We were warned ahead of time.
We knew going in that This Is Us Season 1 Episode 18 would require multiple boxes of tissues.
But still. We weren't prepared for all that transpired.
As documented below, the season finale of this beloved NBC drama didn't just elicit tears. It elicited ALL THE TEARS.
Scroll down to find out why...
Flashing Way Back
We met Jack and Rebecca before they started dating; the former a down-on-his-luck mechanic freshly out of Vietnam with an alcoholic father and the latter an aspiring singer with very little to show for it.
Ben Did WHAT?
In the 1990s, we saw Ben try to kiss Rebecca backstage, only to earn her wrath in response. "What the hell were you thinking, Ben? Is this why you asked me to join the band?" she asked, prior to storming out of the bar and saying that Jack "was right."
Fight! Fight! Fight!
A wasted Jack then went backstage started pummeling Ben in the face, getting into an all-out drunken brawl with his foe. When Rebecca finally showed up, Jack backed away from the fight, as Rebecca admitted: “I have to drive him home, Ben. It’s over. It's all over.” As far as Rebecca was concerned, her national tour was finished.
Welcome to the Dark Side
In need of cash and desperate to get away from his family, Jack took part in a shady poker game. And he actually won! But he was then beaten and robbed by the people in charge of the game, later lamenting to Daryl: "I tried to go the other way. Be respectful to women. Do my part in 'Nam. Be a good man. And look where it's gotten me. When am I gonna get my break?"
The Huge Fight
After returning from the bar, Rebecca laid into Jack for getting drunk. She also admitted that Ben tried to kiss her. From there, an ugly and emotional fight broke out over Rebecca restarting her singing career, with Jack scoffing at the notion that she had any kind of "career." It ended with this line: "What do you love about me right now, Jack? … Next time you tell me you love me, make sure you're not just doing it out of habit."
How They Met
Via another flashback, we saw Jack plotting to actually rob a bar. We also saw Rebecca very bored on a date. After it ended, she went to sing on an open mic... only for her to lock eyes with Jack, just as he entered the establishment, intent on robbing it.
A Few Words from Jack
In the 1990s again: Jack and Rebecca faced each other the morning after their awful fight, as the latter suggested that her husband stay with Miguel to give the couple some space. This led to an amazing speech from Jack ("You’re not just my great love story, Rebecca. You were my big break. And our love story - I know it may not feel like it right now, baby, but I promise it’s just gettin' started.")... which may have been his final words to Rebecca, considering we know he dies around this time.
This was almost entirely a Jack and Rebecca-based finale, but: we also learned Kate (in present day) wants to try a singing career... that Kevin is determined to get a role in that Ron Howard movie and that he loves Sophie... and that Randall wants to adopt.