Now that season 3 of This Is Us is down to its final hour, it’s time to answer some Big Three questions. Late last week, EW previewed what awaits Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), whose relationship has been threatened by a seemingly inextinguishable fight that saw both of them let instantly regrettable barbs fly. (“The decisions they make are going to be really crucial and really affect the status of their relationship for years down the line,” executive producer Elizabeth Berger tells EW.)
Of course, Randall and Beth aren’t the only ones enmeshed in a tense, dramatic situation. In fact, another couple is facing down life-or-death stakes: Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) are currently praying (to Jack, played by Milo Ventimiglia) for some good news about their prematurely born son, Jack (not Milo Ventimiglia), who has been struggling in the neonatal intensive care unit. However the situation resolves in the finale — and it’s sounding at least somewhat optimistic — the repercussions will be felt well into season 4, as the show’s writers have said that they want to realistically portray the journey and struggles of premature birth. “Having a premature baby is not the kind of thing that can be wrapped up totally neatly,” says Berger. “It’s sort of an ongoing journey with ongoing complications, but we are going to get some really satisfying answers at the end of the season.”
Let’s shift our attention over to the final third of the Big Three, Kevin (Justin Hartley), who has recently been forced to think about his future with new girlfriend Zoe (Melanie Liburd). Fresh off a relapse that involved deception and a “run-in” with ex Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge), Kevin seemed to double down on his commitment to Zoe, telling her that even though she didn’t want to have kids, he was choosing her over children. Now it sounds like they will find themselves at another sharp fork in Decision Road. “Kevin and Zoe make a big choice for their relationship,” executive producer Isaac Aptaker tells EW. “What’s really cool about this finale is it sets up a really, really awesome season 4 because all of our characters are making big swings and big choices about their families and their romantic lives. Everyone makes these big choices that are going to set them on the course for the next few years of our show.”
That includes Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas), who “have big retirement plans in store,” reminds Aptaker, hinting at that big cross-country move for the couple. As for Rebecca’s other relationship — you know, the one that with that Jack fellow (Milo Ventimiglia) — prepare to journey back into the early ’80s for a story that involves Rebecca and a car accident. In the process, says Aptaker, you will see “one of our most ambitious time-jumping sequences that we’ve ever done.” (Yes, that time travel includes a visit to the distant future, where the show will “give answers to questions that we know people have been asking the most,” he says.)
Along the way, could there be some surprise visitors? “Totally possible,” answers Berger. How cliffhanger-y is the ending? “Pretty cliffhanger-y,” says Aptaker. And what is the one word that best describes this episode? Declares Aptaker: “Massive.”
The season 3 finale of This Is Us airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.