'This is Us' emotional finale looks back, and ahead

Bessie Dean
March 15, 2018

On Tuesday's sophomore finale, Kate and Toby said their "I do's" at the Pearson family cabin and we saw what life would have been like had Jack still been alive in the present day.

This element was the hardest for certain fans of the show particularly, as it forced Kate to finally heal from the loss of her father. Notably, the day before Kate and Toby's wedding day, Toby's parents sit him down and voice their concerns over his decision to marry Kate, who his mom calls "unstable". He might even imagine Kate finding inspiration to sing again, years after she abandoned her dream. The most tense moment of this finale episode came when Toby made the case to his doubtful parents that Kate truly was the one for him-displaying a confidence that only made the moment that followed, when Kate seemed to be faltering, even more painful to watch. In doing so, she releases the rest of Jack's ashes. Eventually, the show's hints became distracting rather than tantalizing-and for all the fanfare surrounding the Pearson family house fire, what did it actually reveal about Jack's family that couldn't have been conveyed in a more efficient way? Those included a new relationship for Kevin (Justin Hartley) and another glimpse farther down the road of Randall (Sterling K. Brown) once his children have grown up.

"I can't tell you who the "her" is, but we'll be definitely following up on it in season three", co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger told The Hollywood Reporter after the season finale. Did the finale set her up for a future prison stint?

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In the finale, Beth and Randall play a game of "worst case scenario" and there's one conversation they share that may be a serious case of foreshadowing. Is Future Deja - who, at the wedding, went completely Beyonce-in-the-"Hold Up" video on Randall's auto - in jail or in a mental hospital? "There's certainly quite a few that hit toward the end of the episode that I think are going to have people very, very excited for Season 3". But Deja is belligerent and disinterested in what anyone has to say. If season three will tell the story of Jack's time in the war, that means meeting an older version of his little brother should also be first on the list. She never really warmed up her brother-in-law.

In season two, okay went out the window. Earlier in the episode, there was a beat when we thought he could potentially hook up with Kate's maid of honor Madison (Caitlin Thompson). Rebecca keeps calling her daughter but it's going straight to voicemail. Kevin and Randall just miss her there as they do their best to follow her tracks and bring Kate back. Or Randall finding his biological dad. Randall's darkest fear is, to put it mildly, upsetting for Kevin. Within the latter half of this season alone, This Is Us gave us a heartbreaking miscarriage; an almost devastating vehicle accident that resulted in a DUI; a fire that nearly killed Jack Pearson, then didn't, but sort of did because he died of a heart attack afterward, all on Super Bowl Sunday; an eviction; and a wedding day that should have been focused on celebrating Toby and Kate but instead was dominated by the heavy grief and guilt Kate has been carrying for two decades with regard to her father's death. Left with a pair of boxing gloves, a baseball bat, a fishing rod, and a screwdriver, they went with the screwdriver.

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