6. You will learn to love Miguel.
Eventually! The revelation that after Jack’s death Rebeccca ends up married to his best friend did not endear Miguel to most fans, but Fogelman is confident that’ll change—just as the Pearson kids are gradually warming towards him. “He’s a really likeable actor, which is the greatest thing we have, because we’ve put him in an uncomfortable situation. You’re gonna grow to like him more and more.”
In future seasons, which have already been mapped out in some detail, Miguel’s role gets bigger and bigger. “For people who started out not liking Miguel, I think we can get him to be a beloved character you’re rooting for,” Fogelman continued—but said that, like adapting to a stepfather in a real family, the adjustment will take some time. Hmmm. We’ll see.
7. Kevin’s movie has a very famous co-star
Sylvester Stallone will play Kevin’s co-lead in the Ron Howard movie he was offered, back in season one’s finale. Apparently Milo Ventimiglia, who co-starred with Stallone in Rocky Balboa, made this gloriously weird guest spot happen.
8. Kate’s main focus will no longer be her weight, but her career.
Where season one focused heavily on Kevin’s struggle to overhaul his acting career, his twin sister Kate will get the same focus in season two as she pursues her musical dreams. “Being a late-thirties unconventional woman in L.A. is hard enough,” Chrissy Metz told ELLE.com about her character’s upcoming arc, “and then to pursue music is like, ‘What?’ It’s not gonna be rainbows and unicorns.”
Following the revelation that Kate feels responsible for Jack’s death, Metz said she will continue working through that mysterious trauma. “That was so much of why she became the woman she did—her issues surrounding weight, and filling the void with something else, and feeling guilty for the death of her father,” she said. “Now she’s going to therapy, the weight loss immersion camp, she’s discovering that maybe it’s not all her fault, and she can’t completely just clear that burden on her own. She has to figure out what drives her, and work through this pain and loss of her father.”
9. Season two shows the darker side of Jack.
While there’s no question that Jack Pearson is one of the greatest TV dads of all time, he was depicted as a little too perfect through the early days of the show. Towards the end of last season, we saw the cracks—specifically, how close Jack came to becoming a petty criminal—and season two will dig even deeper into that. “We’ve painted the perfect picture of this man, this dad, this husband,” Fogelman said—and that will be challenged.
As for the impact his death continues to have on his children in the future, “there’s a lot of healing to be done.” And yes, Fogelman does sometimes regret the decision to have Jack be dead in the present day, given the popularity of Ventimiglia in the role—but thanks to its dual-timeline structure, nobody’s ever really dead on This Is Us. “Somebody dying on the show really doesn’t affect things,” Fogelman pointed out. For example, Ron Cephas Jones, who plays Randall’s father, will be back for the odd appearance despite his death late in season one.
In other words, we probably never have to really say goodbye to Jack. Let’s all just focus on that.
This Is Us season two will premiere on September 26 on NBC.