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This Is Us - The Wedding - Review+Poll: Baggage

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"Please don't runaway-bride me"

This Is Us delivered in this finale, knowing they are coming back they just decided to give us a beautiful wedding, with all the feels, and also give us a glimpse into the future, making us wonder how some things come to pass or who we're going next without having a big dramatic cliffhanger. Of course Jack was an inescapable presence in this wedding, as he has been in their lives, and it shows perfectly how by having someone so amazing in their lives they are forever bettered by it, but at the same time, they are forever damaged by it, so there are always two sides to these things, and it was nice to see a bit of them moving on from their grief, which is perfectly in line with starting to see flashforwards over the last half of this season.

The beginning I'm sure threw some of us off, seeing Jack, old, renewing his vows with Rebecca, was just so sweet, and so heartbreaking. Seeing what could've been so clearly sometimes hurts more than the actual death. Later, we would find out this is a recurring dream Kate is having, and it is very understandable she has him on her mind since he's probably the person she would've wanted at her wedding the most. Still, she's taking all kinds of crazy measures to honor him in his absence, like celebrating the wedding outdoors at the cabin, she's feeling a bit self-conscious about all of her quirks but Toby says if his "boo" comes with baggage he'll happily paying the handling fee. So she gives him a bow tie worn by Leslie Nielsen as a "thank you" for being so understanding with her.

But this takes a whole new meaning when Toby's parents, played by Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland) and Dan Lauria (Pitch, The Wonder Years), gang up on him to tell him they don't think it's healthy how much he bends over backward for Kate, how he tiptoes around her feelings, they tell him she's damaged goods. Now, I would like to immediately write off this concerns as ridiculous, but the truth is I see their point, thankfully Toby doesn't, he tells them he's been waiting all his life for them to agree on something, but now that they do he doesn't care, he tells them if anything he is the damaged one and to learn to live with his choice. But I have to say, the concerns his parents raised are things that seep into your mind and you can't un-hear, I even wonder if they have something to do with the dire future we see for Toby.

Now, to the crazy bride, we learn one of the things she wanted to do to feel her dad close was pining his Daytona T-shirt to her dress, but when she can't find it (and I'm sorry but I'm so glad she didn't), she starts to lose it (am I the only one who thought Kevin would borrow her his necklace?). Anyways, she decides to go get something else meaningful, but she wants to do it herself. She goes to the ice-cream shop she went with her dad, but when she learns they don't have his favorite flavor anymore she just drives around. For a second there it looks like she is, in fact, going to runaway-bride Toby, but then she calls her mom and tells her about the dream she's been having, about how things were supposed to be in her mind, it's like she just can't accept Jack's gone. Then Rebecca reminds her she has Toby now, but this makes Kate realize Toby wasn't even in her dreams and she hungs up.

In the meantime Kevin and Randall have been going crazy trying to find Kate (and, by the way, bitchy-wedding-planner Kevin is hilarious), they go to the ice-cream shop and then they start driving around just like her. And in that uncertainty, Randall proposes they play worst-case scenario, they both go very dark, and though it starts funny they end up realizing they're both afraid they failed Kate as siblings.

After the call, Rebecca is scared she said the wrong thing, but thankfully, what Kate took away from it was that she needs to let go of this pain and that her dad occupies so much space in her brain is hard for Toby to compete. So, she talks to Jack at the tree stump where they sat and tells him Toby is the perfect guy for her and that she needs to make room for him now. When she goes back to her car she finds Kevin and Randall who've decided they're they're awesome brothers and they all head back. By the way, it was amazing to see how supportive they were to Kate all day, they really make a great team and I hope to see more of them collaborating in the future, it seems to always yield good results.

Speaking of kick-ass pairings we see a little bit of what makes Beth and Randall's marriage so special when they play worst-case scenario and they spit out all their bad thoughts, no censorship, no judgment, just to get them out of their system. I believe we haven't had one of those scenes in a while and I hadn't realized I actually missed them. It seems they're struggling with Deja since Shauna terminated all her parental rights and Deja has been acting out. And in comes Zoe (Melanie Liburd - Gypsy, Dark Matter, Game of Thrones), who's Beth's cousin (and I'm pretty sure Bonnie Bennet's twin sister), she's going to be the wedding's photographer and for a moment there it seemed she would be the one to help Deja through her anger.

It turns out she had a similar background to Deja's, she was left by her mother and raised by Beth's, and at first she found herself hating her new family, trying to be loyal to her own mother in a way, but that finally one day she realized hating people who loved her didn't do her any good. For a moment there she seems to reach Deja, but later one comment from Toby's mom, sets her off and she ends up taking a bat to Randall's adored new car. Now, I have to say this whole one-step-forward-twenty-steps-back thing with Deja is getting really tiresome, I mean, I understand how heartbreaking her situation is, and I understood how closed off she was, but the way she lashed out I feel it was a little too dramatic, and honestly is making her lose all that good will she got on her standalone episode.

Once Kate is all dolled up (how gorgeous is that dress?), Rebecca comes in and they have a very nice talk for once. She tells her she's been stressing all day not to say the wrong thing and get in her way, but Kate says, she's not in her way, that she's her role model, she's the kind of mother, singer, woman, she wants to be, she had the kind of marriage she wants to have. And it was very nice to see that now that Kate is finally happy she can have less hard feeling about her mom. Which makes me even sadder thinking about what she and Toby might have to go through soon.

And then to me, the best scene, the saddest scene. We see a flashback of little Kate saying she wants to marry her dad and him explaining to her that's not the way it works, and talking about the kind of man she will marry, and how he'll be there to make sure he's worthy of her. Of course, he says her husband will be better than he is, but come on, that just too high of a bar. And with his words, we see the wedding itself, we see Kate with Jack's hammer in between the flowers of her bouquet, we see the happy couple exchange rings and how excited everyone is for them. I have to say I'm a little bummed we didn't get to see the vows, but I don't discard the possibility that we might see them in some flashback, and Jack's words were perfect anyway.

Later, at the party, Kevin gives his speech, he says both him and Randall wanted to make that special for her because they knew that was what Jack would've done, and then he remembers what Kate said to him about his pain, and how he never let go of it, so he proposes they all release a bit of that pain together, and there was such great acting all around, this family has been haunted by the ghost of Jack's perfection for so long. Then it's Randall's turn, and he talks about how it is impossible to control your future, but choosing the right person to go forth with is a very big step.

And, speaking about the future, we see a few little flashforwards, Kevin is on a plain on what seems to be a mission to find something on Jack's brother, and he's with Zoe, which I really liked, I don't know if I see her as endgame, but I think she's the perfect person to help Kevin get better and stay that way. We also see a bit of Kate and Toby's future, and this doesn't look so great, Toby seems to have fallen into a depression again but the good thing is Kate seems to be handling it as well as could be expected (there was clearly some foreshadowing when he told his parents if anything he was the unstable one, not Kate). And we also see grown-up Tess and Randall, dreading to go see someone, though we don't know if it is Beth, or Deja, or Annie, or any other woman in the family, really.

So, not that I would've ever worried there wasn't going to be a third season, but there's just something so comforting about knowing ahead, and watching this finale as what it was, and not in terror that it might be the last, and I just think it makes us enjoy it more. Thankfully they gave us something to look forward to but not to die with anxiety while we wait. It has been a pleasure to review this last few episodes and I look forward to continuing to debate with you all next season.

"You're not in my way, you ARE my way"

What did you think of the finale? How relieved are you to know it has already been renewed? I look forward to your comments and I leave you with the favorite scene poll.

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