The Big Three just gave fans the most cryptic birthday present possible: a This Is Season 4 trailer full of famous guest stars including Jennifer Morrison, Omar Epps, and M. Night Shyamalan. Yes, famed The Sixth Sense director Shyamalan is joining the Season 4 cast, alongside nine other guest stars. What exactly is going on here?
Rebecca is here to ease viewers into this world full of unfamiliar faces. She opens the trailer by saying, "It's so strange, isn't it? How just like that, a complete stranger can become such a big part of your story. It's actually kind of terrifying, you know?" Her words are intercut with shots of characters that haven't never been seen on the show before, alongside quick glimpses of Toby and Kate, Randall, and the Big Three as preschoolers.
The new faces include Once Upon a Time's Morrison, who will have a "substantial" role in Season 4, per TVLine. Her character appears to be in the military. She's seen wearing camo throughout her clips, and she embraces a man after seemingly returning home from the Middle East. This is purely speculation for now; so far, series creator Dan Fogelman hasn't revealed details about her character or any of the other new faces joining the extended Pearson family.
As for Shyamalan, he appears to be playing himself. If you pause his blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in the trailer around the 58 second mark, you can see a woman in the background wearing a headset as if she's part of a film crew. Additionally, Entertainment Weekly reported earlier this month that the newly sober Kevin has landed another big movie role. Having that role be in a Shyamalan movie would be hilariously meta since both the director and This Is Us are known for their twists.
In addition to Morrison and Shyamalan, EW reported that Season 4's extensive list of new guest stars includes House's Epps as a body shop worker, When They See Us stars Asante Blackk and Marsha Stephanie Blake, Psych's Timothy Omundson, Animal Kindom's Bahara Golestani, Queen of the South's Julian Silva, Revenge's Nick Wechsler, and Bull's Auden Thornton. Returning guest stars include Griffin Dunne as Nicky, Tim Jo as Jae-won, Ron Cephas Jones as William, Elizabeth Perkins as Janet, Phylicia Rashad as Beth's mother Carol, and Caitlin Thompson as Madison.
How all of these new and returning guest stars will fit into the lives of the Pearson family moving forward remains to be seen. Given that the premiere is titled "Strangers" it certainly feels like the show is leaning into the idea of human connectivity that's played such a big role in the series so far. Remember, This Is Us loves to follow characters who feel tangential from time to time, like the couple who gave Jack and Rebecca the slow cooker of doom or the fireman who took Randall home to his wife before taking him to the hospital where he would be adopted by the Pearsons.
With so many new faces joining the cast, it's hard to tell exactly what This Is Us Season 4 has in store, but the trailer did reveal that fans are getting a supersized premiere episode. So add a few extra minutes to your DVR and stock up on tissues now, because the Pearsons (and a whole lot of their new friends) are returning Tuesday, Sept. 24 on NBC.