After the This Is Us Season 3 fall finale left fans with more questions than answers, it was only natural that they'd try to fill in some of the gaps on their own. It'll be little more than a month before the show is back on Jan. 15, so viewers have just enough time to come to terms with some of the bigger surprises of the season. And these 5 fan theories for when This Is Us returns in 2019 might help that wait go by quicker.
Some of the uncertain threads left hanging in the finale were normal family complications like Randall and Beth's increasingly tense marriage. But the show also indulged in the shocking soap opera twist of a long-dead relative not being dead after all. Viewers try to make sense of all that and more in their speculation on Reddit. In the past, they've managed to figure out exactly what the show was planning, with theories about Nicky living through the war turning out to be shockingly true. So there's a real chance that one of these ideas could be accurate, too.
There are still several weeks until the winter premiere, which means fans have time to philosophize further, but hopefully these 5 theories tide you over until then.
A Familiar Face
Reddit user knuckle_cracker attempted to untangle the immediate fallout of the Nicky reveal. They thought that perhaps the child who Jack helped many years ago grew up to be the historian Kevin spoke with in Vietnam. The man denied knowing Jack, but there could be a reason for that.
"I theorize that the man was bluffing because his mother, father and himself possibly had a pact with Jack," the user wrote. "What pact? A pact that that they made to help Nicky get back to the U.S. to get the help he needed after suffering from the war/addiction. I believe we will we see Nicky either faking his death or getting in trouble being linked to the boat explosion and Jack bailing him out or helping out in the faked death. The Vietnamese lady and boy's family will help Jack/Nicky by escorting Nicky out of Vietnam (maybe with the father's V.C. connections) because they feel indebted to Jack for helping them out."
Redditor WithoutLampsTheredBe wondered if the older Nick Pearson in the fall finale wasn't Jack's brother, but his nephew. They theorized that Nicky did die, but got a girl pregnant before he passed away. His son was who audiences actually saw at the end of the episode. A decent theory, but already debunked. Entertainment Weekly confirmed that Griffin Dunne would be playing Jack's little brother all grown up.
User mattmentecky noticed that there was a big jump in Jack's father Stanley's personality that has never been fully explained. A sober and seemingly kind man at the time of Nicky's birth, Stanley became an abusive alcoholic just a few years later. This theory posits that a tragedy led to his downfall: the death of a third child, which would mirror the loss of Jack and Rebecca's third triplet.
A Walk To Remember
A flash forward in Season 3 indicated that Randall and Tess had some trepidation about visiting a mysterious "her" who turned out to be Rebecca. Redditor SomeEdgyName wondered if an elderly Rebecca had some form of dementia or Alzheimer's, which could be why Beth planned to bring a nostalgic childhood game along to the visit.
Randall inspired Tess to become a social worker, but that might not be his only legacy. Reddit user yournameiswhhat suggested that Randall's unsuccessful foray into politics would end up inspiring Deja to pursue a career in that field. It would be a sweet way to show the impact he had on her even though it didn't work out for him personally.
A few of these theories definitely feel like they could be plausible, but if the fall finale of This Is Us proved anything, it's that this show can still keep its audience guessing.
This first-time mom wants to have a home birth, but is she ready? Watch how a doula supports a military mom who's determined to have a home birth in Episode One of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for the next three episodes, launching every Monday starting November 26.