‘This Is Us’ Showrunner on That Major Kate Twist & Kevin’s Future
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 16 of This Is Us, “The Adirondacks.”]
There’s one family on TV that knows how to keep things interesting and it’s the Pearsons of NBC’s This Is Us thanks in part to showrunner Dan Fogelman. The creative force behind the network hit which will bid viewers farewell in a sixth and final season spoke to reporters about Season 5’s biggest developments.
Among the finale’s biggest twist though wasn’t Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Madison’s (Caitlin Thompson) canceled wedding, but rather Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) nuptials to a man other than Toby (Chris Sullivan). Somewhere in the near future, Kate will marry her current coworker Phillip (Chris Geere) which may serve as a surprise considering he wasn’t her biggest fan when they first met.
“I think one of the things I liked about this finale is the execution,” Fogelman says. “Despite two reveals of marriages, not quite working out there, when you cut to that period in the future, everyone feels good.” And it’s true, every Pearson wears a smile in the brief scene, even Madison who is helping prep the bride.
And expect to see a lot more of Phillip as Fogelman teases, “Chris is going to be a big part of the show next year.” For fans who might feel blind-sided, the creator promises this was always part of Kate’s story. “It’s been part of our plan all along.”
Viewers have had hints of Kate and Toby’s fate through flash-forward scenes at the Pearson family compound where an aging Rebecca is surrounded by her family. Toby is called to join them but seems estranged in some way, and this scenario would explain it.
“The show has always been challenging with the place in time,” Fogelman says of the signature This Is Us style of jumping back and forth in time. “We always knew that Season 6 would be ambitious in terms of the way it jumps time and even more ambitious than other seasons because our audience has been so devoted. And I think because, hopefully, we smartly set up the contained areas where these future timelines live, I think they’re going to have a real sense of resolution and completion for this family,” he adds.
While we know where Kate is heading, the future is murkier for Kevin who was essentially left at the altar but in one of the most amicable ways possible. “I think… that would be a big thing driving us forward next season,” Fogelman says. “How will Kevin wind up? Will he wind up with anybody we know? Does he wind up with anybody at all?”
For anyone with sharp eyes, they’d have seen the women’s clothing in the corner of Kevin’s hotel room during the flash-forward sequence. Who that woman might be? That remains a mystery, but things between Madison and Kevin seem fairly flirty in the future. “Clearly something is very right with them in that future timeline,” Fogelman confirms.
What else should viewers anticipate? “Mandy [Moore] is going to have a tremendously ambitious season next year as an actress,” Fogelman teases of Rebecca’s Season 6 storylines. “It’s going to be quite a ride and, I think, quite a showcase… I think she’s doing something extraordinary on television.”
And when it comes to Big 3 sibling Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Fogelman notes, “we’ll find a very centered Randall as we enter our final season.” Stay tuned to see how it all pans out for the Pearsons when This Is Us returns for its sixth and final season on NBC next year.
This Is Us, Season 6, TBA, NBC