Mandy Moore says the next few episodes of This Is Us won’t be for the faint of heart. Moore, who plays matriarch Rebecca Pearson on the NBC hit, took to Instagram to post a picture of herself with co-star Milo Ventimiglia and the eight-year-old version of the Big Three. Mandy captioned the picture with a warning to fans.
“Get ready — the next batch of episodes are heavy,” Moore wrote.
Promos for the “Pilgrim Rick” episode of This Is Us show Moore’s character visiting her son Randall (Sterling K. Brown) for Thanksgiving. The previews make it appear that Randall may have found out that his mother kept the identity and whereabouts of his biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones), from him for 36 years. Indeed, a synopsis of the episode reveals that Randall’s heart is broken after he finds out the lifelong secret his mother has kept from him.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Brown described the Thanksgiving episode as “explosive.”
Entertainment Tonight provided more details on the episode, which will have the ’80s Pearson clan going on a road trip and the modern day Pearson family gathering at Randall’s for the annual feast.
“Thanksgiving is Randall’s holiday and perhaps we all gather at his house to celebrate,” Moore told ET.
Mandy’s TV son elaborated on his character’s love for the November holiday.
“He lives for Thanksgiving, year in and year out,” Brown said of his character. “And it’s because of something in their past as a family that made Thanksgiving this incredibly special moment…Some things come bubbling up to the surface and not everything goes as planned.”
While Turkey Day will be “explosive,” there are plenty of other heavy storylines brewing on This Is Us, including the story behind the untimely death of Moore’s character’s husband, Jack (Ventimiglia), which apparently happened a long time ago.
“I wouldn’t wait with bated breath, episode by episode, like what giant revelation is going to be revealed in this episode,” Mandy told ET. “I think some episodes, there will be bigger pieces of information that sort of unfold and then smaller things that still resonate and are somewhat satisfying.”
Mandy Moore’s tease about the upcoming This Is Us episodes will take fans up to Christmas. After “Pilgrim Rick,” the next two episodes are titled “The Trip” and “Last Christmas.” According to press releases posted by Futon Critic, in “The Trip,” an adult Randall and his siblings head to their family’s cabin “to get away after their chaotic family Thanksgiving,” so that’s a pretty good indication that something big went down over dinner.
Mandy Moore wasn’t looking to do a TV series, but when This Is Us came calling she knew she had to do it. In an interview with the Variety podcast Remote Controlled, Moore said she was floored when she read the creator Dan Fogelman’s pilot script.
“It was impossible for your jaw not be on the ground when you finished that last page of the script,” Mandy revealed of the premier episode’s twist ending. “After doing pilots three years in a row on network television and being absolutely devastated when things didn’t move forward, I wasn’t really looking to do another pilot. But I just thought, there was no way I could say no to this kind of opportunity.”
While she admits she wasn’t aware she would be time jumping through four decades, Moore described her This Is Us role as “an honor and a gift.”
And while present day Rebecca may be in hot water with the reveal of her long-kept secret, Moore says she still admires her character.
“I’m not a wife and mother yet, but I hope to be the kind of mother Rebecca is,” Mandy said. “She leads with her heart.”
Take a look at the video below to see Mandy Moore in the “Pilgrim Rick” episode of This Is Us.
[Featured Image by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly & People ]