‘This Is Us’ Casts Beth’s Father & Younger Versions — Plus, New Season 4 Details!
After nearly three full seasons of multiple Pearson timelines, fans are being given one special Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) backstory episode.
Set to air Tuesday, February 19, “Our Little Island Girl,” will delve into Beth’s rocky past including a strained relationship with her mother Carol (played by Phylicia Rashad) as well as Beth’s bond with her father. Now, it’s been revealed by Deadline that Alias alum Carl Lumbly will join the show as Beth’s father, Abe Clarke.
Along with Lumbly, actresses Rachel Naomi Hilson and Akira Akbar have been cast as the teen and child versions of Beth. The new additions will join the previously announced Rashad and actor Goran Visnjic from Timeless in the highly anticipated Beth-centric episode.
In addition to these recent developments, we received some revealing details about Season 4. “We’ve got multiple seasons mapped out,” creator Dan Fogelman told Deadline. “I think this season has been a lot about redemption, but also a lot of rebirth. Next season is a season of new beginnings and restarts.”
After the show spent much of the season searching for Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) long-lost brother, and focusing on Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) tense campaign, a restart makes sense. But this season still has a lot in store, as teased by showrunner Isaac Aptaker.
“We’re doing an episode that’s almost in real-time that was written by one of our writers who’s a famous playwright, Bekah Brunstetter, and that’s essentially watching people sitting in a room for 45 minutes,” he said. “That’s Episode 15. Then we have an episode that’s jumping through different phases of Beth and Randall’s relationship over the years. So we’re going to see their first date, we’re going to see some other major milestones. That’s Episode 17.”
So for all of the fans who were worried about Beth and Randall’s relationship thanks to that recent recent flash-forward, hopefully they will be comforted with this knowledge. As for the show’s eventual end, Aptaker notes a desire leave things off in a satisfying way, and he thinks the current ending will please them.
“I would hope that it’s elegant,” he said. “That’s what we’re going for. I would hope that when we reach our ending, people think it’s a really satisfying end place, that makes sense, and it feels like they’ve watched something that is a complete piece of work because that’s really how we’re trying to plan it. Almost like you would a book, or a super-long movie. We’ve had this end in mind for a long time, so we’re able to plan for it, and try to make it feel like it’s a whole, as opposed to a series that’s going to go endlessly.”
Whether This Is Us lasts five or more seasons, one thing’s for sure: Fans are pretty much guaranteed to be left in tears.
This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC