Over a year ago, This Is Us dropped a bombshell: Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) had a brother named Nicky (Michael Angarano). You’ll notice the past tense there, since This Is Us was practically screaming “Nicky died!” the moment his character was introduced. By the end of season 2, Jack confirmed as much, telling his teen sons (Niles Fitch and Logan Shroyer), “[My brother] went to war, and he died.” The war in question is of course the Vietnam War, which This Is Us has spent considerable time exploring in season 3.
Since the beginning of the new season, it has felt like This Is Us was preparing to unveil a billboard further rubbing in Nicky’s death as yet another Pearson family tragedy.
Then the 2018 fall finale “The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning,” came along and pulled the rug out from all of us. Nicky. Is. Alive. Nicky is alive! An old Nicky Pearson is alive and well and living in Bradford, PA, about 150 miles from the Pearson homebase of Pittsburgh. The very alive old Nicky is played by longtime actor Griffin Dunne, who recently appeared on Succession and The Romanoffs.
As we await the 2019 return of This Is Us, we have time to try to figure out what actually happened to the much mythologized Nicky Pearson. Keep reading for all the best theories on Nicky’s non-death and subsequent long life.
Looking for more theories, recaps, and insider info on all things TV? Join our Facebook group, Binge Club. The community is a space for you to share articles, discuss last night’s episode of your favorite show, or ask questions! Join here.