This is Us Recap: Jack Pearson’s Son

This is us 15 Jack

Photo Ron Batzdorff, NBC

All the feelings! Well, I liked last week’s episode, but Episode 15? It made me remember why I fell for #Us in the first place. Cheesy to say so, but so true!

This episode had it all–pathos, awe, poignancy, sweetness, and hints of bad and good things to come for our Pearsons. Yes, OUR Pearsons!

So much happened, am I right? There’s no way I can comment on everything, but let me give it a whirl:

1. Buh-bye, Duke! You guys, I was so wrong about Kate’s intentions in the last episode. What was I thinking? Some of you commented on my Facebook author page that you believed she would do the right thing, though it seemed like she was at the threshold of Cabin 13 with cheating on her mind. Yet, no, of course not! Instead, she tells that pugnacious Duke off (though he is the “Jared Leto of Fat Camp”), gets kicked out of said camp, and is returned to the ample bosom of her colorful fiance.

2. Sophie was back, but just for a bit as she sweetly called Kevin to wish him luck for his opening night (as we know, he needed a whole lot more than luck!). They defined their relationship as “cautiously dating.”

3. It’s a perfect storm for Randall and he will not emerge unscathed. Sanjay is getting his paws all up in Randall’s business–literally. Beth’s mom broke her hip so Beth had to take off, leaving Randall with a crisis at work, a crisis at home (William’s quickening decline), and family obligations, including attending Kevin’s play. Can he handle it all? No, no he cannot.

4. Miguel’s line to Jack, on why Rebecca would never cheat on him with Ben: “Even if this guy was Jeff Goldblum” Rebecca wouldn’t stray. You know, the irresistible Jeff Goldblum from “Jurassic Park”? Who didn’t have a crush on him? (Me.)

5. We find out that Randall’s anxiety issues are not new. He’s been having panic attacks ever since he was trying to get the best grade on his Hamlet paper as a sixteen-year-old. Another piece of the puzzle clicks into place. It’s all starting to make more sense.

6. Kevin is sleeping with Sophie–at age 16? Weirdly, I just wrote a blog today about how to talk to your teens about sex. Will link when published!

7. Kate struggles to let Toby into the deepest part of her heart–the place where she mourns her dad. “Whenever you’re ready,” he says, the perfect response, and also a valuable clue for him: Kate’s not ready for marriage.

8. Okay, okay, NOW I get it, what Milo said a few weeks ago about us loving Miguel by Episode 15. I thought maybe Miggy would save someone from a burning building, but instead, he saved Kevin, in a way. When Kevin shows up on Rebecca and Miguel’s doorstep, hoping to get an “artist to artist” pep talk from Mom to ease his nerves, it’s his step-dad who surprises him with help. When Miguel told Kevin, regarding Jack, “You remind me of him,” I had tears.

“It breaks my heart that you don’t like me,” Miguel said. “Because when I’m around you I feel like I get a piece of my best friend back.” MORE TEARS. Rewind. Watch again. Tears! Doyle and I were just talking today about how we carry our late dads inside us, always.

Milo, you’re right. I do love Miguel because of Episode 15!

9. Jack finds out that Ben and Rebecca dated for two months when they were 19, and he loses it. Ugh! I find that scene in the restaurant where he’s drinking to be ominous…PUT THE DRINK DOWN JACK!

10. Oh. My. Stars. All we could do is watch helplessly as Randall falls to pieces, first in an important work meeting, and then the poor dear man seems to genuinely have a breakdown. And then Kevin–sweet, heroic Kevin, gives us a reason to cheer for brotherly love. Seconds before taking the stage with Sloane at his play–”The Back of an Egg”–he makes an impulsive decision to “do what his dad would have done.” In this case, it’s run to Randall, whom he finds curled up on the floor of his office, in absolute tatters. I think that was one of my favorite moments ever on the show–you guys?

Obviously, the fallout will be dreadful for Kevin. A no-show, on opening night, and the “Times” was there to review? I was a theater reviewer for 17 years, and I never had anyone not show up like that (although, one time a Tyler Perry live type show was canceled minutes after the curtain didn’t go up…mysterious).

But in the end, his brother’s well-being won out, as Miguel’s words shaped his actions: “Just do what your dad would have done, and you’ll be fine.”

Next week: Youse–I was tearing up at the PREVIEW! Can’t wait to hit Beal Street next week with William and Randall. 

What was your favorite part of the episode? Least favorite? What storyline are you most excited to see play out? Comment below and we’ll discuss!

(Here’s Recap One and Recap Two and Recap Three if you missed them. Also, my first #Us post, “10 Adoption Thoughts About This is Us.”)


  1. says

    As the mom of an anxious child, now young adult, this episode cut me to the quick. I saw my own daughter in Randall’s character – always trying to do the right thing, always trying to achieve perfection, And she struggles with panic attacks also. Sigh… I watched the aftershow, and still I can’t shake anxiousness about this tour. Yes, she has held back on her dreams. But 5 months on the road? With an ex? AAAAAHHHHHH – I wouldn’t do it.

  2. Lorilee says

    Thanks for your comments, Jamie. Yes, anxiety is pandemic in our society right now, especially among young girls, it seems. I think in the end, we were just not designed by our maker to try so hard to be perfect. The tour scares me, too, but then again I feel for Rebecca. I would hate not to be able to do what I was put on this earth to do. For me–write. For her, sing. Of course family is most important, but using one’s gifts is also so important. Jack taking that drink is a bad, bad omen.

  3. Pam G. says

    I totally knew that when Kate looked at cabin 13, she was getting ready to tell Duke to go jump in the lake! (at least I held on for dear life to that thought as she approached the door!) Thanks for not letting me down Kate!

    Loved the scene with Miguel and Kevin. Feel like the two of them will forge some kind of relationship now. Maybe through the fall out of the no show. (Poor Sloane – can Kevin disappoint her or let her down any more times in this life?)

    Heartbreak when Rebecca told Jack she wanted something for herself without him (and the family) “getting in the way”. (jump ahead to me screaming at the TV “No Jack! Put the drink down!”)
    p.s. okay Kate, if you’re not ready to tell Toby, that’s cool, but please please tell me!! I can’t take it anymore!!
    *Although, if it is a drinking and driving thing, I can wait forever. Can’t imagine that the last moments between Jack and Rebecca were so hurtful.

    Randall needs to grasp on to Sanjay and let him help. They could be a great team, and he needs to see what is best for the company, client and in the end himself.

    Kevin – loved that he went to be with his brother!! Best scene of this series to date! (although him showing his nieces his painting was a fave as well). Took me back to when Kevin asked “I haven’t been a very good brother to you, have I?”, and Randall saying “No, but there’s still time.” Maybe now is the time!!

    Looking forward to the William/Randall adventures, but am hoping for the brotherly scene to play out before they move on to Memphis.

    • Lorilee says

      Pam, you need to write your own recaps! Love your take on everything. So insightful. I really adore Kevin and think Justin H is an outstanding actor.

  4. says

    Ugh. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping, waiting, holding my breath to hear Kate talk about her dad. …..nope. Ugh. But, it makes me think it was particularly tragic,not a heart attack (still tragic, don’t get me wrong, but more “natural” than, say … drunk driving…..?)

    Kevin….so noble, but man,,,,the fall out will be huge. He won’t get another chance. But could Randall have waited 2 hrs to be comforted? Maybe not. And the fact that it was Kevin was important.

    Miguel, yes, was pleased with the touching conversation that made an impact on Kevin, deeper than a mother’s support would have gone in that moment.

    Kate and Toby – wise couple. So much more to know about each other. Yay for telling Duke off. I admit I was a little worried but thought she was better than any temptation.

    Poor Randall. We’ve all been there – world spinning, so many things going on at once, which one to conquer first? And they are all emergencies. I wish he could walk away from the job. It’s not the most important thing right now and he’s smart, can pick up something else after his dad is gone. But we know it is more complicated than walking away from a job, benefits, money…but he needs to let Beth know about the hand-shaking because she tends to deal with death/illness much better than he. I wonder how he has hid his anxieties from her all this time,though? Seems like she would know about that.

    Rebecca was wrong to not disclose that she dated that other singer, but was SO long ago and for 2 months. Why is jack not trusting her?

    Great show…can’t get enough.

    • Lorilee says

      Me either Bethany. Me either! (Can’t get enough!) Love your insights: “Kate and Toby – wise couple. So much more to know about each other. Yay for telling Duke off. I admit I was a little worried but thought she was better than any temptation.” I’m really rooting for them now.

  5. Margo says

    It made me angry to see Kevin leave the play; he should’ve called/texted his family who were there to check on Randall (more realistic) and done the play showing he can succeed.

    • Anne Boonstra says

      I thought the same thing! I guess I’m too practical. I’m still hoping he stayed with Randall for 30 minutes, they held the play for him, he returned, and it was a smash! Did I say I’m also an optimist?

  6. says

    So I’m finally caught up, but sad that I can’t watch for another week. A few thoughts. First of all, Annie is following along with me and the show has become a topic of discussion at bedtime. Should Kevin have left the play? Why can’t Randall accept help at work? Will Kate and Toby stay together? She’s an insightful 13-year old.
    Kevin – not sure how I feel about his choice to bolt from the play. I fear for his future, but would I do the same? That’s what makes this a great show. And what about Sophie? Has Kevin really changed? Can he be trusted? Or will she face heartbreak again? I say ‘cautious’ is the right word here.
    Kate – My eyes were wide when she told Toby she couldn’t talk about her dad yet. I yelled, ‘No, you need to talk. You don’t have to swallow the grief. It’s okay.’ I am very worried she will never talk about it and lose Toby.
    Randall – on my. . .all I can say is, “Please get help!” Gosh, he needs time to process his life and grieve and deal with his stuff and learn stress management skills and maybe take a leave from work, which I guess he’ll have to now. . .Wonder what Beth’s response will be?
    Jess – the other comments said it ‘all’. I believe Rebecca said what she did out of frustration. But, I think the two of them are deeply affected by Miguel and Shelly’s break-up. They needed to talk about that. Scared for them.
    Also, worried about Beth and the little girls.
    Just worried. Until next time. . .

    • Lorilee says

      Heather, you and your girl have tremendous insights! “Why can’t Randall accept help at work?” is one I never thought of…why? Yes, scary times for our Pearsons! XO

  7. shahrzad says

    I really hope that jack’s death would’t be something ugly ! of course heart breaking but not with resentment of his wife or anything like that! also…I loved how Miguel steped up for Rebbeca …that she would never cheat!

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