‘This Is Us’ Producers Tease Return of Kevin’s Exes

Justin Hartley

NBC Justin Hartley on This Is Us

This Is Us fans saw three familiar faces on the most recent episode of the NBC drama–and it may not be the last sightings of the characters.

While much of the Season 5 episode, titled “Both Things Can be True,” focused on Kevin Pearson’s (Justin Hartley) wedding planning with his unexpected fiance Madison (Caitlin Thompson), the final seconds of the show featured the reactions of three of The Manny star’s former love interests as they saw the news of his engagement on the cover of Us Weekly.

Kevin’s former girlfriends Zoe (Melanie Liburd) and Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) had different reactions to his engagement news (Zoe looked happy for him, while Sophie’s first laughed then appeared to be in deep thought over the news), while his Pittsburgh-based one-night stand Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) also smiled over the cover story.

But nothing on This Is Us happens without a reason, so it’s no wonder that the expected cameos had fans wondering if Kevin’s love life will be rocked once again. Several viewers zeroed in on Sophie’s appearance and noted that the camera shot on Kevin’s childhood sweetheart/first wife was noticeable longer than it was on Zoe and Cassidy’s. Viewers also noticed that producers hid Sophie’s left hand so they couldn’t see if she had a wedding ring on it.

“Cassidy and Zoe looking happy for Kevin and Madison’s wedding but Sophie looked like something was off…” one viewer tweeted.

“The #ThisIsUs writers love to play with our feelings,” another wrote. “It’s so clearly Kevin’s journey to love and the future wife mystery are still open. Why bring all his exes if his endgame is Madison?”

‘This Is Us’ Writers Addressed the Possibility of Some of Kevin’s Exes Making a Return

Although some fans think Sophie –and all of Kevin’s exes— should remain in the past, only two definitely will. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us writer Danielle Bauman and co-executive producer K.J. Steinberg revealed that two of Kevin’s lesser-known exes–Olivia and Sloan from the early seasons of the show—are gone for good.

“Sloan is a cabin somewhere writing her epic ‘I dated the Manny for a couple of months’ and Olivia is too busy getting her hair done again in some weird off-putting style,” Bauman joked. “I don’t know where they are.”

As for those other three ladies, Steinberg didn’t deny that Sophie’s face looked “contemplative” and teased that viewers may want to buckle their seatbelts.

“We’ve had a plan for Kevin for a long, long time,” Bauman added.

Steinberg also admitted it’s “fair to us to wonder” if one or more of Kevin’s exes will be back this season. As for the fact that the ladies’ ring fingers were not visible as they perused their Us Weeklys,  Steinberg even teased,  “I would say it was quite intentional.”

‘This Is Us’ Showrunner Dan Fogelman Previously Teased That Kevin’s Love Story Might Not End With Madison

This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, who happens to be the real-life husband of Caitlin Thompson, the actress who plays Madison, previously told Deadline that Kevin’s relationship with Madison won’t be an easy ride.

“It’s not just going to be this easy love story like some of our other love stories have been,” he said. “There’s affection and chemistry there, but they still don’t really know each other. So, it’s fair to say they have an up-and-down journey ahead of them.”

The This Is Us boss also teased that Kevin’s love story may not end happily-ever-after with Madison.

“There are many more chapters in Kevin’s romantic story,” he said at the end of last season

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