This Is Us ended its second season in March, but fans are still reeling from all of the twists in the Season 2 finale. One twist is the fact that Justin Hartley's character, Kevin, is going to Vietnam (with Beth's cousin!) to learn more about his dad's past. Could Kevin meet Jack's brother, Nicky, in Vietnam? In a new interview with People, Hartley revealed that Kevin will be learning more about Jack's time in Vietnam. Some fans simply aren't convinced that Nicky is really dead, and the actor's comment could point to their skepticism being warranted.
Hartley told People,
"We saw a little foreshadowing. We saw a little scene of him on a plane going to Vietnam with Zoe. So you'll see a little bit more of that. I think it's more of trying to find out what, exactly, his father did over there, besides the obvious, and who he might have met, who might still be around. Are there people available that he could talk to that sort of fill in some clues as to who Jack was? It's kind of a self-exploration through that vehicle, I guess, a little bit."
Hartley's words are pretty vague, which means they leave plenty of room for fan theories. He listed "who might still be around" right after saying "who he might have met." Does that mean that there's someone like Nicky who "might still be around," but who isn't someone Jack met in Vietnam? It's a stretch, but This Is Us loves twists.
Plenty of people have floated the idea that Nicky may not have died in the war. After all, fans know that Jack was lying about what his role was in Vietnam. And This Is Us hasn't revealed many details about Nicky, so it's possible he may still be out there. As Kaitlin Reilly pointed out at Refinery29, Jack technically told his sons that Nicky didn't leave Vietnam — but what if that doesn't mean death, per se? There could be some extenuating circumstance that led Nicky to stay in Vietnam, whether or not Jack actually knew about it. And Kevin could run into him during his trip there.
Reilly also points out that in the show's flashbacks, Jack hasn't visited his brother's grave. Could that be because there isn't a grave at all? There are plenty of explanations for what could have happened to Nicky. He might, for instance, not have wanted to return home with Jack, if he didn't want to go back to their abusive father. Or, something could have happened that caused a permanent rift between the brothers, which is why Jack was so adamant about trying to get Kevin and Randall to get along. Fans know that Jack eventually cut his father out of his life, so it's possible he was in a similar situation with Nicky, even though they'd once been close.
Of course, that's all speculation for now, and it's completely possible that Nicky really is dead. Kevin could be meeting any number of people in Vietnam — others who fought alongside his late father, or locals who Jack helped in some small way. There are plenty of directions the This Is Us writers could take Kevin's journey. And no matter who Kevin ends up meeting in Vietnam, it's safe to say fans should have the tissues ready while watching at home.
It sounds like fans won't have to wait too long to find out the answer to this mystery, though. In February, Milo Ventimiglia told Esquire that the subject of Nicky is "something that's going to come up relatively quickly, and play out over the next season or so." With any luck, that means the results of Kevin's trip will come on the early side of season three.