Despite acknowledging that this season’s final, heart-tugging episode showed “the apparent dissolution or the apparent breakage of a marriage” between the parents of triplets (who had one heck of a blow-up fight in “Moonshadow”), Ventimiglia assured reporters on the red carpet of the finale screening Tuesday that “these are two people that love each other very much.”
He continued that his and Moore’s characters “got to a heated place where you need to step back. You need to step away and get a little perspective and then understand that you can hopefully right the wrongs.”
Moore, 32, added the Jack and Rebecca simply need to “figure out how to find our way back to each other.”
At which point Ventimiglia, 39, quipped to his costar: “I feel like you and I are in marriage counseling right now saying all this. That’s what you and I are going to be doing, marriage counseling over the break.”
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Later, in a panel discussion after the screening, Ventimiglia recalled an exchange he had with creator Dan Fogelman after reading the anxiety-inducing finale script, which features Jack making a series of decisions, including drinking while driving, gambling away all his savings and nearly committing armed robbery.
Ventimiglia recalled Fogelman predicting, “Milo, people are going to hate you.” The actor continued, “But he said, ‘I think there will be a redemptive moment in the end. I think there’s a way that people won’t hate and they’ll feel hopeful for Jack and Rebecca and moving forward.’ “
Which isn’t to say it will be all sunshine and rainbows in season 2. As This Is Us viewers know, divorce is the least of Jack Pearson’s problems — the cause and timing of his impending death are still hanging over his (and fans’) heads.
“There are all these big moments [in the season 1 finale] and, of course, for Jack and Rebecca the idea that they’re broken,” said Ventimiglia. As such, he wondered, “How do you fix that against the ticking clock which is Jack’s ultimate death?
This Is Us returns to NBC in the fall.