‘This Is Us’ Casts Jack’s Brother For Season 3, Hinting At More Heartache To Come

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Ever since fans saw Kevin hop on a plane to Vietnam at the end of the This Is Us Season 2 finale, it became clear that the series was gearing up to dive deeper into Jack's past, prior to the days of him becoming the world's best husband and father. And now with the recent casting of Michael Angarano, who will play Jack's brother, Nicky, on This Is Us, according to Deadline, it's officially time that we all start preparing ourselves for a lot more tears and heartache when Season 3 kicks off this fall.

Even after two full seasons, Jack's life before Rebecca and the Big Three remains somewhat of a mystery and a big part of that has to do with his younger brother. One episode in particular from last year, aptly titled "Brothers," provided flashbacks to a time when Jack was just a kid who was excited to go on a fishing trip with his dad. But when his father suddenly became thirsty, they pulled over to a bar and he told Jack to wait in the car. So that's exactly what little Jack did. He waited. And waited. And waited some more, constantly telling himself that his dad would be coming back soon.

It wasn't until the very end of the hour, though, that it was revealed Jack wasn't so alone in the car after all. His kid brother, Nicky, had been sleeping in the backseat and upon waking, Jack tried to assure him they'd be OK and would be on the road again soon.


This was a surprising detail to discover, especially since Jack had never mentioned having a brother up until this point. So what happened to Nicky, exactly, and why has he been absent from Jack's adulthood timeline? One last scene in the episode showed a grown-up Jack gazing down at himself in a group photo from his time in Vietnam and right there next to him is another man with the name “Pearson” written across his army uniform, wearing the same type of black-framed glasses young Nicky wore.

But while it's clear that these two siblings served in the war together, the rest of the details remain a bit murky. It feels like the This Is Us writers want fans to think that Nicky was a casualty of war, which would explain not only why he's MIA, but why Jack never seems to talk about him — finding the loss too difficult to discuss. However, don't forget that this show loves to throw a few curveballs at its viewers, so it's possible not everything is as it seems. Nicky could still be alive, and even run into Kevin at some point in Season 3. Either way, he's going to serve as a very important character throughout the third season, so who is Michael Angaranos, the actor playing this mysterious Pearson brother?

Paul Marotta/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you're wondering why he looks so familiar that's because Angarano recently appeared in another popular NBC show, Will & Grace, where he played Jack's son Elliot. He also currently stars in Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, which concluded its second season back in July. Other TV and movie credits to his name include Mom, 24, Almost Famous, and The Forbidden Kingdom, according to his IMDB page.

Joining the This Is Us family is certainly going to throw the actor into the spotlight in new and exciting ways. Fans, however, may want to prepare themselves because Angarano's role is bound to leave us all sobbing on our living room floors. Again.