"Watching this heartfelt but also scattered finale, it’s hard not to think about what this season of This Is Us might have been if the show hadn’t decided to make the pandemic part of its storytelling," says Caroline Siede. "If it had followed through on Rebecca attending the clinical trial in St. Louis and the dark turn Randall took in coercing her to sign up for it. Hell, I’m even just curious what this existing season would’ve looked like if it hadn’t been shortened by two episodes. But, like Kevin and Madison, we have to deal with the reality of what’s in front of us, not the dream of what we wish things could be. And, on the whole, I think 'The Adirondacks' does a fairly effective job putting a capper on this uneven season. Looking back, season five managed to cover an impressive amount of storytelling ground. It introduced a trio of new babies, wove Uncle Nicky firmly into the family fold, and delivered a bunch of reckonings around Randall’s identity. At the very least, season five will forever be a time capsule of this incredibly strange year and a half—with one truly great pandemic-related episode to show for it. But right now I’m more interested in looking forward to This Is Us’ future than I am on reflecting back on what we just watched."