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Susan Kelechi Watson: Seeing Old Jack on ‘This Is Us’ Finale ‘Pulled At My Heart Strings’

Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth old jack milo
This is Us Ron Batzdorff/NBC; NBC

No surprise here: The season 2 finale of This Is Us may be a doozy. The promos revealed that the Tuesday, March 13, finale will feature Kate and Toby’s wedding and a glimpse of Jack as an old man in his seventies. Since Jack (played by Milo Ventimiglia) died when the kids were teenagers, it was interesting for the cast when they saw Ventimiglia wearing the old-man prosthetics and makeup.

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“It was really, really cool to see him as an older Jack,” Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Beth Pearson on the NBC drama and is currently partnering with HomeGoods, tells Us Weekly exclusively. For her, she says, it brings up very specific questions: “What would the possibility have been if he had lived? Him and Beth, what would their relationship be? You know, how close would they be?”

“It tugs at my own heart strings because when I watch the show, I’m so invested in Jack. His character is one of my favorites. And so it really pulled at my heart strings to see him older,” she continues. “It just reminds you of how unfair things can happen in life, take somebody away before their time. What would it have been like if that person actually had lived and had the fullness of their life? So I really feel like it’s going to be, seeing him in that way, it’s really going to be very heartwarming, but also it might bring some tears and I know for me … and I’m not a big crier, but it really was very emotional.”

The finale will also dive further into Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s family dynamic with Deja. During the last episode, Deja’s birth mother leaves her at the Pearson house.

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“It’s not easy knowing that her mom wants to give up custody, like, ‘What do we do now? … And how do we tell Deja? Are we able to adopt [her]? Is this a situation where she might have to end up back, you know, in state custody and those types of things?’ The challenge continues,” Watson says. “The investment has been really hard but they are also trying to keep their family together. You could see the effect that it’s had on Tess and on things between them, which we saw in the Vegas episode. So it’s a tightrope, but we’re invested in everybody being OK and getting the best home environment that they can.”

Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth old jack milo
This is Us Ron Batzdorff/NBC

As for the future, season 3 will reportedly be focusing more on Beth and Randall’s relationship, something Watson is hopeful about. “I would love to see their engagement period, that’s sort of my dream to see. But I don’t know that we’ll see how they met. We’ve already seen Randall in the future, so that’s interesting. I think there could be something interesting in the future with them,” she explains.

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The finale of This Is Us airs on Tuesday, March 13, at 9 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Emily Marcus

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