NBC’s This Is Us has quickly become the biggest breakout hit of the year. Case in point? In addition to nabbing stellar ratings, strong reviews, and several award nominations in its freshman run, the show has also been preemptively renewed for two more seasons. That means fans have plenty more to look forward to from the Pearson family, including Rebecca (Mandy Moore), Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Kevin (Justin Hartley), and Kate (Chrissy Metz).
So what can we expect from This Is Us Season 2? Though plenty of heartbreak, joy, love, and tears have gone down in Season 1, there is still a lot of drama left to explore among the family members in coming episodes. Here are nine spoilers we just learned about the show’s sophomore season.
1. William will live on
The death of Randall’s biological father, William — chronicled in the episode, “Memphis” — was devastating. But thankfully, that’s not the last we’ll see of his character. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actor Ron Cephas Jones, who plays William, confirmed that he will be back in Season 2 in some way — likely similar to how Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack is dead in present time, but resurfaces as a series regular in flashbacks.
“I do know that [William’s] going to carry over into season two in some way, just as well as Jack was in all of season one,” Jones said, adding that “there’s a chunk of his life that we haven’t explored.”
2. William’s death will lead Randall to some life-changing decisions
Randall will struggle to come to terms with his emotions over the loss of the dad he was just getting to know. His grief will play a significant role in Season 2.
As creator Dan Fogelman recently told Entertainment Weekly, Randall will start to ponder the question of, “‘How do I honor [William’s] legacy? What do I do with what happened in this year I’ve just spent with this man so that I just don’t go back to the same old existence?’ And he starts making a bunch of choices and decisions that will affect us going into season 2.”
3. Jack and Rebecca’s relationship may feature some tension
For much of the series’ freshman season, Jack and Rebecca seemed to have the ideal, rock-solid marriage. But every relationship is bound to have its ups and downs, as eventually captured in the later episodes of Season 1. Now that some of the cracks in their relationship have been laid bare, fans can likely expect to see more of this less-than-perfect version of Jack and Rebecca in Season 2 — perhaps including the repercussions of Rebecca’s decision to go on tour, among other things.
But fans shouldn’t panic just yet. While their relationship may see some complications gong forward, it will also feature plenty more of the sweet moments that we’ve come to expect from the couple.
4. We’ll learn the truth surrounding Jack’s death
This Is Us fans have been wondering exactly how Jack passed away, ever since his death was revealed earlier in Season 1. We know that he died when the kids were still pretty young, but what exactly happened? Recent episodes have hinted that he may have passed away in a car crash, but that may not be the full story. According to Chrissy Metz (who plays Kate on the show), we won’t get all of the details about his death until Season 2.
“They do such a beautiful tap-dance, a little waltz with you,” Metz told TooFab of the show’s slow reveal. “We’re gonna find out some more information before [Season 1’s] over, but you’re gonna really have to wait ’til next season to see what’s really going on.”
One thing’s for sure: the circumstances of Jack’s death will be a big shock, according to the cast. “[It]s] not something you’re expecting,” Metz said. Meanwhile, Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin, described Jack’s death as “unexpected and it’s extremely heartbreaking and sad and deep and moving and, ugh, it’s painful,” the actor told Us Weekly. “It’s painful. It’ll stay with you.”
5. Randall and Rebecca’s relationship will be further explored
As we saw in Season 1, Randall has a complex relationship with his adopted mom, Rebecca. The two are the most alike in many ways, although their relationship suffered a bit this season, after Randall found out that Rebecca had kept William away from him his whole life.
While they may be feeling a bit distant from each other now, their relationship has always been strong — a bond that Hartley hinted may be further explored in the coming seasons. “I think [Beth and Randall] were the closest, especially in recent years,” he told PopSugar. “And I’m sure that story will be told maybe in season two and throughout season three.”
6. Beth may play a bigger role
Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are one of the most engaging couples in the entire show, if not the most engaging. But while audiences have learned plenty of details about Randall and his family, we still don’t know much about Beth’s past. Luckily, that may change in Season 2.
“That has to be a possibility playing with time and everything like that,” Watson said, while talking about taking a deeper dive into Beth’s background. “We have the space right now to do it because we have two more seasons. Have they thought about it that far? I’m not sure. I imagine that’s an option that’s available to us. I know that we will learn about who she is, her family and her career.”
Most fans will agree that seeing more of Beth and Randall is a good thing, so hopefully the opportunity to learn more about them and their courtship will arise next season.
7. We’ll learn more about Kevin and Sophie’s history
In Season 1, Kevin decided to try to get back together with Sophie, his ex-wife whom we didn’t even know he had. As we soon learned, the two have known each other since they were kids and started dating as teenagers, before eventually getting married. Their marriage was broken up after Kevin cheated, causing them to stop speaking for quite some time — until Kevin randomly showed up on her doorstep in Season 1.
Though they now appear to be on the mend and potentially even heading toward a reconciliation, there’s clearly a lot of tumultuous history between them. Audiences can likely expect to see that highlighted in Season 2, as the two continue to try and iron out the issues in their relationship.
8. It will follow the same format as Season 1
As NBC confirmed, the next two seasons of the show will both consist of 18 episodes. Fogelman has since confirmed that the seasons will also be split into two arcs before and after the holidays, just as in Season 1.
9. The premiere date
An official premiere date for This Is Us’ sophomore season has yet to be announced, but fans can likely count on it being sometime in mid-to-late September 2017. Season 1 premiered on September 20, 2016 and considering what a big hit the show is, it’s likely that the network will want to bring it back around the same time, rather than holding off until midseason.
10. Sylvester Stallone will guest star
Stallone, the star of classic movies such as Rocky and First Blood will make an appearance on the second season of NBC’s breakout hit. Per Variety, This Is Us showrunner Dan Fogelman made the announcement during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour. According to Fogelman, Stallone will only appear in one episode, but it’s an impactful role. Interestingly, the movie star will be playing a movie star.
“It’s a war period film that Justin is starring in,” said Fogelman according to Variety, “Stallone is coming in as himself in the show but playing a character in the film who’s a mentor figure who starts bringing up some stuff for Justin’s character involving Jack and his relationship with his own father.”
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