For months This Is Us fans had been waiting to find out how Jack died. So it’s no surprise that some fans were disappointed by the quiet, unadorned way creator Dan Fogelman decided to depict Jack’s death. But the past wasn’t the big news on Sunday night’s episode. It was the future.
In the final scenes of the episode we see the adorable little boy who has been looking for foster parents. The boy was introduced last season. And we all assumed he would become Randall and Beth’s foster child (in the present). But it turns out the little boy’s social worker is Randall’s older daughter, Tess. In the future.
She was placing the boy with a white family. Randall saw the little boy’s first meeting because he was coming to meet Tess for dinner. If this sounds complicated, well, it was. But it was also an incredibly brilliant move by Fogelman.
As we move forward without Jack we won’t be without Jack at all. This Is Us will delve further into the past and future. “One of our big new turns started at the end of last night’s episode. We show a new timeline, in the future, which is extremely exciting for a show that plays in time and has till-now played in the past/present. But there is other stuff coming, too … there is a plan for the show, there always has been, we aren’t just shooting from the hip,” Fogelman told Deadline.
As we all know, Tess was struggling earlier in the episode with the concept of Randall and Beth fostering. She felt that with fostering, finding his birth father and getting a new job that Randall was looking for something other than his current family. Randall assured her that she was his number one.
Milo Ventimiglia also assured viewers that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jack … in the past. “We have only known this man for 32 hours and truly haven’t known him all that long. What I can say is that there is still an exploration of Jack,” the actor told Deadline. “There is a lot that we’ve grown to understand about him and his upbringing. There’s still a lot to come in regards to understanding his younger days in Vietnam and with Rebecca. And even with that, there’s dream sequences that Fogelman has become so famous for when it comes to putting characters together. There’s that possibility of seeing a different version of Jack where he is still around.”
Nevertheless, the suddenness of Jack’s death felt jarring. We knew it was coming. But we expected Rebecca to be sitting at Jack’s side, holding his hand. Not at a vending machine getting a candy bar.
But we will see more unfold, hopefully as much in the future as it does in the past. So will we see more of Tess in the future?
“That’s the promise here, yes. We didn’t do it as a one-off,” Fogelman told Deadline. “After Tuesday we only have three episodes left this season, and we still have a lot to resolve here first, but it’s safe to say the future can play a big part in seasons to come.” Can you spell spinoff?
What did you think of the future twist on This Is Us? Let us know your take in the comments section below!
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