This Is Us' Mandy Moore Reveals The Scene From The Penultimate Episode That Made Her Throw Up

Spoiler alert! This story contains major spoilers for This Is Us’ Season 6 episode “The Train.” Be sure you’re caught up before you proceed!

This Is Us fans, we’ve made it through the inevitable milestone that the series has been leading us to for years. Are we all okay? In “The Train,” the second-to-last episode of the NBC drama, we all said goodbye to Rebecca Pearson. We expected it to be a crusher, especially given the extreme reaction that Mandy Moore had after reading the script. Now that we’ve seen the episode, the actress revealed what it was that affected her to the point that she threw up.

“The Train” was a gorgeous episode that showed Rebecca as a young woman on a train — one of her favorite places as a child — that served as the threshold between this life and what comes next. Randall’s birth father, William Hill (Ron Cephus Jones) led her past her children (three of the actors who played Randall and Kevin at their different ages all interacted with each other, and it was stunning), and she spoke to different loved ones (though Miguel kind of got short-changed) as she made her way to the caboose. Mandy Moore told EW what it was about the episode really struck a chord:

The Dr. K stuff really got me, because it's not like he was an enduring presence in their life. She saw him during this very monumental moment of giving birth and losing a child. And then he came to Jack's funeral. She saw him when they were babies once. It wasn't this constant throughline. Or at least, like, there wasn't the physical presence in one another's life. I think she held him in such high regard and high esteem and had him on this pedestal. So the fact that they could have this very candid conversation about what happened during [the birth] — I imagine this event that Rebecca carried around with her, for the entirety of her adult life.

Dr. K (Gerald MacRaney) made a guest appearance in the penultimate episode as the train’s bartender, brilliantly polishing glasses with a Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel and making her a vesper martini. He confided in her that the day her babies were born, he’d been afraid that she was going to die, confirming what Rebecca had always thought. Mandy Moore got emotional again, remembering their conversation on the train:

But him giving her permission to take a rest, like you've earned the rest — oof, that really, really got me. That idea of you're so strong… [she trails off] sorry, I get emotional thinking about it… but for someone to tell her, ‘You lived a great life and you were an incredible mother and you had all of this tragedy befall you, and you still made such a beautiful thing of all of it. And now you're allowed to rest.’ I think just getting that [she starts to cry] permission from someone that she didn't even know very well, but loved so much and held in such high regard really just went such a long way. And that, oof, that got me. Still gets me, obviously.

Wow, Dan Fogelman really went in for the kill in this episode, didn’t he? Mandy Moore has discussed how becoming a mother in real life changed her perspective on the role (to the point where she wanted to reshoot the earlier seasons), and her character getting that validation from someone she respected so much really touched the actress.

Elsewhere in the episode we were introduced to a father (Dulé Hill) whose family had been in a car accident (and wow, The West Wing veterans really need to stay off the road on this show). He crossed paths with Jack at the hospital on the night the Pearsons’ house burned down, and Jack’s wise words (actually, Dr. K’s wise words from the series premiere) stuck with the father, whose son Marcus Brooks grew up to make breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research. We also learned that the father of Deja’s baby is Malik (was there ever any doubt?). 

Deep breath, guys, because next week we will bid farewell to the Pearsons for good. This Is Us’ series finale, “Us,” will air at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, May 24, on NBC. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what shows are premiering soon, and our spring finale schedule for what shows will soon end.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.