This is your first and last warning: If you missed the Sunday, February 4, episode of This Is Us, it was extremely emotional. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The post-Super Bowl extra-long episode of This Is Us answered every question, revealing that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) did run back into the house to rescue the dog and the family’s belongings and survived the fire. He later died from cardiac arrest at the hospital, after appearing completely OK to doctors and his wife, Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
Moore gave an Emmy-worthy performance that included the heart wrenching moment she was alerted at the vending machine that her husband had died. She entered his room, saw him lying on the bed and just kept saying his name before breaking down. The scene, one of the toughest to watch, was done in one take, Moore, 33, revealed — and she wasn’t aware that Ventimiglia was going to be in the bed. She thought he’d left the set. (Read our full recap here!)
“I had no idea, and apparently that was the first take that they used — when I see him, when I see his body. I didn’t know he was going to be there, so it was all the more jarring and upsetting and just indescribably sad,” she said in the behind-the-scenes video NBC shared on YouTube. “All of it felt so otherworldly to shoot … because we’ve built the lives of these characters together for two years … when it came down to really doing it, it was hard to let go.”
She also revealed that the death is that much more shocking and tough to take because it was “so ordinary.”
“I think people are so expecting his death and the circumstances around it to be so cinematic when in reality it’s so ordinary. Jack and Rebecca have this very ordinary conversation about blaming one another for forgetting batteries for the smoke detector and the last thing her husband says to her is, ‘You’re standing in front of the TV,’” she explained. “Like, there’s no impassioned speech about how much they mean to one another, it’s so ordinary and that makes it 100 times sadder that that’s their last exchange.”
Ventimiglia, 40, also revealed that he doesn’t believe Jack only went back in for the dog.
“I know a lot of people, particularly even Kate, really feel that Jack went back in for the dog. I think it was more than that,” the actor said. “This home, what this home represents to this family is much larger than just the space they inhabit. It’s the memories, it’s the things, the collected pieces, that Jack ultimately brings out of the house.”
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.