What an ending! NBC’s insanely popular This Is Us had Us sobbing buckets for the entire first season, which ended with the tense season finale on Tuesday, March 14. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia‘s drama series’ most recent episode left Us wanting more — but that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions.
It could be a while before the next season, so put on your Pilgrim Rick hat and read on for our thoughts about the finale of a show that makes Us cry like babies. Here are five things that the episode nailed, and two moments that we weren’t as crazy about.
Things We Loved
1 . Jack’s Bad-Boy Persona
Aside from seeing hints of Jack’s drinking problem throughout the first season, we almost never got to see a side of the patriarch that was anything other than him as a perfect husband, perfect father, perfect everything. In this finale, we finally got a glimpse of what his future would have looked like without Rebecca. The finale was all about a 28-year-old Jack trying to shed his good-guy persona.
He even said to his friend Daryl, “For me, you know, I tried to go the other way. Be respectful to women. Do my part in ‘nam. Be a good man. And look where it’s gotten me. When am I gonna get my break, man?” Needless to say, getting to see a young, single Jack dip his toes into the world of illegal poker games and petty robbery gave Us an unexpected thrill! That being said, we’re glad the criminal tendencies didn’t follow him into the future.
2. Ben Got Punched
It’s always satisfying to see a character we don’t like get punched in the face, right? Rebecca’s bandmate and ex-boyfriend Ben (Sam Trammell) leaned in and tried to kiss Rebecca after she vented to him backstage about her nerves. Rebecca obviously didn’t give in to his advances and stormed out, screaming, “What the hell were you thinking, Ben? Is this why you asked me to join the band?” Considering this scumbag move, we were obviously excited when Jack punched the would-be homewrecker in the face. Team Jack!
3. Rebecca’s Struggles With Career and Motherhood
After driving a very drunk Jack home from her band’s first tour stop, Rebecca revealed her frustration with Jack’s lack of support for her singing career. Given that viewers also saw scenes highlighting her early ambition as she hit the open-mic circuit in her twenties, the series showed a career-hungry, passionate side of Rebecca we’d only previously seen glimpses of. It was empowering to hear her stand up for herself and say that this was “the first time in years that I had something for myself.… I have no life. I have zero life. I am a housewife to three teenagers who don’t need me anymore.… I am a friggin’ ghost.” Team Rebecca! Team Women Shouldn’t Have to Feel Like Ghosts!
4. Jack’s When Harry Met Sally–Style Speech
OK, we’re a sucker for the speeches on this show. Throughout the season, This Is Us has delivered some amazing dramatic monologues, and we were crying like a baby over Jack’s speech to Rebecca about why he loves her. Not unlike Billy Crystal’s iconic speech to Meg Ryan in director Rob Reiner‘s When Harry Met Sally, Jack used small details about why he loved Rebecca to illustrate a larger point: that their love story would stand the test of time.
We melted when Jack launched into it, saying, “I love the mother that you are. I love that you are still the most beautiful woman in any room. And that you laugh with your entire face. I love that you dance funny. And not sexy. Which makes it even sexier. But most of all, I love that you’re still the same woman who all those years ago ran out of a blind date.” Jack, it had to be you!
5. Randall and Kate’s Big Decisions
The episode briefly flashed to the present day, where we saw Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) looking through old photos of their parents. After seeing pics of his folks holding him as a young boy, Randall approached wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and admitted, “I want to adopt a baby.” What a beautiful, full-circle move for Randall, who came into the Pearson family in episode 1 as the adopted baby from the fire station. Similarly, we saw Kate looking at a picture of her mother singing. She then turned to Toby (Chris Sullivan) and said, “I wanna sing.” Finally, Kate is pursing a career that doesn’t require scheduling her brother’s massages!
Things We Didn’t Love
1 . Kevin’s “Big” Moment
Compared to his siblings, the brief look at present-day Kevin (Justin Hartley) seemed to fall a little flat. While Kate and Randall were coming up with huge new life choices, Kevin’s big reveal was that he was going to audition for a Ron Howard film. What a charmed life, Kevin! While this is a huge career opportunity for the sitcom star turned Off-Broadway star, it didn’t seem to connect on the same level as his siblings’ decisions. Everything always works out for Kevin, but what’s the fun in that?
2. Mystery of Jack’s Death Is Still Unresolved
We know this sounds crazy, but we were really hoping we’d get more information on the eventual death of the family patriarch! It felt like the entire season was leading up to Jack’s death with hint after hint, but the finale gave us nothing in this department. While it was a beautiful episode about love and loss, we can’t help but feel a little cheated out of getting more details on how the poor guy meets his demise. They didn’t have to show the death, but would it have killed them to tell Us a little more about, well, how he gets killed? That said, there’s always next season.
Tell Us: What did you love or not love about the season finale of This Is Us?
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