This Is Us fans were stunned by the ending of the show’s Season 2 premiere, “A Father’s Advice,” when Mandy Moore’s character, Rebecca Pearson, pulled up to the Pearson family home in her station wagon as the camera panned to the charred remains of the dwelling. The devastation was punctuated by a shot of a bag filled with her husband, Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) personal items, including his keys and his wedding ring, which sat on the front seat of the car beside her.
This Is Us producers and the show’s cast knew about the Pearson house fire for a year and a half before the scene played out on TV, yet they managed to keep the shocking reveal a secret by using a code word whenever they talked about it.
In a new interview with on the Today Show, This Is Us star Mandy Moore revealed that the crew had been using the code word “the marble” whenever they talked about the fire.
“We called it ‘the marble,'” Moore said, according to E! News.
“It was like, ‘So then when the marble happens…’ Listen, we’ve all been holding onto this secret for a year and a half now.”
Not only did the This Is Us team call the fire “the marble,” but producers went to great lengths to keep the charred Pearson house a secret. The remains of the destroyed house were built three hours away from the This Is Us set, and producers even used fake signs that didn’t say This Is Us anywhere on them to mark the site.
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told the Los Angeles Times the final scene of the premiere episode had been planned for more than six months. “The marble” code word used in the writers’ room was a nod to Beyonce’s top secret Lemonade album.
“We called the fire ‘the marble,'” Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly.
“We called it the marble, and all of our boards we would not put the word fire in writing. In script. In emails. In anything, we would refer to it as the marble. It was a bunch of dorky dramedy writers trying to figure out how to keep this Lost-style secret, and one of our writers said Beyoncé referred to her Lemonade album as The Marble, so that stuck.”
Fogelman admitted he was anxious about the secret for a long time, and he was amazed that they were able to pull it off. But while some fans think the fire scene could be a “fake out” regarding Jack’s death, the This Is Us showrunner has gone on record as saying there are no fake outs here, and everything will go back to what was seen in the last minute and a half of the “A Father’s Advice” episode.
“What causes the fire is going to be heartbreaking,” the This Is Us creator also revealed.
Take a look at the video below for more on the shocking revelation that the Pearson family not only lost their father, but they lost their home.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Featured Image by Ron Batzdorff/NBC]