Breaking down Mandy Moore’s best episodes of This Is Us Season 4

This season Mandy Moore elevated her performance of Rebecca Pearson to new heights. Let’s break down Mandy Moore’s best episodes of This Is Us Season 4!

In Season 4 of This Is Us, Mandy Moore took us on an emotional journey as Rebecca dealt with her health diagnosis. Let’s take a look back at Mandy Moore’s best episodes of This Is Us Season 4!

Storybook Love

A year after Jack’s death, the Pearson’s are trying to move forward. Randall’s in college, Rebecca and Kate have moved into a new house, and Kevin, who moved to New York to pursue an acting career, has gotten married to Sophie! After hearing the news, Rebecca decides to hold a celebratory dinner and invites Randall, Beth, and Miguel. Although Rebecca wants everything to be perfect, there’s tension in the air as Kate is hurt that Kevin didn’t tell her about his engagement, and both brothers haven’t taken kindly to Marc.

As the siblings begin to bicker, Rebecca loses it:

“It is our first night as a family together in our new house, and I have spent weeks getting this place together so that it would be perfect. Because this is where we move forward.”

Here, Moore masterfully demonstrates Rebecca’s grief. My favorite scene of the episode occurs after Rebecca’s outburst when Miguel assures her that everything will be okay. In that scene, Moore conveys so much grief, and dare I say, love, without saying a word.

So Long, Marianne

While in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving, Randall and Rebecca argue about Rebecca’s apparent memory loss. Rebecca, needing to get away, decides to go to a movie but seems to get sidetracked and heads for the grocery store where she accidentally leaves her phone. While enjoying lunch, she realizes what’s happened and becomes very distraught.

At the end of the episode, she’s escorted to the family cabin in a police car. Once there, we realize that we’ve been following Rebecca a year into the future this whole time. While Rebecca still has her wits about her, it’s apparent that her disease is progressing, making it more difficult to complete a simple task such as buying a cake if her mind wanders for even a second.

It’s unsettling to watch because Rebecca’s alone, although she’s being watched by the audience that desperately wants to help her. It’s a credit to Moore’s acting that you can recognize the exact moment that Rebecca realizes she has no idea what she’s supposed to be doing.

Mandy Moore

THIS IS US — “A Hell of a Week: Part Three” Episode 413 — Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Austin Abrams as Marc, Hannah Zeile as Kate — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

The Cabin

After an argument with Rebecca, Kate runs off to the family cabin with Marc. After receiving a phone call from a distraught Kate later that night, Mama Pearson, Randall, and Kevin head out to investigate. When they arrive in the morning to find out that Marc locked Kate out of the cabin after a fight, Rebecca forbids the couple from seeing each other.

Here, Moore plays a woman 12 years older than her, but she exudes all of the confidence and wisdom of a mother that wants to raise her 18-year-old daughter in her image. Rebecca is an independent woman who wouldn’t let anyone treat her poorly, least of all her significant other.

Clouds

Rebecca, having gotten an unofficial diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and undergone an MRI, is nervous about getting the results later that day. To put her mind at ease, she spends the day with Kevin, who just learned about her condition. The two explore Los Angeles, first, heading to a record shop.

When Rebecca finds a Joni Mitchell album, she tells Kevin about the first time that she and Jack went to LA. In search of Joni Mitchell’s house, she and Jack drove around for hours with no luck. Thankfully, with the help of Siri, Kevin’s quickly able to find it, and the two head off.

As they stand outside the gates of the house, Rebecca tells Kevin how it inspired the song “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:

“One morning Graham and Joni went down to the Valley to have breakfast at Art’s Deli. And after breakfast they were walking down Ventura Boulevard, and Joni spotted this vase in a store window that she really liked. So they bought it. And they brought it back home, and Graham suggested that Joni pick some flowers for the vase while he built a fire.”

Rebecca begins singing the song as Kevin looks on. When she’s finished, she tells him that “an otherwise simple morning might have been forgotten if it weren’t for that song.” In her eyes, you can see just how important the small moments are to her knowing that she’ll soon forget them.

As I’ve already said, Moore brings a maturity and consistency to the role that I don’t believe other actresses could. This season, Moore portrayed a woman that’s deep in the throes of life, nostalgic for a moment that’s already passed with no hope of remembering her present or future.

What do you think are Mandy Moore’s best episodes of This Is Us Season 4? Let us know!

This Is Us is tentatively set to return for Season 5 this fall on NBC. If you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on Season 4 via Hulu or the NBC app.