Warning: This post contains spoilers for the finale of This Is Us.
For a show whose success is proportionate to the gallons of tears it produces from its viewers each week, you would think my eyes would still be swollen shut from last night’s season finale of This Is Us. And producers certainly gassed us up with promos to make us think that the season closer would have us on the floor in a ball of emotions. That moment never came. I didn’t drop a single tear. In other words, this was not the greatest episode of This Is Us — and I know why.
When it was revealed that we wouldn’t learn the cause of Jack’s untimely death on the season 1 finale, I thought it was a setup. I knew that something equally sad, but totally unexpected, would happen. Randall would get beaten up by police, Kevin would get a girl pregnant and threaten to run away if his parents tried to make her get an abortion, or Kate would be sexually assaulted. Either way, it was built up as a moment that would totally destroy us. In the most Chris Harrison-esque move ever, the big moment we had all been waiting for was a fight between Rebecca and Jack. Instead of swollen from tears, my eyes are sore for rolling them so much.
I hate to be the one to break this news to the creators of This Is Us, but Jack and Rebecca are not our favorite couple on the show. I actually kind of hate how idyllic they make raising three children with very little money seem, how much Rebecca whines, and Jack’s mustache — there, I said it. They’re annoyingly perfect. The huge fight between them in the finale adds some necessary depth to their story line and finally complicates Rebecca so that I dislike her a little less. I’ve been waiting for this moment for weeks and welcomed it with open arms. But my heart was not broken, and why else do I tune in to This Is Us other than to feel bad? (No, I’m not a masochist.)
If This Is Us wants to taunt me with the possibility of a relationship ending, try again with Randall and Beth; or young Sophie rejecting young Kevin; or even an overweight, teenaged Kate being mocked by the boy she’s madly in love with (something that never happened to me in middle school).
I deserved to be sad last night. It might seem morbid, but delivering on their promise to destroy us would have been the right thing to do.