As for other key moments in the episode, Moore talked about Rebecca deciding to re-open the door that Jack closed and taking charge of her relationship. “Finally I get to be somewhat heroic!” she quipped. “She takes on the role that Jack normally fills, which felt pretty good.”
Metz, meanwhile, found beauty in Kate standing up for herself and recognizing that she wasn’t good enough. Yet. “I think it’s nice to see a woman say, ‘You know what, I’m not great. I’m trying to figure it out and I will work at it’ — especially Kate,” she says. “Because she’s always felt as if she’s never good enough, and for her to take a step back and say, ‘You know what? I’m just going to have to work at it and sometimes that’s what it takes to follow what you love.’ So I think that’s really beautiful. And, of course, an amazing fiancé and an amazing brother who come to the aid and the rescue even though Kate told them not to.”
On the adoption-journey front, Brown saw Randall’s push to adopt as honoring his family legacy, specifically William’s. “He’s lost his biological father, but he wound up inadvertently doing something that changed the trajectory of my life,” said Brown. “So he’s passed away, it’s sort of like fulfilling the circle of life. One person passed away, it only feels right to bring someone else in to honor my parents who gave me a life. To be able to do that for someone else feels like the right thing to do. It also kind of puts Randall firmly in the moment instead of looking towards the future. He’s such a goal-oriented individual that he’s finally taking time to be here, to be with his children, to really relish the experience of the now.”
Added Watson: “What was most interesting for me is, it’s a way that you haven’t seen them before. Rarely are they on a different page for a long period of the time… Because they’re on two very different sides but is there somewhere in the middle they can meet, so I can make his dream work, and somehow it works for me as well and is this honoring William? And I learned that she actually wants to honor William too. It’s not just something that Randall wants to do. It means something to her to honor him as well and that was a surprise to me. I was like, Oh this isn’t just him, she wants to do something too. He’s had that effect on her as well.”
Meanwhile, Hartley gushed about the upcoming guest spot by Sylvester Stallone, who stars in the Ron Howard movie with Kevin. “He is the movie star, and he has this ability to sort of disarm everyone in the room, and somehow someway he walks into the room and when he starts talking you, he’s like a guy and then you’re able to start working,” said Hartley. “He’s a master at that. He comes in and makes everyone laugh. He gives a great performance, and then when he’s gone, you miss him.”
Of course, on This Is Us, no one is ever really gone.
To read a Q&A with creator Dan Fogelman about all the clues in that final sequence, click here.
(Additional reporting by Maureen Lenker)