“This Is Us” fans got a major clue about Jack Pearson's death during Tuesday’s Season 2 premiere, but Milo Ventimiglia — who plays the family patriarch — doesn’t think giving fans the answers they’ve been waiting for will make them any less intrigued for future episodes.
“I’m not nervous at all that people will lose interest when they learn how Jack died,” Ventimiglia told TODAY at the “This Is Us” premiere screening Tuesday evening. “There is still so much to learn about this family. Even beyond the death, there’s so much left to know about these people. I don’t think Jack’s death is the end of it.”
Mandy Moore, who plays Jack’s wife Rebecca, echoed Ventimiglia’s sentiments following a screening of the episode, stating that fans still have a lot to learn about Jack’s death.
“We don't know the full story, we'll say that. That's not the full story; that's just a piece of the puzzle,” she said.
Show creator Dan Fogelman told screening attendees that the episode’s emotional final scene — which many of the cast members watched for the first time along with the audience on Tuesday — is full of hints of what’s to come this season.
“You’re seeing a lot of little pieces that will all come into play,” Fogelman said. “You’re seeing a lot of things that are going to reveal themselves over the course of the season.
"All the answers about how Jack died ... it's all going to happen this season, but it’s going to happen over the course of the season," he added.
Fans may have thought that they finally got through an episode of the tear-jerking show without having to bust out their tissues — until the last five minutes revealed important details about the day Jack died. Until that point, the episode had centered on Randall and Beth contemplating adopting a child, and Kate trying to launch her singing career. The final scene left fans with plenty of questions, and possibly a pile of soggy tissues in front of them.
Ventimiglia warned that this won’t be the only episode of the season that will bring the waterworks.
“People are going to be crying this season,” he said. “It will be unrelenting. I would say it's more emotional this season than even last season was, but that’s only because you’re invested in these people now. The audience is going to feel a lot more because of the connection they have to the Pearsons now.”
While things are going to get emotional during Season 2, fans can expect plenty of lighter moments too. Jon Huertas, who plays Jack's best friend (and Rebecca’s husband in the present-day scenes), told TODAY that Season 2 will hopefully make the audience see his character in a new light.
“Even after Jack has died, people will see Miguel stepping in to help the family, and people will understand that there was nothing nefarious between Rebecca and Miguel,” he said. “We came up with a plan that … kind of creates some separation between Jack's death and the spark that happens between Rebecca and Miguel.”
We can also expect the upcoming episodes to bring a lot of growth for many of the characters.
“Justin Hartley’s character, Kevin, is really going to surprise people this season,” Ventimiglia said. “His character is successful and beautiful and it's sometimes been hard for people to feel sympathy for him. You kind of want to hate him. But this season, we’re really going to see his demons and struggles, and we’re going to see how he overcomes that.
“I’m really excited for people to see the journeys that these characters are going to go on this season,” he added. “I think people can expect a lot of surprises.”