‘This Is Us’ Season 4: Why Milo Ventimiglia’s Character Jack Won’t Be Around Much in New Season

We hate to make This is Us fans cry before season 4 even starts, but we have bad news. Many viewers’ idea of “the perfect man,” Jack, won’t be around very much this season. 

Don’t worry, (spoiler alert), Jack already died on the show more than a year ago, so we’ve already seen the worst. When we last left the time-hopping show, we saw the focus would be on younger Jack. So unless the show has some stunning de-aging technology, that means we won’t be seeing as much of Milo Ventimiglia

Season 4 will go forwards and backward at the same time. 

Milo Ventimiglia | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

The time-jumping in This is Us can get kind of confusing, but thanks to a roundup of season 4 by Good Housekeeping, we think maybe we’ve got it figured out. 

First, it’s going to take place in the future, meaning it will go farther into the past. Chrissy Metz told TV Line: “Baby Jack will be five months (old) when we get back.” 

Creator Dan Fogelman told the Hollywood Reporter: “Next season is a very past-heavy season. We’re going to play in time in a surprising way as we move forward into next seasons of the show. At a certain point, our present becomes our past. That sounds really confusing, but it does in the show at some point.”

Good Housekeeping put it well, writing, ” Sooo …. “the past” will be what’s going on in present day, and what’s going on in present day will be used more and more to explain what happens in the future. Dan is right, that does sound confusing.”

What will we see of Jack?

Before the time rules get as head-spinning as they do in Back to the Future, we’ll try to clear the air a little. We will see the older Jack too, just not as much as we typically have. The show has already depicted so much of adult Jack that it wants to explore new areas. 

“I think a lot of the mystery of Jack has been kind of told by the end of this season [season 3], but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less interesting to go and live with those younger families,” Fogelman said. “We are starting to move towards new chapters in season 4 with The Big Three … some of the more mysterious or dramatic pulls of the series might start falling into the hands of some of our other characters.”

But don’t worry, we will still see Ventimiglia. The cast recently returned to work, in between many rounds with the makeup team to apply old-age prosthetics, Mandy Moore posted an Instagram with her and Ventimiglia, writing: “Mom and Dad are back shooting the very first scene of season 4. Can’t wait for you to see.”

How Jack’s death was so pivotal for ‘This Is Us’

It may seem strange to recap the death of a character when it happened more than three years ago, but it feels appropriate given the fluid nature of time on This is Us. We learned in 2018 during season 2, that Jack died after he left an old cooker plugged in overnight. It sparked, starting a fire that consumed his home. Jack survived the blaze but later died of complications due to smoke inhalation. 

Fogelman told EW: “The show is about the little stuff. We don’t normally live in a space where Jack’s running, holding a mattress over his daughter in a flaming building. Normally, it’s two people having conversations in a car. And that’s kind of how we wanted to attack the death of our major character here — let it live in the really small, quiet, regular moments.”

And we may have more of those in the future. In an interview with Hollywood Life, Ventimiglia said Rebecca “was gonna see Jack soon, maybe.”

Better have the tissues handy — again.