“Personally for me, I think Mandy has been underrated with what she’s doing on the show. This season is her basically stepping up and announcing, ‘I’m not playing right now,’” he said, before referencing her breakdown as an example. “That seems like a very simple thing -- to explode in raw, powerful grief in a wide shot -- but it’s not an easy thing to do. To me, it’s stunning.”
When it comes to unraveling the story behind Jack’s secret battle with his alcoholism, which, as it’s revealed in the premiere, is far more serious than previously thought, next week’s episode will begin to explore why and how things got so bad for the Pearson patriarch.
“The next episode picks up literally with Jack having gotten into the car with Rebecca to go home and we explore this through Jack’s drinking in different timelines -- including mustache Milo, when we didn’t think he had a drinking problem [and] what he was battling,” Fogelman said. “If you remember, in the second episode of our series, Rebecca sat him down and said the drinking needs to stop. We’re going to explore what happened after that time period, what happened in this time period. It’s going to be very much about the underbelly of this guy, who still is the fantastic, most perfect husband in the world. [But] like all of us, [he] has his demons and that’s very much what his story is this year.”
Fogelman assures that there is “a plan” in place when it comes to how regularly clues to the story of Jack’s death and that fateful day will be parceled out.