This post contains spoilers from this week This is us. Proceed accordingly.
Although Nicky’s first reunion with Sally and Déja sexual experience with Malik – not to mention the fast-forward scene – was the headline, Tuesday This is us also tells the story of how Rebecca began to account for the progression of her Alzheimer’s disease. (Read a full summary.)
“Sometimes I think about my last memory before the candle goes out,” Rebecca tells Miguel, Nicky, Sally, and Sally’s husband (!) Eric, thinking about being sick makes it easy to roll with little annoyances in life… but that hasn’t been proven true so far.
TVLine talks to executive producer Kay Oyegun, who directed the episode and co-executive producer Kevin Falls, who wrote it, about Rebecca’s path as This is us getting closer to the matrilineal (and the show’s) final end.
TVLINE | We’re in this weird grace period where Rebecca knows things are starting to go downhill a little and she’s very conscious of what lies ahead. How do you handle that delicate spot for the character? How much discussion has there been about how far to go with her decline, and when?
KAY OYEGUN | Kevin, I’ll let you talk to text, but to us in [writers’] room, we had many experts come to talk to us. We had doctors guide us through the procedure and the process. We know what the endgame is like, as well as the age and time frame that Rebecca finally got through, and so we know that there will be a long period of decline like this. We just want to calibrate it properly and tweak it.
And Mandy [Moore], God bless her, did an incredible amount of work on arranging this character and the process. For me, from a director’s point of view, it’s really a kind of patience with her. It really just allows a brilliant actress to play a character she knows so well. Honestly, it’s weird to be honest, but just leave the camera there, give her time.
I think you’ll find the season to be a very patient season, especially when it comes to Mandy’s performance, just because we always play with honesty. But yes, research is part of it. All of our scripts were re-read by the doctors, and I’ll let Kevin, who wrote such a beautifully grown-up episode, take over.
KEVIN FALLS | Yes, Kay nailed it. All experts come, Dan [Fogelman, series creator/executive producer] always impresses us that we have to do the right thing, whether it’s Vietnam or Alzheimer’s. We also know that throughout the season, we wanted to see her from the start, in the middle, in her flustered state. And it’s interesting, Kay, now, because we’re in the room and actually go in and see the scenarios where we start to see the decline, and she’s struggling with memory, which is important. important: that we couldn’t just have the TV Version but it was momentary, and she was aware of that, and didn’t really feel the consequences…
So we wanted to make it happen, too, and not only how it impacted her, how it impacted the family… We tried to make it happen, and we did. there is still a way to continue, but it is very difficult. It’s tough, isn’t it, Kay? This is not interesting.
OYEGUN | That is a difficult thing. I think that’s why we wanted to – it’s a weird thing to say, but – to adjust the speed ourselves. As an opportunity to really hold onto these memories and look back, we wanted to be able to play with that a lot. This episode is about love, second chances, and second romance, and nostalgia for first love. We definitely want that to be where her memory space lives. She still has those, and we want to explore those.
TVLINE | I know that people have been asking to learn more about Rebecca and Miguel’s flirty relationship, and we definitely have some of that in this episode. Is there more of that being rolled out this season?
FALL | Timely question. Go, Kay.
OYEGUN | One million percent, so much more… There will be more.
FALL | Actually, we are working on today.
OYEGUN | Literally.
TVLINE | I was so moved by the moment Rebecca said Miguel had a challenge ahead of him, and he said he was going to be “great” for her – that’s a great sentiment, and I’m sure he That’s what he meant, but it’s actually a lot harder. Can you tell me a little bit about the struggle ahead for Miguel, who is one of the most easygoing characters previously on the show?
FALL | Yes, and that easy Miguel, [the one for whom] everything seems to be pulling him back, whether it’s Kevin gobbling up and thinking he might be a snake to take Jack’s wife, and all the things that he turns his back on for the greater good. , that’s Rebecca’s happiness, and that of her family, and that’s what we’ll also explore. But we will also suffer losses, and heroic gestures to support your loved one, whether it’s your mother, your father, your spouse, or significant other. .
So we’re going to see that, and he’s got to work it out, and then slowly won’t get as much of the grudging respect that’s come from The Big Three for so long. He’s the kind of unsung hero. I wouldn’t say he suffered. He doesn’t let anyone see that. But there’s something profound about Miguel that we’re learning that also affects how he supports his wife through this difficult time.
TVLINE | During that dinner scene, whose idea was it for Nicky and Miguel to swap out additional hair on the table? I love it. Has it been scripted?
FALL | [Laughs] That’s the script. Dan does every script well and we’ll always be grateful for that, because he’s just so amazing. The hair thing, he put it in there, and I think it’s really funny, and it’s still in there. I was wrong when I actually said we could lift it, because we had a long run and it didn’t go well. [Laughs] It’s still in, so I’m glad you liked it.
https://tvline.com/2022/01/11/this-is-us-season-6-episode-2-rebecca-miguel-romance-alzheimers-realistic/ ‘This Is Us’ Season 6, Episode 2 – Rebecca and Miguel Courtship