The story of Jack and Nicky finally came to light on This Is Us. In "Songbird Road: Part One," viewers learned what happened between Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Nicky (Michael Angarano/Griffin Dunne) in Vietnam and their final interaction after the war. That story happened as viewers also saw the Pearson kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) find their long-lost uncle.
For the team behind the scenes, it was like "an archeological dig," according to writer Kevin Falls.
"Where you kind of know there's this iconic character, this great father and husband, and he seems almost too good to be true. And as you're digging, it feels like you found this secret tunnel, and you realize, ‘Oh, now we're going to a place which is going to explain a lot of things that Jack has done in life, from the war on,'" Falls told Ventimiglia in the This Is Us after show.
After visiting his brother for the first time after the war, Jack struggled with whether he should give up on him and if he should reveal his existence to Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
"Part of it is disappointment in his brother and having to accept that people make choices for themselves, and Jack made the choice to move on," Ventimiglia said.
In Vietnam, Nicky was fishing with a young boy, using grenades into of the traditional tools. A grenade was lost in the boat, Nicky got off, the little boy did not. It was an accident, something Nicky never got to tell Jack.
"You know, his kids not knowing him, or, like being afraid of the truth. I love the kids' journey, particularly Kevin's, because he's constantly trying to know his father. He was the one most distanced from his dad," Ventimiglia said about watching the adult Pearsons find Nicky.
Rebecca didn't want to go find Nicky with the kids, but now she's ready for the truth Jack hid from her.
"I'm just constantly blown by what we're mining of this life of this man," Ventimiglia said.
And there's more to explore. There are the years before he met Rebecca, and the years of their life together before the kids were born, all that will be explored Falls said.
"We've been around so many different sides of him. Emotionally, I just get excited to explore something new, whatever it is. Jack's pain, and also, like, things that make him happy," Ventimiglia teased.
Click play on the video above for more.
This Is Us airs "Songbird Road: Part Two" on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)