It's five days until the highly anticipated return of This Is Us, and needless to say, fans are collectively chomping at the bit for answers. After Season 1 ended with a devastating cliffhanger, Jack's mysterious death has raised all sort of questions keeping audiences up at night. How did he die? How will the family handle it? And how in the world did Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) death lead to his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and best friend Miguel's (Jon Huertas) romance? At BAFTA's Emmys celebration in Los Angeles, actor Jon Huertas hints at the answers about This Is Us' second season that fans shall soon receive.
The majority of the drama showcases the Pearson family kids, Kate (Chrissy Met), Randall (Sterling K. Brown), and Kevin (Justin Hartley) at later stages of their lives — a while after Jack's death. Occasionally, there will be a flashback to their childhood and earlier years — before his death. But fans have yet to see how they'll immediately be impacted by their father's death while they're teenagers. Huertas is eager for audiences to see this new dimension of the characters.
"The storytelling revolves around that," he says. And as expected, it will be heart-wrenching. "The way the teenage Pearsons actually deal with Jack’s death are some of the most dramatic scenes — it feels so real."
This Is Us has a knack for making audiences cry, and that will surely be amped up a notch through this storyline. According to the actor, the show will come out swinging in Season 2. "I’ve seen the first three episodes, seeing those kids deal with that emotion is so heart-wrenching, because they’re just kids, teenagers," he explains.
Whether or not audiences can relate, the sympathy felt towards the Pearson kids will cause heartstrings to be pulled and the tears to come. "You’re like, 'Ah, they shouldn’t be dealing with this, they should be dealing with being popular at school or winning the football game,'" Huertas says.
It's a sensitive time both on and off screen, which is why fans may be skeptical about Miguel's role in the family and his eventual marriage to Rebecca once Jack dies. Soon, fans will not only understand how their romance started, but they may root for Miguel (at least, according to the actor).
Huertas says fans will see "how the spark happens" between Miguel and Rebecca, even after the two deal with the trauma of Jack's passing. "I think fans are gonna be cool with it," he says. But how? Jack lovers may be shaking their heads, but hear him out: Miguel would never do Jack wrong.
"From the first season we realize that Miguel has actually given Jack a lot of great advice to actually keep him in the relationship with Rebecca," he says. Miguel was in no way trying to steal Jack's wife, and if anything, he helped keep their relationship strong. "What Miguel sees with Jack and Rebecca is something he doesn’t have in his own relationship, so he’s always trying to keep them together and he thinks they’re perfect together."
So if Miguel thinks Jack and Rebecca are so perfect together, why would he step in? That remains to be seen. "When Jack dies, Miguel can’t even deal," Huertas says. "He’s just lost his best friend and that hope of their relationship being so successful because he’s been rooting for them all this time."
Maybe Miguel and Rebecca bond over the loss of Jack? Maybe Miguel feels he's Rebecca's closest tie to Jack and stepping in is the best shot at keeping their perfect love alive? Either way, the actor thinks fans will appreciate it. "I think people will relate to that and actually, hopefully, love Miguel in that way."
The hints at Season 2 may raise even more questions, but one thing is certain: This Is Us' sophomore season is already shaping up to bring its A-game.