Rebecca Dies, Reunites With Jack and Miguel

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The end is near. The penultimate episode This is Us brought back fan favorite characters as Rebecca’s family prepared for her death.

Rebecca (Mandy Moore() is on a vintage train reflecting on her father’s train rides. She looks stunning in her red dress and has reached her 30s. “I’m waiting for someone,” she says while staring out a window.

She’s talking to William (Ron Cephas Jones), Randall’s biological dad, who offers Rebecca an escort to the bar car. She insists she’s waiting for someone, but William says it’s fine for her to go for a drink.

Phillip (a resident of the house)Chris Geere) brings Jack and Hailey, who are pre-teens, but Kate (Chrissy Metz) is boarding a plane from London. She’s still 12 hours away when Rebecca’s aide reveals that the family matriarch going to pass soon, likely before the night ends.


This Is Us Reveals Rebeccas Fate Fan Favorite Characters Return
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) decides to go in first to say her goodbyes. She talks about how motherhood feels largely like she’s pretending to have all the answers. “All these years, so many times when I was faking it, I was doing my best impression of you, Rebecca,” she says. “I’ll take him the rest of the way, Mama. Thank you so much for your help with the complicated, incredible, and beautiful boy that I raised. But I got him now.”

Rebecca can hear Beth over the PA system in the train. She sees Randall’s wife as a young mom reading The Little Red CabooseBefore the scene flashes briefly, it is 18-year-old Beth.

William tells her to follow him to the bar car. Dr. KGerald McRaneyThe bartender is (), who delivered the twins. The car is decorated with Pearson family memorabilia, from the Big Three’s height charts to Jack’s coffee mugs.

Rebecca knows Kate isn’t there. She looks at RandallSterling K. Brown) and sees a child, a teen and an adult version sitting at a table in one corner of the bar. She sees three versions (Kevin).Justin Hartley) too — but not her daughter.

Rebecca claims she made mistakes parenting and Dr. K agrees. He revealed that he believed Rebecca would die during labor. “You survived just to lose a child and then a husband — and still, what thing you made of it all. What a big messy, gigantic, spectacular thing,” Dr. K says. “You’re as tough as they come, Rebecca Pearson, and you, my dear, have earned a rest.”

Rebecca thanks him for being her doctor — even if it was just hat one time — and moves through to the next car.

Kevin plays a Joni Mitchel record in the house. The family discusses Jack and Rebecca (Milo VentimigliaOn their third date as Sophie, ) went on a cross country road trip.Alexandra Breckenridge) goes in to say goodbye.

“You two really had a once in a lifetime love story, just like me and Kevin,” Sophie says. “Minus all the turbulence and psychotherapy, obviously.”

Toby (Chris Sullivan), meanwhile, says that he hopes that he lived up to Rebecca’s expectations as a dad. Annie says goodbye to her grandmother, recalling that Rebecca told her, “Quiet was OK as long as I wasn’t afraid to be loud.” Eventually, everyone heads to bed having said their final words, and it’s just Kevin and Randall left. They decide not to leave their mother’s side until her passing.

The Big Three and Rebecca

This Is Us Reveals Rebeccas Fate Fan Favorite Characters Return
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

They remember their childhood, from Kate’s appendicitis surgery one Christmas to their dad’s trips to the dojo with Randall. They joke that Jack was “strangely ripped for a dad in the ’90s,” and Randall wonders if anything they’re saying is getting through to their unconscious mother.

While on the locomotive, Rebecca passes their memories of baseball cards and Jack’s dojo pushups as the men discuss them, but it’s Miguel (Jon Huertas) who she’s heading toward. She sees her recently departed husband, who says she’s still his “favorite person.” Their reunion is brief, though. William leads Rebecca to the caboose, but the singer insists that she’s waiting for someone.

Rebecca makes it to bed at the house, and Kate arrives. “Hey Mom, it’s me, Bug. I’m here. I’m here. Mother, I love you. I love you so much,” Kate says.

On the train, Rebecca can hear Kate’s voice, and she tells Randall she’s ready to enter the last car now. Inside, there is a bedroom with Kate and a jar with fireflies.

“I want to say the perfect thing to you, Mom, but I’m not sure what that is,” Randall says. “I don’t even know if you can hear me, but I love you Mom. We’re good now. You made us good. Thank you for all the delicious meals. Thank you for making us feel loved every day. Thank you for that one time you beat down David Adams for hitting me in the head with a baseball bat.”

Kevin adds, “I love you, Mom.”

On the train, Rebecca turns to William and asks, “This is quite sad, isn’t it? The end?”

The poet doesn’t think so. “The way I see it, if something makes you sad when it ends, it must have been pretty wonderful while it was happening,” he says.

He tells her that if she steps back to look at the whole picture, the end isn’t so sad. “It’s just the start of the next incredibly beautiful thing,” William says.

The Big Three are aware that the end is near at the house. “You tell him, ‘Hey,’” Randall says after he kisses Rebecca’s forehead. She squeezes his hand.

Rebecca bids William farewell and then lies down in bed. “Hey,” she says. Jack is lying in bed beside her. “Hey,” he responds.

Deja’s Pregnancy

Susan Kelechi Watson Lyric Ross Sterling K. Brown This Is Us

Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Lyric Ross as Deja and Sterling K. Brown as Randall on ‘This Is Us.’
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

While Rebecca’s family was saying goodbye, audiences got a glimpse of that “big picture” that William mentioned. The episode opens with a family involving five children colliding in a car wreck just as one child had taken off his seatbelt to retrieve a toy. The boy in question is Marcus Brooks, viewers learn.

At Rebecca’s house, Deja tells Randall she’s pregnant, and he is overjoyed. Deja, however, is stressed. “We’re not even married yet,” she says. “I just started my medical residency. He’s working all the time. You know how he is about work.”

She reveals that the father doesn’t even know yet. He’s working late  — and This is UsMarcus Brooks, a scientist who hopes to cure cancer, is cut. After the accident as a boy, he walks with a cane. He’s down on his luck after hearing that his project lost funding, so he won’t be able to continue his research.

Meanwhile, Randall tells Beth he has a secret, but she already knows about Deja’s pregnancy. “I’m that girl’s mother, Randall. I knew she was pregnant before she did,” Beth says.

As Beth reveals that Rebecca talked her into marrying Randall when she wasn’t sure and the two engage in some PDA, Deja doesn’t seem as grossed out as her sisters. Instead, she texts her fiancé a photo of her positive pregnancy test.

Later, an adult Malik sneaks into Deja’s room and wakes her up. This is UsMarcus was used as a red herring. After all Malik and Deja went through as teens, they’re still together, and he is the father of her baby. “I’ve loved you since I was 16. I want you to marry me. I want to have this baby with you,” he says.

The Real Big Picture

This Is Us Reveals Rebeccas Fate Fan Favorite Characters Return
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Marcus is being consoled at home by his family. His brother and sister tell him that he shouldn’t be too bummed about not curing cancer in his first attempt. After learning that he isn’t the father, however, viewers are wondering why Marcus is important. It all goes back to his childhood accident.

In the hospital after the car crash, Marcus’ father meets Jack at the coffee machine. The accident happened in 1998, on the same night that the Pearson family house burned down.

Jack recalls Dr. K’s advice after his children were born. “I’d like to think that maybe one day you’ll be an old man like me, talking a younger man’s ear off, explaining to him how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade,” the OB said as Jack contemplated adopting Randall. “You can do that and you will still be taking three babies home from this hospital — just maybe not the way you planned.”

In the future, Marcus and his siblings laugh about “something resembling lemonade” becoming their family motto. They don’t realize that the saying came from Jack’s final encouraging speech.

Marcus and Jack saw the same doctor that day. Dr. Spencer was saving Marcus as he was coding, so he rushed off since Jack wasn’t presenting any symptoms of a heart attack. Marcus was saved by the doctor even though Jack went into cardiac collapse.

When William tells Rebecca — who spent the last years of her life battling Alzheimer’s and dementia — to look at the big picture, the audience sees Marcus accept an award for developing Alzheimer’s treatments.

This is UsAirs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC ET. The series finale airs on May 24,

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