The original schedule for This Is Us Season 3 would have put the finale this week, but due to events outside the show's control, this week is the penultimate Randall-and-Beth-centric hour instead. However, that doesn't mean the brains behind the series aren't already thinking about Season 4. NBC hasn't officially announced the series is coming back, but the buzz around the show hasn't died down, and most industry watchers consider the series a lock to return next fall. What new avenues will it take? Season 3 was about Jack's family, so how about Rebecca's? Who is Rebecca's father? It seems the show is going to focus on one of their strongest cast members.
Mandy Moore may have first become famous for her pop music career, and the Emmys may be more dazzled by Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown come nomination time, but her portrayal of Rebecca is one of the series' secret weapons. Unlike every other Pearson on the show, there's no recasting of her character over the ages. Moore is a Rebecca for all seasons, a decision showrunner Dan Fogelman says, was made because of how good she is at the role.
Now the show will focus in on her character, after letting her quietly carry everyone else's stories.
Speaking at Paleyfest 2019, Dan Fogelman was mostly tight-lipped about the show's next season when pressed by moderator Kristin Dos Santos. But when faced with a Truth or Dare challenge to either "share something about Season 4 that no one else knew" or eat chocolate with ranch dressing, he caved and handed out a small hint of things to come.
Rebecca’s father is going to become a prominent part of the show... Our world is going to expand a little bit in a really interesting way. Where we’re starting the season [next year] is as ambitious as we’ve been in a storytelling way.
Adding in Rebecca's father isn't the only place the flashbacks will explore, as the series plan to let Jack and Rebecca's early years continue to unfurl. Also, in a move that will surprise no one, the awkward puberty phase is beginning to hit the youngest set of Pearson triplets, and the show is jumping at the chance to take advantage of it.
As for the upcoming finale, Fogelman said the series would continue their habit of waiting to wallop the audience until the end of the episode.
It’s kind of gigantic — the last five minutes of the episode are sprawling.
Both Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson, who play Randall and Beth, claimed the final pages in their scripts were redacted in parts, effectively withholding spoilers from those not part of the scene. (I guess that means they are not in it?)
As for the fan-favorite R&B relationship, Fogelman promised fans would not be left dangling: "You’re going to get a lot of answers."
Obviously there’s a lot of attention on Randall and Beth... There will be an answer there in terms of long-term health.
This Is Us airs on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.