‘This Is Us’ Producers Wanted a ‘Vague’ Season 6 Timeline

This Is Us has always been a show that heavily relies on managing various time periods, and it has done so beautifully and with ease over the years. In the final episodes of the series, it’s unclear how much time has passed from Kate and Phillip’s wedding to Miguel’s death to Rebecca’s final moments. But This Is Us Season 6 executive producers revealed that there’s a reason why the timeline is ambiguous.

Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown, who play Kevin and Randall in 'This Is Us' Season 6, share a scene in the future timeline. Kevin wears a light gray shirt. Randall wears a dark gray shirt.
Justin Hartley as Kevin and Sterling K. Brown as Randall | Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

‘This Is Us’ Season 6 has jumped ahead a few years in the timeline

Following the breakup of Kate and Toby in This Is Us Season 6 Episode 12, the NBC drama jumped ahead to 2026 to Kate and Phillip’s wedding day. But following episode 14, it’s unclear how much time has passed in the This Is Us Season 6 timeline.

Episode 15 was all about Miguel and his devotion to his wife, Rebecca. Months after the wedding, her health worsened, and he was determined to put her needs before his own. However, it got to a point where Miguel started neglecting his own health. And the Big Three convinced him to get full-time help for Rebecca. An unknown amount of time passed before Miguel died, likely due to heart failure, as Kevin suggested.

In the following episode, which takes place a week after Miguel’s death, Kevin, Kate, and Randall have a family meeting regarding Rebecca’s care. They concluded that Kevin and Sophie would move in with Rebecca so that she could be close to family. And at the end of the hour, This Is Us Season 6 finally caught up to the flash-forward timeline, which viewers will see more of in the penultimate episode.

The writers comment on the ambiguous amount of years that have passed in the series

During an interview with Glamour, This Is Us executive producers and co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger discussed the season 6 timeline up to Miguel’s death.

“We’re leaving it all a little bit vague because we don’t want people to fixate on, oh, ‘Do they look old enough?’ Or, ‘Do they not look old enough?’ We’re sort of a few years after the wedding,” Aptaker explained.

So if This Is Us fans find the season 6 timeline a bit confusing to follow, that’s for a reason. But in the grand scheme of things, the number of years that have passed means little to the heartbreaking and heartwarming final moments of the series.

How far will the ‘This Is Us’ Season 6 series finale jump in the timeline?

Whereas This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17 will take place in 2032, episode 18, the series finale, will jump much further ahead in the show’s timeline.

“I think we go 10 or 12 years in the future. Something like that,” star Justin Hartley told The Hollywood Reporter. “But we talk about the future after that and what comes next. That’s a cool part of it.”

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17, “The Train,” airs Tuesday, May 17, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. And the This Is Us series finale, “Us,” airs the following week on May 24.

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