Chrissy Metz as Kate in the 'This Is Us' Season 5 finale
Let's Break Down All The Clues In The This Is Us Season 5 Finale Flash-Forward

There is so! much! to unpack.

by Ani Bundel
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Ever since Season 2, This Is Us has always ended its season finales with glimpses of the future. From small jumps ahead to the next season to large leaps decades in the future, the show always leaves fans with a taste of what’s to come. The Season 5 finale was no exception, giving viewers a look at a brand-new spot on the timeline, with a five-year-jump from the present to 2026. Naturally, this Season 5 finale flash-forward scene is full of clues about what’s to come in This Is Us’ final season.

Warning: Major spoilers for the This Is Us Season 5 finale follow. Despite all signs pointing to Kevin’s fairytale wedding day going off with only a tiny altar collapse, This Is Us shocked viewers by having Madison refuse to marry him. It was a heartbreak of a moment, but it was also the right choice for her. Madison knew that somewhere deep down, Kevin wasn’t in love with her. Heck, Kevin knew it too, but he hoped, like Miguel and Rebecca, that it could happen for them in due time. It wasn’t an unheard-of notion; the arranged marriage in which the spouses fall in love with each other after the fact is a romance genre staple. But Madison deserved better, and she knew it.

Her decision left the Pearson family a little shocked, but not devastated. They were together, and they would carry on that way into the future. And then, at the very end of the episode, the flash-forward came. And with it came tiny details to squeal over as well as big surprises.

Big Three Homes Exists
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The finale present-day scene of Season 5 ended with Rebecca asking Kevin to build her the house that Jack always promised her. It was an intelligent request. Kevin was suddenly at a loss: He’s not getting work in Hollywood and he needs to stay busy to stay sober. Rebecca doesn’t know how long she has left, but she wants to live out her days away from the city and the suburbs. She felt at peace while living at the cabin during the pandemic, and she wants to recreate that in a beautiful home.

Even if fans have already seen the finished house in 2034, there was no telling whether Kevin hired a company to build it or if he’d picked up a hammer and started construction himself. If the flash-forward is any indication, it’s the latter, and in a big way. At the start of the scene, Kevin was seen holding a piece of stationery emblazoned with the words, “Big Three Homes, A Pearson Family Construction Company.”

With Nicky a hands-on man and Miguel having decades of management experience, Kevin could easily fund a brand-new business with his siblings, and it looks like he did.

Randall’s In The New Yorker
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Despite the construction company’s name, it doesn’t look like Randall’s been getting his hands dirty in the building trade. (Fans will be disappointed; everyone remembers that shot of the Pearson brothers walking down the hall with the sledgehammers and tools in William’s old building.)

Instead, it looks like the councilman’s career is going national. Randall Pearson is the main feature article in The New Yorker’s political section, under the headline “Rising Star.” (No word if TNY’s famous Q&A writer Isaac Chotiner interviewed him.) Unfortunately, screenshots of the article too blurry to tell if Pearson’s career is House-bound, Senate-bound. or if he’s going for the big one and trying to become the second Black president of the United States. But no matter what, things will definitely be very interesting in Season 6.

Nicky Is Married
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Those first two reveals were vague possibilities hinted at by the glimpses of the future. But Nicky’s impending marriage has been a matter of record ever since he turned up in the 2034 flash-forward at the end of Season 4 wearing a wedding band. Fans have been theorizing like mad who the lucky person is ever since.

There are multiple possibilities for who winds up as Nicky’s partner. As viewers saw this season, Nicky and Cassidy have a strong friendship going, with late-night phone calls. (Fans also noted that Cassie’s marriage shows all indications of having ended, since they saw her alone in bed.) But there’s also Sally, Nicky’s original lost love, who viewers saw him looking up in the penultimate episode of Season 5.

This new scene doesn’t give viewers too much to go on, but it may contain a subtle clue in the reason why Nicky is running late to the wedding: “The wife wanted stockings, what the hell am I supposed to do?” Stockings? In 2026? In California? Stockings aren’t exactly on trend — at least, not below a particular age group. It suggests that Nicky married someone closer to his own age (so not Cassidy). And considering stockings aren’t exactly a must-have for aging hippies, perhaps it’s not Sally, either.

Kate Is Marrying Phillip (We Think!)
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

It's OK if you need to pick your jaw up off the floor and reattach it after discovering Kate gets married again, to Phillip, of all people. I can wait.

Now then, are we ready? Good. Because: WHAAAAT?!

Like Nicky's wedding, Kate and Toby's marriage ending has been speculated about for some time now, with single, sad-sack Toby arriving alone at Rebecca's house in 2034 flash-forwards. It was just a matter of whether the two would divorce or Kate would die an untimely death. Initially, fans assumed the former, but many had started to suspect the latter as time's gone on.

However, now it’s looking like a breakup was the true answer. (At least, let’s sincerely hope it’s not both.) And it also looks like we now know the precipitating event that will end their marriage: Toby taking a job in San Francisco. The only question is how fast their marriage implodes.

But Phillip? Really? Of course, the show could somehow be misdirecting fans into just thinking they’re getting married. But suddenly, Kate's part-time assistant teaching job at Jack's school shot to the top of the list of storylines I want to see play out in Season 6.

Kevin’s Marital Status: Unknown
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

So after all that, Kevin didn’t get married.

Except, like Nicky, audiences know Kevin will eventually tie the knot. Like his uncle, Kevin is sporting a wedding band in an earlier flash-forward to 2034. It’s why fans were so shocked by Madison’s decision not to go through with the ceremony. After all, they knew for sure Kevin was getting hitched before 2034. If not now, when?

That brings us to 2026. The opening scene with Kevin doing his Princess Bride routine (again) is presumably supposed to make viewers think it’s his wedding day — this time for real. So, of course, the production likely took great care to not show his left hand in the scene. But once fans discover this is actually Kate’s wedding day (again), the question becomes: Is Kevin married at this point? And if Kevin isn’t married by 2026, when will he finally tie the knot? With questions like these, Season 6 can’t come soon enough.