Over six seasons, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has sprinkled details to expand the saga of the Pearson family. All of the mysteries he’s introduced by jumping back and forth across different timelines are starting to come together to form a complete narrative, allowing the fans and the actors alike to step back and see the finished product. When Milo Ventimiglia looks back at Jack Pearson’s story, he recently revealed he has one regret, and it’s one that definitely tugs at the heartstrings.
Milo Ventimiglia plays Pearson patriarch Jack on the hit NBC drama, and because Jack died after saving his family from a house fire when the Big Three were teenagers, the character (for the most part) is only featured in flashbacks. With the end of the series upon us, more and more of the plot is occurring in the current and future timelines, giving Ventimiglia a pretty comprehensive picture of his character’s life. Speaking at PaleyFest (via Insider), the actor admitted that there’s one pretty big regret he has about Jack’s life:
Nicky Pearson’s existence was a shock to everyone — even the Pearsons — when he was revealed to be alive in Season 3. Jack had told Rebecca that Nicky died serving in the Vietnam War, but the truth was that Jack cut all ties with his brother after the death of a young Vietnamese boy. A grenade had gone off in the boat where Nicky and the boy were fishing, and Jack refused to believe the death was an accident.
It’s a hard truth to come to terms with, now that we see how close Nicky is with the rest of the family. Kevin even named one of his twins after him. Jack’s penchant for always protecting Nicky from their abusive father also played a big role in why Jack wanted Kevin and Randall to be close. But it was important to the plot and the nonlinear storytelling that there was never any closure between the brothers, because otherwise it wouldn’t have made sense that Rebecca didn’t know Nicky was alive.
I can see how that plot would be a tough one for Milo Ventimiglia to swallow, and it was particularly awkward in the recent episode when Jack and Nicky’s mother died, but Nicky was nowhere to be seen.
I think the end justifies the means, though, because Griffin Dunne (who plays current/future Nicky) has been a hilarious addition to the cast since being upgraded to a series regular in Season 4. It doesn’t make up for the fact that Jack is dead, or that he died not knowing the truth about Nicky, but one Pearson brother is better than no Pearson brothers, right?
This Is Us is officially on the back end of its final season, so be sure to tune in at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesdays on NBC, and also check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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