No one has ever accused This Is Us of not bringing the twists. In a new podcast interview with Variety's Debra Birnbaum, Milo Ventimiglia revealed This Is Us Season 3 is bringing back Future Jack. Now, there are a lot of versions of Jack, but Future Jack is basically a unicorn. He's the version of the Pearson patriarch that fans can never truly meet, because of the character's untimely death. However, he shows up for his kids on occasion — in Kate's wedding day dream, during Randall's drug-fueled hallucination, and at a spiraling Kevin's award ceremony. He's the Jack everyone wishes was around, but sadly isn't.
This Is Us can't play the Future Jack card too much. If some sort of fantasy Jack shows up all of the time, it wouldn't feel natural. But so far, the moments he has appeared in have been beautiful and resonate. Now Ventimiglia is promising more. He told Variety, "I already know a couple of moments where I'm with the adult 'Big Three' this year."
In the first two seasons, the adult Big Three only saw their dad in moments when they were under a lot of stress. It will be interesting to see if this remains true in Season 3. Each one of Jack's children is facing tough times ahead. Kevin is on a mission to find out about his dad's past in Vietnam (as Ventimiglia confirmed for Variety), Kate will be dealing with fertility issues and Toby's depression, and it feels like Randall still has a long way to go in terms of helping Deja adjust to her new family situation. As always, the Big Three could use some words of wisdom from their dad, even if those words are simply coming from inside their own minds and memories of Jack.
As exciting as the prospect of seeing Jack interact with his adult children again is, Ventimiglia dropped another tantalizing hint as well. Notably, when Birnbaum asked the actor what questions the audience should be asking ahead of Season 3, he quickly replied that fans should be asking what happened to Jack's brother.
Nicky Pearson remains a huge question mark. It was revealed that Jack and his kid brother were close, with the eldest Pearson trying to shield his sibling from their dad's drinking problems. The show also has shown that the two men were in Vietnam together — but it seems that only Jack came back. The circumstances surrounding Nicky's apparent death are something the Pearson patriarch doesn't discuss. And the same goes for Vietnam. He only lightly touched on the subject during a Season 2 flashback where Randall and Kevin couldn't stop arguing.
Since Kevin is on a journey to find out about Jack's time in Vietnam, and Ventimiglia has confirmed that the series will be exploring that period of his character's life, it seems safe to say viewers may be getting an answer to the one question they're not asking: What happened to Nicky? Knowing this show, it will be tragic and totally unexpected.
In the meantime, take heart in knowing that a slightly graying, wise Jack might just be popping up again in Season 3 to give his kids some much-needed support from the great beyond.