Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker drop intriguing clues about the last episode of season 4.

By Dan Snierson
March 24, 2020 at 03:18 PM EDT

This Is Us

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What hath Randall wrought?

The practical son (Sterling K. Brown) on This Is Us has been clashing with the fun son, Kevin (Justin Hartley), over the care of their mother, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who is now in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's. And at the end of last week's episode, "After the Fire," Randall turned up the heat on Rebecca, gathering all the guilt he could and sending it through the phone line, pressuring her to change her mind about not seeking treatment in a clinical trial in St. Louis. Is this where the fireworks spark up between Kevin and Randall, as the former learns of the latter's gambit?

"There will be fireworks," This Is Us executive producer Elizabeth Berger tells EW. "I think we can promise fireworks between the brothers."

The finale is set on the first birthday of baby Jack, and the Pearsons — who apparently have unlimited frequent flyer miles — all convene in L.A. for what should be a festive celebration. "But given that it's our season finale and our family," begins fellow executive producer Isaac Aptaker, "there will probably be some hiccups along the way."

One can only speculate which old new friends might pop up. Season 4 introduced a bevy of new characters, including: Malik (Asante Blackk), boyfriend of Deja (Lyric Ross); Malik's father, Darnell (Omar Epps); Malik's mother, Kelly (Marsha Stephanie Blake); and Kevin's military friend Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison). Not to mention, viewers also became much more acquainted with Nicky (Griffin Dunne), brother of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). "There are familiar faces and there are also some new faces," hints Aptaker. "We tried to do something this year a little elegant, where we framed the season with strangers. We started our season introducing a handful of faces where people had to wait and see how they connected to our universe — and our finale also has that through-line."

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Moving from through-lines to timelines, how many eras will viewers visit in the finale? "A lot," teases Berger. "We're all over the place in this one."

Hold on to your hats, and probably your emotions too, as the Pearsons enter unusually charged territory. "Things are really fraught in our family in this one," Berger warns. "I keep going back to the word explosive. I do feel things are unusually explosive for our family at this point. There is perhaps a bit more darkness in this one we've had in previous seasons — but hopefully also balanced by light, which is what we strive for over here."

Adds Aptaker: "There's some real uplift in the episode to go with all of the dark — and it comes from a really unexpected place. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by where the hope comes from in this episode."

And if you're hoping for a little more intel on the mother of Kevin's future child — and exactly how Kevin and Randall came to be not speaking by their 40th birthday — you might be in luck. As usual, though, for every mystery answered, another will crop up. "We'll be throwing in some new questions that people won’t see coming," says Aptaker, "because how could they?"

"Strangers: Part Two" airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Want to see a clip from the finale in which Milo Ventimiglia recreates his nearly nude birthday towel scene from the very first episode? Peek over here.

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Episode Recaps

This Is Us

NBC’s beloved era-hopping drama tells the story of the Pearson family through the years.

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  • 4
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  • Tuesdays at 09:00 PM
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