‘This Is Us’ Final Season Will Spend More Time in the Future, Dan Fogelman Says

This Is Us already spent time in three different years. The show introduced The Big Three as children, teenagers and adults. It introduced the idea of the future when it showed Deja as an adult. Then This Is Us introduced Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan)’s son, Jack (Blake Stadnik), as an adult, too. Creator Dan Fogelman says the This Is Us final season will spend more time in the future before the series finale. 

'This Is Us' flash forward to Kate (Chrissy Metz) in a wedding dress at her 2nd wedding
Chrissy Metz | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Fogelman was on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for This Is Us. The This Is Us final season returns Feb. 22 and airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

‘This Is Us’ final season has the most future of any season

The flash forwards on This Is Us have so far been mostly teases. Jack Jr. got a whole episode before the show revealed he was Kate and Toby’s son. As the end approaches, the This Is Us final season will necessarily spend more time in the future.

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“We’re building towards there and we’re definitely going to spend more time there in the course of the season than we’ve ever spent there,” Fogelman said. “We’ve typically gone to them, for the most part, as kind of flash forwards of, like, here’s an endpoint of a journey, but we haven’t lived there a time. It’s fair to say that in the course of the end of the season, we’ll live there more.”

3 flash forwards to resolve 

This Is Us Season 5 introduced a third flash forward. The season finale revealed Kevin (Justin Hartley) was preparing a speech for Kate’s second wedding. The first future continues to cope with Rebecca (Mandy Moore)’s death, while present day scenes are explaining her medical condition. Fogelman promises more extended stays in all three futures. 

“Typically our flashforwards into the future, there’s actually three future areas we’ve been in,” Fogelman said. “One is we’ve seen glimpses of Kate’s second wedding.  We then see in that kind of  what we call the “death house.”  And then we also obviously have our late Jack Jr. in the much even deeper future as a young musician, aspiring.”

‘This Is Us’ final season has been in the works from the beginning

Fogelman also discusses how he always had a six season plan for the Pearson family story. However, he acknowledges they have altered the plan along the way. When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic occurred, This Is Us dealt with it. Fogelman says however the future of This Is Us’s final season ends, he jokes that he always knew. 

“Well, I always say to the writers whenever a good idea comes up in the room, I always joke and I say, ‘We’ve had that planned since the beginning. Just tell everybody we had that planned since the beginning so we can seem really smart,’” Fogelman said. “There has been a road map and a big picture plan, but things do evolve and you do figure stuff out.”

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