The season finale of This Is Us has been nothing short of ominous, as we witnessed a drunk Jack Pearson (played by Milo Ventimiglia) getting into his car in a desperate attempt to save his failing marriage with Rebecca (played by Mandy Moore). Viewers already know at this point that Jack could be headed to an inevitable collision course with death, and the season finale could give hints as to what could have led to it.
Milo Ventimiglia told Entertainment Weekly that the one question lingering over viewers’ minds as to what will happen to Jack will finally be answered.
“People want to know what happens with Jack. This may be the time when they find out,” Ventimiglia said.
“It’s almost like that drink is a bit of a truth serum and a relaxer to the way that he thinks, ‘I’m going to go get my wife back.’ And it’s a poor decision on his part that may lead to his death,” he added.
That said, the scene’s emotional weight can be attributed to how effectively Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore played their respective parts as husband and wife, Jack and Rebecca.
It’s particularly admirable that Milo Ventimiglia was able to play the part of husband and father convincingly, even though he didn’t get to experience being both in real life. According to the Heroes actor, his portrayal of Jack as a father was largely inspired by his own father, Peter Ventimiglia. For one, the fact that Ventimiglia’s Jack is often stoic can be attributed to his father, who he says he hadn’t seen cry until he was 21-years-old.
“I didn’t see my father cry until I was maybe 21 years old, when his father passed away,” Ventimiglia said. “And I thought to myself, ‘Wow I’ve never seen my dad cry, until then. Why is that?’ And I started breaking that apart and thinking, ‘I believe that my father was trying to give me strength as a young man moving forward in life.'”
— Chicago Tribune A&E (@ChiTribEnt) March 14, 2017
Milo Ventimiglia’s portrayal of Jack as a husband has been equally impressive as well, and for that he praises Mandy Moore for helping him make the Pearsons’ marriage feel genuine, USA Today reports. By merely looking at Moore’s eyes as cameras start rolling, Milo finds it easier to ease into his role as Rebecca’s husband.
“Any of the struggle I’ve ever had with (interpreting) Jack, the second I look in Mandy’s eyes, I’m right there with her and I’m him,” he says. “The nice part has just been having Mandy to partner with, shoulder to shoulder, the whole time.”
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) March 8, 2017
This Is Us‘s season finale will take viewers to year 1972, just around the time before Jack meets Rebecca.
“It’s an episode that goes beyond the Jack and Rebecca that we know,” says Ventimiglia.
Jack and Rebecca’s respective backstories made the encounter between them even more effective. Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack, for his part, has just returned home from Vietnam only to feel unwelcome by his parents. Already showing signs of PTSD on account of his experiences in the war, Jack’s relationship with his father heads for the worst.
Mandy Moore’s Rebecca, meanwhile, is pursuing a music career that’s not going anywhere while also being pressured into settling down with a husband.
“All of her girlfriends are married, the eye on their prize is meeting marriage material, and Rebecca’s eye is on her music that isn’t quite going the way that she was hoping,” Ventimiglia explains. “But at the same time that’s what she’s interested in and that’s where her focus lies…. It’s always about singing and being on a stage for her.”
Milo Ventimiglia hinted that the season finale of This Is Us will be filled with cliffhangers which will have profound ramifications in the future of the show. More importantly, he says, the This Is Us season finale “could potentially be a little more reflective.”
Are you emotionally ready for the This Is Us season finale?
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]