"The finale sets us up for a fourth season that kind of acts as a hinge or a midpoint for the rest of the series," creator Dan Fogelman told PEOPLE
Another season of This Is Us has come to an end with more questions answered and a look at how the whole series could possibly conclude.
The NBC hit has officially come to its midpoint (there will apparently only be six seasons!) with the end of season 3. Fans were finally introduced to Mandy Moore’s character Rebecca as “Her,” and the reveal was heartbreaking as ever with the entire family gathering to be with the ill matriarch for her in-home care.
As audiences will have weeks to process the unsolved plotlines, Moore, costar Sterling K. Brown and creator Dan Fogelman tease what’s to come when season 4 returns.
“Fans are going to like the way some things go, they’re going to have questions and not like the way other things go,” Fogelman told PEOPLE about how he hopes fans feel “shell-shocked, drained, exhausted and hopefully happy.”
The showrunner added, “I think that’s the fun of making a TV series. We’re at the middle of the movie right now, we’re not at the end.”
And Fogelman previewed a big shift in storylines in season 4.
“The finale sets us up for a fourth season that kind of acts as a hinge or a midpoint for the rest of the series,” he said. “There’s a lot coming.”
Fans will get to revisit Rebecca’s past following Jack’s death, especially the time when her kids will be going into the next chapter of their lives.
“I think it’s a big pull. I think in other aspects of her life especially immediately post-Jack, the kids have just graduated from high school and potentially going off to college,” Moore said. “It’s a big lonely road that she is sort of staring down the barrel of, but she always comes out on top.”
Will Kate and Rebecca’s mother-daughter relationship strengthen in their temporary apartment?
Randall and Beth’s Marriage
In season 3, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) hit a snag in their relationship as tensions from their new careers bubbled up to the surface in one big explosion.
“We’re aware of what the couple means to people that watch the show and care about the show. And we also just don’t want to write a fairy tale where everything’s all perfect, all the time,” Fogelman told PEOPLE about the future of Randall and Beth’s romance.
And Brown has enjoyed the fan reaction, complete with Team Beth vs. Team Randall.
“Fans are very disappointed [in Randall], which I actually kind of love,” he told PEOPLE.
“The idea that Randall could do anything to step or tread on that passion is really disappointing to people and understandably so,” Brown said. “Some people were like, ‘No, she being selfish. He trying to do what’s right for the family,’ and most people are like, especially the ladies, are like, ‘Come on, man. You going to step on this woman’s dreams right now?’ So I completely understand.”
Brown added, “What I love most of all is that they are invested and not indifferent. I think if people didn’t care at all, we were doing something wrong. But the fact that folks are like, ‘Team Beth or Team Randall.’ They’re mostly Team Randall.”
In the final minutes of the finale, fans learn that Randall and Beth are moving to Philadelphia where he can focus on his career as a city councilman and she will open her very own dance studio, which as seen in flashforwards continues to do well.
Also in the flashforward, Beth, who is still wearing her wedding ring, and Randall are still together.
Three Big Moves
“Is Rebecca ever okay?” Moore joked to PEOPLE. In the present day, the Pearson matriarch is seemingly doing better than previous seasons thanks to becoming a grandmother once again.
“She has a new grandson and there is a potential move out to the west coast with Miguel to help be there to be sort of the grandparent support, ground central for Toby (Chris Sullivan) and Kate (Chrissy Metz),” Moore said.
As for the possibility of the move uprooting her life with Miguel in Pittsburgh, Moore agreed it would be a big upheaval, coyly sharing: “It sounds fun to play.”
With Randall moving to Philadelphia and Rebecca moving to Los Angeles, the third change in residence is Kevin (Justin Hartley), who told his family that he will be living in L.A. “indefinitely.”
One of the reasons Kevin could be moving back to L.A. is his presumed breakup with Zoe (Melanie Liburd). Audiences watched Zoe pack up her things from his apartment after she told him he made the “wrong decision” by picking her over the possibilities of having his own children one day.
As the flashforward revealed, Kevin does indeed become a father to a son. But who is the boy’s mother?
Jack Pearson Damon
Last fans saw Kate, she was spending most of her time by her premature son’s side at the NICU. Thankfully, baby Jack is discharged from the hospital and is able to start his new life with his parents, grandmother and uncle.
Fans will surely watch Kate and Toby navigate first-time parenthood but they will get the hang of it in the end as they raise their son to his adolescent years. “I just talked to Jack and they’re on their way,” Toby said to Randall in the flashforward.
The End of KaToby?
Speaking of Toby, he came separately from Kate — and he was not wearing his wedding ring.
Does this mean they could be separated in the future?
The finale was bookended by two of Rebecca’s medical emergencies as the past unveiled a younger Rebecca getting into a car accident and being hospitalized for a broken arm and facial injuries. The Big 3 (Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates and Lonnie Chavis) were startled and very worried to see their mother in such condition for the first time.
As Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) put it perfectly: “My kids, they don’t do so well without their mom. … We don’t really work too good without her. It’s like a car: you got your anti-lock brakes, your exhaust pipes. But you see my wife, she’s the engine. The rest of us, we’re useless without the engine.”
Fast forward to the future, a salt-and-peppered Randall has a similar worried expression on his face as he addresses Rebecca, who appears frail.
Though the scene was heartbreaking, fans were surprised to find Nicky (Griffin Dunne) sitting by Rebecca’s bedside. Jack’s younger brother appeared healthy and (dare I say) sober.
What does Rebecca’s future look like throughout the next three seasons? Where is Miguel?
This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.