This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5, "Storybook Love," was a special episode in more ways that one. On screen, Kevin and Sophie got married, Beth met the Pearson family, and Kate's new boyfriend introduced himself to everyone. But behind the scenes, something else was also happening. Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Pearson patriarch Jack, was directing for the first time. Ventimiglia had a lot of fun behind the camera, including adding in a few silly details. According to him, This Is Us Season 4 Episode 5 had an easter egg tucked away in the closing moments, which fans may or may not have spotted. Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 4 follow.
Directing an episode like this isn't easy for an actor, especially when they are in the episode themselves. But executive producer Isaac Aptaker told Entertainment Weekly Ventimiglia prepped like a champ, allowing filming to run smoothly.
He was so, so prepared. He storyboarded out that whole sequence with the bird. It was mostly a real bird — a couple of visual effects. He met with the bird people, planned out every shot, figured out how he was going to do it in a way that didn’t freak out the bird. I mean, he was like wildly, wildly thorough. You’d have no idea that it was first time doing it.
Speaking to TV Line, Ventimiglia admitted he worked hard to prepare the episode. It was tricky in some places, since the primary dinner location was at Rebecca and Kate's new apartment, a set that hadn't been seen before.
[In this episode], we had quite a few sets that were new that were never built. So Rebecca and Kate’s new home, I had to wait until maybe a day or two before we started filming before I could really walk around and understand, But we have an amazing production team.
He also admitted he threw in a casual easter egg at the end of the episode. It was one meaningful to him, even if the audience didn't notice it.
In that stack of photos in the piano bench, there were some photos of Jack and Rebecca from the past when they were younger. Mandy and I took those the first episode back just as a fun thing, and I handed them off to our prop guy. Just like, 'Maybe we’ll use these later on,' and it turns out we’re using them.
Ventimiglia also revealed what in heaven's name that "block of ice cream" was.
I think it was kind of like a giant stick of butter. We needed something that wasn’t going to melt on us. We needed something that was going to cut like ice cream, which it did. It was like a sweet stick of butter. It was kind of delicious, but you really didn’t want to eat too much of it.
Will the pictures from the piano bench turn up again later? Ventimiglia doesn't say. (He also doesn't say if the blocks of ice cream will continue either.) But it's these kinds of sweet details that make This Is Us a fan favorite.