Mandy Moore on This is Us’ post-Super Bowl episode: it’s ‘a soul crusher’

The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

I’m pretty sure I will never write a post about This is Us where one of the actors/writers/directors assures us that the next episode will be “a light-hearted romp that will leave you with a song in your heart, a spring in your step and a smile on your face,” so, as I seem to do on a regular basis, I will remind you that you have been sufficiently warned about the series’ post-Super Bowl episode.

The coveted time slot has been used by the networks to debut new shows, both memorable (Homicide: Life on the Street premiered after the game in 1993 and The Wonder Years aired its pilot episode in 1988) and forgotten (1994’s The Good Life, starring Drew Carey and Extreme, starring James Brolin and Julie Bowen in 1995). That same slot has been home to blockbuster episodes of Friends, The X-Files, The Simpsons and the Prince episode of New Girl (one of my faves). So, obviously, NBC is taking the opportunity to make us (maybe just me) more miserable after a game I don’t want anyone to win and give some additional love to one of its most popular shows.

Of course, Sunday’s episode is the second part of the sad tale of the loss of Pearson family patriarch Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). Judging by recent interviews with the cast and crew, it ain’t gonna end well. For example, Mandy Moore told US Weekly “I don’t know if people are going to be ready for the next episode. I’m not. I haven’t seen it yet.” She didn’t have to see the finished product to know this, as she put it, “I mean, I filmed it and it was really hard on every level. I think it’s…I think it’s gonna be a good soul-crusher.”

How can anything “soul crushing” be good? Mandy explains, “Everything will be answered. We’re leaving nothing on the table. Everyone will know everything.” She went on to say that despite the heavy content, she was excited to see the show’s storyline progress past this tragedy, noting it will “sort of relieve a little bit of pressure.” She assumed that once Jack has been laid to rest, “we’ll be able to get back to telling the story of this family, and I think it’ll make things that much more bittersweet moving forward too.”

Mandy’s words echoed those we’ve already heard from show creator Dan Fogelman, who said this episode will be “thrilling and brutally heartbreaking and sad”, but also “surprising and rewarding.” Milo put it bluntly, saying “It’s going to be f—ing painful.”

And, hey, let’s hear what the wonderful Sterling K. Brown has to say on the matter. In my opinion, the show’s best Dad (and purveyor of terrible Dad jokes), told Entertainment Weekly, that the episode, written by Fogelman, may be the scribe’s “best hour of television.” He exudes, “It is cinematic, it’s epic in scope. He is able to take the mundane and turn it into a superhero movie.” Say what you will, but Sterling is psyched, adding, “Each one of us, once we read it we were like, ‘Did you read this yet? Yeah. It’s off the chain! We were giddy.”

Of course, let’s not forget that the Grim Reaper is making an unwanted cameo here. Sterling admits, “It’s sad. It’s intense. I’m telling you, it’s intense. But it’s beautiful. It will give you the payoff after this much anticipation of ‘How does he die?’ I think you will be satisfied with the culmination — and then also how the story moves on.” I kind of can’t wait to move on, but first, ugly crying time.

Big Three Homes. Pittsburgh, PA. MV

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Randall has Manny friends. Ahhhahaha get it? OKAY COOL. 😑 #ThisIsUs

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29 Responses to “Mandy Moore on This is Us’ post-Super Bowl episode: it’s ‘a soul crusher’”

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  1. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I want to watch this show because apparently it’s really really good, but damn. Why do I want to walk into ugly cries? Soul crushing? I’m just not a fan of so much emotion lol.

    • smcollins says:

      I hear you, but it’s not as horrible as it sounds. I look at it like it allows you the opportunity to let go of your emotions and just have a good cry. Not every episode is like that (most, but not all), and there are lots of funny, heartfelt moments sprinkled in too. I had my reservations, too, so I understand your hesitation to make the investment.

    • Originaltessa says:

      You’ll cry… a lot. But it’s so worth it. It’s not just sap, there’s real substance, and I love it.

  2. smcollins says:

    I’ve got my case of tissues on stand by and my sister (a certified guidance counselor) on speed dial. I’m ready for my soul to be crushed and to be ugly crying my face off.

  3. JoJo says:

    And of course, I’m guessing Kate’s dog dies in the fire also. Hence, all of the attention paid to her relationship with the dog in the last few episodes and why she didn’t want to get a dog with Toby. I hate when dogs die.

    • LookyLoo says:

      My take was that they all initially got out, with the exception of the dog, so she asked her dad to go back in and get it. That’s why she says it’s her fault her dad died.

      • elimaeby says:

        I think you’re right, LookyLoo. If I thought the dog died, I couldn’t bear to watch the episode, though, to be honest.

      • Kterr says:

        I bet everyones get out and then he dies in some random way like a car wreck to the hospital

      • Ozogirl says:

        I think that’s what will happen too!

      • imqrious2 says:

        That’s been my take, too.

        I did my Costco run for a 12 count packet of Kleenex boxes lol. I’m ready! 😭.🤧 😭
        LOVE this show!

    • tracking says:

      I thought so too, but someone on another thread said the dog was present in the flashback scene when they were all at Miguel’s and Kate said she needed to tell Kevin the news.

      • me says:

        Did you notice at Jack’s funeral (they showed a quick scene months ago), Kevin’s leg has healed? The day of the fire he is still walking on crutches. Makes me think Jack dies way after the fire happens.

      • tracking says:

        Ooh, good catch.

  4. burnsie says:

    So is Jack off the show now? Or will he still be around in the flashback timeline?

  5. Bridget says:

    Nothing says “watch this show” like the promise that it’ll be soul crushing.

    • Mia4s says:

      This has been my thing. Everyone who tells me I should watch it is like “OMG! I cried for three hours after it finished!” “I sobbed so hard I couldn’t breath!”

      LOL! Ummmm…no thanks? 😁

      To each there own but I’m out here dealing with real pain and problems every day at my job. I’m sure it’s very good but this sounds grossly unappealing to me.

      • Originaltessa says:

        My life is a living nightmare most days. I’ve had 4 deaths in my immediate family in the last 6 months. Sometimes I get bottled up and I can’t seem to process my grief. For some reason watching this show helps me identify what hurts, and lets me cry a little bit. It’s crazy, and I know I sound crazy, but it’s very therapeutic. But I think you’d have to be open to that experience. Otherwise I feel like it could be just agony.

  6. pollyv says:

    I find this show to be melodramatic, manipulative and so far from the “real people” the cast all claim the show portrays. I do watch it but I snark through the whole thing.

  7. Cinderella says:

    Damn, I barely made it through the last episode with that little dog Audio.

    Every time I watch this show, I have to follow it up with some comedy like “Teachers”, otherwise, the day is shot.

  8. Michelle says:

    I am so over this show. I watched the first season and during the summer they bombarded the airways about it that it totally turned me off. Besides, I am about to be an empty-nester. I have enough to cry about right there, I don’t need some show to add on to it. Give me ‘Young Sheldon’ or ‘Black-ish’ anytime!

  9. Shannon says:

    I’m so on the fence with this show. I’ve been snowed in and therefore bingewatching it, and I’m half-moved and half-snark. Mandy Moore’s character kind of gets on my nerves; honestly, all of the flashbacks are … cute, but I’m more invested in the kids in the present time. Jack’s great but needs to wash his hair, and Sterling K. Brown omgomgomg I keep watching just for him basically LOL

  10. Judith Butler says:

    For me, the iconic post-Super Bowl TV will always be the bomb episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I can’t help but think of the Super Bowl even when I watch re-runs and Code Black comes on!

  11. hogtowngooner says:

    I think the show’s a bit saccharine sometimes (but I’m a pretty cynical person in general lol) but there are some really human moments in it that you can’t help but connect to. Jack, Randall and Toby are outstanding, but I find Kevin actually really whiny and annoying. I lost my dad very suddenly when I was 16 years old, so I’m not sure I’m ready for this next episode.

  12. anna says:

    So it will be an extra cheesy episode. get your lactaid ready