The funeral is over, and Jack's ashes are scattered. Kevin was at the right tree during the Super Bowl episode, so that's good to know, too. But though This Is Us is going on a hiatus to get out of the way of NBC's Olympic coverage, there's so much more to come in the final three episodes of the season. And the This Is Us Season 2 Episode 16 promo is promising not only that we will return to the present and have the bachelor/bachelorette parties for Kate and Toby and the return of Deja to Randall's family, but flashbacks that go deeper into the past even as we start flashing forward.
With a few weeks between episodes, we don't have titles or promotional images for the next episode, nor do we have any synopsis yet, but those will come in time. Until then, we can start wondering how much of the flash forwards the show are planning on being worked in, even as they retreat deeper into the past with Jack's memories before Rebecca was in his life, and before the Big Three were even a gleam in his eye.
What we do have, thankfully, is a trailer — one that probably covers scenes for the final three episodes of the season. So, let's dig down and figure out what we can discern from the clips.
I've said it ever since Kate and Toby decided to get married at the beginning of this season. Pregnancy or no pregnancy, Season 2 finale would end on a wedding, one that features Chrissy Metz in a grand white gown and Kevin and Randall on each arm walking her down the aisle. But before we get there, there have to be bachelor/bachelorette parties. That means Toby in a ridiculous sport coat and Kate going out to the bar with her girlfriends getting drunk. The trailer agrees.
But while there are things that are expected here, note that there is also the unexpected. Look closely at that shot of Deja passing the salad at the Pearson's house for dinner. Now look again and see who she's passing it to: her mother. Deja may have come to the Pearson's for help, but this is looking like it will be more of a "it takes a village" parenting style arrangement where Randall and Beth find themselves in a relationship not just with a child in need, but her family as well.
Meanwhile, Kevin's road isn't easy. While Randall's family is growing and Kate's getting ready to have her own partner for life, he's alone in a beautiful flat, with expensive furniture and carpeting... staring at a bar full of booze, trying to remember what it took for his dad to stay sober every day. Will we see him slip again? How long until he's the one going to AA meetings and calling his sponsor every evening like Jack once did?
Speaking of Jack, that's the real reveal of the trailer. For many, there was a suspicion that with the funeral over, Milo Ventimiglia would fade from the show, Jack would become a memory of a memory, and the new flash forwards we saw last week would take over. But the show isn't quite ready to give Jack, or Milo, up. (And after that speech at the dealership, I can't blame them.) So, instead, we're going back into the past — the past Jack could never bring himself to talk about, and the memories of his best friend, his brother Nicky, and how he died.
We're going to Vietnam.
This Is Us will return to NBC after the Olympics are over, on Feb, 27, 2018. Until then, we'll just have to speculate on what's to come.