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.
If only they hadn't made us so anxious first. Tuesday's emotional season finale followed both halves of the happy couple as they battled with various obstacles-grief in Kate's case, meddling parents in Toby's-to make their way down the aisle. Kevin has things under control and while Randall is dealing with a "belligerent" Deja, they provide the brotherly love that Kate needed the night before her wedding. Still, it was a quintessential episode that managed to close the book on the "Jack's death" era of the series while opening up a new one. At one point, she breaks away from the family and all the pre-wedding activities and retreats to a spot in the woods she frequented with Jack with an urn of his ashes under her arm. We opened with a wedding ceremony for an alt-universe version of Rebecca and Jack on their 40th anniversary, but this was clearly a dream from the moment we cut to the final preparations for Kate and Toby's big day. But it's the fact that Zoe went through nearly exactly what Deja is dealing with that makes her instrumental in Deja's recovery from being abandoned by her mother. Even Rebecca (Mandy Moore) was anxious that her presence would bring up memories of her deceased husband, but in the end Kate was able to finally stop holding on to Jack in order to fully make room for Toby in her heart. "But Dad, I'm getting married today - and I've got to make room for Toby, so I've got to let go a little now".
Like most parents, we all are doing the best we can, and while it seems pretty harsh and sort of out of the blue, I believe that Toby's parents have his best interests at heart - however, they have their own issues, as we all do. "Dad would have loved it", Kevin assures Kate. There's this humor between them where Madison is kind of kooky sometimes but Kate appreciates that and it allows her to be kooky herself. But Kevin encourages the family to let go of their grief for Jack. Instead, when This Is Us centers itself on mysteries, it feels overly engineered-and it's hard to ignore those machinations in order to focus on the show's gooey center.
Perhaps foremost, the season finale reinforced that the series is ready to move on, having spent enough time building up toward - and eventually revealing - the mystery surrounding Jack's death. And boy, do they have some new problems to worry about. Kevin meets Beth's attractive, smart and wise cousin Zoe at Kate and Toby's wedding. But ever since her mother gave her up, Deja has been lashing out at her foster family. Deja has every right to be angry, but Randall and Beth are putting a roof over her head.
Could it also be emotional for Rebecca because of the moment? In the beginning of the season, Rebecca was only starting to understand how her actions affected Kate, even when she wasn't intending to hurt her feelings.
The episode ended with the glimpse into the future, which we're recapping below.
In the scene, Kevin is seen holding a photo of his late father during his time in the war.
Is he referring to Deja? 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.
But you never know anything for certain on this series, even when it seems obvious. "We try to stay relatively in real time with our present stories on our show because everything jumps around so much", he said.
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