Writer’s Note: There are TONS of spoilers from multiple seasons in this post.
Jack and Rebecca.
Kate, Kevin, and Randall.
The Big Three.
This Is Us ended its beautiful six-season run in May, and I’ll be the first one to admit that I was (am!) totally sad about this fact. I remember watching the first season and being enthralled with the jump between decades. What do you mean we get to see them in the present AND in the past?! And then when they did a flash-forward, I was hooked. How often do we get to see our favorite characters in their childhood, early adulthood, and later in life? We don’t. This Is Us will stay with us because it’s such a gosh darn unique show. So let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?
Remember when we all learned that Jack would die because of a fire in the Pearson house?
I watched THE episode and when he made it out of the fire alive (TWICE–ahh!) I still couldn’t relax because I knew he wasn’t safe. When Rebecca left to grab a snack from the vending machine, I remember thinking, “Don’t leave him! Something bad is going to happen!” because all of us viewers knew what she didn’t: he was going to die.
The absolutely coolest thing, though, is that you didn’t have to miss Jack. Because you still got to see him in the past. You got to watch him surprise Rebecca with a date night after she drastically cuts her hair. You got to watch him grieve his mom after not seeing her for years. You get to watch him have heart-to-hearts with his children as they venture into their teenage years. A character dying did not mean we had to say goodbye to them, and I looooved that about This Is Us.
Remember when we all saw Kate and Toby’s son in the future, singing to a sold-out crowd in a packed theater?
And we became privy to the knowledge that he would become an amazing and famous singer? I was in awe of his voice and the small glimpse we got to see of his talent. (And if you didn’t know, you can stream his song, Memorized, which is a part of This Is Us’s soundtrack. And it’s just as good as the first time you hear it on the show.) From then on out, I looked for clues about baby Jack’s future; his mom being a music teacher or him trying to play Toby’s guitar. It was neat to see his future foreshadowed in the present. Seeing into the future is definitely part of why This Is Us will stay with us.
Remember when Randall had a nervous breakdown at his office and Kevin came to comfort him?
There was so much chatter about showing Randall’s vulnerability and mental health to the world. I appreciated seeing a corporate man who seemingly had it all show that his built-up perfectionism and strong exterior could only hold for so long. As a mom who feels the pressure to have it together most of the time, I have had afternoons where I’ve disappeared into my bedroom and kind of, well, collapsed. Where the world has seemed to be too much. Work, home, marriage, and motherhood: It’s all amazing, but the pressure to sustain it all sometimes gets to me. When Randall sat on the floor of his office, immobilized and crying, I was right there with him waiting as Kevin made his way to him.
I remember it all and so much more.
This Is Us will stay with us because it is a uniquely beautiful show that depicts relationships throughout the decades and lives intertwined through experiences and love. Remember when Rebecca Pearson laid her head down on that pillow and said, “hey” to Jack, and squeezed Randall’s hand? it is scenes like that that have us wanting more and knowing there never will be. Thankfully, This Is Us will stay with us.