A younger Jack Pearson kisses his wife Rebecca in This Is Us season 6 finale
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This Is Us REVIEW: How the season 6 finale offered the perfect plot twist

The show gracefully bowed out with dignity - warning, yes there are spoilers

Ending a successful series is not an easy task – just ask the writers of Killing Eve – but This Is Us season 6 managed a masterstroke of a finale.

This was expertly achieved by weaving together the intricate storylines that made up the Pearson family into a nicely presented, minimalist package.

Many viewers cried tears of sorrow over the end of what has become an important series for more reasons than simply being “bingeworthy”.

One fan summed it up on Reddit: “A beautiful ending for a beautiful show. I loved the simplicity and overall message.”

But for some, the This Is Us season 6 finale was not quite what they had hoped for.

Kevin, Kate and Randall discuss their futures in the This Is Us finale
Kevin, Kate and Randall discuss their futures in the This Is Us finale (Credit: HBO)

Following the heart-stopping emotional rollercoaster that was the penultimate episode, The Train, the finale didn’t quite live up to their expectations.

“It was hard not to turn to my phone and play a game while this hummed in the background,” said a disgruntled Reddit user.

“My expectations weren’t high, I just wanted it to keep my attention and it didn’t even do that. Sooooo boring.”

A photograph of Rebecca and Kate in a frame
A photograph of Rebecca and Kate in a frame on the This Is Us finale (Credit: HBO)

Another added: “This would have been a fine episode for the middle of a season.

“For a finale, meh. ‘The Train’ would have been a much more fitting ending.”

Over on Twitter, another fan said: “Unpopular opinion: The series finale of #ThisIsUs was boring as hell.”

This is Us Season 6 finale: The perfect plot twist

In hindsight, the simple, profoundly named ‘Us’ perhaps offered fans a clue about what the episode had to offer beforehand.

No big speeches, no huge emotional journeys, no arguments, and, mercifully, no additional deaths.

Just flashes of Rebecca’s funeral mixed with candid conversations from the show’s cast and a glimpse into their future.

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In fact, ‘Us’ offered none of the emotional roller coaster rides that the show has been known and loved for since it first hit our screens in 2016.

And 106 episodes later, it couldn’t have been a more perfect plot twist by creator Dan Fogelman.

The simple collection of memories, moments and musings from the entire Pearson clan, both original and extended, paid homage to the show’s core message.

That the small things in life are what make us who we are, and what matters the most.

This Is Us' The Big Three as youngsters on a home video
This Is Us’ The Big Three as youngsters on a home video (Credit: HBO)

‘They’re just family’

:I’m not worried about forgetting the big stuff,” said Rebecca, addressing her Alzheimer’s in a flashback with Miguel (Jon Huertas). “It’s the regular Saturday when the kids were little.

“That day when nothing big really happens, we were just laughing and playing pin the tail on the donkey… that’s the stuff I’m not ready to let go of yet.”

After six seasons exploring some of the most challenging and painful issues that any one family could endure in their lifetime – adoption, racism, alcoholism, weight struggles, a tragic death to name but a few – the show gracefully bowed out with dignity.

What This Is Us fans needed most was a gentle lie down, mirroring the touching final scenes between protagonist Pearson parents, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore).

Another Reddit user pointed out of the episode: “It was underwhelming. And I think that was the whole point.

“In the end, it is quiet, boring moments that make us. In the end, they’re just family.”

This Is Us season 6 finale: The Big Three

In the show’s pilot episode, we saw Jack and Rebecca tragically lose one of their triplets, before adopting a black boy (Randall) who had been brought to the same hospital after being abandoned at a fire station.

The new parents went on to do more than just make “something resembling lemonade”.

They were not perfect parents, but they loved each other, and their children.

The show always walked the fine line between steady and gripping – with emotion and real life issues at the centre of the family’s journey.

But in the finale, Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) Pearson, aka The Big Three, were dealt their final cruel tragedy.

I’m not worried about forgetting the big stuff. It’s the regular Saturday when the kids were little… that’s the stuff I’m not ready to let go of yet.

Facing life as a trio after Alzheimer’s cruelly and slowly took their beloved mother Rebecca – their father Jack having tragically died years earlier following a house fire.

But while the three siblings had a sweet moment at the end of the episode (more on that later), the best and most profound bits of dialogue didn’t come from their lips.

Not surprisingly, they came from This Is Us’ exceptional secondary characters, namely Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), Deja (Lyric Ross), Toby (Chris Sullivan), and Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne).

Brilliant Beth

Randall’s sharp, funny, and overprotective wife has always been a strong presence on the programme.

A pro at both cutting through the Pearson melodrama and offering the occasional moment of light relief, such as in Family Meeting.

Beth Pearson gives Randall a pep talk in the This Is Us finale
Beth Pearson gives Randall a pep talk in the This Is Us finale (Credit: HBO)

In ‘Us’, her “worst case scenario” pep talk with a broken Randall gave Beth the perfect ending that completely fitted all her character’s best qualities.

“Beth, we need an RV… Sure, I can get down with an RV,” she said in her typical wry wit, mimicking her husband’s reaction to the passing of his fifth parent (including Miguel), and raising a smile with it.

“You spend the rest of your days travelling back and forth between your parents’ various resting places, just driving from tree to tree…”

Uncle Nicky speaks to Kevin in the This Is Us finale
Uncle Nicky speaks to Kevin in the This Is Us finale (Credit: HBO)

‘I love you, kid’

More light relief was gratefully offered by uncle Nicky, who managed to not only raise a laugh out of a despondent Kevin, but also the viewers.

“You really ‘effed up my life, kid,” he said drily, referencing how Kevin had brought him into the family and made him care about them all.

And lastly, Toby’s platonic “she was extremely proud of you… I am extremely proud of you… I love you kid,” allowed any recent animosity towards his character to wash away in an instant.

Kate's former husband Toby tells her he is proud of her, and he loves her
Kate’s former husband Toby tells her he is proud of her, and he loves her (Credit: HBO)

This Is Us season 6 finale: Deja Vu

Flashbacks made up a chunk of the narrative, and it was particularly nice to see a young Kevin and Randall doing brotherly stuff together – such as their first shave.

Equally a young Kate wanting to play pin the tail on the donkey with her family solidified another long standing family tradition – such as the Christmas hat – a game they all play at Rebecca’s funeral.

But perhaps the most special moment of the finale was between Deja and her adopted father, Randall.

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Her transformation from angsty teen to young woman has been integral to Randall’s own journey.

It was Deja, not his biological children, who offered him the words of comfort that he needed to hear as he contemplated whether everything was pointless.

“It’s a boy,” she said of her unborn child, before telling him that she was going to call him William, after his birth father, who Randall had reconnected with before his death.

“Your grandson is going to be named after a man I never met. But I know him because I know you. It’s not pointless.”

Randall allowed himself a moment of joy.

Deja gives Randall some much needed good news in the This Is Us finale
Deja gives Randall some much needed good news in the This Is Us finale (Credit: HBO)

Randall rejoices

“A boy? Finally! It ain’t nothing but women, all my life I got black women here and there. I love your sisters, your mum, I love them all, but a boy?”

William, another notable secondary character with poignant conversation as his default, made a welcome return.

In a flashback, he offered one of his pearls of wisdom as Randall contemplated this new path to being a grandfather.

Randall dances with joy after being told some good news from adopted daughter Deja
Randall dances with joy after being told some good news from adopted daughter Deja (Credit: HBO)

This Is Us season 6 finale: A lasting legacy

The fact that most of these moments revolved around Randall perhaps proves that he was always the show’s main character.

He undoubtedly had the biggest journey of all – from dealing with adoption, identity, racism, sibling rivalry, panic attacks, and his desperate need to be perfect.

Kevin and Kate’s journeys, while also tough, pale in comparison.

Kevin, Kate and Randall Pearson contemplate their futures in the This Is Us finale
Kevin, Kate and Randall Pearson contemplate their futures in the This Is Us finale (Credit: HBO)

The Big Three’s final chat about their futures and whether they might “drift” brought out a killer line from Randall.

“Someone asked me to close my eyes and picture my family, it’s not Beth and girls I see first, it’s Mum and Dad and the two of you.”

Perhaps the best summing up of unconditional love, whether biology plays a part or not – and exactly the legacy that Jack and Rebecca would have wanted to leave.

What do you think about the This Is Us season 6 finale? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

Watch This Is Us on Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus now.