The emotional roller coaster that is This Is Us season 2 has come to a close — but not without a few more tears shed. In the season 2 finale, titled “The Wedding,” Kevin and Randall take on the role as wedding planners for Kate and Toby’s — or, rather, Ka-Toby’s — wedding at the Pearson family cabin. The celebration brings out a lot of memories for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Randall and Beth get used to caring for Deja on a more permanent basis after her mother gave up her parental rights.
Things get hectic as crews set up the cabin for Kate and Toby’s wedding. Toby worries that being at the cabin will be too emotional for her, but she’s excited to be able to have Jack there in spirit, and she tries to incorporate him in any way she can, including having his ashes by the guestbook and wearing his Daytona T-shirt as her “something old.” But things don’t go according to plan when Kate realizes that Toby didn’t pack the T-shirt. Randall and Kevin jump into action by collecting other items around the cabin that remind them of their father.
The morning of the wedding, Kate announces that she has a new plan and leaves for an errand that no one can go on but her. She heads to the old ice cream parlor that Jack used to take her to, but it has a new owner and completely new flavors. Unfortunately, they don’t have the flavor she used to get with Jack, so she can’t use that as her “something old” to eat with her cake.
An Anniversary That Never Was
In a weird “what if” moment, This Is Us explores the 40th wedding anniversary of Jack and Rebecca, had he not died after the fire. They renew their vows at the cabin and talk about their life together over the past 40 years. It turns out it’s a dream that Kate has been having leading up to her own wedding. When she tells Rebecca about the dream, as she’s on her mission for her “something old,” Rebecca asks what Toby is doing in the dreams. Kate freaks out when she worries that he should have been in them.
Kate continues on her drive and ends up on the tree stump she used to have chats with Jack on. She has one more chat and tells him that she knows Toby is perfect for her and that he’d probably agree. She adds that she’s been holding onto Jack for so long, but she needs to make room for Toby. And then she finally spreads the rest of Jack’s ashes at that spot before heading back to the cabin to get married.
It All Works Out
Despite Toby’s bickering divorced parents, they apparently come to an agreement that they share with him. They both agree that they have concerns about Kate. They worry that he bends over backward for her, that he tiptoes around her so as not to set her off and that she is unstable. They fear he will get severely depressed again, like he did after his first marriage to Josie failed. Of course, Toby defends Kate and tells them they can stay or go, but either way he’s marrying Kate.
While Kate goes missing, Kevin and Randall go searching for her. Along the way, they play the “worst-case scenario” game, where they say things they are afraid of out loud to get it out of their system. They say some pretty out-there things and then hone in on their feelings about Kate. Randall worries that he was so wrapped up in his own life after Jack died that he forgot to check in on his sister. And Kevin worries that he let Kate take care of him for too long and she stopped caring about her own happiness. Clearly, the game didn’t work, since they are now upset as they continue the search for Kate. They do eventually find her at the tree stump after she’s spread Jack’s ashes.
Before she heads down the aisle, Kate and Rebecca have a moment. Rebecca tells Kate that she doesn’t want to get in the way on her special day. But Kate tells her that she’s never in her way, as she’s always wanted to be her mother, which makes Rebecca finally feel like she has a good relationship with her daughter. The wedding goes off without a hitch, including toasts by both Kevin and Randall. Kevin’s focuses on allowing the Pearsons to let go of things they’ve been holding onto for so long, while Randall’s focuses on choosing the right people to shape your future. Both are very profound speeches.
While all the wedding stuff is going on, Beth is struggling with getting through to Deja, who has basically shut down after her mother told the judge she doesn’t want her anymore. She’s been living with Beth and Randall ever since, but she’s not the happy girl she was before she left the first time.
At the wedding, Beth’s cousin Zoey is the photographer. She offers to talk to Deja, as she too was an angry child growing up. Zoey explains to Deja how her own mother left her when she was 8 years old, and she lived with Beth and her family. She says she grew up hating Beth’s family and made their lives miserable. Finally, she says that one day she woke up and forgot that she hated the people who actually loved her. And since then, she’s been happy, and she and Beth are like sisters.
This chat with Zoey seems to work on Deja, as she seems to be enjoying herself at the wedding — that is, until Toby’s mother mistakes Deja as a biological child of Randall and Beth. She even goes as far as to say that Deja looks exactly like Randall. This sets Deja off, who then takes a bat to Randall’s car.
What Does the Future Hold?
During Randall’s toast, we see glimpses of where the Pearsons will be in the future. Apparently, in a year, Kevin will be dating Zoey and they’ll be headed to Vietnam. We see them together on a plane, and Kevin is holding a photo of Jack and his brother during the war.
And I guess Toby may slip into a depression again, as he’s in bed when Kate tells him that the doctor wants to talk about adjusting his medications.
And in 10 years, we see Randall with Tess. He’s telling her that eventually, she has to see her. She tells him she’s not ready, and he says he’s not ready either. My guess is they are talking about Deja. Perhaps after she takes the bat to the car, they send her away or something — or maybe Tess and Randall are talking about someone else completely. Either way, it’s clear that this person is not a part of their lives anymore, and they aren’t looking forward to seeing her.
Season 2 of This Is Us was full of highs and lows. Not only did we get to see a lot of the past and what has shaped the lives of the Big Three, but we also got to glimpse into the future of the Pearsons. And even after Jack’s death, we got to see what might have happened if he didn’t die by way of Kate’s wedding dreams.
I look forward to finding out what happens during the next year of the Pearsons’ lives. I really hope they explore more of the backstory for Toby too. I’d like to find out exactly how depressed he was before he met Kate and perhaps what might have sent him into that downward spiral after their wedding. I’m also eager to see Kevin happy again. I just have to wonder what Beth thinks about Zoey dating Kevin. And, of course, I want to know who Randall and Tess are talking about.
What did you think of the season 2 finale of This Is Us? Are you surprised that Kate is able to “let go” of Jack and make room for Toby? Do you think Toby’s parents are right about Kate being unstable? Who do you think Randall and Tess are talking about in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
This Is Us will return for season 3 in fall 2018 on NBC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV