These are the five times we cried during the final episode of This Is Us Season 2! In his defense, he admitted that his reception salute to sister Kate and new husband Toby was, indeed, weird. Jack's absence was felt not just by Kate, but by all who were there. They had so much going on in the past two seasons that it was really like a really great hug.
But this being This Is Us, the final minutes of tonight's episode revealed some serious stuff in quick flash forwards about what we might expect in season 3.
In an equally wrenching scene, Rebecca recalls the first day she ever met Jack - remember back in the season one finale when she was singing in that bar? - and then pays tribute to that moment with a attractive rendition of "Moonshadow", the same song she was singing on the day Jack first set eyes on her. Jack tears up, and so do I, and so does everybody. As a parent, your job is having your heart live outside of your body, and you're like, 'OK, I want you to make the best decisions.' But you have to let them falter, and fall, and have the highs and the lows. It's so bad that he can't even get out of bed. "It's going to be a well-told season next year", he said. On their way, they both realize they should have been there more for Kate over the years. I admire it for acknowledging that. "It sort of makes you wistful for what could have been", she said. Within the latter half of this season alone, This Is Us gave us a heartbreaking miscarriage; an almost devastating auto 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. I trust the writers and Dan completely so wherever she's headed I know that it's going to be exciting and interesting and unconventional.
Where the Super Bowl episode that finally killed Jack was an unfortunate case of This Is Us's love of trickeration getting in the way of its love of working over its viewers' tear ducts, "The Wedding" was as relatively straightforward as this show is congenitally capable of being. He doesn't look well, but I did notice that he is in a button-down shirt. So Jack appearing as a older man could be Rebecca imaging that Jack was here for the wedding or it could be Kate wishing her father could walk her down the aisle. It hurt to see that, the Pearsons' best case scenario, especially in light of what happened at the end of the episode.
Of course, one Pearson could not attend the wedding. Images then suggested where some of our characters actually would be in roughly 365 days. Rebecca and Kate shared a sweet moment where Kate admitted to her mother that she just wanted to be like her.
But wait, it gets worse! But when Kate got there, the place was bought out and is now an artisanal ice cream shop and they don't have the banana pudding flavor ice cream that was her dad's favorite. Tess, looking anxious and upset, replies, "I'm not ready". She advises Deja that it's not worth it to hate the people who love you.
But if it isn't Deja whom Randall and Tess are referring to, could it be Beth or Annie? In response, Deja talks back to Beth and Randall and ultimately attacks Randall's vehicle in a fit of resentment. Specifically: Future Beth seems to be in danger, and the issue of what, exactly, will happen to her might replace "how did Jack die?" as the central question driving the series. By the time we pick up the action, she's already signed away her parental rights, and Deja is more sullen and angry than ever. It's not comfort food TV anymore.