What are some backstories we want explored in 'This Is Us?'

We are one and a half seasons in on This is Us and we still don’t know how Jack died. Sooner or later that ride will have to end, but Dan Fogelman will surely find a new mystery to be solved.  The cool thing about having non-linear storylines is that there will never be a lack of possible material.

 Photo by: Maarten de Boer/NBC

The beloved sophomore show has been nominated for three Golden Globes this year for Best Drama Series, Chrissy Metz:  Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture for TV and Sterling K. Brown:  Best Actor in a Drama TV Series.

We’ve seen the birth, the adoption, game days, Thanksgiving, etc.  We have had glimpses into the Pearson family from what could be a mundane moment like — not that there ever is a mundane moment with this family — going to a pool to major life milestones, but there is so much that we still haven’t seen yet. And it doesn’t look like people will turn their back on the Pearson’s anytime soon.


Jack and Rebecca met when a blind date didn’t go as expected. We saw the cute meet between Toby and Kate at their group session where it was almost love at first sight.  Well, it was for Toby.  Kate took a little extra convincing.  We saw Kevin and Sophie as childhood sweethearts as well as their rekindled romance after divorcing. Kevin told the story of Beth and Randall how he was on the phone coaching his brother as he was trying to win over Beth, but we have not seen Beth and Randall's first meet yet, and there is surely a story there.

Photo by Ron Batzdorff/NBC


Beth calls Randall perfect, and even with his propensity to “Randall Out,” he is perfect.  This couple has the kind of partnership most people dream of.  They are supportive of each other’s dreams, communicate openly and eschew keeping secrets from each other.  Beth’s silence over the discovery that William and Rebecca had met could have been a moment that could have really killed the trust they worked so hard to build, but she made it clear that even though this wasn’t her secret to tell, she was adamant that the truth come out.

But what happened during that first meeting?  What was that call like with Kevin coaching on the other line?  Now, that is a visual that would be worthwhile! And then there are so many stories we haven’t seen from the first date to Randall finally getting laid, to the proposal, marriage and more.  This is a show about moments, and seeing some more of their early life together will be amazing.


Now with William, we know he overcame his addictions, but never his poverty.  How did he spend his time?  We know he participated in civil rights pursuits.  We know he promised the Judge that he would think about him before shooting up again, but what happened next?  How did William develop a relationship with Jesse?

This Is Us NBC


Every episode contains wonderful little clues but never gives enough information for us to solve the whole puzzle.  We saw widowed Rebecca choose to chat with Miguel online and get back into the world, but how did she end up marrying her dead husband’s best friend?  How did they go from friends to lovers?  How did they get over the awkwardness of the shadow of Jack?  Now that will be a fun story to see.

Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC


We saw the triplets being born, learning to walk, a few birthdays and of course seeing them as teenagers at their dad’s funeral, but what other moments will Fogelson and team show us?  Will we see them learning to ride bikes, the first day of school, or having them in a kindergarten play?  We can imagine that Kevin will be the star, Randall would be happy doing something in the background and Kate may have had a tough time to let herself shine.  Or it could be something totally different?

Photo by: Maarten de Boer/NBC


And then there is Jack.  We still don’t know the circumstances of his death nor why Kate believes it to be her fault. It looks like he had a brother, whom we don’t know much about yet.  Something interesting about the Jack storyline is that even with his issues with alcohol, the flashbacks with him always show him to be perfect.  It is a tough act to follow, perhaps we will see some missteps from Jack? Or maybe he is almost perfect.

This Is Us is nominated for three Golden Globes and returns to NBC on Jan. 9.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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