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Weekly 'This Is Us' debates will be missed until the fall

Tuesday night wasn't the same for many of us because the NBC hit "This Is Us" finished its season early.

I'm going to miss it and the healthy debates I often have with my fiancée about the behavior of the Pearson family.

"Us" and "Blue Bloods" are the only network programs we regularly watch together because we are so invested in the families involved and the ethical questions they often face.

We didn't have a debate over last week's season finale of "This Is Us." (Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen the last few episodes, you might want to stop reading now.)

Several episodes this season have led to tears, including the semifinal episode that dealt with the last wishes of Randall's late father William (Ron Cephas Jones). But the finale left both of us cold.

We were disappointed that viewers didn't learn what they expected to learn from the setup the week before: How the father in the program, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died. However, not finding out wasn't a shock. That would have given away too much too soon, especially for a show that is expected to run for several seasons.

But we have debated for a few weeks how Jack and his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) behaved before he took a two-hour drive to try and repair a relationship that deteriorated when he became jealous after learning Rebecca used to date the guy she is now touring with in a band. His jealously and his drinking led in the final episode to what appears to be a trial separation of undetermined length.

My fiancée feels that Jack was acting insanely jealous and Rebecca only kept the information from him because she correctly anticipated his over-the-top reaction despite the fact she had given him no reason for years to be jealous.

I agreed that Jack was insanely jealous but felt that Rebecca should have been honest with him no matter the consequences. I added that Rebecca has had a pattern of keeping information from loved ones for fear of how they would react.

She didn't tell young Randall that she know his biological father, either, which eventually damaged her relationship to adult Randall (Sterling K. Brown).

In my view, if she told Jack about her prior, inconsequential relationship with the band leader, perhaps he would have surprised her and eventually behaved like an adult after some initial jealousy.

In my fiance's view, Rebecca gave thoughtful consideration to her omissions with the purist of intentions, all for the betterment of her family.

The success of "This Is Us" at a time that network television is losing audience to cable and streaming sites has been a welcome surprise.

That may be one reason why NBC only commissioned 18 episodes in the season when shows regularly have 22-episode seasons.

As disappointing as last week's finale was, fans of the show can't wait until next September when they learn how long Jack and Rebecca stay apart. There is no debating that.


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