When This Is Us premiered, soon-to-be fans had no idea what they were in for. But we all became invested in everything the hit NBC show has to offer. The first season of This Is Us gave us time period-switching storylines, the Big Three’s complicated lives, and Jack and Rebecca’s swoon-worthy love story.
And we can expect to see even more complex interpersonal drama in Season 2. Each of the series’ main couples will definitely experience some major changes and heavy drama — after all, this is This Is Us we’re talking about. But one couple in particular is really going to have to fight to stay on solid ground.
We’re breaking down everything we know about what each pair is up to before letting you know which twosome could be headed for heartbreak.
1. Jack and Rebecca will struggle to heal after their epic fight
There would be no This Is Us without Jack and Rebecca Pearson. Their love story, and the family they started, is at the center of the entire series. But they were on seriously unsteady ground at the end of Season 1, thanks to some hurtful missteps on both sides.
Jack was struggling to keep his drinking under control — and to be supportive of Rebecca’s burgeoning singing career. Rebecca was holding on to some deep-seated resentment about putting her whole life on hold for her family. And when they finally hashed it out, both were left brokenhearted and agreed to a separation.
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has promised the series will deal with the fallout in Season 2. He told Entertainment Weekly, “They’ve said stuff they’ve never said. They’ve said stuff in the heat of the moment that clearly, they felt for a while.” He then went on to explain that the series will pick up right where it left off — in the midst of Jack and Rebecca trying to fix their marital strife. “The first episode is all about the ramifications of those things that have been said, and the regret.”
The main question that remains is whether Jack will take that regret to the grave.
2. We might finally learn whether Jack reconciled with Rebecca before he died
But even if Jack and Rebecca can repair their broken relationship, we all know it will eventually end in tragedy. That’s because at some point when their children — Kevin, Kate, and adopted son Randall — are teenagers Jack dies.
One of fans’ biggest lingering questions after the first season was whether Jack and Rebecca were still married when he died. After all, it would be almost too tragic if the beloved couple never got a chance to patch things up.
According to Fogelman, we’ll finally get answers about how and when Jack died in Season 2. So we should also get some resolution to his love story with Rebecca.
3. Kevin and Sophie have a big choice to make about their future
When we first met Kevin, he wasn’t just the Manny — he was also a complete man whore. But it turned out the sitcom-actor-turned-serious-Broadway-star was nursing a broken heart, and that’s what led to his commitment issues.
He reunited with his ex-wife, Sophie, when he moved to New York City. At first, she was hesitant to rekindle their romance, which started when they were just kids. But the bond between them was too strong, and they eventually fell back in love.
When Season 1 of This Is Us ended, Kevin’s career got a much-needed boost — an offer for a juicy role in Ron Howard’s new movie. But he’d once again have to put his relationship on the back burner to pursue his dream. In Season 2, we’ll see Kevin and Sophie navigating that challenge. And he might take drastic measures — such as proposing marriage again — to keep her in his life.
There’s no denying that Sophie has been good for Kevin. The question, really, is whether Kevin can be good for his childhood sweetheart.
4. Kate and Toby will also hit a low point in their relationship
Kevin isn’t the only member of the Pearson tribe who has dealt with serious relationship issues. His twin sister Kate’s on-again, off-again, on-again relationship with her fiancé, Toby, gave the aspiring singer a lot of heartache in Season 1.
Kate fully committed herself to losing weight when the series began, and though she met Toby at a support group he hasn’t always been on board. They’ve overcome a lot of hurdles: his health struggles, her own guilt over her the supposed role she played in her father’s death, and a lack of self-esteem on both sides.
At the end of Season 1, Toby and Kate seemed to be in a pretty solid place. But the actors who play them, Chris Sullivan and Chrissy Metz, have hinted that the lovebirds will hit some new snags in Season 2.
Sullivan told Entertainment Weekly, “They’re getting around all of the superficial flirting and infatuation and getting real and getting honest — and facing a lot of the things that scare them.” And Metz concurred, hinting that the couple will face some curveballs early in the season. She told EW, “They truly do love each other … and they’re there to support one another through all of the highs and lows. But there are definitely going to be some lows.”
5. Kate’s career could put a serious strain on her engagement to Toby
One of the lows Kate and Toby face could be related to her new career. After she left her position as Kevin’s personal assistant, Kate decided to follow her dreams. In Season 1, Kate told Toby that she wants to pursue a singing career. And while we can expect Toby to be supportive, Kate’s new commitment could drive a wedge between the two.
Metz told People that as Kate enters this new phase of her life, “There’s going to be an adjustment period.” And in order for Kate to keep both her career and her love alive, she and Toby will have to stay focused on working out their problems together.
As far as Metz is concerned, Kate is on board for the challenge: “For anything that works, you have to work for it, so she’ll be working for it.”
6. Randall and Beth will have a major disagreement about their family’s future
For most of Season 1, Randall and his wife, Beth, seemed to have the strongest relationship on This Is Us. Whether they were “calling marriage,” working through anxiety and grief, or just managing the day-to-day stress of raising their daughters, they worked as a team.
But in Season 2, the couple might face their biggest challenge yet: a serious disagreement over how to grow their family. In the Season 1 finale, Randall had an epiphany: He wants to adopt a third child to fulfill the legacy his father started with him.
It seems like an amazing gesture. But there’s one problem: Beth might not want to adopt a child. Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall, told Entertainment Weekly, “We pick up with them very much in the midst of making that decision. … They are not on the same page, I can say that much.”
7. The This Is Us power couple will be put to the test like never before
If This Is Us has taught us anything, it’s that marriage is all about compromise. So what happens if a couple like Randall and Beth can’t find common ground on something like having more children? According to Susan Kelechi Watson, her character Beth will be standing her ground — and might not be able to get on board with Randall’s adoption wishes.
This conflict will undoubtedly put a strain on their relationship. But Brown thinks there’s value in showing that type of a challenge on TV. He told Entertainment Weekly, “When you’re married for any extended period of time, folks have arguments. People can deal with them in a constructive way … they’re still partners in figuring out a problem.”
So far, Randall and Beth have been partners every step of the way. Hopefully, they’ll continue to fight for their marriage, and not against one another, for the foreseeable future.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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