This Is Us Season 2 Spoilers PaleyFest Jack Rebecca

This Is Us @ PaleyFest: The Cast on That Finale Fight and Jack's Death

With Season 1 of This Is Us officially in the books, you might think you know the Pearson family pretty well by now. But maybe you don’t know Jack. (Or Rebecca. Or the rest.)

The cast and producers of NBC’s hit freshman drama hit PaleyFest on Saturday to look back on Season 1… and look ahead to what’s on tap for Season 2. “The great thing about this show is, it’s like a spider web,” executive producer Glenn Ficarra said. “We can go off in all directions.” He hinted that we might see some old characters in a new light in Season 2: “This season, we saw Jack from one direction… we might be able to get him from a few new directions.”

Milo Ventimiglia (Jack) and Mandy Moore (Rebecca) also reflected on Tuesday’s season finale, including that “painful” fight that led to Jack and Rebecca’s separation. Ventimiglia remembered feeling guilty about saying such mean things to his costar: “As kind and nice as Mandy Moore is, I don’t think anyone in her life has ever said things like that to her face.”

This Is Us NBC Season 1 Finale Jack RebeccaTo help bring them together again, moderator Kristin Dos Santos from E! News put Ventimiglia and Moore through an impromptu “marriage counseling” session, asking them to read a scene from another all-time great TV couple: Eric and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights. (That could help heal any marriage, right, y’all?)

The cast also addressed the mystery surrounding how Jack dies: When asked which of them knows the truth, nearly every actor on stage raised their hand. (Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby, joked: “It happens exactly how you think it is going to.”) They didn’t reveal anything, of course, but they did nix a popular theory that Jack dies in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Sterling K. Brown (Randall) shot that one down with simple geography: “He’s in Pittsburgh!”

More highlights from Saturday’s This Is Us panel at PaleyFest:

* Dr. K himself, Gerald McRaney, joined the cast on stage, and — in true folksy Dr. K fashion — said that all the awards buzz he’s getting “beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I’m not so much into the results of things. I enjoy the process…. that’s where all the joy is for me. Awards might be nice… I wouldn’t really know.” (What, he never won an Emmy for Major Dad?!)

* On Randall’s sudden desire to adopt a kid in the finale, Brown said, “It’s clearly the beginning of a conversation between a husband and wife. It’s something that’s on his heart, when he reflects on the loss of William… and the gift he had being raised as a Pearson. He wants to bring it full-circle.” He added that “it might be nice” for Randall and Beth to add a little boy to their two daughters.

* Rebecca’s remarriage to Miguel (Jon Huertas) is a sore spot for fans… and Huertas knows it. He joined the cast, too, bringing a “Pilgrim Rick” hat out and presenting it to Ventimiglia as a peace offering. And he said he hopes Miguel can earn fans’ trust: “Hopefully, he’ll prove he’s just as dedicated a husband as Jack.”

* Brown’s real-life wife Ryan Michelle Bathe is a part of the show, too: She plays Yvette, the family friend Jack and Rebecca met at the pool. And Brown hopes to share a scene with her one day: “Maybe she’ll pop up with old-age makeup!”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. queensgirl says:

    I know I’m in the minority, but I have nothing against Miguel.

    • kimudelf says:

      When the moderator said his name, the whole audience started to boo. She then made everyone on stage say something positive about Miguel before the actor came out!

    • Ben says:

      I don’t have anything against Miguel either. I do think the complicated relationships he has is reflective of the challenge of marriage into a family, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests he isn’t trying his best.

      • LaDonna says:

        I agree with you. Relationships are already complicated, but when you factor in the past friendship with Jack, it makes it doubly so. But, having said that, both Rebecca and Miguel cared deeply for Jack. It makes sense that the two of them leaned on each other after his death. Doesn’t mean they immediately jumped in the sack or even that they married quickly after Jack’s death. But they shared the sorrow and mourning, and that grew into more. And they probably struggled with it, greatly, trying to decide if it was appropriate, real, and if enough time had passed. I’ve seen a very similar situation happen in real life.

  2. kmw says:

    This is Us definitely had a great year but continually focusing on how Jack dies is not what they should be talking about nor about a scene between Jack and Rebecca that wasn’t all that of a heartbreaker as they claimed. And good luck with making fans like Miguel or for that matter the trajectory for Rebecca. They look like they are painting her into a corner that whatever she does she cannot win. She will come off bad no matter what. Hope This is Us can sustain what they found because television needs more shows like this

    • bryce says:

      Yeah, I’m not really interested in all this rampant speculation. I know when it happens on-screen it’ll kill me, but I think focusing on the mystery instead of the other aspects of the show ruins the enjoyment. Plus, I think this show has shown me that there’s no predicting anything. So why try?

  3. kn1231 says:

    I feel next season is going to paint Jack in a bad light, which I think will be refreshing because Jack being flawless isn’t exactly realistic. This has kind of started at the end of this season with the drinking, but people are still blaming Rebecca for Jack’s problems which I don’t believe is fair.
    I hope next season focuses more on the Big 3 and their current lives. Randall and Beth are by far the best couple on the show, and I’ve been digging Kevin and Sophie. I also wouldn’t mind having the child actors back because they were so good!

  4. padraicjacob says:

    1. A 9/11 plane went down near Pittsburgh. So geography doesn’t explain anything. That said, I never heard that theory.

    2. I also don’t mind Miguel. It seems clear at least to me, that him and Rebecca got together after Jack died.

    3. I hope next season is indeed lighter and that they do show more of Jack from different angles. He was built up as this superhuman and it felt like the writers kind of made Rebecca the put upon one in the relationship.

    • Billy Bob Johnson says:

      9/11 doesn’t work because of the timing. The kids were born in 1980. From everything shown, Jack dies when they’re around 16. That would be 1996, a full five years before 9/11.

    • Taffy says:

      It depends how you define “near.” The plane went down 80 miles from Pittsburgh. Because a plane also went down in DC and I live in Baltimore, I could say a plane went down near me.

  5. Gospino says:

    The sept. 11 theory never made sense because the timeline doesn’t work. Start with when the kids were born, go to how old they were when Jack died, and that date is years before Sept. 11.

  6. Frenchway says:

    The show is situated so more about how and when Jack dies. He’s my favorite with Randall but I prefer to focus on their lifes as individuals and as a family.

    I’mean not a fan of Miguel not because he’s not Jack but fore some things he said and actions. And died or separated I can’t support a guy who marry his bff ex wife. But same for Rebecca.
    By the way, Jack is not portrayed flawless. We saw an amazing father and husband. But we saw his drinking problems before the final and his almost criminal side. And about theor fight both have right. Rebecca is not the only one who sacrificed her dreams. Jack too about his own affair…
    Can’t wait for season 2 and the adoption sl and Kate own sl

  7. Evelyn Gilbert says:

    I hope Jack doesn’t die in season 2…I wish they would show the couple trying to make their marriage work, and how it’s affecting the kids. ….It seems just too early to let him die. …..they can do a lot with this storyline and keep him alive this next season. ..

  8. Elle says:

    I’m tired of this long drawn out scenario – the constant stories about this lame season finale and Jack’s mysterious death are getting old and FAST! This is beating a dead horse to death. “This is Us” is a good show – not a great show. Stop making more of it than what it is; TV drama where the most interestingly developed character is Randall.