This Is Us: The Big Three mourn their beloved mother Rebecca Pearson on series finale of NBC drama


The Big Three promised they wouldn’t drift apart following the death of their beloved mother Rebecca Pearson on Tuesday during the heart-wrenching series finale of This Is Us on NBC.

After six seasons, the critically acclaimed drama drew to a poignant end on Tuesday evening. One week on from the penultimate episode’s death of Rebecca, the final installment focused on the aftermath and the life lessons the Pearson family matriarch hoped she had passed onto her children.  

The finale written by series creator Dan Fogelman, 46, opened with a flashback scene in the Pearson household after Rebecca [Mandy Moore] was shown previously telling her second husband Miguel Rivas [Jon Huertas] that she wasn’t ready for dementia to rob her of memories of ‘regular’ moments like ‘a Saturday when the kids were little’- setting up the episode and, ultimately, the series’ message of living in the present. 

Series finale: The Big Three promised they wouldn’t drift apart following the death of their beloved mother Rebecca Pearson on Tuesday during the heart-wrenching and time-traveling series finale of This Is Us on NBC.

Rebecca in the flashback was shown in bed with her first husband Jack Pearson [Milo Ventimiglia] who noticed a small facial scar for the first time.

She explained that she got the scar accidentally as a girl when her father was pushing her on a swing.

‘He felt so bad, but I didn’t care because him pushing me in that swing was just my favorite thing in the entire world, you know?,’ Rebecca said.

She added that it was a treat for her to go the park with him, but she’d spend the entire time worrying about when her father would stop pushing her and tell her it was time to go home.

Family matriarch: Rebecca in a flashback scene was shown in bed with her first husband Jack Pearson [Milo Ventimiglia] who noticed a small facial scar for the first time

Family matriarch: Rebecca in a flashback scene was shown in bed with her first husband Jack Pearson [Milo Ventimiglia] who noticed a small facial scar for the first time

Childhood memory: 'I really wish that I had spent more time appreciating it when it was all happening, instead of just worrying about when it would end,' Rebecca said. 'At least I still have the scar'

Childhood memory: ‘I really wish that I had spent more time appreciating it when it was all happening, instead of just worrying about when it would end,’ Rebecca said. ‘At least I still have the scar’

‘I really wish that I had spent more time appreciating it when it was all happening, instead of just worrying about when it would end,’ Rebecca said. ‘At least I still have the scar’.

She then informed Jack that they had a completely free Saturday and they agreed to do ‘nothing’ with their children.

A flashback showed Jack and Rebecca pushing their young children on swings, followed by a clip of their adult children pushing their own children on swings at a playground.

Free day: Rebecca then informed Jack that they had a completely free Saturday and they agreed to do 'nothing' with their children

Free day: Rebecca then informed Jack that they had a completely free Saturday and they agreed to do ‘nothing’ with their children

The one-hour series finale was a lesson in mindfulness as flashbacks showed Rebecca and Jack appreciating the ‘free Saturday’ with their children that included a Pin The Tail On The Donkey game.

In the present, Randall [Sterling K. Brown] worked on the eulogy for Rebecca after holding her hand as she died in the penultimate episode of the NBC melodrama.

His wife Beth [Susan Kelechi Watson] checked in on him and Randall assured her that he was ‘appropriately sad’ and ‘appropriately anxious’ about his eulogy.

Toby Damon [Chris Sullivan] at the funeral service told his ex-wife Kate [Chrissy Metz] that he loved her even though their marriage didn’t work out.

Funeral service: Toby Damon [Chris Sullivan] at the funeral service told his ex-wife Kate that he loved her even though their marriage didn't work out

Funeral service: Toby Damon [Chris Sullivan] at the funeral service told his ex-wife Kate that he loved her even though their marriage didn’t work out

In a flashback, the Pearson family watched home movies with the young children performing a song for their mom declaring themselves as The Big Three.

It was a callback to the series premiere in September 2016 in which the Pearsons tucked their newborn twins Kate and Kevin and adopted son Randall into onesies reading The Big Three after one of their triplets was stillborn.

Kevin and Randall both complained about the home movie watching and stormed away.

Funeral service: Iyana Halley as Annie, Iantha Richardson as Tess, Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Justin Hartley as Kevin, and Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie attended the funeral service

Funeral service: Iyana Halley as Annie, Iantha Richardson as Tess, Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Justin Hartley as Kevin, and Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie attended the funeral service

Rebecca checked on Kevin and learned that he was feeling insecure after being unable to do any pull-ups during a physical fitness test.

Jack meanwhile spoke to Randall who admitted that he got in trouble at school after being teased about the ‘fuzz’ on his face.

‘You know, not everything is gonna come easy to you. I think you’re gonna have to work pretty hard to become the person I know you can become. And it will make the big victories in life that much more special when you have to work a little harder for them,’ Rebecca told young Kevin.

Pregnant daughter: Deja told her father that she was pregnant

Pregnant daughter: Deja told her father that she was pregnant

Boy addition: Randall was thrilled to learn that she was expecting a baby boy

Boy addition: Randall was thrilled to learn that she was expecting a baby boy 

Jack meanwhile started showing Randall how to shave and were soon joined by Kevin who also shaved for the first time.

The family then enjoyed a fun game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey with Katie going first.

A flashback showed Rebecca and Jack shopping and coming across a game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey that featured white children playing with a black boy on the cover.

Eulogy montage: Kate was shown during an eulogy montage

Eulogy montage: Kate was shown during an eulogy montage

Family fun: The family in a flashback enjoyed a fun game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey with Katie going first

Family fun: The family in a flashback enjoyed a fun game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey with Katie going first

‘Babe, maybe there’s another family out there just like ours,’ Rebecca said.

Jack put the game back on the shelf, but Rebecca stopped him.

‘Babe. Jack, when the world puts something this obvious in front of you, you don’t just walk away from it. You could be missing out on something very important,’ Rebecca said.

Very important: 'Babe. Jack, when the world puts something this obvious in front of you, you don't just walk away from it. You could be missing out on something very important,' Rebecca said

Very important: ‘Babe. Jack, when the world puts something this obvious in front of you, you don’t just walk away from it. You could be missing out on something very important,’ Rebecca said

Katie was then shown blindfolded and being spun around before she successfully pinned the tail on the donkey.

Randall during the memorial service learned that his daughter was expecting a baby boy.

He was joined by Kevin [Justin Hartley] and Kate as they wondered what they would do next with their lives.

Next steps: Randall was joined by Kevin and Kate as they wondered what they would do next with their lives

Next steps: Randall was joined by Kevin and Kate as they wondered what they would do next with their lives

Kate promised that she would open up music schools for the visually impaired.

Kevin said he was going to focus on non-profit work and enjoy his home life.

Randall revealed that he was considering a move in honor of their mother.

Potential move: Randall revealed that he was considering a move in honor of their mother

Potential move: Randall revealed that he was considering a move in honor of their mother

‘Can I tell you guys my nightmare? We drift. With mom being gone and our busy lives, we drift,’ Kate said.

‘I’m not saying we wind up estranged or anything, but…,’ she added as Randall assured her they wouldn’t ‘drift’.

‘We could drift,’ Kate said.

Randall then shared a ‘secret’ that if someone asked him to close his eyes and picture his family, he would picture their parents and the two of them.

Personal nightmare: 'Can I tell you guys my nightmare? We drift. With mom being gone and our busy lives, we drift,' Kate said

Personal nightmare: ‘Can I tell you guys my nightmare? We drift. With mom being gone and our busy lives, we drift,’ Kate said

‘Same,’ Kate said.

‘Same,’ Kevin said.

The siblings then repeated their Big Three song together.

Candid conversation: 'I'm not saying we wind up estranged or anything, but...,' she added as Randall assured her they wouldn't 'drift'

Candid conversation: ‘I’m not saying we wind up estranged or anything, but…,’ she added as Randall assured her they wouldn’t ‘drift’

‘Hey, kid, if you drifted, we would drift right after you,’ Kevin told a tearful Kate.

Randall told his siblings that their mother grabbed his hand hard at the end when she died.

‘I wonder what that was,’ Randall said.

No drifting: 'Hey, kid, if you drifted, we would drift right after you,' Kevin told a tearful Kate

No drifting: ‘Hey, kid, if you drifted, we would drift right after you,’ Kevin told a tearful Kate

Randall in his final words to his mother asked her to tell his late dad, ‘Hey’, and in the next scene she was shown in bed saying ‘Hey’ to her late husband Jack.

‘I’ve missed that little scar,’ Jack told her.

‘Come on, you didn’t even notice it for over a decade,’ Rebecca teased him before admitting that she was scared.

Hey there: Randall in his final words to his mother asked her to tell his late dad, 'Hey', and in the next scene she was shown in bed saying 'Hey' to her late husband Jack

Hey there: Randall in his final words to his mother asked her to tell his late dad, ‘Hey’, and in the next scene she was shown in bed saying ‘Hey’ to her late husband Jack

‘I know, but don’t be,’ Jack assured her.

A flashback showed young Kevin after shaving for the first time impersonating his father.

‘Babe, do you know how much I love you? You got to appreciate the little things, Bec,’ Kevin said as Jack smiled.

Little scar: 'I've missed that little scar,' Jack told her

Little scar: ‘I’ve missed that little scar,’ Jack told her

‘Babe, you have said that before,’ Rebecca told Jack.

Jack and Rebecca were shown again in bed together in the afterlife.

‘Hey, babe? We did good. You …did so good,’ Jack told her.

Spot on: 'Babe, do you know how much I love you? You got to appreciate the little things, Bec,' Kevin said while impersonating his dad as Jack smiled

Spot on: ‘Babe, do you know how much I love you? You got to appreciate the little things, Bec,’ Kevin said while impersonating his dad as Jack smiled

‘There was so much left I wanted to do with them,’ Rebecca said.

‘You will,’ Jack promised her

‘I mean, it’s not like I want to be there for anything weird. I don’t want to watch them shower or anything,’ Rebecca said.

‘You won’t, but you’ll be there,’ Jack said as their children were shown at Rebecca’s memorial service.

Tender moment: Nicky checked in on Kevin during the memorial service

Tender moment: Nicky checked in on Kevin during the memorial service

‘Quite a thing, isn’t it? Us finding each other in that bar that night,’ Rebecca said.

‘I don’t know. I mean, when the world puts something that obvious in front of you, you don’t just walk away,’ Jack told her.

Jack asked Rebecca if she was ready and she said she didn’t want to leave them.

Nothing weird: 'I mean, it's not like I want to be there for anything weird. I don't want to watch them shower or anything,' Rebecca said

Nothing weird: ‘I mean, it’s not like I want to be there for anything weird. I don’t want to watch them shower or anything,’ Rebecca said

‘You don’t. You’ll see,’ Jack told her.

‘I love you,’ Jack said.

‘I love you,’ Rebecca said back with smile.

All love: 'I love you,' Jack told Rebecca

All love: ‘I love you,’ Jack told Rebecca

Randall at the memorial service smiled at his pregnant daughter and in a flashback he also smiled at his father Jack.

The simplicity of the final episode and the poignant message it left had viewers in tears as they reflected on six seasons of the Pearson family.

‘I just watched the finale of what was probably the most artistically wholesome family show I have ever watched. It reinforced beliefs like empathy, togetherness, nostalgia, ambition, and male affection. There will be no other like it. I’m sad to see it go,’ tweeted one fan as the credits rolled.

Grandfather soon: Randall at the memorial service smiled at his pregnant daughter

Grandfather soon: Randall at the memorial service smiled at his pregnant daughter

Looking back: In a flashback, Randall also smiled at his late father Jack

Looking back: In a flashback, Randall also smiled at his late father Jack

Popular series: This Is Us premiered on September 20, 2016 on NBC

Popular series: This Is Us premiered on September 20, 2016 on NBC

‘I cannot believe that tonight marks the end of #ThisIsUs I have never watched a show that has made me reflect on my own life as much as this one. It has been a beautiful journey, and I’m thankful I got to experience it these last 6 years. Thank you for the wonderful ride,’ read another tweet.

‘The series finale of #ThisIsUs was simple. Part of me wishes it delivery more, but the creators wrapped it up in a nice little package with a bow. This series was truly one of a kind. The writing, acting, and casting across all timelines was impeccable. Hats off This Is Us fam.’ 

‘I miss it already. Thank you for the past six years. Thank you. #ThisIsUs #ThisIsUsFinalChapter.’   

Many were left in tears, with one viewer tweeting: ‘I just finished #thisisus forever, like there will never been another episode I just can’t process this brb currently sobbing into a pillow.’  

Beloved show: The simplicity of the final episode and the poignant message it left had viewers in tears as they reflected on six seasons of the Pearson family

Beloved show: The simplicity of the final episode and the poignant message it left had viewers in tears as they reflected on six seasons of the Pearson family

‘If I don’t watch, does it mean it doesn’t end?#ThisIsUs,’ asked another.

Creator Dan Fogelman tweeted his thanks to the fans as his show wrapped, penning a lengthy note for social media which ended with his gratitude to the show’s loyal following.

‘I’ve always felt this show has been a bit of a hug between those making it, and those watching. Which sounds incredibly cheesy, and – logistically – would be awkward and impossible,’ Fogelman wrote.

‘But you know what I mean. I hope tonight satisfies and leaves you thinking, and feeling, and even smily. I hope it makes you feel as full as your response to this show has made us feel, all these years. Thank you for taking this train ride with us. It’s been the trip of a lifetime.’

Sterling K Brown meanwhile tweeted a photo of him with Chrissy and Justin on set, declaring ‘One more time for the people in the back!!! BIG 3!!!’

Goodbye: Creator Dan Fogelman tweeted his thanks to the fans as his show wrapped, penning a lengthy note for social media which ended with his gratitude to the show's loyal following

Goodbye: Creator Dan Fogelman tweeted his thanks to the fans as his show wrapped, penning a lengthy note for social media which ended with his gratitude to the show’s loyal following

Big three: Sterling K Brown meanwhile tweeted a photo of him with Chrissy and Justin on set, declaring 'One more time for the people in the back!!! BIG 3!!!'

Big three: Sterling K Brown meanwhile tweeted a photo of him with Chrissy and Justin on set, declaring ‘One more time for the people in the back!!! BIG 3!!!’

Mandy Moore included a photo of Rebecca’s funeral order of service in her tribute tweet and her character’s quote: ‘As we close out the final chapter, let me leave you with this… “Take the risks. Make the big moves, even if they’re small moves. Forge ahead with your lives in any and every direction that moves you. I’m asking you to be fearless.”‘ 

This Is Us premiered on September 20, 2016 on NBC.

The series has received numerous honors, including a prestigious Humanitas Prize, a Writers Guild of America award and two consecutive Screen Actors Guild awards for best ensemble cast. It drew four best drama series Emmy nods, the sole broadcast nominee in recent years amid grander and gaudier competition such as Netflix’s ‘The Crown,’ HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

The NBC show’s stars and guest actors received multiple Emmy nominations, with Brown, Gerald McRaney and Ron Cephas Jones winning Emmys – two for Jones in the role of William Hill, birth father to Brown’s Randall.

Message: Mandy Moore included a photo of Rebecca's funeral order of service in her tribute tweet and her character's quote: 'Take the risks. Make the big moves, even if they're small moves'

Message: Mandy Moore included a photo of Rebecca’s funeral order of service in her tribute tweet and her character’s quote: ‘Take the risks. Make the big moves, even if they’re small moves’

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