Ever since the start of THIS IS US, fans have been upset with Miguel (Jon Huertas). And it makes sense. The guy had to replace one of the greatest TV dads of all time, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). On top of that, no one thought he was worthy of Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) love. So it’s fitting that as THIS IS US winds down, an episode focuses primarily on Miguel for the first time. It’s the bittersweet quiet coda his character, and Jon Huertas deserved.
It’s difficult for me to review this episode without talking about Jon Huertas. Over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of being on set in Los Angeles and Morocco with him, courtesy of the two films, THE OBJECTIVE, and BELIEVERS. I can honestly say he was the light on the set and always a consummate pro. I remember him being the bridge between the actors and the film crew. Through his kindness and humor, he was able to help cross-functional teams bond more quickly in highly stressful situations.
With Miguel, art imitates real life as he serves as a bridge for the Pearson family in THIS IS US. And despite having turned in outstanding performances in CASTLE and GENERATION KILL, Jon’s role as Miguel is easily his best work. Why? Because it feels like Miguel and Jon are very similar, and it shines through the strongest in his episode.
Jon Huertas was asked what would be on Miguel’s tombstone in an interview. He said, “Loving stepfather, loving husband, loving father, loving friend – all the way to the end.” This episode hit me even more than usual as I am that role in my family. It helped remind me that not all family heroes are Jack or Randall (Sterling K. Brown). They don’t need to be outspoken and brave. They can be quiet, funny, gentle souls that help guide the ship without you even knowing it. It took six years for the creators of THIS IS US to show us that in MIGUEL, and it’s one of the finest hours of the series.
THIS IS US counts down to the final episodes on NBC and Hulu. “And so it goes” that we only have three more left. 😢