‘This Is Us’ Creator Says the Writers Won’t Kill Off This Character
The This Is Us fandom isn’t always a trusting bunch — and for good reason. Early on, the NBC drama killed off Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) newly-reunited biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones). Then in the second season, fans watched Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) horrific death play out onscreen. Now, well into This Is Us Season 4, viewers are always concerned about who will die next. Given all the flash-forwards, it’s no surprise viewers constantly theorize which characters don’t make it in the future. But recently, creator Dan Fogelman revealed fans don’t have to worry about one character’s death. And quite frankly, it’s a relief.
Dan Fogelman reveals ‘This Is Us’ will not kill off Annie Pearson
When speaking with the Los Angeles Times in January 2020, Fogelman — along with co-showrunners Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker — delved into the creation of all the twists and turns This Is Us is known for. During the conversation, the creator revealed the writers consciously make choices to progress the story forward by “mapping things out.” That said, they can’t always anticipate what details viewers will pay attention to.
“People are wondering what it means that Kate [Chrissy Metz] signed her name Kate Pearson in the closing moments,” Aptaker said. “We also thought it was much more clear that there was a rift between Kevin [Justin Hartley] and Randall. But people extrapolated that perhaps there’s something bigger going on with Randall and the entire family.”
He added: “And look, whenever someone is not in a scene, viewers are always wondering if the character is dead.”
Of course, some fans may remember that level of concern following all the This Is Us flash-forwards. The scenes occur in the far — undisclosed — future. Characters such as Randall, Kevin, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and an adult Tess (Iantha Richardson) are shown or mentioned. However, the status of characters like Kate, Miguel (John Huertas), Deja (Lyric Ross), and Annie (Faithe C. Herman) have yet to be confirmed.
After the This Is Us Season 3 finale, Aptaker hinted viewers shouldn’t too concerned about Annie and Deja’s whereabouts.
“You should be wondering where they are, but not fearing the worst,” Aptaker told TVLine. “I hope that people know our show [well] enough to know that we’re not going to just gratuitously kill off small girls.”
Now, in the interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fogelman confirmed Annie is safe and This Is Us will not end with the character’s death.
“People constantly think Annie is dead,” Fogelman said. “Like, guys, we’re not killing Annie.”
How will ‘This Is Us’ end?
For now, This Is Us has been renewed through season 6. The NBC series could be renewed for more episodes down the line. However, the writers seem to have an idea of where the story will ultimately end.
“We’ve always known the plan for the show because we’re not going 15 seasons,” Fogelman said. “If you know where you’re going, you’re just playing with time. It feels like a page-turner because we’re telling the story about a family over the course of 80 years by the time we’re done. And so all of our families could seem really interesting in that way.”
The series creator then explained that although we haven’t all experienced the trauma of what happened to Jack, This Is Us is filled with elements every person will experience in their lifetime.
“If you told that whole story broken into different chapters and mixed up all the pieces, it would have made your family’s stories seem like a mystery,” Fogelman said. “That’s all we’ve done here. It’s not like we’re telling a murder mystery.”
Since day one, This Is Us shocked fans with twists and unbelievable moments. But as Fogelman mentioned, it’s not all that unbelievable. The NBC series is telling the story of a family. And like any other, there’s bound to be drama along the way. Of course, we’re still on guard for a major death in the future. But it’s nice to know the writers have a plan — and the plan doesn’t seem to include a death that would be entirely out of left field.