We knew the “This Is Us” finale was going to be an emotional roller coaster — with showrunner Dan Fogelman calling it "dangerous" and "intense" — and boy, did it deliver.
"Extra's" Renee Bargh was with the cast at the season-finale party, looking for answers about what the episode showed us, what it did not show us, and what to expect going forward.
While fans will have to tune in to future seasons to find out how Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) actually dies, the finale was still a cry fest. Ventimiglia had told "Extra" the best way for viewers to prepare was to "adopt a puppy," and they may want to get to an animal shelter even now that it has aired, just to log some cuddle time before the show and its tear-tugging storylines return for round two.
The season-ending episode, entitled "Moonshadow," was in many ways a love letter to Jack and Rebecca (Mandy Moore), revealing what they were like before they met, taking viewers along for their first run-in and then flashing ahead to a night years later when Rebecca hit the road on tour and an inebriated Jack followed her.
Jack arrived at Rebecca's show, drank more, then found out Ben (Sam Trammell) tried to kiss Rebecca. Jack beat Ben up, wrecking the show and the whole tour.
The couple drove home, and by the morning Rebecca had told Jack to leave and stay with Miguel (Jon Huertas). Jack made a final plea for their marriage, but it fell on deaf ears — and he left, leaving viewers dying to know the fate of their relationship.
Ventimiglia called the final scene with Moore "painful," but also called finishing it "a victorious moment." Moore continued the thought, saying, "I really feel like we’re in it together. It was a really tumultuous scene to shoot. No one was particularly happy."
Asked if Jack was the perfect man, Moore allowed, "It remains to be seen. Jack is pretty much near-perfect. This episode, there are some questions." Renee asked the actors when viewers will see Rebecca and Miguel get together, to which Ventimiglia teased, "I have an answer, but I can’t give it."
Still, the co-stars both insisted viewers should "take it easy on Miguel," in Ventimiglia's words, even though we know he will marry his BFF's wife. "If we’ve seen one thing on Miguel," Ventimiglia said, "he has a golden heart, like Jack." Mandy agreed, saying, “It’s almost like he wanted to take care of his best friend’s family... Have an open mind."
Everyone was also hoping for more clues as to how Jack dies, a storyline that has been weighing heavy on their hearts, but Justin Hartley teased to "Extra," "We have at least two years... If you don’t find out in tonight or the next episode or the next episode, it’s because there is information that needs to be given. We’re gonna tell a complete story.”
Chrissy Metz, who plays Jack's daughter Kate, agreed. "We’re gonna find out eventually how Jack’s passed away, and a lot of questions will be answered," she said. Metz told "Extra" she was seeing the episode in full for the first time along with the rest of the country.
A montage at the end of the episode also showed Kate (Metz), Kevin (Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) in the future, offering more tantalizing clues. With fans wanting to know what will happen with Kevin and his ex, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge), Hartley told Renee, “I love Kevin. I hope he gets what he wants — he thinks he deserves her in a way.”
Summing up Tuesday's much-anticipated episode in one word, Hartley went with “different," but showrunner Dan Fogelman confirmed to THR, "This was always the episode we had planned... There are a lot of question as we leave this marriage in the most dire place it’s been."
Explaining why Jack would begin a healing process with his speech but still leave, Fogelman said, "It's real life... This stuff happens in real life."
NBC's "This Is Us" returns with another dose of real life in the fall.