This Is Us fans have already spent two Thanksgivings with the Pearsons, but this year the emotional clan may need to make room for a couple of extra place settings at the table.
Two years after viewers met Pilgrim Rick, a creepy character at a motel that spawned a Thanksgiving hat tradition for the Pearson clan in the 1980s, viewers will see the family’s final Thanksgiving with patriarch Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) in November 1997, about two months before his untimely death. The episode, titled “Six Thanksgivings” will feature Jack, Rebecca, and the teen Big Three spending Turkey Day with family friend Miguel (Jon Huertas), whom we know Rebecca later goes on to marry.
This Is Us star Mandy Moore told TV Line viewers will finally get some answers about Miguel’s relationship with his ex-wife Shelly (Wynn Everett) and his kids, who have never been seen on the show.
“Thanksgiving may bring out some of Miguel’s family for the first time. Miguel has kids that are out in the ether, somewhere. We’ve gotta find out why him and his kids aren’t very tight.”
“We’re going to meet a couple of new characters who we haven’t met before, but that maybe have been talked about… We are going to meet [Miguel’s kids] at some point in the season.”
The This Is Us star added that viewers will learn a lot more about Miguel, whom he says is a good father but is dealing with some obstacles in the late ’90s timeframe and beyond.
“We’ve seen how [Miguel] deals with the Pearson family. But we haven’t seen how he deals with his own family and how they feel about Rebecca and Miguel being married. …He wants to be a good dad, but you can’t always be. It’s got to be reciprocated. …You’ve seen parents whose kids don’t give them the same love and attention because of whatever happens between the divorcing parents. Sometimes divorce can get in the way of a great relationship.”
In NBC’s preview for the “Six Thanksgivings” episode, Jack is seen talking to Miguel about parenting as a single dad after his divorce from Shelly.
“You need to show your kids that you are still their father,” Jack says in the clip, which you can see below.
This Is Us fans know very little about Miguel’s children. Jon Huertas previously told the Hollywood Reporter that his character’s children are “about five years older than Jack and Rebecca’s kids.” In 2017, when the actor talked to THR about the still-unnamed Rivas kids, he also revealed that actors had not yet been cast to play his offspring. Still, Huertas added that his TV kids were “absolutely good-looking,” at least in his mind.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.