A Review of the Season One Finale of This Is Us
Though NBC’s flagship drama This Is Us has only been on for one season, it has already received critical acclaim and attention from the likes of millions. IMDB rates the show 8.9/10 (89%) and Rotten Tomatoes places it at exactly the same percentage point. The show has been nominated for three Golden Globes including Best New TV Drama, and has also won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama. The series is already lined up for another two seasons that will extend into 2019. The second season is set to air winter of 2017.
The season finale is titled “Moonshadow,” the meaning of which is revealed at the end of the episode. The opening scene features Jack (a main character) driving to his wife Rebecca’s show in Cleveland, drinking multiple beers along the way. From the previous episode, the viewers anticipate that he is going to either get into a crash or be fatally injured in some form, which later is shown to not be the case. The audience then sees a series of flashbacks which depict how Jack and Rebecca lived before they meet and the events that led up to their introduction. We learn of Jack’s drinking history, family life, and struggle to find work, as well as Rebecca’s love for singing and her friends’ opinions on her love life.
In the present, back in Cleveland, Ben attempts to kiss Rebecca, which she does not take lightly. Meanwhile, Jack shows up at the venue where Rebecca’s band is playing and continues to drink. After several drinks, he wanders into the dressing rooms in search of Rebecca, where he does not find her, but instead ends up confronting and punching Ben. Rebecca comes back to the dressing room to find the two men, one bloodied and the other drunk. She promptly escorts Jack back to the car to head home, in turn cancelling the tour. Although this scene is not the most pleasant, the viewer learns that Rebecca and Jack’s relationship is not as perfect as it has always been. The conflicting emotions each character has regarding whether or not Rebecca should have gone on tour all come crashing down at the same time.
Once they arrive back at their house, the two proceed to have a very intense fight, which leaves them questioning their love for one another. The scene, while heartbreaking to watch. is an amazing feat of acting for both Milo Ventimiglia (Jack) and Mandy Moore (Rebecca). The next morning, the two agree that they should spend some time apart to think about what they have said and how they feel about one another. Before Jack leaves, he delivers an exceptional monologue explaining all the reasons he loves Rebecca. It would take too long to describe emotions and references Jack makes in this speech, so I’ll let you see it for yourself.
All in all, the episode is fantastic. Several questions are answered, but of course, not all of them are explained. Since Jack does not end up dying, viewers are left to make their own predictions of how it happens, and certain decisions for Randall, Kevin and Kate are still unanswered. Viewers are left itching for the next season.