After four seasons filled with clues and teasers, This Is Us fans are primed to sift through every detail to make sure they don’t miss a single beat. On Feb. 18, the NBC drama unleashed one of the biggest episodes of the season. Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Kate (Chrissy Metz), and Kevin (Justin Hartley) ventured back to the cabin where the Pearson family puzzle began to take shape in multiple timelines. Then at one point, the Big Three dig up a time capsule from their childhood. Now, This Is Us fans are wondering whether the time capsule foreshadows how the series ends for Randall, Kevin, and Kate.
What did Kevin, Randall, and Kate put in the time capsule at the cabin?
As mentioned, This Is Us Season 4, Episode 14 — titled “The Cabin” — jumps through multiple timelines. In the past, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) round up the kids to make a time capsule. Then in the present day, Randall, Kevin, and Kate decide to dig it up.
When the Big Three find the capsule, they reminisce about what they put inside. Kevin placed a childhood photo of himself with Sophie (Sophia Coto), who became his ex-wife in the future (Alexandra Breckenridge).
Meanwhile, Kate added a game of MASH, an old game where you find out about your future. According to the results, Kate is meant to marry Joey Lawrence, raise a boy and a girl, live in a mansion, and receive her happily ever after.
Then it’s Randall turn. He put a puzzle piece inside and it’s the one missing from the custom family portrait puzzle from earlier in the episode. Finally, the Pearson puzzle is complete.
The three siblings also stumble upon Rebecca and Jack’s contributions. First, they find a sketch of Jack’s dream home already seen at the start of the episode. It’s meant to be built on the hill above the cabin for Rebecca, the kids, and eventually, the future generation of Pearsons.
The second is a tape recording from Jack. He explains Rebecca put his sketch inside the time capsule after he threw it out. This is a moment that truly shows how much Rebecca believed in Jack. The Pearson patriarch also reminds his children how fierce their mother’s love truly is.
By the end of the episode, the Big Three are about to leave the cabin. Kevin looks at the sketch of his father’s dream home. Then the show flashes forward right before our eyes and Jack’s home becomes a reality. A silver-haired Kevin steps out from his car and walks into the home, returning to the future sequence in the season 3 finale. Now it’s confirmed — Kevin builds Jack’s dream home.
‘This Is Us’ fans believe the time capsule foreshadows how the series ends
Following the episode, This Is Us fans had plenty of things to say about Kevin, Kate, and Randall’s trip to the cabin. Then on Reddit, one fan wrote up a theory involving the time capsule and how the series ends for the Big Three.
“Maybe what they put in [the] time capsule is what will happen,” the fan wrote. “We know the house happens. Kevin ends up with Sophie. Kate has a boy and a girl and a big mansion. Randall is the piece that keeps the family together as he believes he is more like Jack than anyone else.”
Many fans seemed to like the theory. That said, some This Is Us users weren’t quite as convinced, wondering how Kate’s storyline will work.
“So in the future Toby is alone because Kate dumped him for Joey Lawrence,” a fan wrote.
Then when another fan expressed their doubt about Kate’s mansion and kids, other fans offered possible theories.
“But we saw Jack open the season as a successful.. singer/performer? If hes super successful.. that could explain Kate being in a mansion,” a fan wrote.
“Right, and the girl that she has could be Jack’s wife (daughter-in-law)!” another fan added.
Nevertheless, others weren’t so sure the time capsule in “The Cabin” was meant to foreshadow the future. But rather, bring back how they felt in the past. A Redditor wrote:
I think it’s closer to how they each felt and wanted then vs now and Kevin building the house could be him choosing Jack’s wish over his. Where Randall felt he was the glue and final piece to the family, but really isn’t and will find that out in therapy. Kate may feel she settled for less than she originally wanted or isn’t happy in her relationship – now she’s not going to get what she had in MASH, but it probably reminds her of a happier time.
How will ‘This Is Us’ end?
For now, anything is possible. The future is uncertain and fans will have to wait and see how This Is Us fills out the remainder of Kate, Kevin, and Randall’s puzzle. But even so, it will likely be a calm and satisfying end.
In January 2020, creator Dan Fogelman spoke with The Los Angeles Times and shared how he imagines the This Is Us series finale. He said:
I think by the time we’re in our sixth season, you’ll have a lot of the information about what’s happened to this family and what will be left is some resolution. I think when the show eventually comes to an end, I think in the best way, it’ll be very quiet and normal. That’s always been the plan, because at the end of the day, it’s a story about this kind of regular family.
Read more: ‘This Is Us’: The Real Reason Why Kevin Is the Last to Find Out About Rebecca’s Diagnosis Will Break Your Heart