Have you ever cried during a Weird Al singalong? Because we can now cross that off our list of things we never thought we'd do but did anyway.
To be fair, our eyes were hardly dry throughout tonight's entire episode, which told the story of the Pearsons through memories in their family car. All the memories, even the happy ones that didn't feature Rebecca, Kate, Randall, and Kevin on their way to our from Jack's funeral, were tinged with sadness, and we found ourselves tearing up at the weirdest times.
People just walking to the car set us off, to the point where we're pretty sure we just haven't recovered from Sunday's episode. Two days is not a lot of time to process!
But there were moments that deserved all the emotions in the world, like when the sound cut out at the funeral, and when Dr. K showed up to comfort Rebecca, or the journey to the Bruce Springsteen concert Jack bought tickets for before he died, or when Rebecca brought her kids to Jack's favorite tree to scatter his ashes.
Or when we learned how Jack's favorite tree came to be his favorite tree. Before the kids were born, Rebecca had a cancer scare, and so he drove her to "his favorite tree" to wait for the results and to talk about what he wanted when he inevitably died before Rebecca. He really just picked a random tree close to a payphone, but from then on, it was his favorite tree.
And then there were the other moments, like the aforementioned Weird Al singalong, or Jack's attempts to teach Randall and Kevin how to drive, or helping Kate skip school for Alanis Morrissette, or just Jack trying to buy the car in the first place when he couldn't afford it.
While all the performances were pretty magnificently heartbreaking—especially teen Randall, Kevin, and Kate—this was, once again, an Emmy reel for Mandy Moore.
"As we were shooting that episode, I just kept thinking in my mind for those moments, like I am floating," Moore shared during the This Is Us aftershow. "I am so unconnected and disconnected from anything and everything around me, including my kids. I think she just couldn't find any ground."
"I don't think anyone is ready for a loss of that magnitude, especially with how Jack and Rebecca were and are as a couple," Ventimiglia says in the video. "They were one. It was just them. The two of them felt like one of those couples that, when they got old, one would pass and then the other one would too."
Moore credits the moment with Dr. K with Rebecca finally realizing what she had to do, and with giving her the strength to make that speech to her kids about now no one had to be the new "man of the house" and no one could blame themselves, because Jack was an adult who had made his own decision to go back into that house.
"Seeing herself through his eyes is what kind of like jumpstarts her back into reality that you know what, it's not going to be easy and it's going to be completely different, but she'll figure this out," Moore says. "She's going to be the best mother she possibly can be to these kids."
"The two of them have made this family, created this family, and the family still exists," Ventimiglia says. "That's where the strength lies, is in the family. It's not just Jack, it's not just Rebecca. It's what they were able to create together.
Ventimiglia also says something very interesting about a kind of what-if scenario that we are certainly not ready to witness in our current state.
"I think there's an opportunity to even dream a little further forward, you know the moments possibly that we didn't get that we could have gotten had this man lived on a little longer than his fifty-some odd years."
Are we getting a dream episode? Will Randall go on another drug trip? Has Rebecca been writing a book this whole time?
We're not even prepared to consider this right now but please, keep talking about it, Milo!
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBC Universal family.)