NBC’s rookie drama This Is Us caught the attention of millions this past year as it told the story of the Pearson family during different time periods. While there has been much speculation regarding the highly anticipated second season, not much information has been revealed. Production doesn’t begin until the end of the summer, but creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman opened up to Glamour at the This Is Us Emmy for Your Consideration event in Hollywood, which was held on June 7, about what fans can expect in the upcoming season.
The show is no stranger to jumping throughout different time periods. After all, viewers have gotten to know Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) before they have their children, as well as Rebecca when their children are adults and almost everywhere in between. Fogelman confirmed that Season 2 will pick up after the Season 1 finale with “a significant, but not very large time jump.” That means that cliffhangers such as Kate (Chrissy Metz) wanting to pursue a singing career, Kevin (Justin Hartley) meeting with Ron Howard to work on a film together, and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) wanting to adopt another child may already be resolved.
Fans were heartbroken to learn early on in Season 1 that patriarch Jack dies before his children reach adulthood. Though no information has been given regarding the cause of his death, that has stopped fan theories from taking over the internet. According to Fogelman, he has “not quite seen anybody in the vicinity of being right.” Fans were disappointed that Jack’s death was not explained in Season 1, though Fogelman had no intention of revealing the cause in Season 1. “I’ve had a general plan for where our future seasons would go,” Fogelman said. “The plan was that the eighteenth episode [of season one] was going to end as it did, and the first episode of season two is going to do something special.”
For fans that are becoming impatient about Jack’s death, Fogelman implied that Jack’s death will be explained in the upcoming season. While explaining the Season 2 premiere, he said, “It’s going to provide a big puzzle piece, but not all the answers.” The cause of Jack’s death will not be the only question Fogelman plans to answer in Season 2. “All the answers that the audience is besieging us about are going to be answered over the long-term course of season two,” he said. “There’s going to be new questions asked and new things people care about that happen in the course of the season as well.”
Fogelman also discussed two upcoming story arcs for Rebecca. “One is we’re going to be following up on the [season one] finale episode where we see a severe fracture in what up until now was [viewed as] a perfect marriage for her and Jack,” he said. “Their story is a story about marriage and marital difficulties and hopefully coming out better on the other side of that, but maybe not.” The other storyline will follow Rebecca in present day. “The older version of Mandy has a lot to play with her kids, and we evolve those relationships in the present day on individual levels. What’s her relationship like with Kevin? What’s her relationship like with Kate? What’s it like with Randall? We know a little of that, but we don’t know all of that. So there’s big stuff for her.”
Rebecca won’t be the only character taking center stage this season. Season 2 will include much more of Randall’s wife, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson). Fogelman plans to include Beth in “a big, big story. Not just as Randall’s support, but with stories of her own as well.”
Kate will also have a larger storyline separate from her weight-loss journey. “Kate has a monster story this year involving both her singing career, her potential wedding, and then also her relationships with her brothers, with her mother, with Toby, etc.,” Fogelman said.
This Is Us will return for Season 2 this fall on tuesday nights on NBC.