‘This Is Us’ Series Finale Review and Recap, Made Us Weep the Perfect Amount

Inner head This is us finale, all-time great emoji Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) effectively sums up my mood as I write this farewell to the NBC drama: “I’m fine. I am very sad and I am very worried about this eulogy. “

Last week, the extended Pearson clan said goodbye to matriarch Rebecca (Mandy Moore) in an episode that made me cry so much it gave me a headache. This sounds like a terrible experience, and at times, Dan Fogelman’s series has fallen into disrepair—think of pulling out the mystery of Jack’s Death, For example. Headaches aside, “The Train” is a stunning and outstanding penultimate ride Moore’s great performance and Fogelman’s ability to weave an unexpected story into the familiar Pearson tapestry.

In comparison, “Us” is superior, when combining the two elements that the series portrays excellently: mundane and meaningful. In the “before” finale, Rebecca telling Miguel (Jon Huertas) that she’s not ready to let go of the memories from the days “when nothing big really happened” is just a neon sign. released the Pearson family’s “completely free Saturday” interspersed with Rebecca’s funeral.

Choosing to combine the familiar weekend setup with a solemn ceremony softens the overall tone, and the latter is (thankfully) less focused on the funeral itself and more on what happens next. . I’m not lost that Rebecca’s death in her late years has been mapped out for more than a decade, which is in stark contrast to the sudden nature of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia)’s sudden death when the Big Three were still young. is a teenager. It doesn’t matter that Jack has been dead 30 years, as his legacy lives on in his children, grandchildren and younger brother Nicky (Griffin Dunne). (Sorry, Jack, I’m still not done with your abandonment of Nicky after the Vietnam War.)

In the case of Randall’s eulogy, we never get to hear his rhetorical skills, as Fogelman keeps these words a mystery. The church clip is meant to be disorienting, and Randall later tells his three now-adult children, “I can’t remember a thing I said.” His grief also takes on a distinctive nihilistic tone. “It all feels pointless,” he says before Déjà (La Trice Harper) pulls him (and us) back to the brink of despair.

No one has cried on screen or shed a single tear better than Brown, and his reaction to learning he’s about to have a grandson after being surrounded by women all his adult life is upsetting. stress. Jack and Rebecca aren’t the only two parent figures to be remembered by this family. Déjà told Randall about wanting to call the baby William, which brought tears to my eyes. “Your grandson will be named after a man I have never met, but I know him because I know you. It is not meaningless. ”

“Very Good News on a Very Sad Day” by Déjà points to the cyclical nature of life (struggling not to sing Elton John’s song) Lion King national anthem) that This is us gone from day one. The pilot episode combines tragedy with hope, and this pattern repeats itself through all six seasons.

Instead of opting for a different abstract timeline, such as last week’s description of an accident that happened on the same day as the Pearson house fire, this story is all about Pearson. Tricks are optional for the series end, on the scale How I meet your Mother arrive Under six feet, landed closer to Alan Ball’s farewell to the Fisher family. (Though nothing affects the effect of the final scene set for Sia’s “Breathe Me”.)

The future isn’t entirely mapped out, but we’ve seen glimpses of the rock star careers of Kate (Chrissy Metz) and her son Toby (Chris Sullivan). Adult Jack (Blake Stadnik) isn’t too nervous about taking his kids to the park to play on the swings, as the montage at the beginning of “We” depicts. If there’s one thing the multi-generational story tells us, it’s that swings are good, despite the times.

A swing is the reason Rebecca has a scar over her eye, but it’s a permanent reminder of the time she spent with her father. “I really wish I had spent more time appreciating it while it was all going, instead of just worrying about when it was going to end,” she says in the opening scene of “We “. We don’t need Moore to break down the fourth wall to understand that this line is a glimpse into the characters we’re watching and our own lives.

We don’t know if Randall will become president or if Kate’s music school for the blind will turn into a global empire. Their mother tells them to “live without fear,” and the Big Three have great ambitions to honor her wishes — and their dreams.

Perhaps the most poignant part of this final conversation between these siblings is when they perform the song “Big Three” that first appeared in the second episode. An adorable Jack invention ties the three kids together and one we see the roots of that regular Saturday at home. The younger Kate wanted to watch the movie at home, and Jack pulled the first performance out, much to Kevin’s displeasure because he’d seen it “like a million times”.

The timelines overlap and the scenes are cut while Jack is filming this original performance. Now, this is the place This is us may be considered too corny, but this is the final episode, and I welcome the additional cheesy callback.

In the present, Kate admits her nightmare is that her busy life will inevitably lead to the Big Three drifting apart. The device of non-linear storytelling has revealed many ups and downs, including the epic breakups between Kevin and Randall, most notably regarding Rebecca’s health care. Differences are eventually cast aside, and hurtful words are forgotten. The song isn’t the glue that holds them together, but it is a tangible link to their father. If only they all inherited their mother’s musical talent. They could have done this show on the road.

Glimpses of the Pearson family’s past run parallel to what the present is for the near future. (One mystery the series hasn’t solved is what year it really is, but I put it around 2032.) The paradox of always looking forward (when we were young) or back again (as we get older) is basically why This is us hit a chord. Jack’s sentiment of “trying to appreciate the moments” sounds like something you might find sewn on a cushion or an affirmation to hang in your kitchen, but it also comes true. . Clichés are clichés with a reason.

Covering a large amount of time in a family setting means that most viewers will find something or someone that resonates. For friends of mine who have had children during the pandemic, Kevin and Madison’s story has made a big impression, and there are many details that fit their parents’ new worldview.

For me, there are many things about Nicky that remind me of my father, who passed away in This is us was released. Seeing the painting showing his struggles with alcohol and the warmth Nicky exudes when he’s sober, I felt like seeing my dad again. Therefore, I find it impossible to forgive Jack.

Whenever I mention, there’s a new episode of This is us see, My Catholic husband (with his tongue pressed to his cheek) calls it “going to church.” Reason? “You don’t always want to go, but you always get something out of it.”

I can’t count how many times with tears in my eyes, I utter the phrase “fuck this show” because it’s almost bone-chilling. None of this sounds like a term of endearment, but I can assure you it is, and I spent six years laughing, yelling (usually Kevin) and saying about this series — even when sending more crying emojis that speak louder than words.

The finale mixes humor and heartbreak with lowly MVP Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) shining in a final game of Worst Case Scenario to loosen up husband Randall. In the Big Three, Randall deserves the lion’s share of “We”. This includes a poignant flashback of a conversation with William (Ron Cephas Jones) about the role of a grandfather who explores the concept of unconditional love and the power of smell as memory.

Finishing 100+ episodes is no easy task, especially in an era where the net shows like This is us is becoming a thing of the past. Fogelman and the extended team (thanks to the cast) can rest easy because they’ve stuck to land. And thankfully, it didn’t give me a headache this time.

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