This Is Us gave us a lot of information and feelings to process during the second season finale.
After a cycle emotionally charged with Jack Pearson's (Milo Ventimiglia) death, the series closed out with Kate (Chrissy Metz) and the rest of the Pearson family taking a deep breath and letting go of their pain surrounding the patriarch's death.
Throughout the episode, which featured her anticipated wedding to Toby (Chris Sullivan), Kate is haunted by a recurring dream of her family celebrating her parents' 40th wedding anniversary, in an alternate reality where Jack did not die.
After a conversation with her mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore), Kate realizes Toby is not in the dream, meaning her subconscious is telling her she must let go of some of the hold her father's death has on her heart in order to be happy with her soon-to-be-husband.
Metz sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the season finale, specifically the moment Kate decides to forgive herself for Jack's death and delivers a heartwarming speech before letting go of her father's ashes.
"I think it was so important for her to have that, because there was a lot of pain surrounding, 'Oh my gosh, I don't want you to think that I’m forgetting you, but I found somebody who truly loves me and you love would him, too,'" Metz said. "And then to let a piece of Jack go, so there's truly room in her heart for Toby — so much of the pain and the shame had filled her heart for so long that she had to overcome that to come through it."
Metz also revealed there was a touching moment, which proved particularly difficult during shooting that did not make it to the final cut of the episode: Spreading Jack's ashes.
"We did do that," Metz said of the scene. "I know that they're fake, and I know Jack's a fictional character, and I know Milo is safe and well, but it was really weird. Also it was freezing that day and the urn is heavy, and I was like, 'Oh no, what if I don't get all the ashes out? What if it blows in the wind and it gets in someone’s face?' And I'm like, 'I know it's not real,' but these are things that you think about — or you try not to think about. For me, if something's too emotional or too difficult, sometimes I'll laugh instead of cry, so it was hard to do."
Metz revealed she found herself overwhelmed by the moment of spreading Jack's ashes that she ad-libbed a touching line as she filmed.
"It sounds crazy, but I actually said a prayer to myself, and I said, 'Goodbye for now,'" she added.
This Is Us will return for a third season in fall of 2018.