In the final moments of the season 3 fall finale of This Is Us, viewers were given several jaw-dropping moments befitting of this top-rated drama. Along the Pearson family journey, back in time, present-day and flash-forward, fans of the series discovered: that Jack’s ‘believed to be dead’, brother, Nicky is actually very much alive.
In a key moment flashing back to the Vietnam war, Jack finds his brother (who is stoned yet again) sitting on the pier and pretending to shoot Vietnamese villagers with his hand. Nicky sadly informs Jack that he is not going to leave drugs behind again and clean up this act. He announces, “I see it all when I’m clean,” and adds, “I’m not gonna complete the mission.”
At the end of that day, Jack can’t find Nicky. Suddenly, there’s blast from the water, where it appears a boat has exploded, and one of the soldiers says there was a guy in it. Jack rushes into the river and swims toward the wreckage. We don’t see what happens next, but the belief is that Nicky died in the explosion.
Kevin, who has been in Vietnam trying to learn what happened to Jack and Nicky in the war and about the mysterious woman in the photograph, feels he has zero answers to what happened during the war. As he and Zoe prepare to leave, Kevin’s tour guide mentions that he’d searched an online database of the Vietnam War Memorial for Nicholas Pearson, but came up short. The guide says Nicky didn’t die in the war.
Next, the show cuts to a bespectacled man (Griffin Dunne, who now takes over the role) living in an a trailer home. There is a piece of mail on his table addressed to Nicholas Pearson, 2125 Songbird Rd., Bradford, PA 16701. This would mean that NIcky has lived there for a long time – and a three-hour drive from Pittsburgh, where Jack and his family lived and were raised!
In other plot developments, the all-important …Who is “Her?” flash-forward mystery was answered and we learn it is Rebecca. She is still alive, and we see Beth in present day without her wedding ring to Randall, and seemingly running a ballet studio, getting set to meet up with Randall and adult Tess. In a key moment Beth tells her employee: “We’re all going to see Randall’s mother .., oh, did you bring the Pin the Tail on the Donkey from the office? I promised I bring it.” The Pearson Pin the Tail on the Donkey game has been a through-line for the years with the Big Three.
The fall finale gave a look into the future that Randall and Beth’s marriage may not have survived and it could have started with the fact that Randall would not drop out of the political race he was in, even after promising Beth he would, if things were not looking good for him as a candidate. We also learn that Tess like girls and sorta came out to Randall and Beth, but did to her grandmother, Rebecca.
And, Toby and Kate learned that they are having a boy after cutting the cake to reveal its gender.
This Is Us EP, Dan Fogelman told EW.com about what to look for in the second half of the season when the show returns with all-new episodes starting on January 13th: “Now, it’s time — for a little while, and we will catch little glimpses — to focus on the present-day storylines that help you get there. There are many questions. Where are Kate and Toby in that period? Where is their relationship? Do they have children? Has Kevin figured out his love life? If so, with whom? Have Randall and Beth made it through as we hope Randall and Beth make it through? What has come of their respective careers? And what kind of shape or state is Rebecca in when we’re meeting her and they’re all going to visit her? In order to get to the future and to get more answers there, you need a little bit more present story in the back half of the season. So, I would say that should be the focus right now.”
So, what did you think of the fall finale of This Is Us? What were you most shocked to find out? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.