‘This Is Us’: Big Three Photo Explains Real Reason Why They Already Shot Part of the Series Finale

This Is Us Big Three kids, Parker Bates as Kevin, Lonnie Chavis as Randall, Mackenzie Hancsicsak as Kate.
Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis, Mackenzie Hancsicsak | Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

This Is Us fans who follow along with the show’s Instagram account discovered something interesting in a recent post showing the Big Three — and it might be a clue as to why the show has already shot its series finale’s final scenes.

The Big Three… times two

Fans were seeing double when the youngest actors who play Kate, Kevin, and Randall posed with the teen actors who play the roles. This Is Us fans were thrilled to see all the kids together and get another side-by-side look at how this show has nailed the casting of their characters.

The NBC This Is Us Instagram account captioned the cute photo: “Has anyone seen the Kates? We can’t seem to find them. #DadJokesWithThisIsUs #ThisIsUs.” Dad jokes, indeed, as the youngest and teen Kates are seen wearing camouflage shirts.

Fans noticed something interesting about the pic

After giving the pic a glance, many fans called out an interesting aspect of the kids posing together — young Kate, played by Mackenzie Hancsicsak, is now taller than teenage Kate, played by Hannah Zeile!

As any show that has kids in the cast knows, there are challenges with young actors who are still growing and changing. Will the fact that little Kate is now bigger than teen Kate pose problems though?

Is this the reason This Is Us shot scenes for the series finale?

While the air date for the This Is Us series finale is still unknown, it turns out the show has already shot some of the scenes from the last show.

E! News reported last year that This Is Us creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman revealed at the NBC drama’s For Your Emmy consideration panel that they’ve planned some of the series ending.

A tweet from the NBC This Is Us Twitter account explained at the time: “’We have a story to tell and we want to do this the right way.’ ‪@Dan_Fogelman says he where he wants the series AND has already shot parts of the final scenes! ‪#ThisIsUsFYC”

Some fans couldn’t wrap their heads around this idea, with one person remarking: “I’m sorry. Wait. What. I reject this. Full stop. Nobody is shooting series finale scenes yet.”

Why have they filmed the finale already?

At the event, Fogelman said writers were working on the final season, sharing, “I’ve already shot pieces of the final scene of the series.”

He continued “We’re pretty far out. Our writers and I are kind of to the end. We know where it ends and we have a path for each season of the show. We’ve always had a plan. We didn’t want to get stuck. We had the kids and the timelines, and had to have a plan.”

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3️⃣ peas in a pod since day 1️⃣. #ThisIsUs

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The Big Three Instagram pic really drives that point home

Seeing the kid actors altogether gives a bit of context to why the show would have taken care of shooting some scenes from the last season of the show. With the younger kids getting bigger, it was important to capture their timelines with the kids the same size they have been throughout the series.

How will This Is Us end?

Last August, This Is Us star Mandy Moore gave a hint at what fans can expect for the series ending, explaining in a Jimmy Kimmel Live interview: “There’s no predetermined end date, but… Dan [Folgelman], our boss, I think he has an idea in his mind of when he sort of sees the story ending, and he knows how it ends.”

She continued: “I think just the nature of our show and the trajectory, people are certain ages now and perhaps they’re just going to keep getting older, so you’re capturing content in the can now.” While she had to stay mum about any particular details, she did remark that the This Is Us ending will be “very satisfying for people” and that “people will feel their feelings.”