Warning! The following will contain spoilers for the Season 2 finale of This Is Us. Read at your own risk!
This Is Us gave its fans several teases in its Season 2 finale regarding where the show will be headed in Season 3, and while all of them were interesting, it was hard to top Randall's. Randall was seen in a flash-forward with his adult daughter Tess, and the two were working up the courage to go and visit "her." Who were the two headed to visit in the Season 2 finale? We've rounded up the likely suspects as well as some possible explanations as to why the duo may be so apprehensive to see them:
Deja is the most obvious person Randall and Tess could be referencing in the flash-forward, and her actions in the Season 2 finale certainly support that. Deja's smashing of the family car's windshield at the episode's end could be a hint that Randall and Beth's presumably soon-to-be-adopted daughter doesn't quite shake that angry streak brought on by her mother's abandonment in the penultimate episode. Could This Is Us be hinting Deja is headed down a dark path in future Season 3 flash-forwards?
It's certainly possible, and given that Toby's mom referenced a depressive spell the character had years ago that played into Toby and Kate's flash-forward, it wouldn't be the only foreshadowing This Is Us did in the Season 2 finale. Still, fans of the series have seen enough of Deja to know she's not typically the person she was in that episode, and while she might be angry there, that doesn't mean she'll still be angry over a decade down the road. That said, one can't help but think back to Deja's mother Shauna and her various troubles and wonder if Deja somehow found herself traveling down the same path as her despite Randall and Beth's best intentions. Even then, could Deja ever do something so bad that even Randall wasn't ready to face her after?
Randall and Tess' visit to this mystery person seemed pretty important, so why wasn't Beth there? If the two are going to visit one of the two other Pearson children, one would imagine Beth would feel some obligation to go and see them as well. Granted, that's not necessarily true given Beth has shown to be remarkably stubborn in the past, although not towards her children. Beth not being present definitely opens up the possibility that she is the person Tess and Randall are going to see, but why? What could've happened to Beth that would make both character's "not ready" to see her?
Beth could be stricken with some terminal illness and could be under hospice care. That might explain why neither character is all that keen to see her in that condition, nor mentally prepared to be strong enough to face her in light of the situation. This theory would ultimately work as it could set up an illness storyline for Beth in the present, which would fall in line with the heartbreaking plots This Is Us likes to torture its fans with. Beth could also already be dead, and the two are working up the courage to visit her grave for the first time since her burial. Neither scenario plays out all that great for Beth, so hopefully, she's just waiting in the car for Randall to get Tess out of that office.
This Is Us is definitely a show of surprises, so fans shouldn't be that surprised if it turns out that Deja doesn't end up being the bad egg in the family. What if, instead, Annie is the one who finds herself in trouble down the road, and despite her normal upbringing, falls in with the wrong crowd and finds herself in some trouble? As hard as it may be for fans to imagine the sweet-faced Faithe Herman ever doing anything bad, what if she's the one breaking bad in the Pearson family years down the road?
The Annie theory mainly holds up because the potential storyline that Deja gets mad about her mother leaving and ultimately finds herself in some big trouble feels a little off-brand for This Is Us. Sure, a situation like that could happen, but the series introducing a foster-child only for them to become an unmanageable child and eventual criminal doesn't seem like a route this series would go. On the flip side, having that child get their life together and then have the younger biological child become the troublemaker could subvert audience expectations in a good way and make for a much more interesting story. Plus, Annie doesn't have a lot of character development, so a storyline like this would definitely make her younger self more interesting to watch in Season 3.
This Is Us will return in the fall to NBC with what should be an exciting Season 3. For a look at upcoming television programs that can be watched in the meantime, head on over to our midseason premiere guide. Those looking for more analysis of This Is Us Season 2 should check out our breakdown of the finale, and where we think each member of the Big Three is headed in the upcoming season. For an explanation regarding how the Season 2 finale handled that whole appearance by old Jack, click here.