The season 2 finale of This Is Us left viewers hanging from several flash-forward cliffs, and one of those teased a future that will shed much-needed light on the past.
At the end of the NBC family drama’s Mar. 13 episode, Kevin (Justin Hartley) was seen with new girlfriend, Zoe (Melanie Liburd), jetting off to Vietnam, where Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) had served in wartime and lost his brother, Nicky. Kevin has been trying to make peace with the death of his father for years, and he took another step toward closure in the finale by leading the family through a group exhale at the wedding of Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan). Still, the Manny alum — who is starring in a Ron Howard-directed war movie — seems intent on learning more about his father’s overseas years and getting to the bottom of some that military mystery and trauma that Jack had secreted away from his family.
If you’re looking for Milo Ventimiglia to paint a picture of exactly what kind of revelations to expect, sorry; he’s opting to leave that canvas a shade of blank for now. However, he will tell you that intel will be coming on the earlier side of season 3, and he had an eye-opening (and mouth-opening) conversation with series creator Dan Fogelman about certain Jack revelations that will come to light in season 3. “I really don’t want to hint because I want people to be surprised,” Ventimiglia tells EW. “But what he laid out for me — I didn’t see it coming. I really didn’t see it coming. And I had a pretty good understanding of what it was going to be. As he was unfolding the story — and Isaac [Aptaker, This Is Us co-showunner] was there, and they were explaining everything — I went, ‘Oh. Holy s—. Holy s—. Holy s—!’ I kind of felt like Daryl walking out of the backroom card game with all the money, like, “This is going to be so good.” There is a lot to Jack’s history that shapes who he ultimately becomes.”
In other kinds of explorations of Jack’s past, the show will delve deeper into Jack’s relationship with Rebecca (Mandy Moore) during their courting phase. “I know that’s an area that Mandy and I have always enjoyed playing around with,” says Ventimiglia. “It would be fun to see the discovery of these two people and past that blow-back-your-hair, first moment of sight.”
You’ll still have to wait a while for any of those discoveries and holy s— moments, as season 3 of This Is Us doesn’t air until the fall.