At long last, we’re in the home stretch leading up to the return of fall TV. To pass the last bit of time while we wait, This Is Us asked fans for season four theories — and, wowza, did the fans deliver. Grab a box of Kleenex or a bucket of popcorn, because these possible storylines are emotionally exhausting and entertaining in equal measure.
To recap, This Is Us dropped its official pre-season-debut trailer last weekend, and it left fans with far more questions than answers. That’s not altogether surprising, considering the teaser montage introduced a whopping 10 new characters. Sure, we know the actors behind those new characters: Asante Blackk, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Omar Epps, Bahara Golestani, Jennifer Morrison, Timothy Omundson, M. Night Shyamalan, Julian Silva, Auden Thornton and Nick Wechsler. But, at this point, we have no idea who they are to the Pearsons or how their presence might have a butterfly effect on the family.
So, on Thursday, This Is Us took to Instagram to gauge fans’ thoughts following the intriguing first look. “Alright, let’s hear those Season 4 theories,” the show’s official IG account captioned a photo of the Big Three. To fans’ credit, they did not disappoint. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to emerge so far.
Time for a Dream Sequence
Predicted @_myboysmom, “In the end, Jack is still alive and this is all a dream.” This theory is backed by @katelynmcpheron, who elaborated, “I’ve had this theory for awhile! That jack is at war and he dreamed it all.” Of course, we all know that any scenario that involves Jack dying wouldn’t be a dream, it would be a nightmare, so…
The Saga of a Love Child
Thus far, the entire series has been built on the premise that — while flawed — Jack is a truly virtuous man. But what if the series threw a curveball that would require fans to reconcile the idea that good people can do bad things? Suggested @_missbiss_, “We find out Jack has another daughter (soldier girl that we saw) from a relationship he had either in Vietnam, or just before Rebecca in general.” @jamierhea03 built on this theory, adding, “Jack’s necklace that Kevin wears is a memento given to him by the woman seen in the Vietnam episode… she and Jack have a love child and Nicky couldn’t handle keeping the family secret so stayed away from the family after he came home.”
A Different Sibling Surprise
By now, we all know Randall’s backstory and how he came to live with the Pearsons. If you really think about it, though, we know very little about his biological mother’s life. Several fans seem to think that Randall will find out he has a biological brother, and that brother will turn out to be new cast member Omar Epps.
Kevin’s Baby Mama Drama
Thanks to last season’s flash-forward, we know that Kevin has a kid. But, like, when did that happen? And with whom? Well, @daniball6112 has a theory about that, and it has everything to do with the introduction of Jennifer Morrison’s new military character: “Pretty sure the soldier girl [Morrison] is the woman who Kevin has the kid with. When she sits down at the desk there is a blurry picture of a guy with a kid that looks very much like a blurry Kevin.” @allaboutjmo_ even has a theory about how they meet, saying, “Could she tie to the family due to Nicky going for counseling and meets Jen’s character. Kevin, who is supporting his uncle, then also meets her and boom flash forward child.”
If you really want a mind trip, though, consider @Kelykley210’s suggestion that Kevin’s kid is actually Kate and Toby’s baby — that he adopted.
A Clandestine Connection
So, we’ve got a new trailer filled with random people. They’ve got to be connected somehow, right? Naturally, fans are already trying to connect the dots. “I’m calling it! All the new people we see in the trailer will be the people who received Jack’s organs when he died,” wrote @Imbrakim. @Disneysih suggested another intriguing link, commenting, “Maybe the new characters were born in the same hospital the same day??” And @Gandandello seems to believe it’s more familial, writing, “We’re going into the future in season 4. Randall’s grandkids, etc. That’s my theory!”
RIP, Sweet Kate
No one really wants to believe this theory to be true but, we must admit, it’s within the realm of possibility. “I think Kate dies of either postpartum complications or a car accident,” wrote @Joannaashley31 — a theory bolstered by @Jasurdalaurie, who guessed of a character in the trailer, “Young man playing keyboard and walking dog is Toby and Kate’s Jack. Kate must have died somehow.”
The Big… Four?
Wait, wait, wait. Is it possible that Jack and Rebecca’s third biological child actually survived somehow? @sm19rn thinks so, commenting, “I still believe the third triplet exists. I have my thoughts.” Hospital mix-ups aren’t unheard of and there were a few high-profile cases in the ’70s and ’80s of newborns being snatched. Are all the new characters in the trailer somehow related to the third triplet? We’re dubious, but anything’s possible with the Pearson clan.
Prepare for the Flood
Of emotions, that is. While all of these theories seem viable in one way or another, the most accurate has to be @Brodie2k’s, hands down. “Just tears, lots and lots of tears,” the fan predicted, to which someone at This Is Us‘s account aptly responded, “That’s a safe bet.”