Warning! Spoilers below for This Is Us, Season 5, up to and including Episode 10, “I’ve Got This.”
Every season of NBC's This Is Us — every episode really — introduces new characters or new insights into the Pearson family, expanding the universe of the NBC drama. And the more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know. The glimpses into the Pearson past and future — particularly the 2034 timeline, approximately 14 years after the Big Three's 40th birthday — leave us wondering, “How did we get here?” or “What happened to so-and-so?” The beauty of This Is Us is that some of those answers get sprinkled in throughout the season, but the big ones usually tease us for awhile leading up to a bombshell reveal. The 2034 timeline first appeared in the Season 3 finale, "Her," and fans have been trying to decode each character's fate since then. Let’s take a look at the mysteries regarding this future timeline that we’re still waiting for This Is Us to answer in the remaining episodes of Season 5.
Where Is Kate In 2034?
Our peek into 2034 sees the Pearson family gathering around Pearson matriarch Rebecca on her death bed. We have seen Toby — who is without his wedding ring — but there’s been no sign of Kate and their two children. When Toby arrives to Kevin's ridiculously gorgeous house, it seems like it's the first time he's been there, and he tells Randall he talked to son Jack, and "they" are on their way. Is that Jack and his sister Hailey? Is Kate with them? It sure seems like Kate and Toby have split up, but is it something more? When Randall called Toby to ask him to come see Rebecca, Randall said, “She would want you here.” It could be assumed he's talking about Rebecca, but I’ve always wondered if maybe the “she” is Kate. Until we have visual proof of 2034 Kate, her whereabouts remain a mystery.
Where Is Miguel?
Rebecca’s second husband also hasn’t been seen in 2034. I’m not sure what the age difference is between Rebecca and Miguel, but it is possible Miguel has passed on by this point in the timeline. In fact, if he were alive, I don’t know why he wouldn’t be at Kevin's house already, so that’s the assumption I’m going on -- but you really never know with this show.
Who Is Nicky Married To?
Miguel might not be at Rebecca’s bedside, but Nicky Pearson, Jack’s brother, is. When he stands up to greet Kevin, we get a good look at the gold band on Nicky’s hand. Who is his wife? Is it a character we haven’t met yet? Will we even get to meet Nicky’s wife? Nicky hasn’t been a consistently dominant character in the show (though his showing up at the end of “I’ve Got This,” could indicate we’ll be seeing more of him). Maybe the flash of gold was just to give us the insight into his life — he’s alive, settled and presumably healthy. Or — and I cringe to acknowledge this as an option — did Miguel die, and Nicky and Rebecca fell in love and got married? It’s a stretch, but stranger things have happened.
Are Kevin And Madison Married, And Where Is She?
As Kevin and the twins have made it to the 2034 house, Madison’s situation remains unknown. We got past the morbid theory that Madison would die during Nick and Frannie’s childbirth, but no further answers have been provided. Kevin and Madison got properly engaged after they had the babies, but did they in fact get (and stay) married? With this show, I don’t think engagement alone necessarily meant “happily ever after” for their relationship. Nicky isn't the only Pearson in the future timeline flashing a wedding band, so we know Kevin has a wife out there somewhere. I’m not ready to go all-in on that being Madison just yet.
Who Is Deja’s Baby Daddy?
We know 2034 Deja is pregnant, and we know 15-year-old Deja is dating teen dad Malik. “I’ve Got This” pointed to drama for the couple, however, as Malik’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer is back in the picture wanting to be more involved in their daughter’s life. Does this lead to Deja and Malik’s breakup? In real life, it might be less believable that a teen romance would go the distance, but a TV show that likes to connect dots and put bows on their storylines? It’s a definite possibility. Also, Malik’s a cool kid and obviously mature for his age. I wouldn’t hate him having a permanent tie to the Pearson clan.
Who’s In The White Car?
In the final moments of Episode 9, “The Ride,” a white car pulls up at Rebecca’s house, and Randall says to Deja, “Look who’s here.” We don’t get to see the vehicle’s occupants, so we’re left to guess. Really, it could be the answer to any of the mysteries above. It could be Kate with their kids, Jack and Hailey. Maybe it’s Madison, or whoever Kevin’s wife is. With the way Randall and Deja stay outside to greet whoever it is, maybe it is in fact Malik/baby daddy. Of course, it could also be someone we’re not aware of yet. A spouse or sibling who hasn’t been introduced in the “current” timeline, maybe. Could it be Phylicia Rashad as Beth’s mom, Carol? As of “I’ve Got This,” Carol is staying with television’s best couple Beth and Randall “indefinitely,” so that’s an option, assuming she’s still with us 10-plus years down the road.
Now that it seems we’ve got This Is Us back on a more consistent basis for its 9 p.m. ET Tuesday slot on NBC, hopefully we’ll start getting some hard and fast answers to these questions, as I’m sure we’ll be introduced to even more. Tune in to find out — I definitely will, because this show never fails to shock me with all of the twists — and be sure to check out our 2021 Winter and Spring Premiere Schedule for what to watch in the meantime.