‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman Breaks Down Emotional Penultimate Episode, Surprise Twist, Cameos & Teases Series Finale – Video Q&A

SPOILER ALERT: The story includes details from the May 17 episode of It’s us, “The train”. It played Monday night at the Landmark Theater as part of Deadline’s Awardsline Screening series, followed by a Q&A with series creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman. You can watch a two-part video of it, in which he dissects “The Train” (above) and previews next week’s series finale (below).

The flash-forward scene It’s us fans have been eagerly awaiting – and dreading – for years tonight, with The Pearson and their families gathered at Kevin’s home to say their final goodbyes to Rebecca on her deathbed.

Mandy Moore and Chris Sullivan on Tuesday’s episode “The Train”
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

There were many tears as loved ones of the Big Three – past and present – took turns at Rebecca’s bedside to tell her how much she meant to them. Randall and Kevin entered last as Kate raced from London to join them. She arrived in the morning just in time for the trio to say their last “I love you” to Rebecca as she breathed her last.

Alongside Rebecca’s final hours, a younger version of her found herself on a train, a cute throwback to the “Caboose” episode earlier this season, and flashbacks to her train rides with her father there. decades. She was guided through the carriages by William and spent time with the bartender on the train, who was none other than Dr. K who literally made lemonade out of lemons.

There was also a surprise third side story involving a new family with two sons and a daughter we hadn’t seen. Dad Kenny, played by Dulé Hill, lost control of the family car and one of the sons, Marcus, was taken to hospital in critical condition. For a moment, it looked like adult Marcus might be the future Deja’s boyfriend. Turns out she was still with Malik, who was revealed to be the father of her baby, while the Pearson car crash and fire happened on the same day, with Marcus and Jack being treated by the same doctor, Dr. Spencer, played by the same actor, Bill Irwin, who starred in It’s us‘ Super Bowl episode.

Kenny bumped into Jack at the hospital where Jack shared how Dr. K made lemonade from the wisdom of lemons, which Kenny later made his own family motto. Marcus, who was miraculously revived by Dr. Spencer just as Jack died a few doors down, became a top researcher. He was honored for his contribution to the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, with the man who presented him with the award played by It’s us director/EP Ken Olin, who helmed “The Train.”

As young Rebecca and William walked through the train, with memorable moments It’s us moments unfolding around her, including the scene of Jack and young Randall’s karate lesson, the two reached the caboose.

“It’s pretty sad, isn’t it, the end?” she said. “Oh that’s not how I see it, if anything makes you sad when it ends it must have been pretty wonderful when it happened,” William replied. “You’ll see the ending isn’t sad, Rebecca, it’s just the start of the next incredibly wonderful thing.”

As his younger version entered the caboose, which was fitted out as a bedroom, Randall in real life whispered in the ear of the dying Rebecca, “You say ‘hey’ to her.” Rebecca shook his hand as if to confirm that she had heard him, and moments later young Rebecca lay down on the bed on the train, turned to see young Jack and said, ” Hey”.

In the first part of his video interview (you can watch it above), Fogelman talks about filming that final scene, which required a reshoot, as well as the whole emotional episode. He explains why the train was chosen as the backdrop to tell the story of Rebecca’s death, why it brought back William (Ron Cephas Jones) and Dr. K (Gerald McRaney) and why we got “moustache Jack” in that final scene.

Fogelman also explains the scenario with Kenny and Marcus, how he finally convinced thirty-something alum Olin to make an appearance on the show, he served as an EP and director for six seasons, and why Deja eventually ended up with Malik.

“It’s about the strange dichotomy between trauma and joy in our lives,” Fogelman said of the juxtaposition of Marcus and Jack’s story, an idea they had had on the show for years.

During the conversation, Fogelman also gets personal, explaining how the sudden loss of his mother, without being able to say goodbye to her, influenced the writing of the scene in which the Big Three spoke to Rebecca for the last time.

In the second video (you can watch it below), Fogelman talks about It’s us’ series finale coming next week, “We,” which he also wrote.

He teases the script for the final episode and explains how the new material was mixed with footage he filmed four years ago.

Fogelman calls the last two hours of It’s us “Very different episodes that speak to each other.”

“In the final episode, we’ll try to capture something simple that, while sad, is kind of a day in the life, which is so much about the show, set against Rebecca’s funeral,” he said. -he declares.

The show intentionally solved all the major mysteries ahead of time “so people can sit down with the family in the final episode in the easiest way,” Fogelman said. “Although it will make you cry it will make you sad, the end of the finale moves me in a different way. I think the cast and crew captured something about the human condition and the condition of being someone in the family that I’m really proud of.

He also jokingly teased another death and shared a line from the finale, “I wish I had enjoyed it more while it was still happening instead of worrying about the ending.”, revealing which character says so. .

Additionally, Fogelman reacted to Seth Meyers at NBC early in the day by throwing a It’s us to restart, It was themand said if he would do a spin-off or any other It’s us-related series.

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