7 ‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Theories on Beth’s Fate, Toby’s Depression & More

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC
Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson in This Is Us.

It’s been less than a month since the Season 2 finale of everyone’s favorite NBC family drama This Is Us, and already, the Season 3 theories are piling up.

Some of the biggest questions surround Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) new girlfriend Zoe (Melanie Liburd), Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) mysterious depression, and “Old” Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and adult Tess’ concerning conversation. Of course, it helps that Chrissy Metz has been touring around her new book, This Is Me, because she’s dropping hints left and right.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of conversation around about Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore)—in particular, their beginnings as a couple and what went down in Vietnam with Jack’s brother, Nicky.

We’ve rounded up some of the most popular theories, as well as our own, to keep viewers minds occupied until Season 3 this fall.

Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth and Sterling K. Brown as Randall.

1. Beth is sick, dead or divorced from Randall in the future.

This was arguably one of the most popular theories prior to the finale, after the first flash-forward was shown during the “Super Bowl Sunday” episode. Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) absence in that clip is both alarming and peculiar and Randall’s left hand was noticeably hidden, which could mean he’s not wearing a wedding ring. Still, the idea of divorce does seem unlikely considering the strength of Randall and Beth’s relationship, but there is a troubling alternative: Beth is either seriously ill or dead.

In an image that Sterling K. Brown posted on Instagram following his old man reveal, the blurred background eerily resembles a hospital room. Could Beth be there for treatment? She’s mentioned her father’s death from an illness in the past…

2. Toby’s depression is caused by infertility.

So this theory is less of a theory and more of a riff off of what Chrissy Metz has hinted. TV Insider spoke with the actress about Season 3, and she said, “Kate and Toby are looking forward to trying to have a family together and it might not be in the most conventional way… So it’s definitely going to be unconventional in the approach but also really figuring out what Toby’s depression is all about.”

In other interviews, the star also teased that maybe their difficulty having children isn’t entirely Kate’s fault, meaning that Toby might be the one with infertility issues. Suddenly, his depression makes more sense.

Justin Hartley as Kevin.

3. Kevin is traveling to Vietnam to meet a relative.

This one might be a stretch, but it’s clear that Kevin is traveling to Vietnam with dad Jack on his mind, as he’s seen holding his picture. But it is another Pearson in that photo that could be the driving factor: Nicky, Jack’s brother. Believed to be dead, Jack’s brother spent time in the war in the Asian country, but could he have begun a life there?

In other words, is it possible that the “Big 3” have a long-lost cousin? Or an even bigger shock would be that Jack’s brother is actually alive. We’ll have to wait and see, as the writers have alluded to more of Jack’s origin story in Season 3.

4. Something has happened to Rebecca.

In the Season 2 finale, one Pearson family member was noticeably absent from the flash-forward scenes, and that’s matriarch Rebecca. During the episode titled “The Car,” she and Jack sit in a park as they await scan results for her cancer scare.

While it’s a bit of a jump to think something bad has happened to Mandy Moore’s character in the future, considering what we just went through with Jack. Still, considering her medical history it wouldn’t be shocking if the writers eventually went down that road.

Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth and Lyric Ross as Deja.

5. Deja turns on Randall, Beth, Tess, and Annie.

In the final moments of the second season, “Old” Randall says to Tess, “It’s time to go see her, Tess.” These words have haunted fans since they were uttered on March 13, but the “her” that they are talking about is the most confusing part. Many think it’s Beth while others think it’s Deja (Lyric Ross).

Things seemed to have improved between the Pearsons and their foster daughter, but Kate’s wedding, it turned ugly when she smashed up their car in anger. Is she going to continue to cause chaos in their lives?

6. Kevin and Randall open up “Big 3 Homes.”

One of Jack’s wishes was to open his own business, and in the episode “That’ll Be The Day,” it almost seemed like a reality for his sons. As Kevin and Randall worked together on the run-down apartment building, there was a strong the Property Brothers vibe. These brothers created a business their father was never able to, which also serves as perfect timing since Randall’s looking for work and Kevin likes construction. It’s a win-win in our books.

Justin Hartley as Kevin and Sterling K. Brown as Randall.

7. Jack’s brother died saving him—or vice versa.

There’s so little to go off of in terms of understanding Jack’s time in Vietnam, but he’s made it clear how important it is to have sibling bonds. Fans know that Jack’s father was an alcoholic, and later, Jack fell into alcoholism, as well. But was his father’s anger post-war about Nicky’s death?

Hopefully, more light will be shed on this time in Jack’s life, but if Nicky died saving Jack, it would make sense why his father became nastier upon his return home. The same could be said though if Jack was unable to save Nicky, so we’ll have to wait and see.

This Is Us, Returns Fall 2018, NBC