Just when you thought Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) was going to die in a fiery, drunken auto crash on his way to see Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) first show, it turns out he made it to the bar after all, only to get progressively drunker waiting for his wife to go on stage.
Viewers have followed their characters through births, death, arguments and an unwavering commitment to their family.
Ventimiglia also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday night. It airs 9 p.m. Tuesday. That said, the question on viewers’ minds heading into the finale is whether Jack is going to be OK, or if they should be bracing themselves for another death like William’s (Ron Cephas Jones). Ben tries to comfort Rebecca and ends up trying to kiss her, which causes her to storm out of backstage and call Jack (who, remember, is at the venue). You’re not going to know that for a little bit because we want to show that in the show. I think our show fits that bill. Ultimately, I love that this show forces people to hold a mirror up to their own lives and the choices that they’ve made. It’s pretty life-affirming.
Most television drama series don’t reveal the event of the finale until it actually happens. “Milo takes care of us, man”. When the cameras were up on shoulders and action was called we both came out swinging. Jack finishes his drink and then goes to search for Rebecca. It was heart-wrenching television, but in such a satisfying way. I don’t have kids and can’t speak to that. He doesn’t find her, but he does find Ben, who accidentally reveals that he “crossed the line” with Rebecca. “I can’t even go into anything, but it’s definitely going to be the flawless close to a This Is Us season”. (Even then, it wouldn’t have been her fault, but as a young teen, I could at least connect the dots to her train of thought.) But now, I have no idea how this will play out. He and Beth freaked out when they thought she was pregnant, and now he’s quit his job and wants to adopt a baby? Trust me, I get a front-row seat to that performance every single scene. He agreed, but not before answering her question about why he loved her.
Much of the episode lays the groundwork for the spectacular and heartbreaking fight that Jack and Rebecca have at the end of the episode – one that should ring true for anyone who has been in a long-term relationship. “How did he die?” “I’m excited and in the dark just as much as the next person as to what happens from here”. Because he made a decision to drink and drive, though, Ventimiglia said, “I think audiences should be anxious for him”. I’ve never been part of a project where people are so interested in the work before, so it’s still kind of astounding to me.
It’s amusing: This Is Us made a splash back in the fall with the big twist at the end of the pilot, and for a while it seemed like all the stories were being done in service of the latest big surprise: Rebecca knew about William all along! I love the mother that you are.
Moore: They’re not ideal human beings, they’re fallible. He adds that they might make mistakes, but everything will turn out okay because that’s just how life is. Watson even has a nickname for Ventimiglia on set: “Papa Bear…” They’re a couple just like anyone else.
Moore: I feel unendingly lucky to be on this road with this particular group of people. Because Jack is drunk and dumb, he says he’s only pissed because she lied about Ben and that the family should’ve been fulfilling enough for her (boy, bye).
Although that speech was epic, Jack still leaves the house, but gives us hope that love will prevail.