Mandy Moore, Jon Huertas on their characters' trajectory in the final season of 'This Is Us': 'it's heartbreaking'

Mandy Moore attends NBC's "This Is Us" Pancakes with the Pearsons at 1 Hotel West Hollywood on August 10, 2019 in West Hollywood, California
Photo credit Getty Images

“This Is Us” has become something of an anomaly in modern network television.

It’s a massive hit that is neither a reality competition show or a cop/doctor-related drama.

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It’s a soberly told ensemble drama of genuine everyday humanity that caught the hearts of viewers right from the start. The kind of show where you feel like these TV characters are your friends.

So it stands to reason that fans were extremely sorry to hear that it will end after its upcoming sixth season. And like any long-running drama, there are inevitably going to be plot threads left untied.

As Entertainment Weekly recently noted, one storyline that really has fans in knots is how and why did Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack's best bud, Miguel (Jon Huertas), part ways after Jack died, before later reuniting and marrying?

While actors of course never want to give anything away, Huertas and Moore were able to hint a few things to EW.

“What I can tease is that the chemistry that Mandy and I have,” Huertas said, “we'll see that same chemistry with Miguel and her. I think the audience will understand how something as profound as a relationship between a best friend and his best friend's widow could even happen. And the way that the writers have gone about it, it's so beautiful. We take our time, and it's just beautifully told."

Taking time is another quality of the NBC hit that viewers appreciate. In a climate filled with severe political divisiveness in life and often crazed CGI action across the entertainment spectrum, “This Is Us” has offered a more reflective, emotional respite.

"It's one of the saddest moments that I've felt as a character, as an actor, and even as an audience member and a fan of the show, too,” said Huertas. "This moment was so tough, so sad, that I think [it] will really help propel people into having their minds open to, 'Oh my God. We kind of want these two together.' As weird as it was in season 1, episode 2 to see these two together, this moment, I think, will make people go, 'They should be together.'"

As any solid television drama does, the finale may not be what’s expected. "There's a surprise," Huertas adds. "It surprises all of the other characters as well.”

Like the show’s fans, Moore is pretty sad about the series demise too. After all, it’s a role that won her an Emmy for her portrayal of Rebecca. But her character’s fight against early onset dementia means she knows that the audience knows where this may be going.

"We know the inevitable road that this is going down, and I am just cherishing every moment," says Moore. "It’s starting to feel more and more real. We're not quite at the halfway point [of filming season 6], but just about there. Every little word in the script is triggering to me, because there's just a lot of reflection. While Rebecca reflecting back on her life, it's coinciding with me reflecting back on my experience with this show and everything's taken to reach this point. So it's like this dual sense of grieving, of impending loss…. And you'll see how [the relationship] unfolds. But it's heartbreaking and so true to life."

The first episode of the last season of “This Is Us" airs on January 4 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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