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Griffin Dunne as Nicky in This is Us

This Is Us Revealed Nicky's Future And It's Not What Anyone Expected

Love this for him.

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 6, Episode 2 follow. Ever since a flash forward revealed Kevin and Nicky sporting wedding bands, their futures have been two of the show’s biggest mysteries. Kevin struck out last season after being left by Madison. In the Jan. 11 episode, it was Nicky’s turn to check out the most obvious candidate by tracking down Sally, the woman he’s been pining over since 1969. But when the show finally revealed Nicky’s future wife at the end of the episode, viewers’ eyebrows shot up. So, how does this Edie person fit into This Is Us?

If there’s one thing that makes This Is Us believable, it’s the acknowledgment that first loves don’t last forever. For every Randall and Beth, there’s a Kevin and Sophie. Even those who seem poised to make it, like Jack and Rebecca, wind up in tragedy when one outlives the other. But that doesn’t mean new loves don’t happen, like Rebecca and Miguel.

As much as fans might like the romance of Nicky and Sally finding each other after 50 years and getting married, the odds were never in their favor. Sally hasn’t been the woman Nicky held in his memory since the late 1970s. She found a husband, settled down, gave up photography, and is now drifting through life in a shell of her marriage.

But that doesn’t mean Nicky’s journey was for nothing. He’d finally found Sally, put the what-ifs to rest at the world’s most awkward dinner, and he was ready to let go.

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

They say the moment you stop looking for love is when it finds you. That seems to be the case for Nicky as he flies back East to oversee Kevin’s cabin project. On his way home, he struck up a cute and cheerful convo with the flight attendant when she asked him to put his seat up for landing. It wasn’t openly flirtatious, though Nicky made sure to read her name tag and address her by her name, Edie. But it also wasn’t without chemistry, as she gave him a second look before moving down the aisle.

Apparently, this was the beginning of a long relationship, as This Is Us jumped forward to 2034 to show the mystery car pulling up as Randall and Deja stood outside. Edie stepped out, a little older and greyer, but happy to be there, as Nicky emerged to greet his wife with a kiss.

Surprising? Perhaps. But far more believable and fulfilling than a fantasy marriage to Sally ever could have been.

This Is Us: The Final Season continues with new episodes every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.