Every This Is Us fan knows that you need to be attentive when you watch the show. Very attentive. The series is known for its crazy twists and turns, but it’s also known for dropping a few subtle hints along the way. While the midseason finale finally reveals that Rebecca is the “her” in the flash-forward, there is one moment people might be overlooking.
In the flash-forward, Beth has her employee grab a Pin the Tail on the Donkey game from her office to take with her. The whole thing seems pretty random at first glance, but it could be foreshadowing Rebecca’s fate and perhaps the show’s very last scene.
While the episode doesn’t reveal the current state of the Pearson family matriarch, we have gotten a few hints the past two seasons. During season two, we learn Rebecca actually had a cancer scare. Even though she eventually finds out she doesn’t have brain cancer, it could be foreshadowing what’s to come. Some fans have even theorized that Rebecca has Alzheimer’s or dementia and is slowly forgetting about her family.
So, what exactly does this have to do with the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game? Well, as you might recall, the Big Three used to play the game every year during their joint birthday parties. Interestingly enough, the kids on the cover of the game look a lot like the Big Three when they were younger. It’s possible they are reuniting on their birthday in the flash-forward to play the game with their mom and re-create those memories with her. The midseason finale’s title, “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning,” could be another clue that this is their last birthday with their mom before she dies.
If that’s the case, the game could be setting up the very end of the series. As the Big Three play one last game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey with their mom, the final scene could be a flashback of them playing the game when they were younger. The show’s creator, Dan Fogelman, did confirm that the flash-forward will be the show’s final timeline. Perhaps the whole show has been the Big Three reminding their mother of their family’s story – it would literally be the Big Three telling Rebecca, “This is us.” Cue the tears!