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  • Rebecca calling her mother out on her criticism of her, her family, and her racist treatment towards Randall is this in all spades.
  • Both in-universe and out, Jack's Dying Moment of Awesome as he expertly gets Rebecca, Randall and Kate safely out of the house using several real survival techniques for when you're caught in a fire, and even the one major mistake he makes in repeatedly grabbing doorknobs with his bare hands is shown to have exactly the consequences it actually would. And then he goes back in to rescue both their dog and several family mementos and against all expectations actually makes it out to spend a precious last few moments with Rebecca before dying of the effects of smoke inhalation.
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  • The final moments of “The Wedding” subvert the hell out of this trope. As Kevin and Randall propose beautiful toasts at Kate’s wedding that indicate things are finally looking up for the Pearsons, the audience is treated to a bleak look at the future: Deja smashes up Randall’s prized car, Toby falls into depression, and 2030s Randall and Tess are making an uncomfortable visit to a mysterious woman.
  • Jack, having had enough of his father's misogynistic and abusive treatment to his mother, tells his mother she has two options.
    Jack: You can pack your things and I’ll get you settled someplace new or you can stay and I’ll kill him. One way or another this ends right now.
  • On a meta level, the show bringing in Vietnam veteran and highly acclaimed writer about the war Tim O'Brien to co-write Jack's experience in the war. Little details like a soldier asking to hold his foot that was just blown off are clearly drawn from his own experience and make the story far more involving.
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  • After most of Season 3 was quite unfairly weighted on Randall's side, it's tremendously satisfying to see Beth finally just let him have it when he stoops to a horribly condescending message about missing the meeting he pressured her into in the first place at the expense of her job, and then he has to squirm through hours in front of their hosts not even knowing if she heard it.
  • Just like the portrayal of Vietnam, the crew really went the extra mile to make sure they gave a respectful, meaningful portrayal of a blind character with Jack Damon. After deciding to make Kate and Toby's son blind, they did a lot of research into how it could realistically happen, hired genuinely blind actor Blake Stadnik to play him, and even within a single episode made him a fully fleshed-out character who has far more to his life than just his disability, often the bane of writing disabled characters. This also includes him being fully adjusted to the condition after having it all his life rather than the Wangst you'd probably expect from the show at this point.
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