Randall, Kevin, and Kate in the 'This Is Us' series finale
5 Questions The This Is Us Series Finale Left Unanswered

These may haunt me forever.

by Ani Bundel

This Is Us was never a mystery series, per se. However, it followed the laws of a “puzzle box” show almost to a T. Early on, the show revealed the major events that would happen, but not the why, the how, or the when. From Jack’s passing to Kate’s career trajectory to Kevin’s love life, the series kept secrets close to the vest, only finally revealing the details at the exact right moment. And yet, there are still a few questions the This Is Us series finale left unanswered, ones fans may never get resolved.

Warning: Spoilers for the This Is Us series finale follow. No show can ever really answer *every* question fans have, because not every story has an answer or an end. A few loose ends always trail off along the way, like Kate and Toby’s dog Audio, who disappeared offscreen and never returned. But there are some key points many fans truly expected to be resolved before the series’ end, and they just weren’t. Some may chalk it up to timing — you simply cannot fit every single detail into a 44-minute episode — but others just may consider these unanswered questions a hint that the Pearson family’s story isn’t really over (spinoffs, anyone?).

Regardless of why they weren’t addressed, here’s a rundown of the biggest questions This Is Us left fans pondering now that the show has wrapped.


Why Did Rebecca Squeeze Randall’s Hand?

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

According to Randall, in her last moment, Rebecca squeezed his hand. Viewers then saw Rebecca squeeze Jack’s hand when he promised she will stay with her family even after she’s gone, giving her permission to pass away.

That fits with the show’s final shots of Randall looking at Deja as the future of the family while Jack looks at Randall as the fam’s future in a flashback. The connection from Jack to Randall as truly his parents’ child has been a thread from the show’s first episodes, when Randall met William. But whether Rebecca knew it was Randall’s hand she was squeezing as she left this Earth, or if she genuinely believed it was Jack? That is a thing no one can ever know.


Does Hailey Meet Her Biological Family?

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

There’s only so much time the show could dedicate to flash-forwards, and sadly, Hailey’s future didn’t make the cut. Viewers know her adoption story. Her biological mom, Ellie, gave birth to her daughter, handed her to the Damons, and then asked Kate and Toby not to contact her again.

Audiences also know from the flash-forwards that Hailey goes to college. She works in a museum, and she and Jack are still close with each other, despite the older sibling’s fame. But the show never addressed Hailey’s relationship with Ellie, if she ever seeks Ellie (and her half-sibling) out, or if Ellie reaches out to meet her biological daughter when she’s ready.


How Did Jack Damon Become Famous?

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Audiences know Jack’s story arc pretty well, from his premature birth to Toby’s struggles with his visual impairment. They know how he got into music and witnessed a montage of how he kept at it even as his high school friends moved on. And they know that, after three generations of struggling musicians, he’s the one who makes a run at pop stardom and succeeds.

But there’s one plot point the show failed to cover: how Jack went from playing small clubs to limos and sold-out arenas. Considering the show had three full seasons to answer this, from the first reveal of Jack’s success in the Season 4 premiere, this one feels like a missed opportunity.


What Happened To Cassidy?

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Speaking of the Season 4 premiere and the three strangers who would become essential to the Pearsons, Cassidy got the short end of the stick. Jack is the apple of Kate’s eye and the person who gives her purpose and inspires her career; Malik becomes husband to Deja and helps provide Randall his first grandson. And Cassidy.... works for Kevin as a forewoman.

I believe Sesame Street said it best when it said, “One of these things is not like the others.” Not that Cassidy isn’t a great person, but she’s not even close in terms of equal footing to the other two characters she was introduced with. She deserved a more prominent place in the show’s final tableau.


How Did Malik & Deja Reconnect?

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

As for Malik, his long-term relationship with Deja likely falls under the heading of “things the show ran out of time to cover.” The show broke them up early in Season 6, with hints that, should Malik hold a torch for Deja over the next few years, they may be able to find their way back to each other.

In order to hold the secret of who the father of Deja’s baby is until the penultimate episode, This Is Us couldn’t show how she and Malik found their way back to each other. It’s an unfortunate result of keeping that twist until the end of the series, because fans would have loved to see their romance play out.


Does Randall Become President?

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

And in “things that’ll have to be saved for the eventual This Is Us movie or spinoff series” (if you’re into dreaming big), there’s U.S. President Randall Pearson. The show’s finale revealed the DNC is scouting him to attend the Iowa State Fair, the traditional first step for a presidential run. Beth was in if he wanted it, and he does, because it’s what Rebecca would have wanted for him.

But since this is the show’s series finale, that Iowa State Fair trip and the campaign that follows will have to live on in fans’ imaginations. Fans will likely never see the Democratic National Convention, where an aging Barack Obama presumably introduces Randall Pearson and his running mate as the official Democratic nominee for POTUS. Let’s just hope he gets to serve all eight years.

All six seasons of This Is Us are streaming on Hulu.