Even though most This Is Us fans are still reeling from the season two finale, it’s almost time to grab another box of Kleenex and prepare for the return of the big three. NBC released a first look at the new season on Friday, but it’s not just a regular promo — the entire cast provides a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of what’s to come, while also catching viewers up on what’s already happened.
In case you need a refresher, season two ended with Kate’s wedding and a few huge flash-forward scenes: Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) are dealing with some sort of illness he has; Kevin (Justin Hartley) is taking off on a plane to Vietnam with Beth’s cousin, Zoe (Melanie Liburd); and future Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and a grown-up Tess (Iantha Richardson) are preparing to visit a mysterious woman only known as “her.”
“We had a few pretty big reveals to sort of lead into where we’re going with season three and the future of the show,” Hartley says in the new promo.
Sullivan provides some insight into what’s happening with Toby and Kate, explaining that they’re trying to start a family. “And that is not gonna be as easy as they thought,” says Metz.
As for Kevin and Zoe’s relationship (?!), it definitely doesn’t appear to be a fling. Liburd was not only promoted to be a This Is Us series regular, but in the teaser, Hartley discusses the long-term implications of the two being together — including how Beth deals with it.
“Kevin’s on this trip with this woman he just met. It’s Beth’s cousin that he meets at the wedding. They just sort of hit it off and we’ll just see where this goes,” he says. “There’s also a question of how Beth’s going to handle that.”
According to Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Beth, her character “probably thinks it’s not a good idea.”
“To Beth, worst case scenario is they get together,” Watson said. Yikes.
Regardless of what happens between Kevin and Zoe, where they’re headed on the airplane is extremely noteworthy: Vietnam. The big three’s father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), served in the Vietnam war, and This Is Us showrunner Dan Fogelman has previously stated that season three would dive into that time period of his life.
It’s also around this time that Jack met Rebecca (Mandy Moore), so viewers can look forward to learning more about the couple’s origin stories.
“We kind of go back in the past for Jack and Rebecca before the big three,” Ventimiglia says in the clip.
Moore adds, “It’s sort of at the very beginning of their courtship, picking up from the night where they first met and how they spent the rest of that evening.”
Then there’s Randall’s story, which ended on a frustrating cliffhanger. “It’s time to go see her,” he says in the flash-forward to his daughter, Tess. Tess replies, “I’m not ready,” and Randall says he agrees.
Who are they talking about? According to Brown, viewers won’t be left hanging for long. “At some point in time in the season I can tell you that the “her” that is addressed in the future will be illuminated,” he says in the promo.
There’s a million other questions that still need to be answered, but the teaser appears to show that we’ll be getting some answers this season. Start the countdown now! This Is Us returns on September 25.