9 ‘This Is Us’ Theories We Can’t Stop Thinking About for Season 4

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And with that, the third season of This Is Us is over. We finally know who “her” is, whether Randall and Beth break up and the state of Kate and Toby’s relationship. Still, fans are left with questions that only This Is Us season 4 theories can answer. The This Is Us season 3 finale revealed many details about the Pearson family’s future. For one, Kevin has a son. (Who is the mom? We don’t know.) Rebecca has some sort of dementia, which is why Randall needs to remind her that she’s his son when he talks to her. Randall and Beth are still together, but Kate and Toby are not. Like always, with every This Is Us answer comes three more questions to take its place.

There’s so much mystery around the next season, and though This Is Us season 4 is months away, the internet has already started brainstorming the answers to the series’ most pressing questions: Where is Miguel? Who is Kevin’s son’s mom? And where the hell is Kate? Here, Redditors and other internet theorists try to predict what will happen to the Pearsons in This Is Us season 4. Season 3 just ended, but the This Is Us fandom is already looking forward to season 4.

Nicky Reconnects with the Big Three Because of Baby Jack

One of the big surprises in the season 3 finale was the return of Nicky, Jack’s younger brother, who the family thought died in the Vietnam war—only to find out years later that he was still alive. Nicky and Jack’s relationship became estranged after Nicky accidentally killed a Vietnamese boy while playing with grenades on a boat. A lot of his modern-day storyline dealt with his guilt over this and how he never told Jack it was accident before he died.

This brings us to the flash forward where Nicky is the only Pearson family member with Rebecca in her room. But how did he reconnect with the Pearsons after they went their separate ways? Well, Reddit user Marty5151 has a theory that Nicky reconnects with the Pearsons because of baby Jack, Kate and Toby’s son named after Kate’s late father. Because he was never to make amends with his older brother, Nicky may see baby Jack as a way to “redeem” himself and rid of some of that guilt. Another user suggested that Nicky may serve as a donor match for baby Jack later life because of the health complications revealed in his birth.

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This Is Us Will End on the Big Three’s Birthday

This isn’t specifically a theory for season 4 but for the series as a whole. Creator Dan Fogelman revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the season 3 finale was the midway point for the entire series, meaning that the series will likely end after season 6. What this means is that the writers have likely thought of how to end the series, and many Redditors think that it will end the way it began: on the Big Three’s birthday. In the flash forward, Beth makes sure to bring Pin the Tail on the Donkey (the game the Big Three used to play on their birthday as kids) to the nursing home where Rebecca is. Reddit user Straw27 believes that this is a clue that Rebecca will die on the Big Three’s birthday and that the rest of the series will flash and back and forth between this flash forward, which will be the final scene of the series.

“The entire series started on their birthday and in the flash forward they have the game with them as adults. I think it is possible everyone gathering to say goodbye to Rebecca may not just be a random point in the future, but maybe the last scene of the whole series. If it happens to be on the birthday of the Big Three, then we’ll have come full circle,” the user wrote. Another added, “I definitely think tonight we saw scenes from the finale.”

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This Is Us Is the Big Three Describing Events to Rebecca

If this theory was true, it would be very meta. Reddit user Hannahbanana27 proposed the idea that the series is actually the Big Three describing key events from their lives to Rebecca, who has dementia and can no longer remember the moments she spent with her family throughout their lives. The user also suggests that this is how the title of the show, This Is Us, is mentioned in the story: “People have mentioned theories of the entire show being the adult kids describing events from Rebecca’s life to her. If that was the case, then I could see the final scenes being the big three holding a scrapbook saying “this is us”.

Though out-there, the theory makes sense. As another Reddit user explained, people with dementia often use photos and artifacts to remind themselves of memories. “This could be it. In the therapy world, memory books are common for when people start going through the stages of dementia. They often contain documents, photos and other artifacts from people’s lives to help cement their memories,” the user wrote.

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Kevin Moving to California Is the Reason for Kate and Toby’s Breakup

In an interview with the New York Post, Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby, confirmed that Kate and Toby are broken up, which is hinted at when we see Toby without Kate and his wedding ring. “At that point Kate and Toby are no longer married,” he said. “Who knows why that could be? Clearly [Toby] is still in communication with Kate and Jack. There are a lot of reasons why marriages don’t continue. The [show’s] writing staff hasn’t told us exactly what that situation will be but I think, either way, there are a lot of lessons to be learned.”

What happened to their marriage? Well, there’s a theory that their breakup has to do with Kevin moving to California to spend more time with Kate and baby Jack. As seen in previous seasons, Kate and Kevin’s close relationship has caused a riff in Kate’s relationship with Toby, who has felt left out when Kate seeks comfort from Kevin instead of him. This feeling was hinted at in the season 3 finale where Toby looks less-than-happy when Kevin tells him that he’s moving to California and asks him to fetch him a Perrier. “I bet Toby ends up feeling like he comes in third place in Kate’s life (behind Jack and Kevin), and that’s what leads to problems,” Reddit user Eur0phile wrote.

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Toby Will Suffer from Postpartum Depression

Male postpartum depression hasn’t been seen in TV and film as much as much as female postpartum depression, but with This Is Us‘s promise to cover new ground in the future, it could make its way to Toby’s storyline. Reddit user Aleetex introduced this theory after the show revealed a depressed Toby in the flash forward. The user also speculates that Toby’s depression could be one of the reasons for his breakup with Kate.

“Now that would be an unexpected twist if Toby suffers from Male Postpartum Depression,” the user wrote. “This is something I don’t believe has been done on TV. And it will tie into Toby’s previous depression/anxiety and the flash forward scene where he isn’t wearing his ring and looks depressed. Toby would definitely be at risk and up to 1 out of 4 new fathers experience PPND. And like postpartum depression with new mother it can definitely be life altering if not treated.”

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Rebecca Believes Nicky Is Jack

One of the biggest questions in the season 3 finale is why Nicky—out of the entire Pearson family—is in the room with Rebecca. The show revealed that Rebecca has dementia when Randall walks into the room and has to remind his mom that she’s his son. Reddit user Imnotcleverenuff4this introduced this theory. “After seeing Nicki in the room with Rebecca, I immediately thought that Rebecca believes he is Jack and that’s why he’s there,” the user wrote. “I could be wrong, but I know in my grandmother’s case, she was living in the past and could only remember people from that time of her life. My brother lived with her for years after my grandfather died (before the dementia set in) and at the end, she couldn’t recognize him because she couldn’t associate a person from her past to him.”

Perhaps Rebecca can only remember Jack, and because Nicky and Jack are brothers, she sees some resemblance in him, which gives her comfort in her dementia.

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Kevin Is a Single Dad

The season 3 finale revealed that Kevin has a son when a 12-year-old-ish blonde boy walked past Randall and told him that his dad was out grabbing food. The episode doesn’t reveal who the boy’s mom is, but fans believe Kevin could be a single dad. This is based of Randall’s question to the boy: “Where is your dad?” Because the entire Pearson family was together to see Rebecca, one would assume that Randall would ask “Where are your parents?” instead of specifying Kevin. “why did Randall only ask the little boy ‘where is your dad?’ and nothing about his mom?! And why was Kevin’s wife/baby mama not only not at the house, but not even mentioned by anybody?!” Reddit user RhythmNation97 wrote. Though there are arguments that the child could be adopted, many assume that because of the child’s age (he’s around 12 years old and the flash forward is about 15 years in the future, so Kevin would be in his mid to late-30s when he had him) and his physical resemblance to Kevin that he’s his biological child. Many point to young Kevin in the flashbacks, who looks a lot like the son and shares a lot of his personality traits.

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Sophie or Madison Is Kevin’s Son’s Mom

On the flip side, there’s also the theory that Sophie or Madison is Kevin’s son’s mom. The boy in the flash forward couldn’t be Zoe as she revealed in a past episode that she has no interest in having children, which is the reason for her and Kevin’s breakup, as Zoe knows in her heart of hearts that Kevin wants a family someday and doesn’t want to hold him back. Further, the actress who plays her, Melanie Liburd, confirmed that she will not be returning for season 4. (Though, as Zoe is Beth’s cousin, there could be a chance for her return.)

That leaves us with Sophie and Madison. Sophie was Kevin’s first big love interest. They were childhood sweethearts and were even married. But since Kevin’s relationship with Zoe, we haven’t seen much of Sophie, aside from an episode toward the end of season 3 where the two catch up and Kevin learns that Sophie is engaged. Was this to have closure for fans or is the show setting up a reunion? Another possible candidate for Kevin’s son’s mom is Madison, Kate’s friend, who joins the Pearsons for Kate’s birth and has a moment of chemistry with Kevin as she’s about to leave.

The short-lived moment led to theories that the two will date. But here’s why creator Fogelman won’t make it happen. “Just FYI: Madison is my wife in real life @CaitwithaC And if you thought I was letting her sleep with @justinhartley on national television you’re nuts. #ThisIsUs,” he tweeted. So we guess we’re back at square one. (Or Kevin’s baby mama could be a whole new character!)

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Kate Isn’t Dead—But Looks Different

The biggest question in the This Is Us season 3 finale was: Where is Kate? We know that Kate and Toby broke up, but we don’t know the circumstances around it. Is she dead? Is she alive? Where is she? There are a lot of theories out there that Kate dies because of complications with her heart, like her dad. But we don’t necessarily believe that. In the season 3 finale, Toby references a “they” that’s bringing baby Jack to see Rebecca. The easy assumption is that baby Jack (now teen Jack) is with his mom. But why hasn’t the show shown her? Well, Reddit user2ManyMans reminded fans of an interview Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate, did when the show started, where she revealed that her contract for the show included a clause that required weight loss for Kate’s storyline. This may be why we haven’t seen Kate yet because the show is saving her appearance for a surprise. “I’m betting that Kate wasn’t in the flash forward because she has lost a lot of weight in the future. I remember the actress saying that serious weight loss was part of the character arc. So the show needed to give her time to make it happen,” the use wrote.

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