‘This is Us’: Praise for the show’s underappreciated hero

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(CNN)Warning: This story contains spoilers about the “This Is Us” fall finale.

For those hoping the “This Is Us” fall finale would continue the show’s tradition of breaking viewers hearts, the episode did not disappoint. There was drama (Randall’s rooftop intervention with his suicidal coworker), reveals (grandpa is gay), and shocking moments (poor Toby) aplenty. But in the midst of the Pearson’s holiday celebrations, it’s important to acknowledge the character that may not have been at the center of any twists in this episode, but was certainly the eye of the family storm: Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
If anything has been proven in the last nine episodes of the NBC breakout hit, it’s that Rebecca is not just a mother, she’s every overworked, chronically worried, sometimes-frantic, always-present, never-perfect mother.
    A single quiet scene during the noisy action of the fall finale perfectly captured this.
    Rebecca and Kate (Chrissy Metz) were in the car after returning from Kate’s gastric bypass surgery consult when Rebecca hit her daughter with a biting question: “Did I do this?”

     lonnie chavis as 8 year old randall, mandy moore as rebecca

    “You kept that secret for 36 years — that must have been incredibly lonely,” he said.
    She sobbed and tried to hug him, but he stepped away. He wasn’t ready for that yet, but added, “See you at Christmas.”
    “This Is Us” has earned a lot of attention in recent months for its heart-tugging approach to the story of a blended family and for its ratings success. (Last week’s episode beat Fox’s “Empire” in the ratings after three days of delayed viewing was accounted for, giving the show a series high viewership of 14.5 million.)
    Hopefully not lost in that praise parade is appreciation for Moore’s Rebecca, whose storyline adds new layers to TV’s portrayal of mothers and their adult children.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/06/entertainment/this-is-us-fall-finale-mandy-moore/index.html

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