‘This Is Us’ Midseason Finale Reveals Nicky’s Fate – And It’s Probably Not What You Were Expecting

Fall 2018 closer shows us what became of Jack Pearson’s little brother in Vietnam

Last Updated: November 28, 2018 @ 5:22 PM

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the midseason finale of “This Is Us” Season 3, titled “The Beginning Is The End Is the Beginning”)

“This Is Us” closed the first half of its third season Tuesday night by dropping multiple bombs on the audience — and please excuse us, because no war pun was intended there.

It’s just that the Pearsons’ drama came in hard and fast in the final few moments of the episode, titled “The Beginning Is The End Is the Beginning,” with the biggest shock to fans’ systems tonight arguably being the revelation that Jack Pearson’s little brother Nicky didn’t actually die in the Vietnam War.

Throughout the latest episode of the NBC series created by Dan Fogelman, we see Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) try, once again, to get through to Nicky (Michael Angarano) after the former brought the latter back to his camp in Vietnam to try to set him on the straight and narrow and get him through the rest of the time they have left to serve.

Nicky relapses and Jack swears he’s going to clean his brother up again. And as we near the end of the hour, it’s unclear what will happen to the younger Pearson man — especially since they brothers have only 48 left to spend together.

We cut back to the present day, where Kevin (Justin Hartley) and his girlfriend Zoe (Melanie Liburd) have been diving into his father and (supposedly late) uncle’s past in the small village in Vietnam where Jack was stationed.

There is a loud explosion and Jack goes running to find Nicky, with one of the soldiers noting that, “A boat exploded. I think one of our guys was on it.” Jack dives into the water and begins to swim toward a scene we can’t see.

We come back to Kevin in the present, where the translator who was helping him communicate with a local historian, mentions casually he was going to suggest something Kevin could bring home to lay on his uncle’s war memorial one day — but then he found out his uncle isn’t dead.

“None of your family died in the war,” he says, telling him he checked the war memorial database, Nicholas Pearsons’ name isn’t there. He didn’t die in Vietnam — at least not in the war, anyway.

Then we cut to the interior of a trailer, where a man — played by Griffin Dunne — is taking off his coat. The camera focuses on a piece of mail that is addressed to “Nicholas Pearson” and sent to his residence in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Yep, Nicky is alive and well — and when the show returns next year, he’ll be played in the present day by Dunne.

And, we bet, Kevin is probably going to come looking for him.

“This Is Us” will return Jan. 15 on NBC.