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‘This Is Us’: Before They Met

by Dan Snierson | March 12, 2017

photographs by RON BATZDORFF/NBC

It has come to This: The season finale of NBC's emotionally spring-loaded family dramedy promises to "answer some questions and make people ask some new ones," says creator Dan Fogelman. The episode titled "Moonshadow" (March 14, 9 p.m.) focuses on Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) "before there ever was a Jack and Rebecca," he says. "You see them in their much younger years as they're figuring out what kind of lives they want for themselves." Check out this script page from the finale—complete with annotations from Fogelman and his co-writers on the episode, Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger—and meet a woman named Mrs. Peabody (Debra Mooney) with matchmaking on the brain.

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EXT. MODEST PITTSBURGH HOME - DAY 1 (1972)

MRS. PEABODY

Jack?
She’s standing in front of a pristine Chevelle,speaking to a PAIR OF LEGS sticking out from beneath the car.

JACK
(from under car)

Just making sure everything’s in tip-top shape, Mrs. Peabody.

He slides out to reveal... not the bearded, nor mustachioed, nor goatee-ioed Jack we’ve come to know. But rather:
A clean shaven, short-haired, boyish Jack -- just 28 years old. Jack stands up, dusts himself off.

This was always the plan: In the final episode of the season, we would see Jack in a younger age than we've seen him before. We knew the whole year was going to be a story about different forms of his facial hair and that the final episode of the season would reveal him clean-shaven for the first time.... It was the first time we’d seen him all year without anything on his face. It was just such a surprising shock, and we thought, 'Oh, people are going to love this.'”

This was always the plan: In the final episode of the season, we would see Jack in a younger age than we've seen him before. We knew the whole year was going to be a story about different forms of his facial hair and that the final episode of the season would reveal him clean-shaven for the first time.... It was the first time we’d seen him all year without anything on his face. It was just such a surprising shock, and we thought, 'Oh, people are going to love this.'”

JACK (CONT’D)

I did a brake job. You should be good to go.

MRS. PEABODY

Thank you, Jack. I don’t know why my husband loved that thing so much - something’s always wrong with it. Maybe I should just sell it.

Jack GASPS, playfully.


MRS. PEABODY

Thank you, Jack. I don’t know why my husband loved that thing so much - something’s always wrong with it. Maybe I should just sell it.

Jack GASPS, playfully.

JACK


You watch your mouth, Mrs. Peabody. This is a 1967 Chevelle. You cannot sell a 1967 Chevelle.

MRS. PEABODY
(smiles)

Alright, alright, I’ll keep it.


MRS. PEABODY

Thank you, Jack. I don’t know why my husband loved that thing so much - something’s always wrong with it. Maybe I should just sell it.

Jack GASPS, playfully.

JACK


You watch your mouth, Mrs. Peabody. This is a 1967 Chevelle. You cannot sell a 1967 Chevelle.

MRS. PEABODY
(smiles)

Alright, alright, I’ll keep it.


NO SHE WOn'T! Eagle eyed viewers might realize that this is the same car Jack ended up selling when he and Rebecca found out they were having triplets.

Fun Fact: Milo Ventimiglia owns the car in real life.


NO SHE WOn'T! Eagle eyed viewers might realize that this is the same car Jack ended up selling when he and Rebecca found out they were having triplets.

Fun Fact: Milo Ventimiglia owns the car in real life.

She fishes in her purse, hands Jack a FIVE DOLLAR BILL. He tries to hide his disappointment, but she notices.


AT FIRST WE HAD HER we had her giving him twenty dollars. Then someone told us that in 1972 a gallon of gas cost only 55 cents and we changed it. Inflation is crazy.


AT FIRST WE HAD HER we had her giving him twenty dollars. Then someone told us that in 1972 a gallon of gas cost only 55 cents and we changed it. Inflation is crazy.

MRS. PEABODY

How’d you come back from Vietnam so nice? Seems like most of the boys lose their damn minds out there.

JACK

Well. I was just a mechanic. So.

We had a long discussion on what Jack’s job was in Vietnam. Since we’ve always seen him as a guy who’s good with his hands, mechanic felt like a natural fit.

We had a long discussion on what Jack’s job was in Vietnam. Since we’ve always seen him as a guy who’s good with his hands, mechanic felt like a natural fit.

Jack shrugs. Mrs. Peabody studies him, impressed by his attitude.

MRS. PEABODY

I wish I had a granddaughter for you.

(then, realizing)
Wait a second now... I know a girl I think you’d like! My best friend’s granddaughter. Oh, Jack she’s the sweetest thing.

JACK

Oh, no, I don’t--.

MRS. PEABODY


What are you doing next Friday night?

JACK


I’m really not the type to be set--

MRS. PEABODY


You’ll take her out? It would make me so happy.

JACK IS NOT THE TYPE who can resist the goodnatured advice of his elders. Haven't you seen him with Dr. K?

JACK IS NOT THE TYPE who can resist the goodnatured advice of his elders. Haven't you seen him with Dr. K?

Jack does not want to take anybody out on Friday.But the way Mrs. Peabody is looking at him...
He nods.

MRS. PEABODY (CONT’D)

Good, good. I’ll call you to confirm. You’ll thank me. She’s a total knockout.

A Younger Rebecca

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