The final moments of the “This Is Us” Season 3 finale were so secretive, that series stars Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson received redacted scripts. Justin Hartley said when he found out the last moments, he told himself, “Oh f—, they did it to me again.”
Brown, Watson and Hartley joined other cast members and producers of the popular NBC family drama at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. Sunday for the closing night of Paleyfest. Fans of the show gathered for an advanced screening of the March 26 episode, and learned more about the Season 3 finale on April 2, as well as details of the fourth installment.
Dan Fogelman, the creator of the series, said that fans will “get a lot of answers,” in regards to some of the biggest storylines surrounding siblings Randall (Brown), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Hartley) during Season 3. Some of the major plot points included Randall and Beth’s (Watson) struggling marriage, Kevin’s relationship with Zoe (Melanie Liburd) and Kate’s premature baby.
“Obviously there’s a tremendous amount of attention on Randall and Beth’s storyline. There will be an answer there in terms of the long-term health of their relationship,” Fogelman said. “We have all of our storylines building to that in the last episode. It’s kind of gigantic. The last five minutes of the episode are sprawling.”
Although Fogelman remained tight-lipped on exact details of the Season 3 finale, he did say that the flash-forward scene will “be a big part of” the season finale. The scene, first introduced in Season 2 and expanded during the current one, showed an older Randall and his family gearing up to visit his mother Rebecca, played by Mandy Moore.
The cast and creator also talked about what’s in store for Season 4. Fogelman said that Rebecca’s father will “be a prominent part of the show.” The character hasn’t appeared yet on the series, and it’s unknown who will be cast in the part.
Fogelman also told the crowd that he’s already written the premiere for the next season, as well as parts of future material.
“Our world’s going to expand a little bit in a really interesting way. I think where we’re starting the season is as ambitious as we’ve been, kind of like storytelling way,” he said. “We have a plan; we’re at the midpoint. We know where we’re going, we know what we’re doing. I’m more excited about the back half of the plan than the front half.”
During a lighthearted segment of the panel, where each panelist had to pick from either truth, dare, or eating chocolate with ranch (a reference to a Season 3 episode), Hartley offered a succinct yet vague summary of Season 4: “Everyone is not okay.”
Metz, whose character’s baby was born premature this season, discussed how fans’ reactions to her storyline represented the real impact of “This Is Us” in shedding light on important issues.
“Just the outpouring of pictures and stories from all of these parents who have these thriving children who were born at 1 or 2 pounds, it’s like, ‘This is why we get to do what we do, because people are relating to it, people are changed by it,” she said. “It’s like, ‘I get to be a part of that?’ It’s banana pants.”
“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.