Warning: Spoilers ahead for This Is Us, proceeding with caution!
For the last few months the more emotional among us have been desperately trying to keep our shit together as NBC throws progressively more and more heart-rending storylines at us courtesy of their new smash hit series This Is Us.
After accumulating over 50 million views on the trailer for the series first season, This Is Us has continued its success over its first 10 episodes, melting hearts with the relatable characters and putting forth some stellar acting performances from the talented ensemble cast. But there's one thing that This Is Us excels at above all else: grabbing our heart and twisting those strings until we're sobbing messes of humans. So in order to celebrate (and grieve) the end of the first half of This Is Us Season 1, take a look back through some of the most emotional moments of the series so far:
1. When Jack and Rebecca lost their third triplet
After introducing us to Jack and Rebecca Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore), and their soon-to-be Big Three, there was almost instant heart break when their third triplet sadly didn't make it, and Jack had to receive the bad news alone in the hospital corridor.
2. ... But then welcomed Randall as the last of the Big Three
But not long after the sad tears, came the happy tears when Jack and Rebecca adopted a baby boy born on the same day as their babies, and left at a fire station. While it took some time for Jack and Rebecca to totally bond with the boy (who was initially named Kyle before later being renamed Randall after poet Dudley Randall), ultimate he settles in as the missing piece of the Pearson puzzle.
3. Kevin apologizing to Randall
In Episode 2 it was revealed that Kevin and Randall have quite a bad relationship, due to Kevin being an ass to Randall for much of their childhood. However, as strained as the brotherly bond may be, it's still there in some form and when Kevin is conflicted about whether or not to finish out his contract on The Manny, Randall is the one who calls for advice. Not only does Randall give Kevin some good advice ( "Mom and Dad didn’t raise no whores, except briefly, during Kate’s eyeliner phase."), but he also tells Kevin there's still a chance for the pair to fix their broken relationship. Aww.
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4. All three kids dealing with their issues at the pool
Two parents taking three kids to the pool is a bold move, but intent on a fun family day out in the height of summer that's exactly what Jack and Rebecca did in Episode 4. Once there, each of the Big Three battled with their own issues; Kevin struggled with not feeling loved or adequate, Kate was bullied for her size, and Randall dealing with finding his identity as a young black man living in a white family. Any one of these things might have been heart breaking, but combined it was a recipe for tears.
5. When Randall had to stop William from being frisked
Meanwhile later in Episode 4, Randall's struggle with being a black man in a predominantly white community continued when he had to reassure neighbors and a security guard that William wasn't a trespasser. The scene was brief but it was an extraordinarily real moment in the series, and something which really stood out as a important storyline to have included.
6. When it was revealed that Jack died
Even though we learned early on that Rebecca had remarried Jack's best friend Miguel, there was definitely still a part of us all that hoped that they had just divorced and that Jack was still alive and well. Unfortunately, Episode 5 brutally smacked those hopes down when Kate revealed her tradition of watching the Super Bowl with her dad, who was now dead and now sits in an urn on her mantel.
7. When Randall was afraid to excel because he didn't want to hurt his siblings feelings
After Jack and Rebecca are told that Randall is a gifted child and its recommended that he transfer to a prep school, we learn that Randall has been intentionally holding himself back so his brother and sister don't resent him for excelling. It was such a sweet and touching moment to see tender-hearted Randall tell Jack the real reason he was afraid to show off his academic talents, though it also proved to Jack exactly why it was important Randall went to the elite school.
8. When Kevin talks about his regret at throwing away the models he made with Jack
After Olivia takes an unknowing Kevin along to a memorial service for a man named Frank, Kevin finds himself talking with his widow, Grace. As Grace clears the fridge of pickles, Frank's favorite food, Kevin takes the jar off her hands and soon she's also offering him any number of Frank's belongings claiming her 15-year-old son wants nothing to do with any memory of his late father.
Touchingly, Kevin then reveals that he did a similar thing when his father died, destroying every model plane the pair had ever made together. He tells Grace that it was an act he ultimately regretted because he was left with one physical memento of his dad, a necklace which he now never takes off.
9.When Randall discovered that Rebecca knew about William all along
After we learned that Rebecca had been in sporadic contact with William throughout Randall's childhood, it was a tense few episodes until Randall finally found out his mom's secret. The moment that Randall walked in holding Rebecca's letter to William was an instant heartbreaker, and Randall's anger in that moment was 1000% understandable.
10. Randall's search for belonging and Jack doing press ups with him on his back
After Randall discovers Kate's contact with William, in the flashbacks to the 80s we see just how tough it was for Randall growing up not knowing his biological parents. It turns out little Randall used to question random black people to see if they shared genetic traits with him, and make tally marks denoting how many black people he saw in a day. Eventually we learn that Jack and Rebecca saw Randall's need to get a grasp on his identity and enrolled him in a martial arts class taught by a black sensei. During Randall's introduction, the sensei has Jack do a set of push-ups with Randall on his back as a show of how his dad will always be there to support him. Cue waterworks.
11. Toby surprising Kate... And then collapsing
Well it wouldn't be an episode of This Is Us if we weren't left blubbing like babies at the end of it. The final episode of 2016 the show managed to annihilate us when Toby sweetly flew in to see Kate for Christmas, and then later collapsed and was rushed to surgery. As the episode ended Toby's fate was left ambiguous, and the audience were left in tears.
This Is Us returns to NBC with the second half of Season 1 on January 10, 2017.