Buckle up, fans! This Is Us star Chris Sullivan has deemed season four “completely unexpected” — so, we’re all apparently in for a wild ride when the Pearson family returns at the end of September. In fact, Sullivan (who plays Toby Damon) suggests there are going to be so many twists and turns in the upcoming episodes that it might leave fans’ heads spinning.
Sullivan addressed the tumultuous new season with People Now on Tuesday, underscoring that fans have no idea what they’re in for. “Wherever you think we are going, we are going in a completely different direction. The way the stories are unfolding is pretty amazing. Our writers and [series creator] Dan Fogelman have done a pretty amazing job over four seasons keeping people surprised,” Sullivan said. But it’s this fourth season that may just be the most shocking of all. “The places where this season goes, I think they’ve said it all… it is completely unexpected.”
Sullivan is alluding to the just-released season four poster art featuring a tagline that reads, “If you think you know what’s coming next… you don’t know us.” That’s saying a lot since part of being a This Is Us fan means learning to expect the unexpected. Sullivan seems to be suggesting that season four will be filled with more emotional landmines than ever and, TBH, we’re not entirely sure our tear ducts can handle the added intensity.
Toby’s storyline alone last year proved to be emotionally explosive, seeing him struggle with anxiety and depression to the point he ended up having a breakdown — a moment he describes as the most “intense” work he has done on the series. And that was just one storyline! It goes without saying that copious amounts of tears were shed for essentially every This Is Us character in season three. Is it even possible that season four could up the waterworks?
One potential clue that the show’s emotional nuance will be more layered than ever before is the addition of fresh new faces. In June, the series confirmed that Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison would be coming on board in a “substantial” recurring role. Then, in early August, Fogelman teased “a lot of secret new cast members who are going to be a big deal, coming up.” There will reportedly be an announcement about these additions at the end of the month, so be on the lookout for that.
Otherwise, go ahead and start hydrating now. Judging by Sullivan’s comments, we’ll all be losing a lot of liquid via our tear ducts when This Is Us returns Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.