and all of that. Now you’re starting to see this girl is pretty smart, she’s going to be something great some day. She’s going to have a big house and fancy car and all that," Lyric reveals. "You’re going to see, like, who she really is, who she wants to be."
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