Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and the rest of the This Is Us cast weigh in on the finale.
This Is Us - Season 3

The "Train" has slowed to a stop, your tears are (hopefully) drying, and it's time to hop out and brace for what's next. And what's next is what's last — the series finale of This Is Us, airing Tuesday night.

You may have surmised (or seen over here) that the last-ever episode of NBC's time-tripping family drama from creator Dan Fogelman will take you to the funeral service for Rebecca Pearson, whom the Big Three (and audiences) will be mourning for some time. But this episode is not steeped in sorrow; it's about moving forward and realizing that maybe what Kevin said in his Jackson Pollock days was true: Everybody stays in the picture.

You know who's definitely staying in the picture? Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore). A healthy part of the episode — titled "Us" — will take place back in the early 90s, with the Pearson patriarch and matriarch spending a Saturday with young Kevin (Parker Bates), Randall (Lonnie Chavis), and Kate (Mackenzie Hancsicsak), where… nothing particular traumatic is going to happen, promise. "I cried just because it was the end, but it was not nearly as upsetting to me," says Moore of this last outing. "I was like, 'Ah, what a beautiful way to wrap this up.'" I just remember closing it going, "You stuck the landing, Dan. You really did. No one's going to be disappointed. This is a really beautiful way to end this story.'" Ventimiglia in "full" agreement, noting: "It feels complete. It feels like there's no more room for anything else, nor does it need anything else. It's just full."

What else do you need to hear? More opinions from the whole cast and a few hints from them about this last-ever episode? Let's convene this family meeting to preview "Us."

This is Us series finale
Justin Hartley as Kevin, Chrissy Metz as Kate, Sterling K. Brown as Randall
| Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Chrissy Metz (Kate)

"[Viewers] are in store for a realistic mourning of a family, laying to rest a matriarch, but also understanding that it's such a ripple effect as far as what [Rebecca] taught us as children and how we teach our children and how that literally trickles down. And it's such a beautiful way to leave the series. I feel like it's like, 'Okay, there's a bit of closure, but also life keeps going, and that's what she wanted.' It just feels like… I don't know, it just feels right to me."

Chris Sullivan (Toby)

"I think the way that they structured the last two episodes of the show is the message. That even after all this, even after the beginning and the trials and the ending of a life, that what we take with us are these small moments, these small, simple everyday moments. it's not the highest high, and it's not the lowest low that we remember. It's the beautiful, peaceful times. And I think Dan executes that perfectly."

Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth)

"I think this landing is stuck. I don't know anything else that needs to be said or done. I really think that he did stick the landing in it. And you're talking about someone who's been working on the last episode since season 3. [Viewers] are going to see a lot of footage in that last episode that was shot three or four years ago, so this isn't someone who wrote the episode a month before it was time. This has been three years in the making. I think in his mind, he knew the last episode when he knew the first episode. So this landing has been stuck for a while. We just now get to share it with everybody."

Sterling K. Brown (Randall)

"I think about the movie Boyhood, the Linklater film, because he shot stuff over time.  And we shot [scenes] years ago that fit in just this magical way that only Fogelman could pull off. It will be a sweet swan song of remembrance of why this family resonated with people as long as they did. It's an exhale that says, like, 'Okay, now I can say goodbye.'"

Justin Hartley (Kevin)

"There's the funeral. But the episode is not necessarily just about the funeral. It's about the people that are attending it and where they're going from there. And in telling that story, we get to see flashes of years past that we haven't seen before, things that we have been shooting for years. So, it's pretty special, pretty special. And I think people will have if not a tear running down their face, they'll be welled up for sure. But coupled with that, they'll have a smile on their face…. I don't think it's as sad at the very end, as moments before the very end have been. I think end of the show is pretty uplifting, actually."

Milo Ventimiglia (Jack)

"It reminded me of the first episode. I just saw a lot of beauty in its simplicity. There's a lot of pressure that TV shows can put on themselves to really have this perfect landing. And therefore they're going to throw everything out at you, all the tricks, all the excitement, just the big stuff. And I think it was a really smart of Dan to simplify it, and really create this wonderful bookend to the opening of the show where you're dropping into these people's lives, and you are understanding very quickly who they are. I thought it was really beautiful. I was really moved by it."

Mandy Moore (Rebecca)

"I think the simplicity of what's in store for people in parts of this episode is what the whole series is really about. People waiting for things to be tied up perfectly in a bow with every single character and every single story need to abandon that idea because that's not the reality of life anyway. You finish telling one person's story and it's like, 'Yeah, but they have children or they will continue having a life. And their children will have children will have children. This story could just go on forever and ever and ever.' But having said that, the simplicity and the beauty of the quiet, simple seemingly mundane moments of this family's life are going to feel like a warm hug for people."

"Us" airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Say goodbye to the Pearsons with EW's special This Is Us edition, available to purchase online or wherever magazines are sold.

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Episode Recaps

This Is Us - Season 3
This Is Us

NBC’s beloved era-hopping drama tells the story of the Pearson family through the years.

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  • 6
  • Tuesdays at 09:00 PM
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