‘This Is Us’: The 1 Character Fans Feel They Still Know Nothing About

This Is Us, NBC’s hit drama, follows the Pearsons through the trials and triumphs of family life over the course of several decades. Throughout its four seasons, we’ve gotten to know each character very well, but there is one character some fans wish they knew a little better.

Every show has its minor characters that audiences never fully get to know, but Miguel Rivas, played by Jon Huertas, isn’t a minor character. He’s been a key player in the show since the very beginning. But to audiences, he still largely remains a mystery.

What did we know about Miguel Rivas early on?

Right from the start of the series, we learn that Miguel was Jack Pearson’s best friend and married his widow Rebecca. Jack had passed tragically due to heart complications after his efforts to save his children and the family dog during a house fire.

We also learned that Miguel’s relationship with the Big Three was strained at best and that the triplets struggled to accept Miguel as part of the family. With such limited information on Miguel’s intentions and the true nature of his character, it was hard for some fans to see Miguel as anything but an opportunist, stealing his best friend’s wife.

Loyal fans of Jack judged Miguel harshly for replacing him as Rebecca’s husband. One tweeted: “Hey I don’t know how I feel about this Miguel character on This is Us, get him out of here.”

As is sometimes the case with the first few seasons of new shows, it’s possible a lot of this is due to the fact that his character wasn’t fully fleshed out from the start. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune Huertas shares: “The character actually wasn’t written as Latino. His name was Mike and in the first three episodes we shot, everyone called me Mike! They had to go in and do ADR (re-record the dialogue) to change the name to Miguel.”

Though they changed the character’s name, his background and heritage went largely unmentioned for most of the show thus far — a fact that Huertas very much wants to see changed.

Fans learn more about Miguel in Season 4 of ‘This Is Us’

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Here's to friendship, @miloventimiglia! #ThisIsUs

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Huertas is well aware of his character’s reputation as the “bad guy” of the show, as are the writers. They jointly worked hard in seasons 4 to show a softer side of Miguel.

In the season 4 premiere, fans finally got to see how Jack and Miguel met. In a touching flashback, we see Jack looking for a blazer, eager to impress Rebecca’s parents. He can’t afford to buy it and upon hearing that Jack is a returning Vietnam vet, Miguel tells him to borrow it and bring it back in a week.

For some fans, this one touching scene changed how they saw Miguel entirely. One fan tweeted: “My feelings about Miguel after tonight’s episode have done a COMPLETE 180. What a gem. What a friend.”

The writers were careful however to not let fans influence the story too much and to not overshadow Jack. Huertas tells Good Housekeeping: “One of the things the writers and I agreed on, is that you can’t let Miguel’s story get in the way of dealing with Jack’s story and the recovery from Jack’s death. It’s not just the family recovering from Jack’s death, it’s also the audience.” 

Is the disdain for Miguel on ‘This Is Us’ really fair?

Jon Huertas as Miguel
Jon Huertas as Miguel on NBC’s This Is Us. | Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Not all fans dislike Miguel, some find him to be their favorite character, others are indifferent, while some are still a bit lost when it comes to Miguel’s place in the family. One fan tweeted: “Catching up on #ThisIsUs. Did they ever show how Miguel and Rebecca became a couple? Did he come over to fix something and never left? Help!”

This Is Us did, indeed, show how they began to reconnect but stopped short of explaining the full extent of their early romance. Ten years after Jack passed, Rebecca joined Facebook at the insistence of her family so she could view photos of her new grandchild.

When she did, Miguel messaged her to say hello. Hardly a villainous move, to say hello to an old friend after years of estrangement, now is it? 

Love him or hate him, after ten years of being alone, most can agree that Rebecca deserves a bit of joy and companionship. And if Miguel provides that, maybe he deserves a break.