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This Is Us viewers break down watching ‘heartbreakingly beautiful’ penultimate episod

This Is Us viewers revealed they were left reaching for tissues during the penultimate episode of the hit NBC show which aired in the U.S. on Tuesday night.

Devastated fans revealed they ‘cried so hard’ and ‘had to regain composure’ while watching Rebecca Pearson’s [Mandy Moore] final goodbye play out on screen. 

The sixth and final series of the series has followed Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s journey and showed the close-knit family come to terms with losing their matriarch.

Final goodbye: This Is Us viewers revealed they were left reaching for tissues during the penultimate episode of the hit NBC show which aired in the U.S. on Tuesday night

During episode 17, the Pearsons are told that Rebecca will unlikely see the end of the night, as she reaches the end of her life following her diagnosis.

Her children and loved ones rally around her bedside and viewers see her daughter Kate desperately try to make the plane journey to say goodbye before it’s too late.

Through tear-filled eyes, viewers watched as Rebecca clung on long enough through the night, to say goodbye to all three of her children, before drifting off where was was reunited with her husband Jack [Milo Ventimiglia].

Reunited: Devastated fans revealed they 'cried so hard' and 'had to regain composure' while watching Rebecca Pearson's [Mandy Moore] final goodbye play out on screen

Reunited: Devastated fans revealed they ‘cried so hard’ and ‘had to regain composure’ while watching Rebecca Pearson’s [Mandy Moore] final goodbye play out on screen

During their final meeting, Randall asks his mother to ‘say hey’ to his father Jack when they meet in the afterlife.

The episode also saw the welcome return of beloved characters William [Ron Cephas Jones] and Dr. Nathan ‘K’ Katowsky [Gerald McRaney], as Rebecca passes from life to the next and is met by her old friends on a train journey.

During her meeting with her son Randall’s biological father William, Rebecca asks him about the poem from which he got his son’s name.

Tough watch: The sixth and final series of the series has followed Rebecca's Alzheimer's journey and showed the close-knit family come to terms with losing their matriarch

Tough watch: The sixth and final series of the series has followed Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s journey and showed the close-knit family come to terms with losing their matriarch

Hard hitting: During episode 17, the Pearsons are told that Rebecca will unlikely see the end of the night, as she reaches the end of her life following her diagnosis

Hard hitting: During episode 17, the Pearsons are told that Rebecca will unlikely see the end of the night, as she reaches the end of her life following her diagnosis

He urges her to follow him into the next cart where she greets her daughter in law, Beth, who recites real life Beth’s goodbye.

Beth tells Rebecca that motherhood usually feels like pretending to have all the answers, and how often people ‘imitate’ others in order to do the best job.

She tells her: ‘All these years, so many times when I was faking it, I was doing my best impression of you, Rebecca.’ 

‘I’ll take him the rest of the way, Mama. Thank you for helping me with that, complicated, incredible, beautiful boy that you raised. But I got him now.’

She is then met by Dr.K, who is playing a bartender and praises Rebecca’s parenting and shares his shock that she survived her childbirth and the loss of a baby and Jack.

As they reached the final cart, Rebecca says to William: ‘This is quite sad, isn’t it? The end.’

Supportive: Her children and loved ones rally around her bedside and viewers see her daughter Kate desperately try to make the plane journey to say goodbye before it's too late

Supportive: Her children and loved ones rally around her bedside and viewers see her daughter Kate desperately try to make the plane journey to say goodbye before it’s too late

Emotional: During their final meeting, Randall asks his mother to 'say hey' to his father Jack when they meet in the afterlife

Emotional: During their final meeting, Randall asks his mother to ‘say hey’ to his father Jack when they meet in the afterlife

William poignantly tells her: ‘The way I see it, if something makes you sad when it ends, it must have been pretty wonderful when it was happening,’  

‘Truth be told, I’ve always thought it a bit lazy to think of the world as sad, because so much of it is. Everything ends. Everyone dies, but if you step back — if you step back and look at the whole picture, if you’re brave enough to allow yourself the gift of a really wide perspective, if you do that, you’ll see that the end is not sad, Rebecca.

‘It’s just the start of the next incredibly beautiful thing.’

After entering the final room – a caboose – where she chats with Kate, Kate lies down on a bed and looks to the side where she sees Jack, and whispers ‘hey’. 

Heartbreaking: Beth tells Rebecca that motherhood usually feels like pretending to have all the answers, and how often people 'imitate' others in order to do the best job

Heartbreaking: Beth tells Rebecca that motherhood usually feels like pretending to have all the answers, and how often people ‘imitate’ others in order to do the best job

She tells her: 'All these years, so many times when I was faking it, I was doing my best impression of you, Rebecca'

She tells her: ‘All these years, so many times when I was faking it, I was doing my best impression of you, Rebecca’

Memorable: The episode also saw the welcome return of beloved characters William [Ron Cephas Jones] and Dr. Nathan 'K' Katowsky [Gerald McRaney], as Rebecca passes from life to the next and is met by her old friends on a train journey

Memorable: The episode also saw the welcome return of beloved characters William [Ron Cephas Jones] and Dr. Nathan ‘K’ Katowsky [Gerald McRaney], as Rebecca passes from life to the next and is met by her old friends on a train journey

The emotional scenes proved too much for viewers who took to Twitter to share their despair at finally watching Rebecca pass away.

One person wrote: ‘This episode is giving me chills and bringing me to to tears like no other episode ever has. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

‘This show is phenomenal beyond words.’

Another said: ‘Most people are complaining about the commercials but My God, I need these commercials to gain my composure. This episode is killing me.’

Resting place: During the final moments of the episode, Rebecca enters the final room on the train, a caboose

Resting place: During the final moments of the episode, Rebecca enters the final room on the train, a caboose

Hey: After entering the final room Kate lies down on a bed and looks to the side where she sees Jack, and whispers 'hey'

Hey: After entering the final room Kate lies down on a bed and looks to the side where she sees Jack, and whispers ‘hey’

Happy memories: The camera pans to mementos in the cabin which include happy photos of the Pearson's life

Happy memories: The camera pans to mementos in the cabin which include happy photos of the Pearson's life

Happy memories: The camera pans to mementos in the cabin which include happy photos of the Pearson’s life

One other wrote: ‘This episode of This Is Us is taking my breath away with it’s thoughtful and beautiful way of showing the end of Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s journey.’

Different viewers added that it was ‘beyond beautiful’ and ‘the most memorable train ride ever’.

Most of the six-series run has focused on the life of Jack and the show has seemed to some like a tribute to the father of three.

Teary: The emotional scenes proved too much for viewers who took to Twitter to share their despair at finally watching Rebecca pass away

Teary: The emotional scenes proved too much for viewers who took to Twitter to share their despair at finally watching Rebecca pass away

However following the second to last episode, one person mused: ‘For almost all of the first 5 seasons, I thought This Is Us was a tribute to Jack. Tonight confirmed what I’d just started to realise: it was always about Rebecca.

‘I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You’re as tough as they come, Rebecca Pearson. #ThisIsUs.’ 

Another said: ‘I cried to hard watching #ThisIsUs that my head hurts. I’m just going to continue to cry myself to sleep. Check on your friends who watch This Is Us. We’re not okay.’

One other said: 'This Is Us has penned the best transition of life on television. So beautifully done'

One other said: ‘This Is Us has penned the best transition of life on television. So beautifully done’

Complementing the show’s script, one viewer wrote: ‘The writing… it’s impeccable. The little details… it’s too much #ThisIsUs.’

While one hailed it ‘one of the greatest episodes of TV they’d ever seen’, another complemented the incredible casting throughout the series.

One other said: ‘This Is Us has penned the best transition of life on television. So beautifully done.’

Another noted: 'The genius of this show. In the earlier part of the season Rebecca reminisced on her childhood on a train and trying to remember the word caboose'

Another noted: ‘The genius of this show. In the earlier part of the season Rebecca reminisced on her childhood on a train and trying to remember the word caboose’

Many honed in on the incredible moment Rebecca saw Jack in the caboose, as they commented on the fitting ending to the episode as they reunited in a bed after leaving each other on in the hospital on the night of the house fire.

One person said: ‘Randall asking Rebeca to tell him hey, and then Rebecca softly saying hey to Jack and him reciprocating was so perfect, so simple, it was all it needed to be. It was everything.’

Another noted: ‘The genius of this show. In the earlier part of the season Rebecca reminisced on her childhood on a train and trying to remember the word caboose.

‘The ending was her finding her resting place in the caboose.’

Decisions: Speaking with Variety, showrunner Dan Fogelman discussed he decision to have Rebecca pass away in this episode and not the series finale

 Decisions: Speaking with Variety, showrunner Dan Fogelman discussed he decision to have Rebecca pass away in this episode and not the series finale

Speaking with Variety, showrunner Dan Fogelman discussed he decision to have Rebecca pass away in this episode and not the series finale.

‘To me, the show has been about many things and a lot of people can lock on to different elements of the show. They have favourite characters, they have favourite issues we explore, the dynamics we explore. 

‘When I zoom out, I’ve always thought that the show was a lot about the loss of a parent and eventually losing parents. And so that isn’t just about the moment of loss, it’s about which comes after.’

‘So much attention that was put on “How does Jack die?” early on. How Jack dies and the big episode where, in fact, he does die. But so much of our series is about what happens after. And I always wanted and always had planned for the final episode of the series to revolve around the epilogue of the continuing story of the family rather than the moment.

‘It felt important to me to go out making the show about how the human condition and the human spirit kind of endures and moves forward, rather than just a moment that would have everybody hysterically crying because somebody passes at the end.’

The penultimate episode of This Is Us airs in the UK on Amazon Prime on May 19. 

Air date: The penultimate episode of This Is Us airs in the UK on Amazon Prime on May 19

Air date: The penultimate episode of This Is Us airs in the UK on Amazon Prime on May 19


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