This Is Us Answered A Big Miguel Question, But What Does That Mean For Rebecca?

Jon Huertas as Miguel Rivas on This Is Us.
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoiler alert! This story contains major spoilers for This Is Us’ Season 6 episode “Miguel.”

After multiple weeks focused on and around Kate marrying her second husband Phillip, the latest episode of This Is Us shined the spotlight on another second husband, and one who has been silently integral to the Pearson family for the whole of the series: Miguel Rivas. The episode, appropriately titled “Miguel,” solved the mystery of Rebecca’s husband’s whereabouts when the family was gathering around her deathbed, and unfortunately it was the answer we were all afraid of: Miguel had already passed away. Even with just three episodes remaining, the questions being answered still lead to more questions, and “Miguel” left us with a pretty big one about Rebecca.

So now we know where Miguel is, but what’s less clear is when Miguel actually died. At the end of the episode we see Randall, Kate and Amber (Miguel’s daughter) scattering some of his ashes under the tree he and Rebecca planted at their house. We also see Kevin and Miguel’s son Andy doing the same on the baseball field in Puerto Rico where Miguel played as a child. Rebecca’s absence for this sad moment led THR to ask Jon Huertas if there were possibly two people’s ashes being scattered in those scenes. The actor gave an intriguing response: 

We’re supposed to wonder where Rebecca is, for sure. If you noticed in the episode, she was already at the point where she couldn’t be left alone for a second without Miguel. She’s at that place where she absolutely has to have Miguel near her, around her at every turn and every second. And so I think we should wonder, where is Rebecca? How soon was the decline after he was gone? We know from reading and seeing when people lose their loved ones at a certain age, they can go rapidly and follow them. Sometimes people die together or hours apart.

Is it possible that the scenes we witnessed in the latest episode — with Miguel arm in arm with Rebecca in one frame of the montage and then gone in the next, presumably from heart failure — were happening in the future timeline (circa 2034) that we’ve been leading up to? Were Rebecca’s ashes being spread beneath the tree as well? How much longer was Rebecca able to survive after she lost the most consistent presence in her life?

“Miguel” gave viewers not only more context to his life and upbringing, but also showed just how far he was willing to go — or rather how far he insisted on going — for his wife. Inspired by his mother, who served as her sister’s caretaker for decades after she suffered a stroke in her 20s, Miguel seemed to live by the words she said to him about it being a thankless job: “There is no thankless. Love is giving your heart without expectation.”

Many This Is Us fans were skeptical about Miguel after he married Rebecca following Jack’s death, but hopefully this episode gave them the context they needed to finally see the beauty in their relationship.

We’re in the final stretch now. Just three episodes remain in This Is Us’ final chapter, and whatever Dan Fogelman has in store for us is definitely going to pack an emotional punch, given the extreme reactions the cast had to reading the script. The NBC drama returns at 9 p.m. ET next Thursday, May 10. Lots of shows are wrapping up their seasons, so check out our spring finale schedule to make sure you’re not missing anything, and also take a look at our 2022 TV schedule to see what premieres are coming soon.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.