‘This Is Us’ Series Finale: The Pearsons Enjoy a Lazy Saturday & Look to the Future (RECAP)

This Is Us Season 6 Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K Brown
Spoiler Alert
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 18, the series finale of This Is Us, “Us.”]

This Is Us bids farewell to fans after six solid seasons of emotional family drama with its series finale installment, “Us.”

Unlike previous episodes that delivered twists and turns, flash-forwards, and other shocking revelations, this closer revels in the joy of lazy Saturdays and the hope that can arise from grief. Below, we’re breaking down the show’s latest episode for the last time, below. Beware of major spoilers ahead.

No Plans on a Saturday

The episode opens with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) waking up in bed on a Saturday in the past. Looking at Rebecca’s face, Jack notices a scar on her head that she reveals came from an incident as a kid when her dad’s watch accidentally clocked her while playing on the swings. Rebecca tells her husband she didn’t care because she was just so happy to have that time with her dad but mentions she wishes she appreciated it more than she had then. The tradition is carried on in her kids as a brief flash shows the Big 3 bringing their own kids to the park swings.

This Is Us Season 6 Mackenzie Hancsicsak Mandy Moore

(Credit: NBC)

As Jack and Rebecca take stock of the day ahead, they realize there’s nothing to do as Randall’s (Lonnie Chavis) mathlete event was supposedly canceled, and so the couple agrees to have a lazy Saturday with no plans. When the family convenes around the table for breakfast, Jack and Rebecca inform the kids that it’s a free day. While Kevin (Parker Bates) and Randall are bored with the notion, Jack turns to Kate (Mackenzie Hancsicsak) for ideas. Thankfully she has several ideas.

The family ends up outside where Rebecca and Kate use chalk to draw a four-square pattern on the driveway, but the boys are reluctant to get involved. Kate doesn’t let it put a damper on her good time though as she makes the most of the day with her parents. When rain moves in though, it begins to wash away all of the chalk and Jack asks about watching home videos as an alternative, telling Kate they can play next weekend. She doesn’t mind though, telling her dad she’s just happy to be together.

As the family settles in to relive memories with old home videos, Randall and Kevin aren’t paying much attention and decide to walk away when their parents ask them to pay particular attention to one of the videos. The segment in question features the first time Jack taught his kids the Big 3 chant, captured for all time on their video camera. Wishing to salvage the day, Rebecca checks in on Kevin, asking what’s bothering him and he admits that the recent fitness test at school didn’t go great as he had a tough time with pull-ups.

This Is Us Season 6 Milo Ventimiglia

(Credit: NBC)

He claims that the other kids laughed at him but Rebecca doubts it, adding that victories are sweeter when you have to work for them. She also tells Kevin that the doctor said he’d be tall, a remark that boosts his confidence enough to earn a thank you from him. He tells Rebecca she always knows what to say and in response, she gives him hugs and kisses. Meanwhile, Jack checks in on Randall, asking what’s going on with him. The young man admits that mathletes wasn’t canceled but he was suspended from the team after he retaliated against a bully.

Randall said he was being teased for having a mustache that was beginning to grow in. Jack reassures his son that it will be okay, noting that he’s always harder on himself than anyone else could be. Instead of getting upset, Jack offers to show Randall how to shave. When Kevin sees what’s happening, he wants to get in on the action as well, and so the father teaches his sons the grooming tradition.

Meanwhile, Kate asks to play pin the tail on the donkey, but the boys think it’s too kiddish. Jack tells his sons that Kate gets it, when most kids spend their time wishing they were older, adults wish for the opposite and he admires that Kate appreciates the importance of small moments like this day. “One day you’ll get it,” Jack tells his boys.

This Is Us Season 6 Milo Ventimiglia Mandy Moore

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

As Rebecca sits looking at photos with Jack on the couch, Kate puts the poster for the game up. Turning to Jack, Rebecca asks if he remembers sitting there a few years ago when they talked about their rating as parents. He admits he does remember and she tells him he’s a 10. In true Jack fashion, he tells Rebecca she’s a 12. A brief flash to the past shows off the day that Rebecca and Jack first picked up the pin the tail on the donkey game which caught their eye because the kids looked like theirs on the cover. Jack didn’t think they’d use it much, but Rebecca pushed to get it, and thank goodness she did.

While Kate takes a turn playing first, she places the tail perfectly, forcing her family to ask how she does it so flawlessly. She tells them that as long as she knows where they are, she knows where she’s going.

Laying Rebecca to Rest

The other half of the episode is set in the show’s most recent timeline in the aftermath of Rebecca’s death. It’s a somber occasion as the Pearsons gather to remember their matriarch, but somehow hopeful as well. As the Big 3 wakes up on the big day, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) struggles with writing his eulogy, Kevin (Justin Hartley) is restless, and Kate (Chrissy Metz) can’t help but stare at family photos. Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) tries to help ease her husband’s worries by talking things through with Randall.

This Is Us Season 6 Susan Kelechi Watson and Sterling K Brown

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

With the service less than two hours away Beth offers to go through a worst-case scenario with Randall, he tells her that he’s appropriately sad and anxious on this day though, assuring her that all will be well. Instead, he’s focusing on the joy of becoming a grandparent soon when Beth asks if he’s decided about “deep-fried Oreos.” It’s unclear what the reference means, but makes sense as the episode plays out.

As the new generation of Pearson kids play four square in the family compound’s patio, Kate and Toby (Chris Sullivan) watch from the sidelines and he tells his ex that he’s about to say three things that are going to cross the line. First, Toby tells Kate that Rebecca was proud of her, that he’s proud of her, and that he loves her. While things didn’t work out as they had anticipated, he says he’d do it all over again.

When it’s time for the funeral, Kevin is standing on the fringes, hesitant to enter the space when Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) comes up to him. Nicky can’t believe where they’ve ended up, saying that before he met the rest of his family, his life had been carefree. Nicky further teases Kevin that his parents would be ashamed for making him care, really meaning that he’s grateful to have had the opportunity.

This Is Us Season 6 Griffin Dunne and Justin Hartely

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

While the funeral proceeds, viewers hear no eulogies, leaving it open to imagination. Meanwhile, Kate sings a song for her mother, and while Randall gets into his own head, he approaches the podium to deliver his eulogy. Once the ceremony is complete, Randall lingers in the pews.

He ends up drifting to the old Pearson family cabin’s steps where his daughters go to check on him. Randall confesses that he can’t remember what he said during the eulogy and he can’t help but feel as though it’s all pointless because he spent so much time scared of losing Rebecca and life just goes no anyways. Annie (Iyana Halley) jokes that this little speech is less funny than his actual eulogy for Rebecca.

As she and Tess (Iantha Richardson) head off to join the rest of the Pearsons who are celebrating their grandmother, Deja (La Trice Harper) hangs back. Looking Randall in the face, she tells him things aren’t pointless because he’s going to be a grandfather. The mention brings Randall back in time as he remembers the morning he left New York to visit Memphis with William (Ron Cephas Jones). In the flashback, William notes how pure the love of a grandparent is and worries that Annie (Faithe Herman) and Tess (Eris Baker) won’t remember him. Randall reassures his biological father that they will.

This Is Us Season 6 Justin Hartley Chrissy Metz Sterling K Brown

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

The memory helps return some of that excitement Randall had been feeling before about his incoming grandchild. As if she knows how to cheer him, Deja reveals to Randall that she’s learned the sex of the baby, mentioning that the email stated she and Malik are having a little boy. Deja further tells him that she and Malik hope to name him after William, a man she never even met. She further adds that the name isn’t pointless despite her not knowing William, because she knows Randall. He gets overwhelmed and rejoices over the fact that it’s about time the family had a little boy, recognizing his role as a longtime girl dad.

Next, Randall is joined by Kevin and Kate and he mentions how he’s receiving good news on a sad day. “We don’t have parents anymore,” Kevin states, and says how he isn’t sure what to do now that it’s over. Kate tells them both that they’re going to live fearlessly, bringing up her plans to open more schools. Kevin hopes to do more non-profit work, and Randall finally reveals the meaning of “deep-fried Oreos.” Apparently, he was invited to participate in an upcoming DNC event that could secure his future ambition to be president.

Randall decides he should go for Rebecca, and as the Big 3 continue to ponder life, Kate brings up her worst nightmare of drifting apart. Randall says they won’t, but Kate’s not entirely convinced as life often gets in the way of staying in touch. Randall tells Kate that when he’s asked to picture his family the first image he conjures is of their parents and the Big 3 first, Kevin and Kate agree that it’s the same for them as well. Together they do the Big 3 chant and Kevin promises that if Kate drifted, he and Randall would drift right after her.

'This Is Us': Rebecca Catches One Final Ride on 'The Train' (RECAP)See Also

'This Is Us': Rebecca Catches One Final Ride on 'The Train' (RECAP)

It's the moment they have been dreading for the people who matter most in her life.

Randall then takes the opportunity to lighten the mood, wondering if Kevin can drift considering his swimming abilities. As they joke around, Randall then mentions how Rebecca grabbed his hand tight at the end, and he wonders what it was a response to. The answer is found in Rebecca’s reunion with Jack in the afterlife. After greeting each other, Jack mentions the scar he did in the flashback, saying he missed it. She admits that she’s scared and he tells her not to be afraid.

Remarking on how good she did, Jack promises Rebecca that she’ll still be with the kids even after death. As if to prove his point, a flash to the family’s celebration of Rebecca’s life shows them using that pin the tail on the donkey game she was adamant about buying. Jack’s words force Rebecca to comment on how wild it was that they came together but he disagrees, saying it was an obvious thing for them to end up here before taking her hand tight. The gesture puts a nice bow on the Pearson family’s beautifully woven story.

So, what did you think of the This Is Us series finale? Let us know in the comments section, below, and make sure to grab a tissue or two.