Finding The Door
After 17 episodes and plenty of sadness and heartache along the way, This Is Us delivers a heart-wrenching finale that brought this reviewer to tears. It’s an episode that answers some pretty big questions hanging over the series whilst leaving the door wide open for the fourth season to take the show in a completely new and interesting direction.
We begin the episode in the past. Rebecca is driving a car, happily humming along to the radio when she suddenly winds up in a nasty car accident. With her face all banged up, Jack gets the call and races down to hospital to check on his wife. She’s fine though; heavily medicated and happily slurring her words slowly to The Big 3 as they come to check on her.
Back in the present, Kate and Toby adjust to life as parents, trying to take in everything the doctor is saying but for Rebecca interfering and taking ownership of the situation. This leads to her asking questions and basically souring the opportunity for Kate to really grow as a Mother. Inevitably, things take a turn for the worst, as Kate confronts her Mum about overstepping and she leaves the hospital.
Meanwhile, last week’s big talking point still feels raw. Beth and Randall’s fight spills over into the early parts of this episode and a frosty greeting sends both Tess and Déjà on high alert. Beth tells Randall she can’t see the door – the proverbial way out of their predicament – leaving him to stew over her words while he takes Déjà to her debate class. Only, there is no debate class. In a beautiful, touching throwback to the opening episode of the season, Déjà takes him to one of her old foster houses where she talks him through her life there; going hungry, the shared tins of soup and the parents’ obsession with lottery tickets.
“You won the lottery twice”, Déjà tells him, referring to both his adopted upbringing and marrying Beth. “Don’t mess it up.”. Powerful words for sure and something that sees Randall questioning his devotion to running for office and whether sacrificing his family is really worth the price.
While Beth works with her dance classes and Randall drives Déjà home, back at the Pearson’s Tess opens up to Kevin. This in turn leads Kevin to question his commitment to Zoe over his desire to one day have kids. She vehemently tells him there’s zero chance of her changing her mind which certainly helps Kevin, severing ties with Zoe as she leaves his apartment and the two go their separate ways.
The episode then ends with a ray of sunshine for both Beth and Randall; Beth’s found the door. That door happens to be the family relocating to Philadelphia and Beth opening her own dance studio. It’s a big change but something that may just see the Pearson’s survive this storm yet.
The season then ends with a back-and-forth montage between the past, present and future. In the future, Kevin has a child and Randall, Tess and Toby all show up. Future Toby tells Randall that Jack is on the way but there’s no sign of Kate for now. Randall then walks along the dimly lit corridor to a room housing his Mum, lying in her death bed with a healthy, old Nicky sat watching on. These are clearly Rebecca’s final moments but we don’t get to see them in much detail, as the scene fades to black.
In a season full of melodramatic beats and sadness, This Is Us certainly ends on a beautifully touching note. Unlike some of the other episodes this season, This Is Us manages to nail both the sad and happy beats to perfection. It’ll be really interesting to see where the show goes in its fourth season but there’s a certain conclusive feel to the finale this year that really feels like the closing of one door and the opening of another. Quite what This Is Us has planned going forward is still up for debate but for now, Season 3 bows out with a beautifully touching finale.