‘This Is Us’: How the NBC drama wrapped Pearsons’ story in the emotional series finale

Six years ago today, the trailer for the all-new NBC drama series It’s us was exploding, breaking records with around 80 million views in 12 days. It was a precursor to the phenomenal six-season series that concluded tonight with the series finale, titled “Us.”

The closest came immediately after the penultimate episode, “The Train,” as the Pearsons gathered for Rebecca’s funeral. Tease “Us” last week, It’s us creator Dan Fogelman described it as capturing “a day in the life, which is so much about the subject of the show” and noted that the final two hours of It’s us, he wrote, are “very different episodes that talk to each other”.

Besides Rebecca’s death, another thread that connects the two episodes is the dream sequence with young Rebecca and Jack in the caboose of the train that Rebecca ended up in last week. The last lines of both episodes were said by Rebecca and Jack in this caboose as they greeted each other with “hey”, in “The Train” and said “I love you” in the finale.

THIS IS US – “We” Episode 618 – Pictured: (lr) Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca – (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
NBC

The finale opened with young Jack and Rebecca waking up in bed in their home in a setup that mirrored the caboose scene down to Jack’s mustache. The duo’s morning chat produced the memorable final line that Fogelman teased last week, “I wish I had enjoyed it more while it was still happening instead of worrying about it ending,” Rebecca said. Something Jack said at the very end with him and Rebecca lying in the tail bed was a favorite line of the entire series for star Milo Ventimiglia, he revealed during a panel on Sunday. Responding to Rebecca reminiscing about their chance meeting in a bar decades ago which launched their romance, Jack (Ventimiglia) said: “When the world puts something so obvious in front of you, you don’t just walk away from it. to go.”

In the finale, there were multiple parallels between Rebecca and Jack’s caboose conversation and Rebecca’s death scene in “The Train”, including Randall telling his mother “We’re good now, you made us good” right before he died last week, and Jack telling Rebecca, “Baby, we did well. You did so well,” in the finale. She also shook Jack’s hand on the train during the finale, just like she did with Randall’s hand in his final moments in the previous episode.

The way “The Train” sequence built on the train and caboose references in the season premiere, the finale’s theme A Day in the Life draws inspiration from Rebecca’s heartbreaking speech in Episode 2, in which she said, “I don’t worry about forgetting about the big stuff. It’s the little things I’m not ready to let go of yet,” listing performing Pin the Tail on the Donkey on a Saturday as one of those little moments she dreads forgetting.

This Saturday with the pre-teen Big Three, during which the family watched movies at home, played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Jack taught the boys how to shave, was central to the finale. Filmed almost four years ago, the footage was edited alongside the newly filmed parts of the farewell.

Young Kate killed it off at Pin the Tail on the Donkey, explaining that she had done so well using the voices of her parents and siblings as a spatial reference. “As long as I know where you are, I know where I’m going,” she said.

THIS IS US – “We” Episode 618 – Pictured: (lr) Chris Sullivan as Toby, Griffin Dunne as Nicky
NBC

Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby on the show, cited this as his favorite line from the show. Toby himself was later seen playing the game with the Pearsons after Rebecca’s funeral.

In another signature It’s us link between the past and the future, a scene featuring William, Randall and young Tess and Annie set just as William and Randall were leaving on William’s final trip to Memphis, William told Randall of the joys of being grandfather. He is juxtaposed with Randall himself preparing to become a grandfather in the finale.

In it, Deja told Randall she was having a boy, whom she and Malik would aptly name William whom she had never met but had come to know through her own father, she said.

While we saw Randall struggle to write his eulogy for Rebecca (“Mom Was Magic” was all he could muster on a cue card), the show chose not to show the speeches the Three Grands delivered at their mother’s memorial service.

Instead, we got one final scene of the siblings sitting on the steps of the family cabin.

We found out what each of their plans are for the future. Kate will open more music schools for the visually impaired. Kevin will focus on his non-profit organization. And Randall, whose rising political career had been hinted at for a few seasons, will explore a run for president with a trip to Iowa.

Kate shared her nightmare that after both of their parents left, “we’re drifting apart”. She and her brothers vowed to stay close and sang the famous Big Three carol we’d just seen minutes earlier in one of the home movies the Pearsons had watched on that lazy Saturday decades before.

In the finale, Randall and Beth had one last round of their Worst Case Scenario game, while Toby and Kate shared a sweet moment, during which he told her he loved her, a nice gift from her. farewell for hardcore KaToby fans.

The episode also featured some period skipping edits which were a It’s us unmissable – there were the Big Three waking up as children and the morning of Rebecca’s funeral, as well as several generations of Pearson pushing their little ones on park swings, from Rebecca as a little girl with her father to Rebecca and Jack with the Big Three toddlers, then their children as adults with their children and finally Jack Jr. and his daughter. This last scene was notable for being the farthest in the future the series has ever had.

At the end, Rebecca told Jack on the train that she didn’t want to leave her children and that “there were so many things I wanted to do with them”.

“You will,” Jack assured her. “It’s hard to explain, but you’re going to do all these things with them. You will be here.”

As the two said “I love you” to each other, the show segueed into its final cut to a previously used sweep score on the show once, in the Season 1 episode where Kevin showed his nieces his painting. The camera took turns on each of the Big Three, Randall looking at Deja who had his hand on his stomach. The final shot was young Randall and Jack from the Saturday scene with the camera focusing on Jack as he watched his family.

In a post-mortem interview (you can read it here), Fogelman breaks down the finale, answering questions about key moments and scenes, including his choice of final lines of dialogue and shot and decision not to. show their mom’s Big Three praise. He also talks about filmed but unused footage, Randall’s political future and potential. It’s us spin off.


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