Based on the few snippets we've seen, the future of the Pearson family on This Is Us isn't that cheery. Randall and Beth's marital status, as well as that of Kate and Toby, is still a mystery, and we know that Tess has major anxiety about seeing "her." After considering practically every possibility imaginable, This Is Us Season 3 Episode 9 finally confirmed who "her" is, and anyone who wagered that an elderly Rebecca is the mystery woman can rake in their winnings. While all signs point to her as being the reason for the future family visit, what's wrong with Rebecca? Her 2018 storyline might have clues about what ails her down the road.
In Nov. 27's "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning," Rebecca (Mandy Moore) initially just seemed to play the role of loving grandma, which is usually her main role in present-day stories. While driving Tess (Eris Baker) to Randall's debate, Rebecca confessed that Kate (Chrissy Metz) told her about Tess questioning her sexuality. Not ready to discuss it with her, Tess shut down Rebecca's attempts to comfort her.
After Randall's triumphant debate, Rebecca gently approached her granddaughter again, telling her about her body's recurring pain that first emerged in her 20s. Rebecca said that keeping so many emotions bottled inside throughout her life led to these weaknesses. Her openness encouraged Tess to later tell Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) her secret. However, given the reveal of Rebecca as "her," the touching scene with Tess might have majorly hinted about what we can expect for her future.
I can't be the only one whose blood pressure spikes when This Is Us scenes from the future begin, and this episode's time jump definitely wasn't kidding around. Immediately following older Randall's previously-seen phone call with Toby (Chris Sullivan), adult Tess said she would call Beth soon. We then got our first glimpse of future Beth, running a dance company and telling her assistant they were seeing Randall's mother. She had promised to bring along an old pin the tail on the donkey set, which is possibly a sweet nod to the Big Three's childhood birthday parties. Have we entered this future timeline on their actual birthday?
As the show has confirmed that Randall's birth mother is dead, it looks like there are no wordplay tricks about "her" definitely being Rebecca. The reveal coming after the special grandmother-granddaughter moment also adds extra meaning to the older Tess saying she wasn't ready to see "her." It's evident that the two remained close, and now that we know Rebecca played a part in Tess sharing her troubles with her parents, the bleakness surrounding Rebecca is particularly upsetting for her granddaughter.
While Rebecca simply dying of old age is a likelihood, we can also look toward her muscle pains as a sign of what might be wrong with her. Whether the pains be foreshadowing cancer, ALS, or general deterioration, the idea of This Is Us ending around Rebecca's deathbed seems stronger than ever before. Get the tissues ready now.
Season 3 of This Is Us continues in 2019.