‘This Is Us’: This Heartbreaking Theory Could Explain Nicky’s Presence in the Future

One of the most emotional flash-forwards on NBC’s This Is Us this season is the news that Rebecca Pearson is suffering from some kind of mental and physical disease. At one point, 12 years in the future, viewers saw her on her deathbed with various familiar family members surrounding her.

While everyone saw the kids as they look a dozen years from now, there was one older relative by Rebecca’s side: Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne), Jack’s long-troubled younger brother.

The trajectory of Nicky has been worth the watch on TiU going from close sibling to Jack to the two being estranged after a tragic accident during the Vietnam War.

Now fans wonder if seeing Nicky next to Rebecca in the future will be the full redemption of his character.

Many fans on Reddit question where Miguel is

Milo Ventimiglia on the red carpet
Milo Ventimiglia | Chelsea Guglielmino/WireImage

It’s surprising enough to see Nicky still alive 12 years from now since he’s had a rough life. Living with the burden of never being sure if he’d reconnect with his older brother, plus the PTSD over accidentally killing a boy in Vietnam, can weigh heavily on one’s health.

Perhaps the reconnect with the Pearson kids helped Nicky mentally in all ensuing years. Maybe audiences can also assume he got to know Rebecca as well since she never really had a chance to know him in earlier years when Jack was alive.

Of course, This Is Us wants us to speculate on all these possibilities during its mid-season hiatus. Part of this means Reddit starting a million threads to cogitate on what’s going on.

Based on recent comments there, many wonder why Miguel isn’t seen during those brief scenes. Is he still alive, or did he end up leaving due to Rebecca’s illness?

Would it be like Miguel to move on?

There’s a lot of conjecture on whether Miguel moved in on Rebecca a little too soon after Jack’s death. Nicky might not have been aware of this until late in the game, leading to some possible family discord.

Then again, Miguel and Rebecca did wait ten years to get married, even if they were likely romantic before that. Some might also insinuate Miguel had feelings for Rebecca when Jack was alive, yet always stayed committed to nurturing Jack’s friendship out of respect. After all, that wedding dinner toast flashback showed Miguel making Jack look good when former didn’t really have to.

No one really knows how Miguel will react to Rebecca’s illness. All possibility exists he might bail due to not being capable enough to handle the situation. He might move on to another relationship, or he might even die before Rebecca does.

Reddit fans have certainly thought about such a scenario since he’s apparently several years older than Rebecca is 12 years in the future.

Does Rebecca think Nicky is Jack still alive?

Due to Rebecca’s altered mental state, fans are thinking Rebecca is completely out of reality at her bedridden point where she thinks Nicky is Jack. No clues exist yet in the flash-forward to say one way or the other. Regardless, seeing Nicky by her side so closely shows they formed a stronger bond along the way after their initial awkward meeting.

With Kevin already bonding well with Nicky (despite latter doing so reluctantly), no doubt latter will have had grown much closer to the Pearsons by this future time period. Having Nicky in Rebecca’s life will have also given her a way to connect with Jack in a way she never experienced after he died so tragically.

So far, there isn’t any speculation as to the possibility of Rebecca and Nicky getting together, which would blow up everything if such a thing happened. Since This Is Us is all about the real twists and turns of family life, don’t be surprised to see a lot of interesting revelations.

From a viewer perspective, it would be far more emotional to realize Nicky is just there as a caring, non-romantic relative and by Rebecca’s side to the end as a form of redeeming his own past life mistakes.