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This Is Us: here's the heartbreaking finale explained

Warning, spoilers ahead for the season six finale!

this is us finale
Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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After six incredible and emotional seasons, This Is Us aired its last-ever episode on Tuesday evening.

MORE: Mandy Moore shares rare This Is Us pictures ahead of series finale

Telling the story of the Pearson family over several generations, the family-focused, time-hopping drama has had us reaching for the tissues from the very first episode. But what went down in the finale? Keep reading for an explainer of how the show said goodbye…

WATCH: What did you think of the season finale of This Is Us?

The final episode, simply titled Us, jumps between two days set over 30 years apart. In the present day, the Big Three - aka Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K Brown) - are laying their mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore) to rest following her death in the show's penultimate episode. 

MORE: This is Us: see the cast and their real-life children here

MORE: Mandy Moore updates fans on 'exciting' plans for after This is Us - and it's not acting

Meanwhile, in flashbacks to the nineties, the family - including dad Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) - are enjoying a lazy Saturday at their family home watching home movies. As a result, it contrasts an incredibly emotional and important day for the Big Three with a perfectly unextraordinary one from their childhood.

This is us jack rebecca© NBC

Jack reassures Rebecca after they are reunited in the afterlife

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, creator Dan Fogelman opened up about ending the show with the two very different scenes. He said: "We wanted to make this show about the continuation of life and not the end of life - and kind of hug the audience a little bit and try and capture something that's more about family and the simplicity of family."

MORE: This is Us creator opens up about potential spinoff series

Elsewhere in the episode, Rebecca's afterlife vision of reuniting with Jack on the train continues and while she laments that there was more she wanted to teach the kids before her death, he reassures her that she will - in the same way that he was able to after his untimely death 30-odd years prior.

Right before the credits rolled for the final time, viewers are treated to a sweeping montage of the family of five throughout the years before returning to their blissful, uneventful Saturday. The final shot is of Randall as a youngster, surrounded by his loving family, who changed the trajectory of all of their lives by adopting him all those years before.

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