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This is Us Season 6 Episode 17 review: The Pearsons bid tearful adieu to Rebecca

The penultimate episode in This is Us The Final Chapter brought back a lot of characters who have had a significant impact on Rebecca

3.5rating
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 10.09 AM, May 18, 2022

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This is Us Season 6 Episode 17 review: The Pearsons bid tearful adieu to Rebecca
Goodbye, Rebecca

Story: Rebecca’s finally slipping away; it’s time for the family to say their goodbyes and be reminded of the fulfilling life she led. In those moments, it is a young Rebecca on her favourite train – the one she used to take with her father – guided along to the end by William (Randall’s biological father).

Review: This is Us has always been about the wonderful human being that Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) was and how the rest of his family imagined life would have been if he’d not succumbed to cardiac arrest many years ago after their house burnt down. Pretty much everything in their household revolved around what Jack would have done, said or thought in specific instances. And yet, at the same time, it was just as much about his wife, Rebecca, the Pearson matriarch and how she single-handedly brought up the teenaged Big Three and made them wonderful human beings (flaws included) and then was the band-aid that held her family together.

The Big Three have wonderful memories about Jack, but none of them would have been complete without Rebecca. She’s been the pillar supporting the massive weight that is the Pearson household. So, it was only apt that the show ends with her – with a reminder of just how vital she was to the family. So, as each member bid tearful goodbye to Rebecca, it was also about remembering the fulfilling life she led through the years.

In her final moments, as Rebecca slips away, she imagines herself as a younger version, on a train ride – the one she loved going on with her father when she was a child – chugging along to the end destination. Helping her navigate this journey is William (Randall’s biological father) and though the end is nigh, Rebecca knows she’s waiting for someone – Kate’s not there yet and is on a long-flight from London. It would not be fair to Kate or those who have watched the show over six seasons to deprive her of a chance to say goodbye to her mom, so she does get back in time. And Rebecca can bow out peacefully, to a happily-ever-after in heaven, with her true love, Jack Pearson.

This is Us would not be the show it is without Rebecca, and, more specifically, Mandy Moore, who played the character. There was never a misstep from her whether she was playing a young, middle-aged, or old Rebecca. Her character had the most influencing impact on the Big Three over the years and she well and truly deserved this kind of a send-off, with all her loved ones around.

While most of the episode was about Rebecca, the showrunners also squeezed in a story arc about a young medical researcher called Marcus. For a while, I thought that he was introduced in time for Deja’s big reveal that she’s pregnant. She’s a medical resident and her significant other, who she only refers to as ‘he’ is a workaholic. The immediate deduction was that Marcus is the he she was referring to, but turns out that was a red herring. Deja is still with Malik. So, who is Marcus then?

Years ago, on the fateful night that the Pearsons lost Jack, there was another family at the hospital. They’d just been in an accident and while the rest are okay, one of the three kids isn’t. In fact, it’s almost touch-and-go for him at one point, whereas Jack seemed fine in his room at the same time. Then, strangely, tides turn. The boy, Marcus, miraculously survives, while Jack suddenly goes into cardiac arrest and dies. But that’s not his only Pearson ‘connect’. After years of toiling away to find a cancer cure, Marcus manages to make a breakthrough in Alzheimer treatment instead. This new plot point didn’t make much sense, since it doesn’t seem to have a direct bearing on the Pearsons, but with one more episode to go in this Final Chapter, maybe it does mean something after all.

Verdict: After a bunch of tear-jerker episodes, ‘The Train’ wasn’t as sad as expected. On the contrary, you are likely to feel happy for Rebecca. She’s finally getting to be with Jack again and that’s all that mattered to her.

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