Mandy Moore as Rebecca in This Is Us Season 3

This Is Us Finally Showed Rebecca On A Date, But Not With The Guy Fans Thought

Her love life after Jack's passing took a surprising turn.

by Ani Bundel

This Is Us Season 6 is supposed to tie up all the loose ends before the series finale. But while the show has covered quite a bit of territory in the past, there are still some black holes, including the early aughts and how Rebecca went from being a grieving widow to marrying Miguel. But as the series reveals, the path to a relationship did not run in a straight line. There were bumps in the road, like her unsuspecting love interest, Matt. But even the most dedicated This Is Us fan may need to refresh their memories on who, exactly, Matt is.

Warning: Spoilers for This is Us Season 6, Episode 5 follow. When Episode 5 opened with Miguel suggesting a speed dating outing with Rebecca, fans assumed they knew where this was going. Since Miguel and Rebecca are endgame, their dating experiment will fail, and they’ll wind up with each other. They’re already BFFs in the wake of Jack’s untimely demise; romance naturally followed, right? Wrong. As fans may recall, in Season 2, Episode 6, “The 20s,” This Is Us revealed Rebecca and Miguel’s relationship began after 2008, when he messaged her on Facebook after they hadn’t seen each other for years.

So what happened at the speed dating session that ensured they didn’t wind up as a couple right away? It turns out Rebecca met someone else, another person she already knew: Matt Dixon.


If Matt Dixon doesn’t look familiar, cast your mind back to Season 3, Episode 14, “The Graduates.” In the 1998 timeline, it had only been a few months since Jack’s passing, and the family was struggling to move on as high school was ending for the triplets. As the episode opened, Rebecca was at RadioShack, looking for a new camera, when someone walked up to her. He introduced himself as Matt Dixon, the only male member from the middle school’s PTA, and remarked that it comes with the “single dad” territory. He was looking to chat Rebecca up — he’d heard about Jack. But when Rebecca realized where the conversation was going, she practically ran out of the store. She was in no way ready to even think about such a thing.

But things were different a year or so later. Not that Rebecca is over Jack yet; her first several speed dates saw her processing her grief in real time at the men across the table, as she talked for the first time with strangers about her loss. But when Matt sat down across from her, it was a different ballgame. She stopped thinking about the past and started engaging with the person sitting across from her. She and Matt hit it off, and at the end of the speed dating, they headed out for a regular-timed coffee date.

Not that the aftermath of this date ran smoothly. It was just coffee, but Kate’s emotional freak-out at the very idea of Rebecca dating suggests that’s for the best. It also was very telling Rebecca’s first phone call after her fight with Kate was to Miguel. She won’t realize it for several years yet, but they are destined for each other.

How long will the Matt diversion last? Is he why Rebecca and Miguel drift apart for a while? Fans will learn more when This Is Us: The Final Season returns on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.