‘This Is Us’ Producers Reveal Why Fans Should Worry About Rebecca’s ‘Alarming’ Behavior

On the cusp of a fall finale, the Nov. 12 episode of This Is Us didn’t pull any punches. If you’re among the many digesting Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) situation in the season 3 finale, “Sorry” may have been triggering. This Is Us producer, Isaac Aptaker, weighed in on Rebecca’s “alarming” behavior, and why you might need to prepare yourself for the worst now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The season 3 finale of ‘This Is Us’ revealed Rebecca’s ailing health

Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson
Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The final episode of season 3 showed Rebecca suffering from some memory-related illness (such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia). Randall (Sterling K. Brown) repeated his name to be sure she knew it was him.

The scene answered a string of season-long questions regarding the identity of “her” and why everyone was so concerned about “her.” However, it’s probably not so clear-cut. Moore previously told Glamour, the Alzheimer’s guess is off-base.

“I love how people are sleuths,” Moore said. “I love that! That’s a good theory. Not true, but I like it.”

She went on to say that whatever she’s going through will eventually make total sense to viewers.

“My reaction was, ‘Oh, Rebecca,'” Moore said when she discovered Rebecca’s future. “Dan Fogelman [the creator] is a genius. I was like, ‘Yeah. OK. I see that. I believe that. I understand that. Yep.'”

Creator, Dan Fogelman, perfected the show’s twists and big reveals. The season 3 finale showed the family 12 years in the future. Rebecca’s early onset of symptoms could be anything.

One Reddit user pointed to a previous conversation Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca had about their future.

“When Jack says ‘When you’re old and grey and don’t remember what you ate for breakfast you’ll be thankful,’ I totally think this is foreshadowing that Rebecca develops Alzheimer’s and that’ll be the end,” the user said.

Others agreed with some pointing to Beth’s Pin the Tail on the Donkey game. The game suggests Rebecca might’ve needed the memory-booster (since it was a big part of the Pearson’s birthday tradition).

Moore told Popsugar that Rebecca’s finale storyline will “be a lot for people to digest emotionally.” Um, yikes.

Some wonder if Rebecca’s symptoms have anything to do with these previous incidents

Considering Rebecca’s car crash years prior (which had all the Pearsons worried she suffered a brain injury), and that cancer scare that previously came up negative (remember that?), there are plenty of reasons to think Rebecca’s present-day memory issues have been hinted at throughout the seasons.

The This Is Us midseason finale in season 3 revealed Rebecca telling Tess about body aches and pains she’d had “for decades.” This led many to speculate her illness is degenerative.

One Reddit user echoed that sentiment saying, “I’m wondering if she has something like MS. Remember when she talked to her granddaughter about how holding in her thoughts and emotions makes her back hurt?”

There’s still quite a bit of Rebecca’s story to uncover before viewers are let in on the big secret. We’re sure it’ll be as devastating as losing Jack in season 2. No, we’re not over it yet.

Aptaker says Rebecca’s story is a ‘big part’ of season 4

The Nov. 12 episode peeled back another layer of Rebecca’s failing health. Randall noticed Rebecca’s memory lapses as she lost her phone and forgot he was a councilman (not a congressman). When he mentioned his concern, Rebecca snapped.

Aptaker, told Entertainment Weekly Rebecca’s mysterious symptoms are “a big part” of season 4 for a few reasons.

“I don’t want to speak too much to that because I want our audience to go on this journey with Randall and Rebecca, but he hasn’t seen his mom in a bit of time,” Aptaker said.

“She’s home for the holidays and it’s that question when you see an older relative, like, “Is this just normal, getting-older ‘senior moment,’ or is this a sign of a bigger illness, a bigger deterioration?'”

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Should fans worry about the show’s beloved matriarch (who’s been through enough already)? Aptaker said he couldn’t reveal much more “without ruining stuff.” But, her “alarming” condition is “a big part of their storytelling going forward.”

That’s not exactly comforting. The fate of Rebecca still remains largely unknown — and that’s exactly the way Fogelman and crew like it. We’re calling it now: buy stock in Kleenex and prepare yourselves for what’s to come when the fall finale ends.