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Why Did Rebecca Die before 'This Is Us' Finale? Series Creator Dan Fogelman Breaks Down His Decision

Busayo Ogunjimi
May 19, 2022
04:15 P.M.
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The current season of “This Is Us” is at an end, and the last episode that aired saw the Pearsons say their farewell to Rebecca. Ever since then, fans have been wondering why she died so close to the finale, and this is what the show’s creator had to say.


Tuesday was a day that saw many fans of “This Is Us” join the Pearson family in saying goodbye to Rebecca Pearson.

She passed, surrounded by family in the second-to-the-last episode of the family drama attracted more than five million viewers, becoming the second most-watched episode of the final season.

Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images


When it aired on NBC, it helped them beat the competition in the English-language broadcast with an average 0.6 rating, followed closely by CBS with an 0.5, then Fox with 0.3, and ABC with 0.27.

In the episode, Rebecca’s kids and her extended family gathered at her home except for Kate, who was racing back from the work trip that took her overseas.

Rebecca never opened her eyes, dreaming all the while that she was on a train where Randall’s biological father, William, was the conductor.

Mandy Moore at an interview on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on May 10, 2022 | Source: Getty Images


Deja also revealed her pregnancy to Randall but refused to mention who the father was. Later on, after receiving a text from Deja, Malik showed up at her bedside to tell her he wanted the baby and was also prepared to marry her.

The Pearsons were later told Rebecca would not last the night and urged them to start saying their farewells which were played over the loudspeaker on the train she was on. After hearing her kids say Kate was on her way, Rebecca was able to last the night, and when Kate arrived, she spoke her piece.

After hearing it, Rebecca told William she was ready, and he walked her to the train caboose, which signified the end of her life. The episode ended with Jack next to her, saying “hey” just as she said it back.



Rebecca’s demise in the penultimate episode was a shocker for everyone, but Fogelman has assured them that they will come to understand the reason behind it in the last episode.

According to the talented man, the finale needed to be more than just the loss of a well-loved character and more of what comes after that tragedy.

Fogelman told People that the episode caught him off-guard because of its perfection. He also revealed how emotional he had been as they filmed, stating that he usually created a forcefield to protect himself. Still, it barely keeps his eyes from watering now and then.


This Is Us Season 6 Red Carpet, December 14th, 2021 in Los Angeles -- Pictured: Carolyn Cassidy, Dan Fogelman, Lisa Katz. | Source: Getty Images

He was not the only one who felt that way about Rebecca’s ending. Nearly all the cast members did, including Mandy Moore, who admitted that she “threw up after reading” what would be played out.


Moore described the train metaphor as a “beautiful and all-encompassing way to showcase someone’s life at the very end.”

She also stated that she reached out to Fogelman after she finished reading to tell him how honored she was to be a part of the story.

Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, Chris Geere, Griffin Dunne, Caitlin Thompson, Chris Sullivan, Carolyn Cassidy, Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Asante Blackk, Dan Fogelman,Jon Huertas, Justin Hartley, Lisa Katz, Eris Baker, Sterling K. Brown, Faithe Herman and Lyric Ross attend NBC's "This Is Us" Season 6 red carpet at Paramount Pictures Studios on December 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images



The current “This Is Us” season airing now is the sixth and final season of the family drama. After the emotional trip viewers were taken on in the penultimate episode, many expect a smooth wrap-up, and according to Moore, it is most likely what they will get.

Fogelman has revealed that he will miss the show and has even likened it to a baby he raised and now has to let go.

However, when asked about spinoffs, Fogelman says that there may be no simply because, by the time the last episode airs, fans will already know most of what they need to about how the characters will fare later on. The last and final episode of the record-breaking family drama will air next week on NBC.