Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us Season 3 finale, “Her.”
This Is Us viewers saw Rebecca Pearson’s future, and it’s not pretty. In a flash-forward scene on the Season 3 finale of the NBC drama, the Pearson matriarch, played by Mandy Moore, was shown silent and bedridden as her son Randall (Sterling K. Brown) introduced himself to her as “your son.” In another surprising twist, Rebecca’s husband Miguel (Jon Huertas) was nowhere in sight at the future family gathering, but an elderly Nicky Pearson (Griffin Dunne) sat by Rebecca’s side.
The haunting final scene of This Is Us left fans with more questions than answers as flashback clips of the Big Three visiting Rebecca in the hospital after a car crash in the 1980s were mixed in with pictures of a frail future Rebecca. But that final image of Rebecca in her early 80s is enough to haunt viewers until the show returns to NBC this fall.
After the ‘Her” episode aired, This Is Us star Mandy Moore posted a photo of Future Rebecca to Twitter and Instagram. Fans hit the comments section to remark on the haunting photo.
While some viewers want to know here Rebecca’s husband Miguel is, others predicted that This Is Us will end with Rebecca’s death, with some speculating that her past car accident has something to do with future dementia. Other fans said Mandy Moore deserves an Emmy for playing Rebecca Pearson in multiple generations. Indeed, Moore, 34, has now played the This Is Us matriarch in every decade from her 20s to her 80s.
After Mandy Moore posted the shocking photo of Future Rebecca, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman took to Twitter to comment that the actress has had some “hard years” since her days as a teen pop star with the hit “Candy.”
Fogelman may be joking about the appearance of Moore’s This Is Us character, but he’s not saying much else in the way of giving out spoilers for future seasons of the NBC drama series. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the This Is Us showrunner refused to confirm that elderly Rebecca has Alzheimer’s.
“I think there’s a lot of ways it could be read right now. I think that clearly Randall’s introducing himself and something seems vacant there. But it’s also been a bit of time, and this could be just kind of a different form of aging or something else. I think that that’s not an unexpected possible read of it, if that makes any sense.”
Moore also talked about her character’s tragic future, as she told Entertainment Weekly that she was shocked when she got the Season 3 finale script. She was, however, vague about what is going on with her character.
“There are a lot of questions surrounding what may or may not ail Rebecca, and obviously, we can’t confirm or deny anything,” Moore told EW. ” But clearly, there’s something going on. And in that sense, she’s just not the vibrant woman that I’ve known for the last three seasons. So to see her in that place is pretty… heartbreaking, you know?”
Moore did confirm that the This Is Us season 3 finale scene shows Rebecca Pearson in the final weeks of her life and that the family appears to be gathering to say farewell to her.
Mandy Moore added that playing later-in-life Rebecca feels like playing a different character. The actress said it was “mesmerizing” and “haunting” to see herself in the mirror after undergoing hours of prosthetics to age her nearly 50 years.
“When I walked on the set that last day, people were shocked, people didn’t recognize me. It was very weird. And it was the very last thing that we shot for the season too, and it was the only thing we shot that day, so it was weird,” Moore said.
You can see the heartbreaking final scene of the This Is Us Season 3 finale below.
This Is Us returns this fall for Season 4 on NBC.