Let me just start off by saying HOLY MOLY! This week’s episode was probably one of my favorites this season and coincidentally one of the most action filled. We finally got some answers about Jack’s death and we know (or can only assume) it has something to do with the ferocious fire at The Pearson’s. The theme of the episode seemed to be that everyone is scrambling to complete certain tasks or trying to fill a void with very little time to do so. Kevin is determined to make peace with all the people he has hurt along the way, especially his family. Randall is very focused on repairing the apartments in William’s old building that him and Beth have recently purchased. Last but definitely not least, Kate spent majority of the episode stuck in the past right before Jack died and how she puts the blame on herself.
Throughout the episode, we were given little hints that something was coming to an end. We know that Jack passed away but we just didn’t know when and how. In a flashback, Jack and Rebecca are speaking about how this is the last time they will all be together before the kids go away to college. He consistently looks at all the pictures in their home and reminisces on their childhoods and how far each of them has come. Even before he goes to bed, he looks at the wall where they marked the kids’ heights, it’s as if is he is saying goodbye and closing this chapter of his life. He tries so hard to make the day perfect with the food and the family being all together.
Randall and Beth are trying to do good by the tenants in William’s old building but Beth thinks that Randall is going too fast. He is running around trying to get all of the repairs done in one day. Kevin comes to help him out and make amends with his family. He is doing so well and trying to distract himself while in his recovery. In a conversation with Kevin and Randall, they speak about their lives and how it is unbelievable to think they will live longer than Jack did. They reflect on what they have done throughout their lives and what things they could have changed.
Kate also struggles during this episode but in a different way than Randall and Kevin. She finds Toby looking at dogs and discusses possibly getting one in the future. We know that her childhood dog was like a best friend to her and that the dog reminds her very much of Jack. She is hesitant on agreeing to getting a dog but goes to see one anyway without Toby. In a flashback, we see Kate making a tape for her audition to college and Jack gets caught videoing her. She gets very upset and tells Jack she doesn’t like when he compliments her because she does not see herself the way that he sees her. While she is out looking for a dog, she has doubts about taking the dog home because he comes with a lot of baggage he doesn’t even know about. We know that this moment was a revelation for Kate and Chrissy Metz did a great job perfecting it.
Kevin definitely carries a lot of pain during this episode also. He wants to distract himself from using so he throws himself into helping Randall and Beth with their project. He wants to do everything he can to make his relationships with his family and friends good again. He even goes to visit Sophie and gives a heartfelt apology, which she gracefully accepts. You see the pain in her eyes as they have their conversation and she wants him to let her remember him when it was good, not when it was bad. There’s a connection with current Kevin and past Kevin in this episode. When him and his siblings were getting ready to go off to college, he was the one who was unsure of where he was going in life. Everything was put on hold because of his injury, so it stopped him from really pursuing his dreams. In the present, he still struggles to get his life together but I think he is on the right path, finally.
In the final scenes of this dramatic episode, we are back with Jack on Super Bowl Sunday cleaning up after their party and everyone goes off to bed. He writes Kevin a note telling him everything will be okay, taking everything in as he walks through the house and turns off the crockpot. Now if we remember, the old couple who gave Jack and Rebecca the pot said that the switch was faulty. As Jack goes up to bed, the light switch goes back on and sparks fly. A fire erupts spreading viciously throughout the first floor destroying all of the family memorabilia as it travels upstairs…
We get all the answers to our questions in two weeks. It is hard to believe this is the way things end for Jack but I guess time will only tell!
This Is Us returns on Tuesday February 4 at 9/8c after the Super Bowl on NBC.