If your tear ducts have felt a little clogged over the past couple of weeks it could be because This Is Us hasn't been on since mid-March. That's so many weeks without Pearson-induced cathartic sobs and their hiatus should come with an FDA warning or something.
I'm not a doctor though, just a person who writes about TV. Since there are no medications that I'm aware of for "I need more Jack Pearson in my eyballs"-itis, the only way I can cope with the withdrawals is to think about all the areas of the Pearson family history I want to explore when Season 3 returns. If you think about it mathematically, we have only seen 36 hours of the family's 40-plus year history! Actually, it's more like 60-plus year history when you consider Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and adult Tess flash forwards. The point is, there's thousands of hours of Pearson family goodness we haven't seen and thus entire chapters they could use to rip our hearts out and sew us back together.
The writers are busy at work putting that third season together now, so if they happen to read this, you're welcome for these fantastic Season 3 ideas.
1. Beth and Randall's first meeting: This shouldn't even be negotiable at this point. We've seen young Randall take college tours. We've heard him talk about meeting Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson). We've heard Beth talk about meeting Randall and how Kevin (Justin Hartley) fed him the lines to get Beth to go out with him. It sounds like the most charming meet-cute in the entire world and frankly, it needs to happen on screen. What was Beth wearing? How much sass did she offer up when Randall first tried to talk to her? How badly did he stumble over his words? These are imperative questions we need to better understand one of the best relationships on the show.
2. Slutty Kate: Kate's (Chrissy Metz) storyline about battling weight and finding love is extremely relatable. Don't get us wrong, we love seeing her and Toby (Chris Sullivan) happily in love — and wait with baited breath to see why Toby is so depressed in Season 3 — but one area of Kate's life we haven't seen is her slutty period. It's been teased that after losing her baby fat and before her adult rapid weight gain, Kate had a very confident, sexually liberating adolescence. That's an important part of this character to show and then reveal how Kate lost that confidence as she got older. Understanding that transition is important to understanding Kate's weight struggles in the current day, and how it might prepare her for Toby's own fall from confidence.
3. Jack and his brother: The Season 2 finale hinted that Vietnam will be a big part of Season 3, at least in Kevin's exploration of his father's past. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and his little brother Nicky had a deep connection that's still a mystery to This Is Us fans. All that's been shown is the two little boys playing together and a photo of Nicky in uniform during the young men's days in Vietnam. What we do know is that Nicky's death, or whatever happened during the war, had a profound impact on Jack. It's something he never talked about, even to Rebecca (Mandy Moore). Being able to see what made them so close as brothers and what that dynamic actually looked like would help fans see a completely different side of Jack, and thus help us as much as Kevin connect to his deceased father.
4. Jack and Rebecca's courtship: Question for the audience: Do you think Jack was always the smoothest guy on the planet? We have seen Jack and Rebecca at several crucial points in their marriage, but what about before they were hot and heavy? Seeing how they met was just a taste of the early days of their relationship, but it would be intriguing to see how their chemistry worked before they knew each other backwards and forwards. The initial part of a relationship has its awkward bumps no matter how great of a couple you are and it would be so intriguing to see what the ultimate #RelationshipGoals couple was like before they figured out how to be perfect for each other.
5. Rebecca and Miguel's first date/hook-up: It's time to get off the Miguel (Jon Huertas) hate train, friends. He didn't approach Rebecca until 10 years after Jack's death so their romance is completely legit...but what happened after he sent that first reintroductory Facebook message? It would be awesome to see how these two went from former friends to married couple. Let's face it, Miguel could use all the support he can get.
6. Toby's first marriage: This. Is. Not. Shade. Against. Kate. Let's get that disclaimer out of the way. Toby's depression will also be a big part of Season 3 though and seeing the dissolution of his first marriage as well as his dark period after could be a crucial piece in figuring out how Toby slid back into that headspace and how to get him out of it again. The character has faced a lot of backlash over the course of the first two seasons, but he is an integral part of this show and understanding how he, and his relationship with Kate, has ended up in the predicament that it's in is a needed piece of their love story. So let's bring back the ex, yeah?
Bonus: Any and all footage of Kevin and Randall working out would not be frowned upon, just saying.
This Is Us returns this fall on NBC.