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There are just six episodes left in the This Is Us saga and so many loose ends to tie up. We finally know the details of how KaToby split, saying a bittersweet goodbye to the couple’s marriage but perhaps welcoming a newfound supportive dynamic between the two. 

We still don’t know, however, whether Randall will find success in the Senate (all bets are yes), who Kevin ends up with, or what the dynamic will be between Rebecca and her children on her deathbed. After a panel at PaleyFest a few weeks ago, though, it’s clear that the cast finally knows what to expect for the final episode. 

This Is Us Milo Ventimiglia
This Is Us Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca | Photo by: Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The show’s creators planned a limited series arc from the beginning

Covid threw a wrench into the original timeline by delaying filming, but This Is Us was never meant to go on indefinitely. “We never set out to make a television series that was going to last 18 seasons, so we have a very direct plan,” show creator Dan Fogelman said in 2019, per Parade

Fogelman has discussed over the course of the following seasons that everything was going according to plan — even if all of the episodes hadn’t been written yet. In fact, he admitted to filming some of the series finale scenes all the way back in 2019, since the plan was to use some of the younger cast members who would naturally age out of their characters by the time the finale would film. 

Despite fans remaining loyal to the show and clamoring for additional seasons or perhaps even spinoffs down the road, Fogelman has remained committed to the current six-season run. The series creator is careful to never say never, but for now, the series finale in May will be all he writes about the Pearson clan. 

Dan Fogelman wrote the last words of ‘This Is Us’ at the beginning of April

Though the plan and major themes have been in place for several years, Fogelman just recently put the final touches on the Pearson family storyline. At the This Is Us panel during PaleyFest in early April, Fogelman said he had just finished writing the final episode the night before. 

“It’s funny because I’ve been away for the last week. So, I just literally finished writing the final,” Today reported. Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack Pearson, confirmed the news. “We all got a text from Dan last night saying, ‘Guys, I just finished it.’”

The moderator for the event asked Fogelman if fans would be satisfied with the outcome. Though he has shared writing duties with others, including cast members Chrissy Metz (Kate Pearson) and Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth Pearson) for some episodes this season, Fogelman took the burden to wrap up the entire series on his shoulders. “We’ve taken it very seriously. I wrote the final two episodes,” Fogelman said. “I feel very confident.”

Fogelman said he had been waiting to pen the final words of the series, but that the episode concludes the show exactly how he envisioned it when he started working on it eight years ago. 

The cast has been very emotional about the final season

This Is Us has been, per usual, an emotional roller coaster for its cast and fans alike in Season 6. Though some fans are disappointed with the details of Kate and Toby’s split, others are sad but find beauty in it — just as Fogelman hoped they would. With several more major plot points to resolve, including how Miguel and Rebecca finally pair off and more about the lives of the Pearson children, it’s safe to say that there could be more divisive moments to come. 
According to Fogelman, the penultimate episode was so wrenching that it caused Mandy Moore (Rebecca Pearson) to throw up. Metz struggled to breathe while reading it. And though we’d prefer to end in a fairy tale style, Ventimiglia has already warned that not everyone gets the happy ending we’d like to see. With the gut-punches fans have survived already this season, though, it’s a safe bet we’ll be grabbing for tissues all the way through May 24.