The finale, which surrounds the entire family gathering for Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby's (Chris Sullivan) wedding, will introduce three new characters: Toby's parents and someone from Beth's (Susan Kelechi Watson) family.
"We are throwing everyone together up at the family cabin for a very, very big celebratory occasion," co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We're going to get to meet Toby's parents for the first time, which we're very excited about, and it's something we've wanted to do for quite a while on the show, and this felt like the perfect reason. We're also going to get to meet a member of Beth's extended family, which is something people always ask about. They're always like, 'I want to meet her mom, I want to meet one of her sisters, I want to meet somebody,' so we are finally going to meet another person from Beth's world at the wedding."
While it's unclear who from Kate's sister-in-law's family will appear (and why one of Randall's in-laws would be at his sister's wedding), the person in question — and the couple cast as Toby's parents — could definitely pop up on This Is Us in the show's third season.
"We cast some pretty in-demand actors, so it's always a bit of a matter of scheduling, but yes, we cast Beth's family member and then Toby's parents," Aptaker said of the castings, which are being kept under wraps. "We love all three of them, so I certainly hope [we'll see them again]."
What made you want to dive into a full Deja episode, as opposed to letting her story trickle out through flashbacks the way the other backstories have?
In the writers’ room we have a whiteboard that’s like our very special episodes whiteboard for really outside of the box ideas, which we’re always encouraging our writers to come in and pitch. And we try to devote a couple of episodes a year to that. Last year we did the one where you see the day the Big Three were born and you see the firefighter’s perspective and Dr. K’s perspective. We always try to have a couple of those a season — that really break out of our typical mold and don’t necessarily advance our main narrative — so we thought, “Why don’t we do an episode that really tells the entire 12-year history of this girl’s life and really dives into the moments in between the stuff we’ve seen at Beth and Randall’s?”
We’ve got a big Pearson wedding in the finale. It’s supposedly an upbeat episode. What other hints can you drop?
It’s beautiful. It is really a great way — and not a forced way — it felt like the natural way for this season to end. We built to this moment so it feels very natural — this is what’s coming next, the wedding. But yet, even in the midst of all that, life for the Pearson for each individual is still happening. So everybody is still dealing with their own stuff, but now we get to celebrate at this family event that we’ve been anticipating and feel good about. After a hard year — I mean, this was a rough one for the family, going through Jack’s death and the fire, and for slow-cookers [laughs] — it’s a really beautiful way to celebrate.