This Is Us: Season 1, Episode 18 “Moonshadow” (B)
And this is it, the end of the first season of one of the biggest crowdpleasers to hit network television in a few years. The show was renewed for not one but two additional seasons a while ago, but this first year was kept at just eighteen episodes. I’ve found myself to be as impressed as everyone else just a few times throughout this season, and therefore I don’t mind it signing off early. I’m not convinced that having this entire episode, save for the closing moments where we got a brief update on each of the adult children, set in the past was the way to go, though I can appreciate the effectiveness of showing someone like Jack at a younger age before he met Rebecca when their marriage is in serious trouble and we know that he’s going to die soon. Their blowup fight was huge, and it seems like coming back from that is going to be very difficult. Jack had a certain sweetness to him that came from working hard despite his father’s disapproval, and the fact that he didn’t go through with a cash register robbery because he was entranced by Rebecca’s singing only makes their love story stronger. Just like Randall’s story was defined by his parents meeting, even if that was just a brief flicker of the history of William and his family, Jack and Rebecca’s union is crucial to how all these grown-up children live their lives. On that note, I think Randall planning to adopt is the biggest news we got. It’s going to be a long wait for this show to return, something I assume will happen in September, and I imagine that I’ll be watching if only for the general hype and enthusiasm others have heaped upon this decent series that’s nowhere near as good as the somewhat similar “Parenthood” was when it was on.
Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Ron Cephas Jones as William