NBC’s Emmy®-winning drama This Is Us returns and answers a few burning questions about how Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) dies.
It’s Tuesday night. 9pm ET. Suddenly, social media is ablaze with #ThisIsUs tweets and that tissue emoji sits right next to that hashtag. Feels like This Is Us Season 1 all over again.
Yes, last night, NBC’s This Is Us returned to our screens. It was back on the emotional rollercoaster ride with the Pearson family as the siblings celebrated their 37th birthday, and we were given a few more pieces of the “How Does Jack Die?” puzzle.
Sweeping us right back, Rebecca takes the kids to meet Jack at a diner and the kids are told that their parents are going to spend some time apart. We also learn later in the episode that Young Randall came home early that night and overheard his parents fighting. You all remember that Season 1 finale fight that ended with Jack leaving to stay with Miguel?
Back to Present Day, Randall and Beth are at the adoption center. He’s seriously considering adopting another child, specifically another boy. Beth quickly points out that he’s simply repeating a pattern rather than honoring the legacy of both his fathers. Needless to say, she is not pleased and storms off.
Later on, Randall determined to learn more about his past and his adoption has a heart to heart with Rebecca about the decision to adopt him. And in one “grab your kleenex moment,” she tells Randall that even though she and Jack were not the most perfect couple, “He pushed a stranger on me, and that stranger became my child, and that child became my life. He became you.”
Kevin is on set for his birthday working on the Ron Howard movie. Indeed, Howard makes a cameo appearance on the show. Sophie calls him and lets him know she won’t be able to make his birthday. Instead, Kevin goes over to Toby and Kate’s and “gate crashes” an intimate moment to celebrate with his sister. Toby gets jealous.
But let’s just talk about Kate being fierce for a moment because it was one of the great moments of the episode. Present day Kate is feeling confident. She’s gone down two dress sizes, and she’s pursuing her singing career.
She goes off to audition and the room is filled with girls who are twig sized, and Kate gets cold feet. Fast forward to dinner where Kevin has rented out an entire Japanese restaurant for his sister, with Toby in tow, and the two men in her life have a moment over one coddling Kate and the other pushing her. In a moment of defiance, Kate stands up for herself and puts them both in their place. She goes back to the audition and belts out Sinead O’ Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U” before the director makes her stop. On a side note, I wanted more, and in the post-show panel, there was good news as it was revealed that we will indeed be hearing more of Kate’s singing!
The director tells Kate it has nothing to do with her weight, but it’s about the craft. She’s competing against girls who have been doing this their whole life.
There were some good moments, some sad moments, and then just when you think you might have made the episode with maybe a sniffle, the final moments happen.
Rebecca comes to Miguel’s house and comes to talk to Jack who admits he’s an alcoholic and he needs time alone to deal with this problem. He closes the door, but Rebecca persists and tells her she’s taking him home. She is going to stand by him no matter what. She tells him to get into the car and promises him,
“a few months from now, everything will be back to normal.”
Well, before you can smile, Rebecca is driving in a Steelers shirt, devastated as the camera pans down to show Jack’s belongings in a plastic bag!
It’s the night of Jack’s death. Wait. We’re not prepared for this moment.
The two Pearson children, Kate and Randall are sobbing. Kevin is out with a girl and can’t be reached.
Wait. What’s going on? The Pearson red letterbox is on screen. There’s police tape. The Pearson house burned down.
Did Jack die in a fire? What did Kate do? What are we seeing? Just when you think you might be able to handle Jack’s death because we’re preparing for it, we’re given this unexpected curveball.
This Is Us is back, stronger than ever. There’s so much more we’re learning about the characters and about their lives. Kate’s newfound confidence in her late 30’s, we’ve been there. The imperfect pairing of Beth and Randall make them almost as perfect as Jack and Rebecca. Rebecca standing by her man, Jack in the darkest of moments because sometimes it’s easier to do things and get through the hard times when you’ve got someone there by your side and knowing you’re not alone.
The writing. Its direction. Its acting. The issues it presents. We can all relate to in some way or another. So, here we are with Season 2. This Is Us. It’s back. It’s brilliant. Grab tissues because we’re in for quite a ride.
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