18 Breathtaking Moments from This Week's This Is Us

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If you were having a difficult time after watching This Is Us Season 1 Episode 16, you weren't alone.

I'm fairly certainly all of America (and soon the world) was right beside you in your grief.

But we're watching This Is Us, where we've already fallen in love with a dead man and learned from his son that life is like a painting. We all have a part and there is no beginning and no end.

We will surely be seeing William again. 

But for now, let's take a look at some of the breathtaking moments from "Memphis." And if you missed it, fear not. You can watch This Is Us online to see all of these in context. It's more than worth the effort.

 

1. The Trip is a Go

The Trip is a Go
The doctor rules in favor of Randall taking a little time for himself and getting to know his father better. The trip to Memphis is on with a fist bump!

2. He Is Our Sunshine

He Is Our Sunshine
William was his mother and father's sunshine long before he was ours, but his mother was left to raise their son alone after his father died at war.

3. William Throws Caution to the Wind

William Throws Caution to the Wind
Randall had the trip all mapped out, on paper, but William was going to teach his son how to let his hair fly with the windows down.

4. William Asks About Jack

William Asks About Jack
William admits he was shocked about Randall's breakdown and asks Randall what life was like with Jack. Randall shares how Jack got him through his anxiety as a child.

5. William Thanks Jack

William Thanks Jack
William asks Randall to visit Jack, and once there he thanks Jack for raising his son when he couldn't in a lovely conversation that ends in the way only William could do it, "Cool."

6. William Pushes Himself to See His Hometown

William Pushes Himself to See His Hometown
Randall (and us) are so wrapped up in the trip that we miss the signs of how much William's health has deteriorated and how difficult it is for him to get up and visit Memphis.

7. They Share a Meal

They Share a Meal
They share great food and savor every bite.

8. They Visit William's Childhood Home

They Visit William's Childhood Home
William goes to his childhood home where he finds boyhood treasures he hid behind a brick in the fireplace. They remained there for over 40 years, untouched. A few tiny toys and three quarters.

9. They Visit the Barbershop

They Visit the Barbershop
William is hoping to show Randall the ducks at what was once a place forbidden for blacks, but he saw the show because his uncle worked there. Instead, they made their way to a barbershop, which is a rite of passage for any father and son.

10. They Used the White Water Fountain at Schwabs!

They Used the White Water Fountain at Schwabs!
In an improvised scene (as was the barbershop) Sterling K. Brown and Ron Cephas Jones became Randall and William as they playfully took at hit at how far we've come as a society.

11. William and Cousin Ricky Move Beyond a Cover Band

William and Cousin Ricky Move Beyond a Cover Band
William wrote a beautiful and soulful song, taking their band well past covers. But when William's mother called needing him in Pittsburgh, William went and never returned.

12. You Can Go Home Again

You Can Go Home Again
William goes to see Ricky to make amends and return some money he was owed. Randall's presence gives the moment some levity.

13. There's Sick and There's Never Too Sick to Play

There's Sick and There's Never Too Sick to Play
Ricky couldn't let William go without asking him to get on stage again. William had the perfect answer to that request.

14. William Having the Time of his Life

William Having the Time of his Life
William was playing again and doing it with his son there to listen. What more could a man possibly want?

15. Randall Channels Oprah

Randall Channels Oprah
Randall dips into drink and in his excitement channels Oprah with all of the cousins at his side. He's up to 12 when he hears from Beth.

16. Reality Strikes

Reality Strikes
William was taking his final trip, spending his last days with the person he loved most in the world. Despite Randall just being released from the hospital himself five days earlier, he now had to face one of the hardest things in his life alone.

17. Life Comes Full Circle

Life Comes Full Circle
Randall took what he learned from his other father and used it to help his birth father pass into the afterlife. Just breathe. Didn't we all look around for a set of hands in that moment?

18. William Is Still With Us

William Is Still With Us
Proving that you never lose the ones you love even after they've left the earth, the one thing William wanted most to show Randall in Memphis tickles Randall in the oddest of ways, reminding him to breathe, roll down the window and drive. Randall will never be the same for having known and loved his fathers.

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This Is Us
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This Is Us Season 1 Episode 16: "Memphis"
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This Is Us Season 1 Episode 16 Quotes

William: What was he like, your father?
Randall: Larger than life, I guess. He had this really great laugh. Like when he laugh, it almost surprised him. Like when he laughed, it surprised him he could laugh so freely.

William: It's quite a shock to see you so vulnerable, the night Kevin brought you home. It's hard to fathom. You seem to have it so together.
Randall: Too together. I put the pressure on myself. It's always been like that ever since I was a little boy. My father, he kept it in check. Whenever I'd get too in my head, he'd take my hands and put them on both sides of my head and say 'there you go, breathe with me' and then we'd just sit there, breathing together, until it passed.