[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us. Read at your own risk!]
There are only a few episodes of It’s us left and as we get closer to the end, more and more mysteries of the Pearson family unfold and are solved. In Tuesday’s episode, we finally found out how Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) reunited a decade after Jack’s death. Before the episode, we knew the two became very close immediately after Jack’s death, but then broke up when Miguel moved to Texas to be closer to his family – and to ease the temptation to fall in love with the widow. of his best friend.
However, over time, Miguel realized that the family he had created with his ex-wife was not the one he belonged to. When Rebecca contacted Facebook eight years after Miguel left, it was a sign that what he needed was back in Pittsburgh, and Miguel went for it.
The story of Rebecca and Miguel’s meeting wasn’t the only thing revealed in the emotional episode. The hour was also dedicated to how Miguel’s family immigrated to America, his strained relationship with his parents, and how Miguel struggled to deal with the burden of Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s disease. In a moving scene with his stepchildren, they pressured Miguel to accept their help and make Rebecca a full-time nurse, and Miguel was forced to realize he couldn’t handle it all on his own, no matter how badly. not he wanted it.
We’ve waited six seasons – literally since Episode 2 of the show – to learn more about Miguel and Rebecca’s love story, and just as we discovered the origins, we also discovered the ending. The episode takes us through Miguel dying of heart failure, which confirmed why he wasn’t at Rebecca’s bedside in the future timeline. It was a moving ending to a poignant story, and TV Guide spoke to Huertas about what happened in this highly anticipated episode, and how he feels now that Miguel’s story has finally been told.
What was it like finally being able to tell this story, knowing that people had been waiting for it for so long?
Jon Huertas: It was exciting to finally be able to tell the story. Of course, I would have liked to open Miguel’s story much sooner, but we had COVID that happened, and it really disrupted how the story was going to be told because we lost two episodes this season- the. But it was exciting because the perfect screenwriter was ready and had been made staff this season, Jonny Gomez. We were in the writers room talking about how we were going to tell Miguel’s story. How far are we going to go back? What are the ideas? There were so many that I thought it was impossible for all of these things to be in the episode. Somehow, Jonny, as a craftsman, has it all figured out. Everything we wanted to fit from the start. It’s so good… It’s a matter of timing. It was the perfect moment and the way it ends definitely makes it more emotional because we’ve waited so long. I think it makes him heavier when he’s gone, when he dies. This makes it much heavier in our hearts. If we had started to open his story before, it would not have had the same emotional impact.
I can confirm that I cried with snot. It wasn’t cute.
Huertas: When I first saw the cut, I made this sort of audible, weird, throaty sound. I was watching it with Sterling K. Brown and we were on opposite sides of the room. When I made my noise audible, it inspired him to let go. We were definitely having a sob fest across the room. It was so punchy and heavy ’cause we’re just gonna know [Miguel]! Then he left. It is poignant, meaningful and comprehensive. It was the perfect send off.
What was the most important thing you wanted in this episode after playing this character for six years?
Huertas: What was important to me was really understanding what made him the man he was. [was] when he married Rebecca. It was important to understand what happened in the eight to ten years before they reconnected on Facebook. I really wanted to make sure people almost saw growth or transformation, finding out that he wasn’t able to connect with the family he had hoped for and realizing that the connection he had was with that wife, with her family. Even if we want to try to make things happen, we can’t make things fall into place. We cannot necessarily always create our own outcome. I want people to understand that Miguel is trying to connect with his family and kids and had to realize that [his family] was right in front of him, this woman who loves him. She was right there.
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I’ll be honest, my tears actually started when Miguel sat down with the Big 3 to talk about Rebecca’s care and Randall said, ‘We don’t do this to you. for you.” Did you feel like they were finally accepting Miguel in a way that they hadn’t before?
Huertas: I think the mistake that even I made at the beginning of the series is that we wondered why the Big 3 didn’t accept it. It’s not that they don’t accept it. It’s that he didn’t realize How? ‘Or’ What they accepted it. At that time, as Randall explained, “We love you and we love what you did for our mother and you were there for her when we couldn’t because we had our own lives to manage.” I don’t think they even realized it until Rebecca gave them this speech at the table saying, “Hey, go live your life. Don’t worry about me so much. I’ve got this person .” I think at that moment they realize it, but Miguel needed to hear it from them so that they would take care of him. He has to realize that he won’t be here forever.
I don’t think it was necessarily Miguel who realized that they had accepted it. It was more about the audience finally hearing their true feelings and Miguel was a proxy for that… The tears started for you and for me too because it means he finally lets go of all the responsibility and all the burden. To me, that means he’s giving up his youth. It has to get old, like Rebecca gets old, which means it’s much closer to the end and that’s why I started crying.
Miguel dies at the end of the episode, but It’s us likes to play with time, so have we really seen the last of him?
Huertas: I can’t speculate on that… It’s It’s us. We’re time travelers, me and Mandy. You can’t assume we’re not going to see Miguel.
What do you hope people who never gave Miguel the benefit of the doubt take away from this episode?
Huertas: I hope they will remember from this, whatever they think, that the beautiful love stories that we see on television and in the cinema and read in books are never those that are shown in the media. A love story is an individual story for two people. To be outside of that, to judge it or get something out of it, I hope they realize that we have to let people experience love the way they want to experience love, that they need to experience love for themselves in their own way and it was not harmful to anyone else. It wasn’t disrespectful to anyone else.
It’s us continues Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC, with episodes premiering on Hulu the following day.
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