You’ve made it through the death of Jack Pearson — and the funeral of Jack Pearson — which means two things: 1) You have totally run out of Kleenex and have been wiping your nose with, uh, generic paper towels, and 2) You are wondering if there is any way that This Is Us might go a tad easier on you and your already-fragile emotional state in the final stretch of episodes this season.
Good news to report: When the heartfelt NBC drama returns to the air on Feb. 27 after a three-week Olympics-imposed hiatus, big things — and seemingly, lighter things! — are in store. “We’re building towards a wedding, presumably,” series creator Dan Fogelman tells EW, referencing upcoming nuptials for Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan). This will include — as you briefly saw in the preview footage after last week’s episode — bachelor and bachelorette parties in Las Vegas.
“We have three episodes left in the season, and we wanted to show a bunch of things,” says Fogelman, before teasing the first of the bunch. “We wanted to live in a regular episode of the series and show you, ‘Here’s how the show could exist as it did before and be really fulfilling — hopefully also have some lightness and some fun.’ We feel like fans almost deserve a break, because it’s been really heavy.”
The following installment is “one of our special episodes” that will shed light on a character that “we really don’t know that well,” continues Fogelman, referencing last year’s installment that focused on Dr. K and the fireman who found baby Randall outside the station. “We take that approach of giving somebody an episode and learning their story.” That person: Deja (Lyric Ross), who showed up again at the doorstep of Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) at the end of Feb. 6’s “The Car.”
What can you expect to experience in the season 2 finale? “Ultimately, we’re culminating at a big, moving family event,” says Fogelman, “which would presumably be Kate’s wedding.” (You may now spend the next few weeks wondering why Fogelman kept using the word “presumably.” What other kind of “moving family event” could it be? You can’t have two funerals in one season, right, gulp?)
In these final episodes, of course, you will be seeing just as much Jack as you did before the slow cooker sparked something tragic. And you will continue to gaze deeper into Jack in the coming seasons. “In many ways, Jack might be the character we still have the most to learn about, because he’s kept so many secrets in this period before we’ve really known him,” Fogelman told EW. And, as you saw teased in the trailer for the show’s return, “Vietnam is going to be a big part of where we’re heading,” he noted.
But first, they’re going big in Vegas.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.