This Is Us returned last night for an emotional flashback episode, diving into Jack’s history and his time in Vietnam. But the highlight of the episode was an emotional moment between Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
“All the ink is invisible if you give it enough time,” Rebecca sings in the song, which is fittingly titled "Invisible Ink." The song was written by Moore’s real-life fiancé, Taylor Goldsmith of the band Dawes with This Is Us' composer Siddhartha Khosla. In a digital exclusive for NBC, Goldsmith said that he had that particular lyric written down for a while. Khosla said that he had been “dying” to work with Goldsmith. What could more perfect than having him write a song for his fiancée to perform?
“That my own soon-to-be-husband got to write from my character’s perspective was pretty meta and weird, but it was so cool.” Moore told Entertainment Weekly.
The song is a big part of Rebecca’s storyline during this episode. She sings it for a record label only to be told, devastatingly, that she is only “Pittsburgh good.” Meanwhile, Jack goes to visit the parents of one of his friends who died in Vietnam, and finds some closure from his survivor’s guilt. When the two reunite, Rebecca sings "Invisible Ink" while Jack weeps. It's one of the first really emotional moments for the couple who, in the timeline explored in the episode, only recently started dating.
Moore called the song “synonymous” with the show, pointing out how well it fits into the world of This Is Us. “It really sounded like the show — like the whole universe,” Goldsmith agreed.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Siddhartha Khosla as the music supervisor of This Is Us. He is the composer. He also co-wrote the song with Goldsmith.s