'This Is Us' : Logan Shroyer on Final Kevin-Centric Trilogy Episode, 'Continuity' with Justin Hartley

"It's going to be very sad to say goodbye," Logan Shroyer tells PEOPLE about the countdown to the end of This Is Us

This Is Us
Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC (2)

As This Is Us nears the halfway point of its final season, each Pearson sibling will take the spotlight for the final time.

The first of the season 6 trilogy episodes — titled "The Guitar Man" and directed by Milo Ventimiglia — kicked off on Tuesday with No. 1 of the Big Three, portrayed by Logan Shroyer in the past and Justin Hartley in the present day.

Following the Taboo-filled Thanksgiving in the 1990s, a drunk Kevin goes to their family's beloved community pool, which has been closed and abandoned. Wallowing in self-pity and lying in the dirty deep end of the pool, the aspiring actor is still reeling from his infidelity on wife Sophie (Amanda Leighton) and continues to be in an existential crisis.

Meanwhile, in the present day, Kevin — a father of two, star of The Manny reboot and amateur guitarist — is coming off mom Rebecca (Mandy Moore)'s emotional cabin meeting, during which she urged her children to "take risks, make the big moves" and "not make their lives smaller" because of her onset Alzheimer's. On a mission to live by Rebecca's words, Kevin returns to the cabin — this time with his twins after flying alone with them — to check up on the construction of late father Jack's (Ventimiglia) dream home, which is being supervised by Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) and Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne). The pair hired former soldiers, who built schools in war zones, to help create the Pearson compound.

Then, following the trio's happy dinner with her son Matty and Nicky's girlfriend Edie, Cassidy went on a night drive but fell asleep at the wheel, crashed into a pole and was hospitalized for a broken clavicle and arm. Cassidy, a veteran who previously met Kevin and Vietnam vet Nicky at an AA meeting, has been having trouble sleeping since her days as a soldier and trying to deal with PTSD on her own in secret. An illuminating conversation with Nicky about veterans' mental health and acclimating to post-war life propelled Kevin to use his uncle's advice and be there for Cassidy as a better friend and supporter. After Cassidy confided in him about her struggles, Kevin discovered an idea to start a company, called Big Three Homes, and use his money to help other veterans by providing job opportunities.

Below, Shroyer tells PEOPLE about portraying his character in the show's final trilogy episodes and if he thinks Kevin would've made his late father Jack proud.

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PEOPLE: How was working with Milo Ventimiglia as the director for the final time in the series?

LOGAN SHROYER: Amazing, it was amazing. We've had a lot of conversations about it, actually, because my first big scene on the show was the scene with Milo and me in the hospital [post-surgery after Kevin shatters his knee in season 2]. That was just a really special moment. This could be, I think who knows, it's at least one of the last really big scenes that I'll do on the show. It could be the last big scene I do on the show, and having Milo direct that was great. He's so collaborative and we had a great time. I just loved it.

For the rest of the trilogy, how was working with directors Justin Hartley, and Mandy Moore, who was behind the camera for the first time?

Also phenomenal. I haven't worked with Justin closely for the past six years. Obviously, I've known him, but our cast is just a great time. It's just very comfortable when we get our work done, but it's just a blast. Honestly, Justin is hilarious and he was phenomenal as a director. It was great.

The community pool has always been a central place for the Pearson family. Why was it important for Kevin to go back? Why is the pool such an important place for the Big Three?

The pool, for Kevin, was the last memories when the family was really operating the way that it did, in a good way. The pool represents childhood when Jack was still around. It was just so much simpler then. It represented a time when everything was in front of Kevin and he was about to say goodbye to it.

It was so perfect to be able to do this trilogy at the pool because we shot most of that stuff in two full night shoots. It was just like a party. We were in tight-knit quarters the whole time, doing our individual big scenes. Niles [Fitch], Hannah [Zeile], and I each had our scenes. It was just really cool to watch really good acting, and see how each of us has grown over the years. We're there with each other the whole way through. When I did my whole big scene, Niles and Hannah are right there the whole time. Milo and Mandy really take care of our crew. They ordered a beignet truck for us during a night shoot, everybody was just shoveling down beignets in between takes. It was such a great memory to have.

This Is Us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

As we see in the present, Kevin becomes a great single parent to his twins. Do you think his late father Jack would be proud of him?

Kevin's had a rough go at it so you would think it would be great if he was able to achieve more at that point. Obviously, that is a big deal. His dad would be proud, in a sense of just the feat of taking care of the twins. Jack would be proud of Kevin stepping up in that fatherly way, taking a leadership role and handling that responsibility.

Did you and Justin have conversations about your character throughout the six seasons?

I had some conversations with Justin early on. It was mostly just about who Kevin was and what he was dealing with. But honestly, no, I think the continuity is a testament to the writing, hair and makeup teams. There are all kinds of little tricks and stuff that I don't know if people are zooming in and looking, but there are all kinds of things that help that go through. Niles, Hannah and I have done our due diligence on mannerisms, as well. We talk and hang out, but it isn't often crunch sessions on Kevin's motivations and all that kind of stuff.

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Ron Batzdorff/NBC

What are those tricks that you were referring to?

I wear brown contacts because Justin has brown eyes. Also, I have a lot of little freckly, mark things on my face. They'll cover those up. Justin has a pronounced one that they'll add on me. They even contour my nose to be slightly skinnier to match Justin's. All the details stack up.

Are you prepared to say goodbye to Kevin?

My experience on the show has been amazing. I started working on the show when I was 17. I turned 23 a few days ago. That's a big journey in life. I was able to really grow on this show and it was a place for me to see incredible work being done, to learn from it and mimic it. I have so many good memories.

When people watch the show, they're probably mostly thinking about the characters, what's going on. I can't help but think about what we did that day. I think about the beignet truck and all of the jokes. It's going to be very sad to say goodbye. All the people will still be in your life, but not in the same capacity. We're not all on that team, doing the same thing anymore so it's sad. I am very glad, though, that we feel confident in the ending, and we're doing it definitively. I'm glad that there's a beginning, middle and end to this story.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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