This Is Us leaped forward in time during its Season 3 finale, putting viewers' fears about Beth and Randall's marriage to rest but fueling speculation that Toby and Kate don't last as a couple. The teasing vignette also revealed Kevin had a son and Rebecca was near death as the once-estranged Nicky kept vigil over her. His character Jack Pearson may not play a part in this somewhat distant future, but Milo Ventimiglia teased a This Is Us Season 4 twist that could mean the glimpses into the future aren't the only experimental detail fans can expect.
Appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Aug. 7, Ventimiglia spilled the vaguest of secrets about the upcoming fourth season of This Is Us. "The world expands," he revealed. "It's actually harder to tease, because you want to be able to, like, just [give] something."
The Emmy-nominated actor was responding to a fan's question about This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman's previous tease regarding the "unusual" Season 4 premiere. "It's a really ambitious season," Fogelman said in June at an Emmy For Your Consideration event. "We're in the middle of these characters' journeys and that's a really exciting place to be. I can't tell [you] much about the storyline, but I think the first episode... people will be talking about it. It's different and unusual."
Ventimiglia's co-star Mandy Moore has also hinted that Season 4 won't spend too much time in the Pearsons' future, but if Ventimiglia has essentially said the family's circle broadens, what does this mean? The series has already delved into Beth's (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Toby's (Chris Sullivan) pasts, and the creative team plans to address Miguel's (Jon Huertas) life over the course of several years rather than in one episode. On the other hand, Fogelman tweeted a picture of young actors playing the Big Three as toddlers, possibly alluding to a new time period the show has glazed over in the past.
Although your guess about a premiere twist is as good as mine, This Is Us definitely has the power to exceed any expectations. When the series premiered, viewers had no idea the show followed a family across time. The NBC drama was initially presented as a story about strangers with the same birthday before the pilot's ending revealed Jack and Rebecca were the parents of the other adult characters. Fans are accustomed to episodes dropping Pearson family bombshells at the last minute, so if this Season 4 twist does play out, keep your eyes peeled for pre-credits revelations.
How the Pearsons' world will expand is still a mystery, but Ventimiglia has spoken about what Jack faces in Season 4 after his service in Vietnam. "He may be past physical war, but it doesn’t mean he’s not in private war — personal war,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Those fractures and cracks that you just never recover from. We’re going to see him going through that experience post-war, really trying to reconnect and restart. What is life after Vietnam? And of course, new exciting love with Rebecca. We all know how that goes.”
Season 4 of This Is Us premieres at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 24, on NBC.