That collective breath that the Pearson family let out at the end of Season 2 sounds like it's going to be majorly restorative. In a new interview with Variety, series creator Dan Fogelman revealed what the first episode of This Is Us Season 3 will be about, and it's one for the Jack and Rebecca fans. With the heartbreaking story of Jack's death finally told, the series is free to explore other chapters in the Pearson patriarch's life, and that includes his first date with Rebecca.
According to Fogelman, fans will get to see what happened after Rebecca and Jack's first meeting as soon as Season 3 kicks off. While some fans may have been hoping for an immediate answer to that time-jump cliffhanger from the Season 2 finale, seeing the premiere's flashbacks delve into Jack and Rebecca's early romance sounds like the perfect way to kick off the season. There will be plenty of time to figure out who future Randall and Tess were talking about in their flash-forward later.
Jack fans should settle in for a revealing season, by the sounds of it. Fogelman appears to be interested in delving into the origin story of one of TV's best dads. And in order to do so, he's going to take Jack back to a time before Rebecca and the Big Three. Fogelman explained to Variety,
"We're really into early, early Jack and Rebecca incarnations, origin story, and then we’re doing stuff with Vietnam. I just wrote an early episode of the series. It's a standalone Vietnam episode about Jack's story, and I wrote it with Tim O'Brien who is our foremost author on Vietnam, so we’re doing really cool ambitious stuff."
O'Brien is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Things They Carried, based on his own experiences in Vietnam. Having him on board to co-write an episode could be major for the series, and add an extra layer of authenticity to Jack's war-time story.
As the story shifts away from the question of how Jack died, the show will be opening new chapters for all of the characters. This is something that Fogelman sounds excited about. He told Variety,
"And so what's really exciting about the third season is we continue these same exact characters we know in their storylines, but there’s new chapters for everybody and so it's not like starting over, but it’s like we’re embarking on some new plotlines for everybody that go to some issues that people are going to really attach to and have access points to and others will find that in other storylines. But there's a lot of new stories coming everyone’s way, which is exciting for us."
One of those storylines will be about Miguel and Rebecca's love story. In a new interview with Deadline, Fogelman explained, "We're going to dive deeper into that this season and begin this long play of making people actually start rooting for Miguel in a serious way." Additionally, it doesn't sound like the flash-forward mystery will take the entire season to unfold. Instead, the mystery of who "she" is could be solved as early as midseason.
"The future storyline is not going to play a big part in the season, but it's a framing device until we get the answers," Fogelman said in his interview with Variety. "We're not going to bring it all the way to the end of the season. I think it will be answered much sooner than that, like the midway section."
Mysteries solved before the end of the season? First date storylines? Is it possible that This Is Us might make viewers cry just as many happy tears this season as sad ones? Only time for tell, but it certainly seems like the future is looking (relatively) bright for the Pearsons.