This Is Us has undoubtedly been one of the biggest, must-see TV shows of the 2016/17 season. A large reason for that is the all-to-real plot lines the writers have crafted that bring viewers to tears. With the season finale upon us, we've rounded up some of the most memorable moments of the show's first season that had us reaching for tissues. Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The tears started flowing the very first episode of This Is Us when we realized Jack and Rebecca's storyline is based on flashbacks and that their triplets are Kate, Kevin and Randall aka The Big Three. The moment made us realize the perfect, heartfelt moments likely wouldn't last forever and that the show would be taking us on an emotional joyride.
Rebecca's Unborn Baby Speech
Being pregnant can at times be terrifying. First time mothers, like Rebecca, often face insecurities and fears ahead of giving birth, which makes the speech the soon-to-be mother of three delivers to the triplets before they are born so poignant and real.
"I think I’m nervous about you guys meeting me.… I am not gonna be the perfect mom," she says. "I love you so much, it hurts, and I haven’t even met you yet! It’s crazy. So I guess what I’m trying to say is you are gonna have to take the good with the bad when it comes to me."
Only Good Things...
The speech Jack gives while Rebecca is in labour is the speech every woman needs when she's fighting an uphill battle. He says "Only good things will happen today," and reminds her that their lives will be better because of their children. Cue sobs and sniffles over how amazing Jack is.
When We Learn the Fate of the Triplets
Sadly, not all stories have a happy ending, which is exactly what happens with Rebecca and Jack's triplets. Ugly crying began after we learn one of The Big Three doesn't survive. The tears flowed harder when Dr. Katowski sat down with Jack to offer his support. Having lost a child of his own, "Dr. K." gives a pep talk saying he was handed "the sourest lemon life has to offer and tried to make something resembling lemonade." Bring on all of the tears.
How Randall Became a Pearson
Even in their grieving, the true character of Rebecca and Jack is shown when Dr. Katowski directs them to a child who has been abandoned at the hospital. That infant is Randall, and without the pair, no one knows what his fate would have been. Watching the threesome learn about each other to ensure Randall feels safe and accepted both at home and in the community generated many of the show's most poignant moments. Case in point, when Jack shows Randall that he will always lift him up when times get tough.
The Snow Globe
After Dr. Katowski is involved in a serious car accident at Christmas we see him with Randall discussing how he came to be part of the Pearson family. Realizing it was Dr. K. who helped him, Randall hands him a snow globe as a thank you.
"If at some point in your life, you find a way to show somebody else the same kindness they showed you," said Dr. K in response, "that’s all the present I’ll need. But I sure do like that snow globe."
The Big Three's resident actor used a piece of art to drive viewers to tears. When asked by his young nieces to explain death, Kevin showed them a painting he did that he felt proved that a life never truly ends. "It’s kind of beautiful, right, if you think about it: the fact that just because someone dies, just because you can’t see them or talk to them anymore, it doesn’t mean they’re not still in the painting. I think maybe that’s the point of the whole thing. There’s no dying. There’s no you or me or them; it’s just us. And this sloppy, wild, colourful, magical thing that has no beginning and has no end, it’s right here, I think it’s us.”
Jack Will Do Better
On the surface, Jack seems to be the perfect parent and partner, but the secret of his alcoholism threatens to destroy everything. After Jack spends a bit too much time at a bar and comes home drunk, Rebecca puts her foot down. The pair argue, he sleeps outside her bedroom door saying he doesn't like sleeping far away from her then promises to do better. The duo make up and he gives her a moon-shaped necklace that she says she'll never take off (which she never does, even after we learn his future).
When it's revealed that the Pearson family patriarch is actually dead, we couldn't handle it. Though we don't yet know how Jack dies, we do know that he passed in 2006 and that the family has had a hard time moving on. That's especially so for Kate (who watches football games with his ashes and "lucky hat"), and Kevin (who has a heart-wrenching breakdown presumably over the loss of his dad in one episode).
Kate's Drum Circle Breakdown
For anyone struggling with their weight, the scene when Kate breaks down and realizes why she's been binge eating and not caring for herself over the years is devastating. Viewers watch brutal scenes of her friends rejecting her because of her size, alongside snippets of Jack's funeral as Kate goes on to work out her frustrations within the safety of the drum circle. The scene ends with her letting out a gut-churning scream that's full of every emotion possible.
William and Randall
The entire plot surrounding William and Randall is heart-shattering. You have a dad who gave up his son, went on to clean up his act and is dying. Then you have a son coming to terms with the realities and fate of his biological parent. The duo take a road trip to William's hometown, Memphis, where they share their final moments together. Prior to that we get a glimpse of the impact this death will have on Randall, and watch him have a full-blown nervous breakdown; one that's so terrifying, Kevin races to his brother's side to cradle him while he cries.