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Miguel Rivas, a more overlooked character in This Is Us, received the backstory he deserved in This Is Us Season 6 Episode 15. Following the episode, actor Jon Huertas admitted he’s glad the creators didn’t show Miguel’s death, noting, “it surprises you that Miguel is suddenly gone.”

Jon Huertas as Miguel Rivas in 'This Is Us' wearing a suit at Kate's wedding
Jon Huertas as Miguel in ‘This Is Us’ | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Jon Huertas is glad ‘This Is Us’ didn’t show Miguel’s death

In This Is Us Season 6 Episode 15, titled “Miguel,” viewers are taken through the character’s story from his childhood in Puerto Rico to his death after caring full-time for his ailing wife.

Miguel’s death isn’t shown in the episode. Instead, his family is shown sprinkling his ashes around the tree he planted for Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and in his hometown, where he used to play baseball as a child.

In an interview with Variety published after the episode’s premiere, Miguel’s actor Jon Huertas admitted he’s glad the creators opted not to show his character’s death.

“I feel like when someone dies, even if it’s a thriller or a horror film, what’s more interesting to me are people’s reactions than actually seeing the person perish,” he explained.

Huertas says it ‘surprises’ viewers that Miguel is ‘suddenly gone’

The actor continued, pointing out that “emotion comes from” how others react to that person. Huertas found it more impactful for the audience to see how his death has affected Rebecca and brought his oldest son and Kevin (Justin Hartley) together, especially after they rejected Miguel, to spread his ashes.

“I think that’s way more interesting than watching Miguel take his last breath,” he added. Pointing out that Rebecca’s bed in the flashforward is the “device” to her death, Huertas likes how the creators handled his character’s death. “To me, it surprises you that Miguel is suddenly gone.”

‘This Is Us’ Season 6 Episode 15 delved into Miguel’s backstory

From the beginning of This Is Us, viewers know that Rebecca marries her late husband’s best friend sometime after his death. However, it initially isn’t clear how the romantic relationship developed.

Season 6 dove deeper into their romance as Rebecca’s health worsened, with episode 15 diving further into Miguel’s backstory.

Jack’s best friend moved from San Juan, Puerto Rico as a child when his father found a better job opportunity in Pennsylvania. As he attempts to ingratiate himself in American society, Miguel struggles with his heritage, ultimately pushing his father away.

He eventually gets into construction and meets Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) but doesn’t have the best relationship with his then-girlfriend, Rebecca. Therefore, he left the two in a bar to become friends, unknowingly starting their love story.

How did Miguel die in ‘This Is Us?’

After Jack dies and Miguel attempts to continue supporting the Pearsons, he decides to take a job in Houston to reconnect with his son.

When those efforts fail, he returns to Pennsylvania and eventually gets into a romantic relationship with Rebecca after reconnecting on social media following Tess’s (Eris Baker) birth.


‘This Is Us’ Viewers Proclaim ‘Miguel’ Episode One of the Top 3 in Series History

Even though the Big Three initially had trouble accepting the relationship, they eventually came around, and Miguel became a part of their lives.

Randall (Sterling K. Brown) discovering Miguel’s heart medication during Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) second wedding became the first clue to his ailing health as he devoted himself to caring for Rebecca. However, after falling when chasing her into the snow, his health deteriorated. Realizing Miguel didn’t have much time left, Kevin tracked down his oldest son, who was able to enjoy his father’s final years with him. This Is Us airs Tuesdays on NBC.