This Is Us Season 3 ended with the proper introduction of a new phase in the Pearson's lives. After spending all season teasing scenes from the future, it finally lifted the curtain to show a world where Kevin is a super successful actor with a family, Randall and Beth are still going strong, and Kate and Toby are presumably not together anymore. But while fans are desperate to know more, showrunner Dan Fogelman has new This Is Us Season 4 timeline news. The Pearson triplets are going back in time again.
So far, the story of This Is Us has shown the Pearson children at three different ages. There's the present day, where the triplets are in their mid-30s. There are the high school years, in the mid-1990s, and there's the pre-teen period, which started in the late '80s.
There have been scenes showing the triplets as newborns or infants, but those aren't really about them. Those episodes are really about Jack and Rebecca struggling as new parents.
But now, the show will add a brand new era to the ongoing line up. Introducing the toddler Pearsons.
It may feel like the series is adding a whole lot of new timelines at once heading into the new season, but in fact, it's not. Though fans are curious about the "flash-forwards" into the future of the Pearson clan, Mandy Moore, who plays Rebecca, revealed recently that those scenes would be few and far between. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said:
It’s going to be something we dip our toe into, but it’s not going to be so heavy-handed. We’re not going to stay there for concentrated amounts of time, and there are going to be other storylines that help us understand what else is happening.
Considering how hard (not to mention expensive) it is to do that amount of aging up of a cast, it makes sense the show would use it sparingly. That leaves room to explore other portions of the timeline. Moreover, the original two sets of kids are growing up. The group that started as 8-year-olds are now hitting 12, and the 15-year-olds have now graduated. There's space, therefore, to add in a set of Pearson triplets at the 4- or 5-year-old level.
Despite the Twitter hype, it's unclear when these toddler Pearson kids will turn up in the new season. Considering the filming schedule, one would think it will be pretty early on. But there are other things to contend with as well. There are promised flashbacks to Jack and Rebecca before they got married. There is the present, where Kate and Toby have just brought home their son, while Randall and Beth have just packed up the family for a move to Philadelphia.
And there's the question of how Nicky will return to the Pearson's lives, while Rebecca slowly begins the decline that will put her in the catatonic state she was last seen in far in the future.
This Is Us Season 4 returns to NBC on Sept. 24, 2019.