Married couple Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), who are parents to three children and whose story is told in the past, aren’t actually together in the present day.
Instead, we see an older Rebecca -- Moore aged up with glasses and a conservative wardrobe, including the moon necklace Jack gifted her -- greeting Randall’s two young daughters in a surprise visit as “Grandma.”
The reveal was brief and quick, and it’s unclear where Jack is in 2016 or if he’s still alive at all. (This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told ET that it “is not established.”) Nevertheless, it raises big questions and even some possible theories.
Is Jack dead in the present day? If he is, did he die years earlier, prompting Rebecca to turn to his friend, Miguel? Even if Jack is still alive, did his drinking -- or something else -- propel Rebecca to separate from him? Are Miguel and Rebecca married in the present day?
Rebecca and Jack’s 1980s storyline was spent exploring a rocky time in their marriage, with Rebecca unhappy with Jack’s steady drinking and lack of parenting. A conversation between Jack and Miguel at a local bar foreshadowed what would prove to be true in the present day.
“Your wife is like the gold standard of wives. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, great personality, greater a**,” Miguel says. “She’s raising not one, not two, but three 8-year-olds while you sit here drinking not one, not two, but soon to be three bourbons by 5:05.”