The Press For This Is Us Was More Earth-Shattering Than The Finale

Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about last night's episode of This Is Us.
Before the This Is Us season finale, the show's cast and crew hyped the episode up for weeks.
Mandy Moore told Variety, "We're going to destroy America by the end of this season." Justin Hartley told TV Guide the episode was "very heavy."
Given how emotion-driven the penultimate episode was, we had high expectations for the finale, which turned out to be quite a disappointment. Last week, we saw Randall's children plan a heart-wrenching memorial service for William that involved wearing fedoras and going on William's daily walk. We learned how many lives William touched, and that he had a special relationship with Beth. The show even tied the event to Jack, with Kate telling Toby her father's death was "her fault." That's a lot to take in — which makes last night's watered-down mess even more disappointing.
In the finale, we saw Jack continue to act controlling and jealous of Rebecca's band, and her working relationship with Ben. Jack drove, drunk, to Rebecca's gig, only to punch Ben and have Rebecca drive him home, leaving the tour. The pair got into a surprisingly relatable fight, which the show, and Rebecca, handled pretty well.
Hold up. A normal fight between two married people is the earth-shattering finale we've all been warned about? Come on now, This Is Us. After watching people deal with loss, grief, and bullying, a fairly tame fight is not heartbreaking. And it definitely didn't make us cry.
Yes, it's nice that This Is Us is showing the realer aspects of marriage, beyond the "fairytale" romanticizing. But it's hardly the first show to do so, and the finale feels like a bait and switch. We're no closer to knowing how Jack died, or even whether Toby and Kate, and Kevin and Sophie, are going to make it.
If watching a marital fight wrecked you, well, congratulations on living what must be a pretty charming life. But I can't imagine many tears were shed last night. Cheering for Rebecca? Sure. Wondering where season two will go? Sure! But this fight was hardly a devastating finale.
We also know the fight was relatively low-stakes. Rebecca still wears that half-moon necklace in the present day, after all these years. So she and Jack clearly weren't on bad terms when he died.
All of the lead-up to the This Is Us finale promised hellfire and worldwide devastation. Okay, not really, but it did feel like that when we read interviews about how heavy it would be every day before it aired. On the This Is Us scale, last night's episode was the TV equivalent of shruggie.

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