[Spoiler alert: This Is Us Season 4.] There’s no denying it, This Is Us fans. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) gave Rebecca (Mandy Moore) a “great love story — one for the ages.” And no one can take that away — except for maybe the show writers. Throughout the first half of the fourth season, the NBC drama focused on the Pearson matriarch’s memory loss, partially revealing her diagnosis in the Jan. 14 winter premiere. But in the same episode, This Is Us viewers collectively realized the very real chance that Rebecca could forget Jack in the future. So basically, the fandom is preparing themselves for a world of hurt.
What happened to Jack and Rebecca in the ‘This Is Us’ Season 4 winter premiere?
The This Is Us Season 4 midseason premiere, titled “Light and Shadows,” bounced between Rebecca’s doctor’s appointment in the present-day and pre-marriage Rebecca and Jack. And per usual, the impact of the highlighted timelines hit fans hard.
In the present-day, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) flew to Los Angeles after getting his mother an appointment with a neurologist. Rebecca tests her memory as Randall and Miguel (Jon Huertas) wait patiently. And when the results come in, Randall and Miguel are asked to be in the room with Rebecca — not a good sign.
For now, it appears Rebecca has mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, she must undergo more tests to determine exactly what is happening. Although Rebecca could have minor memory loss, it’s also possible her memory will continue to deteriorate.
Meanwhile, This Is Us fans watch as Rebecca and Jack continue to fall in love in the past. After Rebecca’s father, Dave (Tim Matheson), openly disapproves of Jack at the golf course, Jack breaks up with Rebecca.
Heartbroken, Rebecca has a conversation with her mom, Janet (Elizabeth Perkins), who explains they’re worried about Jack’s unreliability. That said, Janet also tells Rebecca to carve out her own journey.
“Make sure he gives you a great love story — one for the ages,” Janet says.
Of course, this pushes Rebecca to go after Jack, who is working at the car shop. “I’m in love with you, Jack,” she says. “You and I? We’re going to have it all together. We’re going to have the big moments and the small moments, and it’s going to be one for the ages.”
Jack then embraces his girlfriend. “Rebecca Malone, I love you,” he says. “Don’t you ever forget it.” And the two kiss in front of literal sparks.
But then This Is Us flashes forward to present-day Rebecca. She stares at herself in the mirror and a single tear falls down her face, as if realizing she could lose her memories of Jack.
‘This Is Us’ fans react to Rebecca losing her memories of Jack
Following the premiere of “Light and Shadows,” This Is Us fans fell apart, crying over the possibility of Rebecca forgetting Jack.
“WHY’D THEY HAVE TO PUT JACK TELLING REBECCA TO NOT EVER FORGET HE LOVES HER WITH CLIPS OF PRESENT DAY HER,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “I CAN’T TAKE IT.”
“Rebecca doesn’t ever want to forget these memories of Jack and she just realized that could happen!” another fan tweeted.
And of course, no one is ready to watch the storyline unfold.
“Rebecca is terrified she’ll lose all those memories of Jack,” a fan wrote. “If we have to sit here and watch that happen idk if I’ll recover.”
“I think Rebecca forgetting Jack is gonna break me more than Jack’s death,” another fan wrote.
What the ‘This Is Us’ team says about Rebecca’s memory moving forward
When speaking with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us executive producer Isaac Aptaker touched on Rebecca’s fears of forgetting Jack, especially since they’re all she has left.
“She lost her husband too soon, but she has always had the comfort of these amazing years they’d had together,” Aptaker said. “They had such a romantic, great love story, and the notion of forgetting all of that and not having those memories to lean into is incredibly scary for Rebecca.”
Nevertheless, it appears Rebecca’s storyline isn’t linear, even at this point. In an interview with Glamour, Aptaker confirmed This Is Us has yet to officially diagnose Rebecca. So although the fear of losing memories of Jack are present, fans will have to wait and see what happens next.
“It’s the kind of story where you don’t get immediate answers. It’s not like there’s a very simple blood test and they can give you an instant, definitive diagnosis to what’s going on,” he said. “It’s much more of a watch-and-wait. It’s much more frustrating in flow. We know this is something that touches a lot of families and a lot of lives, and we’re just trying to tell a really honest version of the story.”