The countdown is officially on! In less than one week, we’ll finally be reunited with TV’s most beloved family, the Pearsons, when This Is Us season three premieres on Sept. 25. NBC clearly understands how excruciating the wait for season three has been, because just one week before the premiere, they aired the Paley Center Salutes This Is Us special (available online at NBC and Hulu as well as below thanks to YouTube) and dropped one final teaser before the new episodes arrive.
More: Mandy Moore Hints That This Is Us' Jack & Rebecca Origin Story Is No Fairy Tale
In the final few minutes of the special (starting at 35:00 in the above video), fans were treated to a never-before-seen clip of the upcoming season that centered on the Pearson family patriarch and matriarch. In it, they’re on what appears to be their very first date, faux though it may have been. (Remember, Jack noticed Rebecca when he was about to rob Ray’s Tavern. She was singing, and he was smitten.)
As they set at a table next to the window, Rebecca can't stop talking — telling Jack that she’d been sending demos out and had a dream to be signed with the same record company that produced Joni Mitchell’s last album. When she realizes she's probably talking too much, she asks Jack to say something.
— Paley Center (@paleycenter) September 19, 2018
“Well, my name’s Jack,” he replies, which elicits the first laugh between the two. They then decide to leave together, and Jack heads outside while Rebecca gets her jacket. When Jack’s friend approaches, Jack tells him he met the girl.
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) September 19, 2018
Well, now we're simultaneously torn between feeling all the warm and fuzzies and bawling over the fact we know Jack and Rebecca don’t have forever together.
But the clip is also interesting because it really brings to our attention how differently this beloved couple's special kind of love changed and evolved over the course of their time together. Fans can probably all agree that meeting Rebecca saved Jack’s life. In meeting Jack, though, Rebecca knew she had met someone truly special and that it ultimately means we're going to have to watch her make the choice to walk away from the very thing she defined herself by prior to meeting Jack: her singing career.
Still, that’s yet one more part of this pair’s past that speaks to the strength of their love. Truth be told, we can’t wait for This Is Us to really dig into Jack and Rebecca’s early years.
Both Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore, who play Jack and Rebecca respectively, hint at the fun to come, with Ventimiglia confirming during the special, "[Y]ou see Jack and Rebecca as their love is developing." Moore adds that she's, "excited to travel back to the beginning of Jack and Rebecca’s courtship in season three."
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) September 19, 2018
Even series creator Dan Fogelman seems to be caught up in these two’s great love. “It’s so much even more emotional to just go back into a period in the 1980s when he’s alive, because everything is loaded — you know how borrowed his time is,” Fogelman says.
And if you want to get even more swept up in it all, you can check out the audition tapes released as part of the special. Just try not to cry during Ventimiglia and Moore’s “chemistry reading,” we challenge you.