This Is Us: What the Rest of the Show Will Look Like After That Big Twist

We've been excited about This Is Us ever since the trailer was released and we preemptively cried about all the characters we'd barely met. The show premiered on Tuesday night, and lest you think it's a show about a bunch of random people with the same birthdays, you'd be wrong. A game-changing twist comes at the end, revealing that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore)'s storyline is happening in 1980s. Surprise! They're the biological parents of twins Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) and the adoptive parents of Randall (Sterling K. Brown), who we're seeing in the modern day. It's pretty shocking stuff, and it's going to make a big impact on how the rest of the season will play out. Here's what we know about the upcoming episodes:

  1. There's a major time jump in the second episode. While the pilot takes place in 1980 and 2016, episode two starts in 1988, when the kids are 8 years old. Then episode three jumps back to 1980, on the day Jack and Rebecca bring home their kids. According to creator Dan Fogelman, the parents won't look remarkably different: "In terms of aging Milo and Mandy, it's really subtle stuff when you really analyze it. It's not like from 36 to 42 years old we become unrecognizably different people. Our hairstyles change, we age a little bit."
  2. We'll still be seeing a lot in the modern day. Fogelman confirmed that we'll still be getting plenty of the 2016 storylines: "The structure of the show is very similar in the coming weeks in that it's interconnected stories. We have four main stories as our main storylines. We'll be cutting back and forth between those the same way that we do in the pilot."
  3. You should keep the tissues handy. If you were a mess after the first episode, you may want to reevaluate watching this show. Fogelman also spoke about how the goal of the show is "the good cry . . . Our show has characters that are flawed and who do stupid things but they mean well and they're trying to be better at the end of the day. That's maybe an experience we can all relate to. That's the human experience. We step in it over and over again but we keep trying to do better the next day and that's where the emotion will come from."