When This Is Us returns to the air this fall, things are going to feel really… big.
That’s the word from creator Dan Fogelman, who tells EW, “When it’s all said and done — after six seasons of the show, eight seasons of the show, four seasons of the show — looking back, season 2 will probably feel like our biggest in story content, just because the moves are really big. There are some heavyweight story lines that people are waiting for — and not even expecting — that are going to come up that will be hard to match in the future, and then set forth some new bombshell stuff that will carry us through for seasons to come and keep people as interested.”
The plan, of course, is to pick up with those plots that were unfolding at the end of the season 1 finale: Kevin (Justin Hartley) heads back to L.A. to film a movie, even though he just told his ex-wife, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) that his place was with her in New York; Kate (Chrissy Metz) decides to pursue a singing career and focus on creating a healthy relationship with Toby (Chris Sullivan); Randall (Sterling K. Brown) quits his job and tells Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) that he wants to expand their family via adoption. (“We want to throw in some complications that don’t make it too easy and too cute for them all the time,” hints Fogelman of the latter.)
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But those stories have tentacles, and Fogelman says the writers aim to dig into the relationships that haven’t received much attention, as season 1 had to accomplish a fair amount of world-building. For example: “We want to explore Kevin with 60-year-old Rebecca [Mandy Moore],” he says. “What’s that dynamic in the present day that we haven’t gotten underneath? And where did it come from in the past? We want to explore some of the stuff that’s been on the surface and we’ve touched upon, but we haven’t had the time to go deep with.”
Of course, there is some unfinished business when it comes to Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and the mystery of how he died, and many fans were disappointed not to learn the full story by season’s end. “It’s fair to say that any looming big question that the audience is in a froth about is going to be answered in the course of the second season of the show,” says Fogelman. “But it’s also fair to say that we are going to be putting forth some new questions that are going to start getting asked after that, and that particularly involves Jack’s fate. But the answers people are looking for are going to come to them. When exactly? How quickly? I can’t really talk too much, only to say that a big piece of the puzzle will be delivered very, very early in the season.” (In the season premiere, in fact.)
To read what Brown and Watson had to say about the tensions that arise from Randall’s hope to adopt, click here.
This Is Us season 2 begins Sept. 26 on NBC.