Dan Fogelman had an ending for This Is Us right from the beginning.
The series creator had long planned for Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) to die in a fire and for Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) to go through a divorce. What’s more, he always knew that he’d break that audience’s hearts by having the Pearsons say goodbye to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) in the penultimate episode.
“I knew that it would end with the death of the matriarch of the family, who in many ways the show was often very much about,” he explained to Entertainment Weekly, adding that these plot points aided in telling the Pearson’s story, “Those details allow you to play in time confidently, because you know where you’re going linearly, even if you’re not telling the story linearly.”
And with a clear story in mind, Fogelman was insistent that the show follow the course set all those years ago.