As Rebecca’s life drew to a close, she took a special train trip in her mind through the past and present while her family gathered to say their final goodbyes.
Our This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17 Round Table team discusses how well this emotional episode met our expectations and what we hope is tied up in the series finale.
Read on for our thoughts about Rebecca’s final train ride, her family’s reactions as she got closer to death, and more.
Rebecca’s death was always going to be painful. How did this episode meet your expectations?
Christine: Rebecca’s death played out beautifully.
Her entire family was there to say goodbye. She was surrounded by all the love she’d given throughout her life.
And I was grateful that she hung on until Kate got there. It just proved once again that Rebecca would do anything for her kids.
Laura: Rebecca’s death played out emotionally and beautifully. It was everything we could have asked for.
Jack: I was dreading this episode going in. I was afraid it would be depressing. But even though it was sad in some spots, it was beautifully done, and I found it oddly uplifting.
What did you think of the train ride Rebecca took as she headed toward death?
Christine: It was an excellent metaphor for her final journey as she left this life.
I loved that William was her guide since Randall connected them in such a poignant and visceral way.
Laura: I loved it too, especially seeing so many memories and William.
Jack: I thought it was so beautifully done. The only quibble I had with it was that Miguel only got two seconds with Rebecca during the train ride.
This Is Us spent a lot of time on Marcus and his family. Was their only significance that Marcus’ heart restarted just as Jack’s stopped, or is there more to them?
Christine: I really don’t know. And if we had more episodes ahead of us, I may have been intrigued.
Instead, our time with the Pearson clan is precious and fleeting, making Marcus’ story feel like a time-waster.
Laura: It wasn’t my favorite, but I did think it was a nice parallel. I was more amused that so many fans thought Deja married Marcus and not Malik.
Jack: It did feel like a set-up for a story that there isn’t time to tell, but at the same time, it also seemed like the whole point was that Marcus’ heart restarted at the same time as Jack’s stopped.
It might have just been another example of the dichotomy of life that Randall found so surprising.
What did you think about the jokes Toby made that sounded like the pre-divorce Toby being resentful?
Christine: Eek! I know he was trying to deal with a difficult situation using humor, but the joke did not land. It really made Toby sound like he was stuck in the past.
Laura: That didn’t work for me. By the way, Toby doesn’t seem like the overly depressed person who got the call originally.
Jack: This didn’t work for me either. I knew Toby was joking, but it sounded like he had regressed into what he was like around the time of the divorce. Ugh.
Discuss anything not covered above.
Christine: I kept hoping that Rebecca would finally meet Kyle, the son she lost in childbirth, as his death led to what this family was to become. I was a little disappointed we never got that scene.
And I found it interesting that as smart as he is, Randall seemed so taken aback by Deja being pregnant while his mother was dying when that is exactly how life works.
Laura: I found it interesting how many fans thought Deja was marrying Marcus and how confused people were by the Brooks.
I thought it was such a nice turn of events that the Brooks were there the night Jack died, and Marcus created a drug that helped Rebecca.
Jack: I’m also surprised that so many fans were confused about who married Deja.
And as I mentioned earlier, I was disappointed that Miguel got such a tiny role. He was so important in Rebecca’s life.
What questions do you still want answered as we head into the series finale?
Christine: What I wanted more than anything else was more time! I guess that’s why I resented Marcus’ story so much; otherwise, my resentment makes no sense as I’m a big fan of Dule Hill.
But I wanted more of Rebecca with Miguel and Jack. And I had hoped to see her meet Kyle. So I guess I just wanted more.
Laura: I would’ve liked more time too.
Rebecca had so little time with her grandkids, too, and I would’ve liked to see more of that. I think most questions have been answered.
Jack: I want more time too.
I feel like this final season has been rushed in some ways, and I would have liked them to slow down and give us more family moments. But I have no big questions that need to be answered going into the finale.
What was your favorite quote, scene, or storyline from this week’s This Is Us?
Christine: I loved every moment of Rebecca with Dr. K.
That he admitted he thought he might lose her when she was giving birth to the triplets:
I thought I was going to lose you that day, after the birth of the first child when you started crashing, and I think you felt it too. A voice in my head said, ‘You’re gonna lose the mother. Save the children.’ But you survived. And then you lost a baby and a husband… but look what you made of it all.
It reiterated what a remarkable life Rebecca has had and how she took her worst days and still made something beautiful.
Laura: I loved seeing both Dr. K and William guiding her to the end. They were both such a big part of her life.
Jack: I loved when William told her that sadness when it’s over means it was wonderful when it happened and that every ending is a new beginning.
Your turn, This Is Us fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your answers to these questions.
There’s only one more new episode of This Is Us coming, but don’t forget you can always watch This Is Us online whenever you need to revisit the Pearsons.
This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST / PST. The series finale will air on May 24, 2022.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.