Gone, but not forgotten — and not exactly gone, either. This Is Us fans were beside themselves when William (Ron Cephas Jones) lost his battle to cancer in the heartbreaking Tuesday, February 21, episode, but series creator Dan Fogelman offered a glimmer of hope during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Fogelman revealed to EW that William, who shared a lovely road trip to Memphis with biological son Randall (Sterling K. Brown) before dying, will continue to pop up in flashbacks in season 2, along with making an appearance in next week’s installment.
“You will see him in the next episode,” said Fogelman, who added that it has not yet been decided how many future episodes will include William. “You will not see him in the finale, but only because it’s a very Jack and Rebecca–centric episode. He’s going to remain a big part of the show.”
The producer explained that William’s presence will differ a bit from how the show has handled Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), who remains one of the lead characters due to flashbacks, despite the fact that he is dead in the present-day story line.
“It’s a little different than the Jack situation in that anytime you’re exploring the Pearson family in the past, Jack was in that story,” Fogelman said. “William’s character only entered Randall’s family’s story in the last year, so there’s less of a backstory there.”
He continued, “It means that if you’re going into his past more, you’re probably preceding his entrance into Randall and Beth and the kids’ lives — which we will do as well, but he’s going to remain a substantial part of the series.”
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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