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‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Is Going to Spend ‘A Lot of Time in Vietnam’ With Jack and His Brother

TCA 2018: ”I can’t tell you who we’ve cast to play Nicky just yet,“ co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker says

“This Is Us” is planning on jerking your tears in a whole new way with Season 3, as a good chunk of its time will be spent in Vietnam, co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker said during the Television Critics Association press tour Wednesday.

But if you hadn’t already guessed that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and his little brother Nicky’s story during the war was going to be a big part of the season, you clearly weren’t paying attention to the picture of the Pearson bros that Kevin (Justin Hartley) was looking at in the Season 2 finale — or the fact he was on his way to Vietnam.

“I can’t tell you who we’ve cast to play Nicky just yet  — but, yes, we are going to be spending a lot of our time in Vietnam,” Aptaker said when asked who is playing the latest addition to the Pearson family. But Aptaker says he “can’t say” exactly how many episodes Jack’s little brother will be in.

Fellow co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger added that the new storyline is “very exciting.”

“There is something very freeing about getting past Jack’s death and getting to tell just a whole completely different kind of story,” Berger said. “It’s sort of different than anything our writers have done in the first two years, so to be all of a sudden be immersed in the Vietnam War, we think it’s going to be really special and really different.”

Aptaker also revealed that like seasons past, the upcoming third installment will begin with a very special day in the Big Three’s — Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin — life.

“We’ve done in our first two years, we’ve picked up on our Big Three’s birthday, so we sort of like that,” Aptaker said. “In a show that plays with time so much, there is something very nice and grounds everyone. So we are picking up with everyone turning 38. In terms of stories, we teased a lot of where we’re going with our season last year. Sort of when you saw Kevin going on you know an airplane with Beth’s cousin Zooey to Vietnam. We saw Toby in the throes of a depressive episode. And our storylines are going to catch up to all those moments over the course of this year.”

While creator and co-showrunner Dan Fogelman isn’t giving away a ton ahead of the Season 3 premiere either, he did tell Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview that the future flashback is part of their endgame.

“I don’t imagine us going past this time period in the future so in terms of a timeline, this is our ending timeline,” Fogelman said. “But we may have other past timelines we’re going to introduce in the course of the series, and also other future storylines that we might introduce as well.”

Fogelman promised EW that Season 3 is going to be a little lighter — but, you know, it’s still “This Is Us,” so.

“There’s humor and love and levity after a very heavy season which I always like when we do,”  he said. “And then… some wallops. It’s our most ambitious season. It’s going to pack a great deal of emotion, and the storylines are going to surprise people.”

“This Is Us” Season 3 premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c on NBC.