Mandy Moore on the post-game “This is Us” episode: ‘It affects us too’

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Warning: this post contains spoilers about Sunday’s episode of This is Us

Well, it’s over. For those of us who sat through an okay football game, a mediocre half time show and some pretty good commercials (with the exception of those stupid “Dilly Dilly” spots) to see the post-game episode of This is Us, we finally learned exactly how Jack died. And, as Mandy Moore warned us last week, it was a “soul crusher.” Of course, in a show with so many twists and turns, you know there’s got to be a swerve right? We learn in the episode that Jack survives the house fire, only to suffer cardiac arrest in the hospital due to excessive smoke inhalation. He might have lived, but he went back to save Kate’s dog and some family mementos. What a Dad.

Mandy discussed the episode on Monday morning’s TODAY Show. Of finally revealing the answer to the question we’ve all been wondering about for a season and a half, she said, “I think all of us are tremendously relieved.” She and Milo Ventimiglia knew of Jack’s fate since the beginning, but, as she said, “not all of the specifics around how he passes away”. She admitted “it’s nice to pop that bubble a little bit and now we can move forward with the show and answer more pressing questions as well.”

The actress went on to say that she and the cast watched the episode together at show creator Dan Fogelman’s house last week. After the screening, she recalled, “None of us could speak afterwards, we were sort of speechless. We were recounting some of our favorite parts of the episode and favorite lines, and we would all start crying. It affects us too.”

Milo talked about the viewing party as well, telling Entertainment Weekly, “It was heavy. But there was no one that wasn’t crying.” Even though it was “heavy,” Milo noted that the cause of his character’s death is “a question that I’m happy not to field anymore,” adding, “I am happy to have that in the rear-view. But it’s not the end of Jack. There is still so much to know about this guy.” Of the episode, he gave kudos to Fogelman, gushing:

He is never one to give us an obvious answer, but he’s also never one to make it so complicated that we can’t understand it or process it or accept it. His creation of these moments is so beautiful — they’re perfect. They really are perfect. It’s hard to say someone had a perfect death, but it really felt like a moment that was real, that you don’t see, that doesn’t carry this, “Yeah, okay, but…” I mean, his wife was eating a candy bar when she heard. [Laughs.] Who does that as a writer? Dan Fogelman does — and it’s heartbreaking and beautiful and it’s unique.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

When asked by Esquire if he got emotional about his character’s death, he said, “I get emotional over Rebecca and the kids. Crying for Jack would seem a bit ridiculous, because I exist as him and I wouldn’t cry for myself. But understanding the impact that Jack had on his family—that’s where I personally get the most emotional.”

While the cast got emotional about the episode, they couldn’t hold a candle to the show’s fans, who blew up twitter after the episode aired.

The episode was a ratings smash. Early Nielsen ratings indicate that it was the most-watched post-Super Bowl telecast in six years. The game itself was the lowest-rated in eight years. How did the Puppy Bowl do?

And if you think you can now put away the tissues, think again. Mandy told TODAY that tonight’s episode is going to be intense, asserting, “I dare say, it’s even more heartbreaking.” I don’t know if I can take it. I do know that Randall singing and dancing to the “Super Bowl Shuffle” in his “Caution: Hot Dad” apron made me so happy. Can he do that in every episode? Also, RIP, Mr. McGiggles. Gone too soon.

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NAACP Image Awards 2018 Arrivals

Mandy Moore back at work on the set of "This Is Us"

75th Golden Globe Awards

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39 Responses to “Mandy Moore on the post-game “This is Us” episode: ‘It affects us too’”

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  1. tifzlan says:

    I still don’t know what this show is about. All i know is people cry a lot when they watch it, which makes me interested to check out the hype but i’ve read every single spoiler post here, i’m not sure if i should even get on the bandwagon anymore!

    • Rosalee says:

      I watched it…I think I was more touched by old Randall in his grandpa sweater. A few of us discussed the episode and they were overwhelmed, I was confused by their reaction. I lost my parents years ago..mourned them. But the anniversary of their death doesn’t cause me to do anything in particular..I may pause when I remember..but I don’t throw superbowl parties or go sit by a tree. I loved my parents deeply. They were flawed, they had issues with my sexuality but they were also amazing. I was surprised by the characters’ lack of emotional growth, their inability to let go..I recognize we all mourn differently but 20 years mother would have came back to bannock slap me and say..enough.

      • Sherry says:

        I think it’s because of their age when they lost him and that it was so unexpected for all of them. Rebecca and Jack were still a relatively young and healthy couple. The kids were all in high school. Then, in a flash, the center of their family was gone.

        I lost both of my parents within months of each other (2001 and 2002). My mother was my best friend and I was able to hold her hand and tell her I love her while she passed. I was 15 minutes late to the hospital and was not able to be there for my father when he passed and it’s haunted me ever since. I don’t think I will ever get over it.

      • Arpeggi says:

        I think it really varies for each individuals, the cause of death can also be in play; it can be harder to cope when it happens suddenly than if the person had been sick for a long time.

        My dad died when I was 7 and my brother was 10; we reacted very differently at the time, but we’ve moved on. The way my mum reacted through all of it certainly helped us cope with the whole situation. I’ve never tried to do anything to commemorate it because, well, I can’t remember the exact date of his death anyway (it’s bad, I know).

        But it’s been really hard for my grandma: she lost her only child and we had moved to another continent when it happened, the past 25 years of her life has solely revolved around my father’s death. She’s starting to have memory loss and on Sunday, she forgot that dad was dead; I got a panicked phone call from my grandad and spent a good chunk of the morning trying to calm her and remind her that she knew about it, that grandad hadn’t hid that from her (she was understandably upset at him at first) or anything. So yeah, everyone is different. And however cheesy This Is Us can be, I have to admit I choked up a little Sunday night watching it, mostly because of how the day had started.

    • Pedro45 says:

      It’s honestly not that good. It’s trite and sappy and some decent acting can’t make up for bad writing. It doesn’t make me cry because I don’t believe any of the characters.

      There. I said it.

      • pollyv says:

        Amen to that.

      • RaRa says:

        Thank you for this! I’ve watched every episode because I’ve been interested to see where it’s going, but I haven’t cried once. The pop culture response to the show has left me feeling like maybe there’s something wrong with me for not falling apart. If you need a good cry, Parenthood is where it’s at.

  2. Léna says:

    A show people watch because they enjoy ugly crying. So true.

    And now, I am interesting to know how and when Rebecca and Miguel happened. Didn’t he loose his (ex?)-wife and kids in a car accident ?

    • Rachel says:

      They showed it earlier this season. They reconnected on Facebook-he found her and private messaged her and they started chatting. It was years after Jack died.

    • Bella bella says:

      It was 8 years after Jack had died and she tried Facebook for the first time. He found her on Facebook and they started chatting.

  3. Onerous says:


  4. smcollins says:

    I was a little worried about all the hype and build-up, but I thought it was beautifully done. Just raw & real. I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would, but that was probably because I was ready for it. I loved the twist at the end. I had a feeling he wasn’t going to Beth & Randall, but I wasn’t expecting that! And I’m so glad Deja is back, although I’m afraid to find out why.

    • elimaeby says:

      After Randall’s speech about them going to dinner once a week after work, I was shocked that I didn’t pick up on it. Every little detail in this show means something. I kicked myself a little. But I definitely choked up that she ended up in social work. Randall is far and away my favorite part of the show, so him the the Mr. Roger’s sweater broke me.

  5. Maya says:

    I feel like I’m the single person in the entire world who hates this show. I kept waiting for it to get better, but…nope.

  6. Nicole says:

    This show kills me. I figured he would die from smoke inhalation just because I used TJ volunteer at a fire station and it’s something I learned there. The way they did it though was ROUGH.
    Also that flash forward had me crying again because full circle

  7. minx says:

    As has been said here before, MM suffers in comparison to all the other good actors. I wish someone else played that character.

    • tracking says:

      I definitely thought that season 1, but have been impressed by her performance in season 2.

  8. LORENA says:

    Granted I am sensitive but I have never cried so much watching a tv show EVER! Jack’s death was so heartbreaking…..even though we knew what was coming. Such an amazing epsiode! I think I cried from beginning to end. I am not ready to watch tonight’s episode

    One of my favorite scenes was the one with adult Tess and old Randall that was so heartwarming

    • elimaeby says:

      That scene at the end had me crying more than Jack’s death, for some reason. Element of surprise, maybe?

  9. Shannon says:

    I definitely enjoy the show, but Sunday night’s episode was way overhyped. I mean, it’s been obvious for weeks now what happened to Jack. I was a little surprised because I didn’t realize someone could seem okay and *then* still die from smoke inhalation. But otherwise, it’s what I expected – except the end (which I loved!). The part where she found out and the part where she told the kids had me sniffling a bit. Sometimes I find the show too melodramatic, like a soap opera with better story lines, better acting and a bigger budget. But what the hell? I need my escape once in awhile, I’m not ashamed to ugly cry now and then and get into the spirit lol

    • me says:

      I think more emotions will come out tonight as we see the teen children deal with the death of Jack and the funeral…that’s when it’s going to get really deep. We didn’t see much of their reactions during the Super Bowl episode…it will come and will probably be the saddest episode yet.

      • Shannon says:

        I think you’re right, the aftermath is going to be harder. Tissues and ugly-cry face ready lol

  10. Unoriginal Commenter says:

    I stopped watching This Is Us after the first season. And I know most on this site aren’t big sports ball fans, but I had to react to the “okay game” assessment. OK? OK?! That game was incredible. My nails are bloodied from me biting them the entire time!

  11. Ozogirl says:

    I really wish it was the mother who had passed and not him. Milo is amazing, while Mandy or her character don’t do much for me.

  12. thedecorguru says:

    Someone (here maybe?) recently called this show “emotional p*rn” and I can’t help but think of this every time I watch. The last 2 episodes really fit this description. And the teaser for when the shows airs again at the end of Feb. show Jack’s time in the war? I don’t think I can do this anymore. I’m already sensitive as a mofo and don’t need help crying over life (good or bad).