Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri is one of the most respected universities in the country. How did you decide on it?
IA: We asked where the few most common geographical locations would be for [this kind of trial]. And that was the one that came up.
Sterling K. Brown is from St. Louis. Is there any chance you will be going on location to film at Wash U. in season five?
IA: We have talked about it, and we’ve talked about it with Sterling. It’s still a little bit early as we’re just mapping out the nitty gritty of our season five. But it is definitely something that’s been bandied about.
Obviously there’s hope Rebecca’s condition might be helped by this clinical trial, but we know that things don’t seem to be going so well when they’re at the cabin celebrating the big three’s 40th birthday five months from now. Randall and Kevin aren’t speaking, and Rebecca has just been brought home by local authorities after getting lost. How much will we learn about those roadblocks in next week’s finale?
EB: In next week’s finale, not so much. It’s more stuff we’re going to be exploring when we return. Yes, it’s true, we’ve seen a glimpse of Rebecca down the line a few months from now, but we haven’t seen the whole context of that episode that she’s having. So it’s something we’re going to be revisiting. People are going to get more answers about what exactly is happening there and why that happened to her at that time.
As for Kevin, will we find out who his fiancé is in the finale next week?
IA: We will not necessarily find out who his fiancé is next week, but we’ll get some big steps forward.
Will there be a time jump in the finale?
IA: The finale jumps all over the place. You’re going to have to really sit there with notes and try to keep up and guess where you are in time.
What else can you say about next week’s season four finale?
IA: I think people will have a lot of the answers they’ve been wondering about what’s going on between the brothers. It really queues us up for our return, which is going to be that 40th birthday episode. And of course, as our finales always do, we’ll throw in a few curve balls that people could never see coming unless they’ve been hiding under our writer’s room conference table.
Will we get more answers on what is going on with Kate and Toby and their relationship?
IA: Yeah, we have a great [story for them] next week. It’s a really special one that gets to a really unexpected place.
EB: Yeah, it’s a really beautiful episode that is written by Jessica Radloff Dan Fogelman himself, and he did an unbelievable job with the script. The actors are unbelievable in what they’ve done with it, and we can’t wait for everyone to see it. It’s a very exciting episode of TV.
The This Is Us season four finale airs Tuesday, March 24 on NBC. Jessica Radloff is the West Coast editor at Glamour. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.