Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us Season 3 episode “Six Thanksgivings.”
This Is Us fans have a lot to digest after watching the show’s most recent holiday-themed episode, “Six Thanksgivings.” Not only did viewers get the backstory on Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) mysterious Vietnam-era necklace, but they witnessed William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) first meeting with future love Jessie (Denis O’Hare), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) in hot Thanksgiving dad mode, and the final Thanksgiving for the teen Big Three (Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, and Niles Fitch) with their dad.
But one of the meatiest Turkey Day scenes went to Miguel (Jon Huertas), Jack Pearson’s misunderstood best friend who went on to marry his widow, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), years after his death. This Is Us producers finally introduced the audience to the adult kids of Rebecca’s second husband, and the scene provided a surprising crossover to the “good guy” column for the long-hated character.
In an earlier flashback scene set at Thanksgiving 1997, This Is Us fans saw Miguel being counseled by Jack over his estrangement from his kids, Amber and Andy, and his ex-wife, Shelly (Wynn Everett). Jack urged Miguel to show his kids that he is still their father.
Flash forward to the present day and it’s clear Miguel’s relationship with his now-adult children is still rocky. In a stunning scene, Miguel and Rebecca arrived at the home of Miguel’s daughter Amber (Yara Martinez) for a rare Thanksgiving dinner together.
But it was Miguel’s bitter son Andy (William Rubio) who broke the awkward silence when he called out Rebecca for making a sweet potato casserole with sliced almonds in it. Turns out, Amber’s husband has a nut allergy.
“First you steal my dad away from my mom and now you try to kill my brother-in-law,” Andy spewed.
And that’s all it took for Miguel to put everyone—including the audience—in their place regarding his marriage to his late best friend’s wife.
Miguel instantly clapped back at his angry son as he reminded him that he did not get involved with Rebecca until more than 10 years after Jack’s death and when his kids’ mom Shelly (Wynn Everett) was already remarried. He also warned his son that he better show his stepmom some respect.
“Take all the shots at me you want to… but the one time in a decade that you see Rebecca, you show my wife some respect.”
This Is Us fans took to Twitter to praise Miguel for finally clearing the air with his kids and for his amazing defense of Rebecca. You can see some of the social media reaction to the scene below.
not gonna lie, miguel’s kinda growing on me.... #ThisIsUs— ???????????????????? (@merxmulti) November 21, 2018
#ThisIsUs love Miguel! If this tough conversation happened more blended families would be stronger!— Paula Glover (@PaulaGl63149994) November 21, 2018
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us executive producer Isaac Apatker weighed in on the scene, admitting he hoped it would help viewers “fall in love with Miguel.”
“It’s such a great protective moment — and it’s exactly what you want him to do,” the This Is Us producer said of the surprising scene.
“We’re all the hero in our own story, and we see things always from Miguel being the intruder into the Pearson family, but if you think about it, there was this whole other family that also grew up as best friends alongside them. And to them, Rebecca is the one who stepped in and intruded. …And I hope people fall in love with Miguel in that moment.”
Aptaker added that Miguel’s exchange with his kids was also a victory for Jon Huertas, who has been dogged by hate from some fans of the show.
“It interesting, because a little bit of the attitude that his own family has toward him is some of the attitude that our audience has had toward him, so seeing him be able to confront that head-on is very validating,” Aptaker said.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.