‘This Is Us’: When Will Season 5 Return in 2021? Dan Fogelman Teases the Next Few Episodes

This Is Us Season 5 just got started, but we’ve already reached the last episode until 2021. As expected, the NBC family drama wrapped the year with a few cliffhangers. So naturally, viewers are left wondering when This Is Us will return with the rest of season 5. Here’s what we know about the upcoming premiere.

When will ‘This Is Us’ Season 5 come back in 2021 and how many episodes are left?

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When NBC dropped the trailer for This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5, the network revealed the release date for the show’s 2021 return. So new episodes will begin starting Tuesday, Jan. 5, and streaming will be available on Hulu on Wednesday, Jan. 6. That’s seven weeks after the final episode of 2020. 

Now, This Is Us Season 5 has dropped four episodes thus far. So with 18 episodes total, there are 14 episodes left in the season. It also looks like the rest of the season will be worth the wait.

“A lot of answers when we return.  Promise,” creator Dan Fogelman wrote on Twitter on Nov. 17. “The @ThisIsUsWriters are on fire and we’re making them as fast (and safely) as humanly possible!   I’m very excited about all that comes next.”

What happens in the next few episodes of ‘This Is Us’ Season 5

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This Is Us Season 5 Episode 4 — titled “Honestly” — left fans with a few questions about the Pearson family. For one, viewers are still waiting on answers about Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) mother, Laurel, who did not die in childbirth. In the last few episodes, fans learned Laurel has ties with a Vietnamese man (Vien Hong). The NBC drama has yet to reveal the connection. However, the man just saw Randall’s viral video in the present day. So we might receive some backstory soon. But whatever happens next, Fogelman promises a “full, beautiful story” moving forward. 

“I think it will be a satisfying and elegant answer to a lot of stuff, as opposed to something that necessarily begs more questions,” Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly about Randall’s new arc.

Meanwhile, Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) are getting ready to adopt a baby girl. Both Metz and Sullivan hinted their characters will face some challenges during the process, noting there’s “a lot to unpack.” Then there’s the bombshell Kate dropped during “Honestly.”

In the episode, Kate revealed she got pregnant with her abusive ex-boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams). In the trailer for the 2021 premiere, This Is Us confirmed Marc’s return. So fans will just have to wait and see what happens to teen Kate (Hannah Zeile). That said, Metz recently hinted her character had a “traumatic” and “super important” storyline coming up. 

“People are going to have a lot to say about it,” Metz told Entertainment Weekly in October 2020. “It will definitely be a challenge. But I’m looking forward to it.”

Chris Sullivan as Toby, Chrissy Metz as Kate on 'This Is Us' Season 5 Episode 4 in 2020
Chris Sullivan as Toby, Chrissy Metz as Kate on ‘This Is Us’ | NBC

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The teaser for This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5 also suggested trouble in paradise between Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Madison (Caitlin Thompson). Madison seemingly confronts Kevin about going “all in” with their twins. Then when speaking with People in November, Hartley confirmed the couple may face a few road bumps when the show returns.

“Madison told Kevin that nothing about this is normal and she’s right,” Hartley said. “I think there is time and space to give [love] a crack. They got all this thrust upon them so quickly with the babies and the pregnancy. But I still think there is time for the love part, to see what the relationship is and not just how that relates to the kids.”

For now, fans will just have to wait and see where the Big Three end up when This Is Us Season 5 comes back in January. But whatever happens, it certainly seems the remaining episodes will make an even bigger impact than the first four. In the above interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fogelman said:

It was important to us to land back inside of our show and settle for a moment with these simple family stories that start setting up some bigger stuff that’s to come. When we come back on the other side, we have some pretty giant and quite specialized episodes. So this was an opportunity for us to [put] our families in simple stories that progress our plot but are filled with heart and warmth, and with sweet endings.

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