Season 5 of This Is Us has been a long and winding road for both the Pearsons and the program itself. COVID prompted a delayed premiere, repeated hiatuses, and a two-episode cut to the season (total episodes 16). But viewers were treated to just as much heartbreaking drama as ever, as Randall discovered about his past, Uncle Nicky gained a backstory, Toby lost his job, which changed his relationship, and Kate and Kevin negotiated to establish an unexpected family with Madison, among other happenings.
Kevin’s wedding to Madison is the concept of the finale, and it’s the latter tale that’s propelled much of the season, particularly the back half. Last week, there were worries about whether the wedding would go a place, but in the season 5 finale episode, titled “The Adirondacks,” things start off on a relatively hopeful note, with Kevin in a tux rehearsing something wedding-related, which appears to be vowed. But a lot happens in the next hour, and it’s not clear what that practice scene is about until the very end. Let’s move into the wild conclusion now. (if you want to watch the finale episode again, NBC has broadcast again at 9 pm) This Is Us: “The Adirondacks” Recap
Kevin is working on his technique in front of the mirror. He puts on a funny voice and declares that he is incapable of doing so. Meanwhile, Rebecca used to have a Dynasty tape and a glass of wine, but it vanishes after the previews and is replaced by a game. She runs up to Jack and yells at him, but the kids are already awake. Madison’s mother informs her that she is leaving, but she gives her some earrings that she may wear when she finds a better man than her mother. Madison warns Kevin that there will be no movie references or improv. Nicky is engrossed in his computer, capturing everything. Nicky inquires as to whether they can get a Uhaul for his presence today.
So Kate and Toby can finish packing, Jack and Haley are taking a nap. Toby doubts that the kids will sleep the entire journey. They want to place a wager. Toby also offers some good news: he has a job. Kate is content until she learns of San Francisco’s existence. Toby believes they should think about it nonetheless. Kate believes they’ll make it. Toby claims that he requires this position. Kate is irritated. The Little Big Three question their parents if they still love each other when they wake up.
On the video, Deja is speaking with Malik. Beth brags about Malik before revealing Tess’s relationship with the class valedictorian. Rebecca is upset that the Pearsons will be departing the next day. She’s curious about New Orleans. Nicky is impressed by Kevin’s wealth, as he was able to rent out the entire building. Randall and his family are on their way. Randall isn’t pleased with Rebecca and Miguel’s relationship. Tess appears to be annoyed by the clothes. There is an issue. The altar has given way. Kevin insists that it must be flawless. Kevin wants everything to be perfect, so Madison designed the altar. Nicky has it on tape.
Now that they have an hour free, Rebecca wants to catch up with Randall. Randall shows her the images he has taken. When Rebecca sees a photo of Laurel, she becomes distraught. Kevin breaks the silence with a best man emergency. He’d like Randall to go to Home Depot with him.
A home movie of Jack and Rebecca’s wedding day is shown to the Big Three. Kevin is keeping a close eye on the situation. Jack had lost track of his pledges. Rebecca gets irritated, and they begin fighting once more until they realize the children are present. Randall and Kate believe that they should remarry today. eighth grade Madison doesn’t have a dress for a dance, and her father advises her to go with whoever will take her. Madison is apprehensive about her wedding vows in the present. Kate assures her that the commitment is far greater. Her speech is punctuated by flashbacks of her and Toby’s wedding day. She expresses gratitude for Madison’s reminder and states that she must make a phone call.
Annie inquires about Deja’s plans to marry Malik. Deja claims she isn’t considering it. As Beth complements Tess, she appears to be dissatisfied. Beth inquires as to what’s going on. Tess believes that everyone desires a different version of herself. She doesn’t feel at ease in this gown, but she doesn’t want to let anyone down. Nothing Tess does, Beth claims, can let her down. In the past, Kate officiated over an impromptu remarriage between Jack and Rebecca. Jack swears to cherish this entire family for the rest of his life. They’re all “married.”
Kate phones to resign from her work in the present since Toby has received a job offer. Philip begins to rant about how she was so unqualified yet ended up being fantastic, and he refuses to accept her resignation.
All of the guys are working on re-building the altar. Kevin is having a nervous breakdown. Randall assures him that everything is fine. Beth rushes in to inform Tess that her dress is being altered. Nicky and Miguel get into a fight. Toby inquires about a long-distance relationship with Kevin. Meanwhile, Nicky’s present has arrived. There are two chairs. Nicky requires cash in order to tip the delivery men. Kvin decides to go inside to get away from it all. Toby informs Kate that he will not be taking the job. She says no, but she’s also not going to quit her job. She recalls the ceremony but not the vows. However, she would prefer to spend four days a week with him than eight days with anyone else. He is smitten with her. They exchange kisses.
Tess adores Beth’s dress improvement. She claims she hasn’t been nice to Beth this year, despite the fact that she adores her. Malik calls and announces that he has been accepted to both Penn and Harvard. Rebecca is adamant about speaking with Randall. She claims she suspected Randall was thinking about his biological parents when the wedding movie was shown, but she didn’t ask and rationalized not talking about it because she has never given him the opportunity to do so. She was humiliated because she knew things and she hid them. She realizes it’s too late, yet she feels compelled to express her regret. She claims he can tell her how much she has wounded him and that her tears are due to the fact that she is aware of what she has done to him. She’s curious about Laurel. Randall informs her of the situation.
Madison’s wedding planner has arrived to take photographs of her, who appears to be upset. She had a flashback to a time when she was dumped by a boyfriend. She then spat out some ice cream, which was followed by a flashback to her first meeting with Kate at OA. She gets up and walks out of the room.
Madison enters Kevin’s room as he is preparing for the day. Kevin had a nervous breakdown. Madison inquires as to whether he is smitten with her. Kevin claims that they are getting married and starting a family. She claims to be in love with him, despite the fact that she is well aware that this is a cliche. Her mother gave her these earrings before abandoning her to a father who offered her nothing. Kevin is amazing, but he may not be in love with her. She has always accepted whatever crumbs of affection anyone would offer her, and she has always accepted whatever scraps of affection anyone would give her. Kevin encourages her to relax and take a deep breath. He says he admires what they have and are building, and that he believes they are amazing. He also says he enjoys watching her with their children and that he feels good when they are together. He admits that they didn’t meet under regular conditions, but that what they have will blossom. Madison claims she can’t marry someone she doesn’t love. Kevin wishes to spend more time with her and their children. This, she claims, isn’t right.
Kevin and Rebecca are seated in the same chair. Kevin claims he couldn’t say it to her in that manner. Rebecca is curious as to how Jack will react. She’s not sure if it’s the condition or what, but she can’t imagine what Jack would do in a given situation. Kate is concerned that Kevin will drink, but he does not. Rebecca wishes to spend as much time as possible with them, and she wishes for Kevin to construct the house that Jack had planned for her. In the future, Kevin enters a hotel room where Kate appears to be marrying Philip.