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This Is Us Boss Shares High Hopes For The Ending, Even Though It Hasn't Been Written Yet

Kevin and Kate Pearson smile in the woods on This Is Us.
(Image credit: NBC)

When This Is Us closes the book on the Pearson family after its sixth season next year, creator Dan Fogelman has an idea of how he wants the audience to react, and it’s something he’s been building toward for a while. He’s spent years concocting mysteries and introducing seemingly unrelated characters with the knowledge of exactly how he’s going to connect those dots in the end. Now, with the actors back on set filming the final season, all that’s left to do is write the script.

No other show on TV is quite like This Is Us, in the way it utilizes different timelines, old age makeup and major plot twists to tell the Pearson family’s story across multiple generations, giving perspective to its characters’ journeys. Dan Fogelman told EW that when those journeys are finished, he wants fans to feel like they’ve been on that ride with the family:

My hope is that it would feel like the end of one of those sprawling family saga novels, and that those of us who are readers, who like those kind of books and go on an adventure with a group of people through a couple of generations, close the book, take that three seconds and go, ’Wow. Well done,’ I do think it’s going to feel like that, closing a final chapter. I do think after a lot of ambition in the season, it will feel really simple.

“Sprawling” is a good word to use for the series, as each plot line branches out from the Pearson family tree. With the story centered around Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their three children — Kevin, Kate and Randall — everyone viewers meet connects back to one of them in some way, and Dan Fogelman has been masterful at creating depth and twists within that universe that catch us by surprise but never feel confusing. Even though he’s known the ending and has been banking footage for the series’ final scene for seasons, the last script is yet to be written. On that matter, Fogelman said:

I only talk about it globally because I don't like to think about it too much. I don't want to deal with it until I've actually written it — and I haven't written it yet. But I feel like we have the right ending.

Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson, shared that sentiment, saying he knows the end of an era is upon them. And because he’s seen his TV children grow up on screen, he knows when that final script comes, there will be “ugly crying” involved

While Dan Fogelman continued to introduce new mysteries into the Pearsons’ lives as recently as the Season 5 finale, the showrunner promises to leave no stone unturned in answering fans’ questions. This Is Us Season 6 seems to all be leading to the 2034 timeline, where Rebecca Pearson is on her death bed surrounded by family. The few scenes we’ve gotten in this timeline have shown both Kevin and his uncle Nicky are married, though their spouses haven’t been revealed. Meanwhile, some characters haven’t appeared, including Kate and Miguel, leading fans to wonder about their fates.

The wait is mercilessly short now, as the final season of This Is Us premieres at 9 p.m.  on Tuesday, January 4, on NBC. In the meantime, check out our 2021 TV Schedule to see what else is coming in the new year.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.