"And So It Goes," Billy Joel's heartbreaking ballad of love and loss from his 1989 album "Storm Front," underscored a moving montage Tuesday on one of the final episodes of the much-honored NBC drama "This Is Us."
The episode, "Miguel," written by Jonny Gomez and directed by Zetna Fuentes, followed the life of Miguel Rivas (Jon Huertas), second husband of Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore), who had been married to Miguel's best friend, Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) until the latter's death. The 5¼-minute montage that concluded the episode began with a lengthened version of Joel's roughly 3¾-minute song playing underneath the visuals and occasional dialogue.
"In every heart there is a room / A sanctuary safe and strong," Joel's song began, as we see home-care aide Laila (Danielle Larracuente) overseeing the now aged Miguel and Rebecca's physical therapy. Rebecca has moderate dementia; Miguel, who dotes on her and cares for her, has heart issues and is unwell after a fall.
Miguel visits a doctor, who has concerns. Rebecca's son Kevin (Justin Hartley) helps his mother and his stepfather when they're having trouble standing up. Kevin visits Miguel's long-estranged son Andy (William Rubio), telling him, "Your father may not have a lot of time left. The doctors are worried about heart failure and, uh, take it from me, man — you don't want to leave things unfinished." "What do you expect me to do with that?" Andy retorts. "Do whatever you want," Kevin replies. "Thought you should know."
A reconciled Andy, along with Rebecca's three children and her grandchildren, are shown with Rebecca and Miguel at Christmas. Later the extended family is seen at the Pearsons' cabin retreat. We then see the five adult children, including Miguel's daughter, Amber (Yara Martinez), dressed in mourning black, with Rebecca in a wheelchair, staring somberly at the apple tree Miguel and Rebecca had planted long ago.
We flash back to the bar decades earlier in which Jack had urged Rebecca to get along with his best friend Miguel, whom she disliked. After a brief vision of Miguel as a kid playing ball in a field in Puerto Rico, we cut to Kate (Chrissy Metz), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Amber spreading ashes at the tree — while Kevin and Andy scatter ashes on that childhood field. We cut back to the bar one last time, as Miguel ponders a question Rebecca had asked.
"So I will share this room with you / And you can have this heart to break," goes Joel's song of unconditional love. "So I would choose to be with you / That's if the choice were mine to make … And so it goes, and so it goes / And you're the only one who knows."
Representatives for NBC and the studio 20th Century Fox Television did not respond to Newsday’s request for background on the song's usage.
The show, which has garnered four Emmy nominations for outstanding drama series, airs its series finale on May 24.