My dear friend and colleague, Kristen Baldwin, artfully outlined why she loves/hates and hates/loves This Is Us, which she correctly dubbed “an emotional procedural.” Her article got me thinking about all the possible ways that the third season of the NBC hit will try to tantalize our tear ducts. My ridiculous theories are below. (Note to This Is Us writers: Please prove me wrong!)
- Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) definitely has a long-lost, illegitimate half-Vietnamese daughter who Old Rebecca (Mandy Moore) finally comes to accept during February sweeps.
- The aforementioned long-lost daughter will carry Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) baby. C’mon, Metz basically admitted as much to EW’s Dan Snierson when she said that we’ve never before seen a parenting situation like this on television.
- Sad, single Old Toby lives with sad, single Old Wendie Malick (but not in Cleveland).
- Nicky is alive, living as Nikki. This is the ominous “her” to whom Old Randall and Middle-Aged Tess refer in the season 2 finale.
- Old Randall parlays his success as a city council member in Philadelphia to run for governor of Pennsylvania. The election is thisclose and still hasn’t been called 25 years later due to ballot mishaps, which accounts for Old Randall’s world-weary demeanor. (See Florida, 2018.)
- In the future timeline, there’s a reboot of The Manny. (This is the most obvious prediction of them all.)
- Old Kate’s kid resents her even more than Middle-Aged Kate resents Old Rebecca; Old Kate does find success as an Adele impersonator and makes a memorable cameo on the Manny revival.
- Old Miguel dies from complications following smoke inhalation in a house fire. (It’s so Miguel to copy Jack’s cause of death.)
- Deja View, Phoenix’s fourth-highest rated syndicated talk show, is canceled when it’s revealed the host has a long history of bashing cars with baseball bats.
- Beth. DON’T YOU DARE DO ANYTHING TO BETH!
- Bonus prediction: The series finale reveals Rebecca is immortal (like Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock), and starts a new family with a new batch of triplets. This Is Them (or That Is Us?) gets a three-season order from NBC.