Spoilers below for the Season 1 finale of This Is Us.
Few TV debuts in recent years have made the noise that NBC's This Is Us has, even if that noise has been sniffing, sobbing and nose-blowing, and the ratings juggernaut has made full use of its multi-timelines approach to tease out every single story and character element. Though last night's Season 1 finale didn't get down to the nitty gritty behind Jack's death - which appeared to get the internet all up in frustrated arms - it did deliver a big blow to the majesty of Jack and Rebecca. And when asked they were through, creator Dan Fogleman said this:
That's the big question --- and in some ways bigger than the question of 'how and when did Jack die?' I think by now, audiences have come to terms with the fact that Jack isn't alive in the present day (even if they don't like it). But perhaps the bigger question now is: What was the state of Jack and Rebecca's marriage when he passed away? I can't reveal where it's all going, but I can say this: Jack and Rebecca have --- their words --- a love story for the ages. That does not end with one fight. Now I'm not saying they make it all the way back, but I think it's safe to say that there is a journey ahead for them in the season to come.
I appreciate that Dan Fogelman has been quite honest about the fact that he and his writing squad fully underestimated just how hardcore the fanbase would embrace the hunt for details surrounding Jack's death. Because really, all of the other stories would be just as interesting even if Jack would still be alive and estranged in the present. It's been damned interesting to ponder what could drive Jack and Rebecca apart after seeing some of the best moments in their lives together throughout the season. But that finale completely ripped the blindfold off and gave viewers a vicious domestic argument that oozed venom from TV speakers with every word from Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore's mouths.
Jack and Rebecca's relationship was mirrored across the episode's timelines, with the past offering up a look at how Jack's life was quickly headed down the toilet until he was "saved," so to speak, by Rebecca's voice. And he later admits that he had a blind date set up that he flaked out on because of her, possibly implying that he was saved from a much less fulfilling existence with another woman/family. But that was in the distant past, before Rebecca became all too familiar with Jack's problems, and in the less distant past, Jack's drunken assault on Sam Trammel's musician Ben and his ugly dismissal of her music as a career went too far beyond her immediate range for forgiveness. She couldn't just save him then.
But she could send him away to try and save himself, although I don't know that moving in with Miguel is going to be the best way to do that, knowing where things go. Thankfully, Dan Fogleman also told Deadline that because there's still a hard journey ahead for Jack and Rebecca, this pro-o-obably won't be the last time they see each other. But it also doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be back within each other's arms in a renewal of vows anytime soon. And to throw everyone off even more, This Is Us actually ended with an emotionally upbeat scene, drowning in somberness as it was. Relive Jack's big "should have said all this before you screwed up her big concert gig, dumbass" speech below.
Will Jack and Rebecca still be together whenever he eventually dies? Or will their divide have gotten too wide to conquer by that point? Save your guesses, because we won't be finding out for quite a while. Like, longer than you might think.
Unfortunately, audiences will have to basically wait forever to get Jack, Rebecca, Randall, Kate and the rest back, as This Is Us Season 2 won't be back in our lives until next fall. In the meantime, here's everything we know about the upcoming season, and check out our midseason premiere schedule and summer premiere schedule to see what'll pop up on the small screen before then.