Pearson Wrap-Up: This Is Us finale sees Toby and Kate tie the knot!

Toby and Kate get married in the This Is Us season two finale, while fans get a glimpse of the Pearson future that never was.

click to enlarge Kate walks down the aisle with her two best men by her side in the This Is Us season two finale. - RON BATZDORFF NBC
Ron Batzdorff NBC
Kate walks down the aisle with her two best men by her side in the This Is Us season two finale.

I’m a sucker for a wedding — I love weddings. I have this far too lofty idea that weddings are the last pure celebration we have. I love the idea of everyone you love coming together in a room to celebrate love. Now before you start lecturing me — I know. I know the bridal industry makes $50-billion-plus a year and darkness, capitalism, etc. Nevertheless, when This Is Us previewed their season finale was going to be the Kate and Toby wedding, I was more than excited.

The episode begins with our glimpse into a future that never happened  one where Jack didn’t die in the fire. Instead of Toby and Kate getting married, we see Jack and Rebecca renewing their vows on what would have been their 40th wedding anniversary. We’re at the Pearson family cabin (where the real wedding also will take place) and it’s hard not to feel this longing for old and grey Jack as he sweetly pushes Rebecca’s hair behind her ear.

Back in the present, Kate is feeling tense and Toby asks her not to Runaway Bride him. Not a far-fetched request, because Kate does have a flair for the dramatic and Toby knows that the wedding might be drumming up some Jack-feelings. Toby reassures her he's ready for anything, saying, “If my Boo comes with baggage, I’m paying the handling fee.” (I could write a thesis about how no one on this show deserves Toby.)

Deja, back with Randall and Beth, is back to being crazy salty about her situation and is vocally not excited about attending the wedding. Randall and Beth play a game called “Worst Case Scenario” in which they each say out loud the worst-case scenario of the problem they’re facing to make themselves feel better. Beth says, “She might kill us both in our sleep,” to which Randall responds in the funniest line of the night, “She might kill us both not in our sleep.”

In the dream sequence, we see Rebecca serenade Jack as Randall plays the piano. In real life, Rebecca prepares for the wedding and confesses to Miguel that she feels like the kids lost Jack and got stuck with her, insinuating that she is just a walking reminder of how Jack isn’t there.

Kevin and Randall are on Best Men duty and getting all the last-minute details together for Kate. When Kate realizes that she forgot Jack’s Daytona Beach t-shirt (her something old) she goes into a full panic. Kevin and Randall put together an assortment of other Jack-related things Kate could use but Kate goes AWOL trying to find something on her own. 

Meanwhile, Beth’s cousin Zoe (more like a little sister) is a photographer from Chicago in town to photograph the wedding. Beth sends her in to talk to the uncooperative Deja, which is when the audience learns that Zoe was abandoned by her mother and left for Beth’s mother to raise. After a heartfelt speech, it seems like Deja’s heart might have melted slightly.

Kate isn’t answering her phone and Randall and Kevin decided to play worst case scenario while looking for her. They both awkwardly admit that they might have been less-than-the-best brothers over the years and maybe share some of the responsibility for Kate’s stress.

Back at the cabin, Toby’s feuding parents (well-played by Wendie Malick and Dan Lauria) confess they have concerns about him marrying an unstable Kate. In their defense, Kate has RARELY deserved Toby, but I won’t stand between Toby and his love. Toby quickly shuts them down,  saying, “I’m unstably in love with Kate Pearson,” and tells them they can stay for the wedding or leave. God, I love Toby.

Kate takes Jack’s ashes to a tree near the cabin and essentially tells him (Jack) that she should let him go a little more. After she sprinkles some of his ashes, she runs into Kevin and Randall waiting for her. She reassures them that they are great brothers and it doesn’t take them long to agree, Kevin saying, “I would want me as a brother.”

At the cabin, Rebecca comes in to see Kate in her dress and tells her she looks stunning. When Rebecca starts stumbling over her words, fearful that she might say something to upset Kate, I really felt for her. This season has shown her in a much more sympathetic light — she really is only trying to make Kate feel better. Kate stops her and tells her that she’s only trying to live the life Rebecca did.

“Mom you are not in my way…you are my way.” Cue tears and mother-daughter bonding galore.

As I've said,  Jack’s death didn’t make me cry. It just didn’t hit the chords. However, Kate walking down the aisle as we see flashbacks of Jack telling baby-Kate what kind of man she should marry, all while “Alps” by Novo Amor was playing…I was a sobbing mess. She even had Jack's screw driver in her bouquet. Everything was beautiful and happy and glittery and romantic. I hope This Is Us realizes that scenes like this are just as tear-jerky as death and sadness.

At the reception, Kevin and Randall make beautiful speeches, one which included the four of them (Kevin, Randall, Kate and Rebecca) taking a deep breath and then releasing it along with their unresolved Jack grief. I’m really, sincerely hoping this means next season won’t have a Jack-related meltdown every other episode. 

Toby’s mom talks to Beth and Randall’s kids at the dessert table and tells Deja she looks, “Just like your father,” meaning Randall. Deja does not take that well and slips out to bash Randall’s windshield in with a baseball bat.

As the episode closes on the reception we get to see a glimpse into the future a year from now. Kevin is with Zoe (Beth’s cousin) flying to Vietnam with a picture of Jack and his brother. Toby is in the midst of a deep depression, not even sitting up as Kate tells him the doctor is ready to adjust his medication. Older Randall is with 20-something Tess telling her they have to go see “her” without telling the audience who they’re talking about.

The future-jump could be cool  but it also writes them into a corner, which makes me a little nervous. They have to get to that point because they already said that’s where we are going…which I’m not always a fan of. However, this episode was amazing and blissfully romantic in all the right ways. 

About The Author

Toni Jannel

Toni's a true Tampa native, equal parts Italian and Cuban — she's practically an ad for Ybor City. She's a USF graduate and a genuine enthusiast for anything with a script.

Scroll to read more Events & Film articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]