This Is Us took a break from jumping between timelines, instead focusing on Jack’s road trip to Ohio after his mother’s death.
But how did This Is Us Season 6 Episode 4 tie into the rest of the final season?
Our TV Fanatics Christine, Laura, and Jack discuss the effect the funeral might have had on Jack, the Big Three, and the final storylines.
Jack learned that his mother had a whole other life he knew nothing about. How do you think this affected him moving forward?
Christine: Jack loved his mom, and he saved her from an abusive relationship, but then he walked away. After that, his mother wasn’t a priority in his life, so he knew nothing about her life.
Family and friendship take effort to sustain, and in this case, Jack never put in the effort. Perhaps that was a lesson that shaped his behavior moving forward.
Laura: As Christine said, while Jack helped his mom leave an abusive relationship, he had little contact with her after that.
Some of that was he tried to forget his childhood, and he was busy with young triplets. I think he’ll try harder to maintain relationships.
Jack: I hope that he learned how important it is to nurture relationships while you still can. This was doubly poignant for me because of knowing that Jack would also die prematurely.
Do you think we’ll ever see Debby or Mike again? Would you want to?
Christine: No, and I can’t say that bothers me.
I thought Camryn Manheim played Debby perfectly as the cousin who took in Marilyn and resented Jack for not being around.
But I feel no need to see Debby or Mike again, especially with so few episodes left and so many other characters and stories I want to see get airtime.
Laura: No. As Christine said, they served their purpose, and it’s time to move on to other stories and characters.
Jack: I don’t think there’s time to see them again. But I am a huge Camryn Manheim fan, and I enjoyed both Debby and Mike, so I thought it was a shame that they would probably never see Jack or his family again.
How do you think attending the funeral and meeting Mike and Debby affected the Big Three?
Christine: They were six years old, so probably not much more than a faint memory about ice skating and wrestling with some guy they likely never saw again.
The kids didn’t really know Marilyn, and Rebecca kept them in the back, so I’m not sure they even saw her body or would have recognized her if they did.
Laura: I doubt it made a major impact on them. They’re young, so they probably won’t remember Debby or Mike. I doubt the funeral was traumatizing for them as they were in the back.
Jack: The kids were young and probably won’t have many memories of this funeral, but I can’t help wondering if their experience will somehow tie into the flash-forward to Rebecca’s death.
Were you surprised that Rebecca showed up at the last minute?
Christine: No, I wasn’t surprised. I was waiting for her to show up with the kids.
Rebecca could tell from their phone conversations that Jack needed them, and she is the type of person who wouldn’t hesitate to drive several hours with three small kids if someone she loves needs her.
Laura: Not in the slightest.
Rebecca and Jack are always in sync, knowing what the other one needs. It’s one of the things I love about them, and she knew he was nervous about giving the eulogy.
Jack: I wasn’t surprised either. As soon as Jack called her, I knew it was a matter of time before she showed up.
How well did this story work as a final-season episode?
Christine: Eh. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy this storyline. I did. I’m just unclear why it was so important that it needed to be one of the show’s final episodes.
We already know so much about Jack, and I found myself wishing this story wasn’t taking up an entire hour when there are several other storylines I’d like to see addressed.
Laura: Like Christine, I thought there were so many other plots to be covered in the final season. However, I think the series is trying to give each actor one centric, and this was probably Jack’s since he’s not in the current timeline. Milo did crush it.
Jack: I also felt like this was an hour that could have been spent on some other stories. But at the same time, again, I can’t help thinking that it’s going to tie into Rebecca’s death later, and then it’ll make sense that we spent the time on this.
Your turn! Share anything that hasn’t been covered above.
Christine: The cat was adorable, but I hated when Debby said it would likely get hit by a car. Even if she was joking, it still made me sad.
And where was Nicky in Jack’s childhood memories?
Shouldn’t he have been sledding with Jack, or at least shown at home with Marilyn if he was too young?
It felt odd not even having him referenced in any of those scenes.
Also, just out of curiosity, why did they have Marilyn make Heinz Tomato soup instead of Campbell’s?
Laura: I also wondered where Nicky was in the flashbacks and why nobody contacted him about his mom’s death.
Jack: I also thought it was weird that Nicky wasn’t even referenced.
I think the funeral likely took place during the period when he was believed dead. But it was almost as if the writers forgot that he and Jack grew up together!
What was your favorite scene, story, or quote from this week’s This Is Us?
Christine: I didn’t have a lot of favorites. It was an okay episode but not a stellar one.
I kept expecting a link to current times, but that never happened.
And the thought that Marilyn was too scared to visit her grandchildren and Jack was too distracted to bring the kids to her made me sad. Marilyn deserved better.
Laura: It was an okay episode.
I loved how in sync Rebecca and Jack were. She knew to come and support Jack.
She nodded in agreement about the cat, which made me wonder if we ever see the cat again. It was cute!
Jack: I was thrilled when Rebecca showed up with the kids at the funeral. I knew she would come, but I enjoyed the “twist” of ack’s anxiety that his father would crash the funeral turn to relief when Rebecca was the one who came through that door instead.
Your turn, This Is Us fanatics!
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to let us know your answers to these questions.
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This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST/PST.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.