This is Us: Episode #19: A Big Clue in Jack’s Death

Us Jack and RebeccaTo think, a year ago we were still reeling from the shock of the twistiest twist–that of foundling Randall becoming the third member of the Pearson triplets.

And now we are all hooked. Sweet Molasses! Are we ever hooked!

I am, anyway. How bout you guys?

I have to say, I didn’t think anything could live up to the hype of a six-month wait for new stories, but the season premiere really outdid itself. We were brought back to the canvas in a way that felt invigorating yet cozy, familiar. I KNEW they would find a way to bring back dear William, and they did so tenderly. I had my Sangria, my tissues, my notebook, and it all felt so tender! :)

So, without further ado, here’s my recap of Episode 19, or Episode 1, whatever we want to call it. It was so satisfying to see my Us “family” again. Because I think you’ll agree–the Pearsons feel like family.

1. Aha! So those Twitter pics of Randall holding an Asian baby were just a big fat red herring! As the mother of an Asian girl, I got overly excited. However, Randall’s adoption dreams were front and center this episode. Ooooh, this is getting goood!

2. I ADORED the way they wove William’s poetry from his collection of poems for his son into the entire episode. I wanted to read the entire collection, as fictional as it is. Hey! They should publish it so we can all soak them in at our leisure.

3. Jack and Rebecca decide to separate for a few days and they break the news to the kids. Kate aligns with her dad and Randall with his mom, while Kevin is just in some kind of limbo. What else is new for good old “Kevbo”?

4. Really fascinating dynamic between Kevin, Kate and Toby, don’t you think? Toby obviously doesn’t want to be on the outside looking into Kev and Kate’s twinninessOh that’s not a word? Tell that to Toby. HE wants to be the one caring for Kate emotionally, not Kevin with his twin speak and bottomless bag of money, making Toby feel inadequate. A love triangle of a different kind!

5.  I was transfixed by another dynamic, the one identified by Beth at play inside her husband’s adopted psyche. I have read that it’s not uncommon for adoptees to unconsciously replicate the circumstances of their beginnings, hence the higher rate of teen pregnancies among adoptees. So I was mesmerized by what Beth said about Randall’s wish to “honor his two fathers and replicate the exact same situation he was in.” She even made a crack about throwing in a baby at a fire station. Count me absorbed (as if I wasn’t already).

6. Beth is lost in the memory of her late father in law (well, the one she met) as she revisits William’s favorite spot.

7. I love the relationship between Randall and his mother. I grabbed the tissues when she told him she wasn’t totally on board with adopting him at first. “(Jack) pushed a stranger on me, and that stranger became my child and that child became my world.” Yes, that’s about how it goes with adoption: a stranger becomes your family, your everything. What a miracle!

8. Randall to Beth: “We are perfectly imperfect.” Awww! They are the BEST! And how about that spring-loaded coil of a twist? Instead of a baby, Beth proposes that they adopt an older child!

9. Also in the twisty department: Kate’s audition is a flop, not because of her size (as she first assumes) but because of her lack of ability. And our girl takes it very, very well, deciding to dig in and work her vocal fingers to the bone to get better and earn those singing jobs!

10. Jack admits his problem with alcohol, which, it is inferred, is linked to his death. Or maybe I’m just jumping ahead of myself.

11. Did you gasp when you saw that little plastic baggie of Jack’s effects, and then the yellow crime scene tape, taping off the front of the Pearson house, and THEN their house a charred ruin????? So Jack dies in a fire. Or does he?

Okay, tell me everything you are thinking and feeling right now. Because I want to know. I want to converse. Discuss. Let us process together, #US crazies!

(PS: If you need a refresher on last seasons’ doings, here you go!)

By the way, if you need more incentive to process, I am giving away the Season One “This is Us” soundtrack at the end of the “semester” (let’s say when the show goes on its winter hiatus, after about 9 episodes or so).

Us soundtrack

Talk to me in the comments below and be entered to win!



  1. Linda says

    Very confused about Jack’s death now, I assumed he died in a car crash after driving to where Rebecca was to preform, now a charred house, oh my going to be a good season

    • Lorilee says

      Linda, I think the show’s writer’s plant some red herrings to throw us off track! It now seems as if his death is linked to the house fire!

    • says

      I thought Jack would die in car accident too~ no clue about a house burning, we will see!!??? By the way there are Way TOO many commercials!! Can’t they charge more for fewer interruptions! I want see more of the SHOW!!

  2. Jean says

    Well I must say I didn’t cry but I did get a little chocked up when Beth gave Randall the poems in a bound book. That was so sweet!!

    Where did Rebecca get that bag (watch, ring and some other things) from? Apparently if Jack died from the result of this fire, he didn’t actually die in the fire because that watch and keys would be charred.

    Just confusing!

    • Lorilee says

      Great point, Jean. You are right, if Jack had died in the fire, his personal effects would have been charred, too! Now I don’t know what to think! But the fire is still key, somehow…

  3. Allison Martin says

    Oh my goodness! The Jack’s mystery cause of death is too much…we need to know people!! lol I’ve loved the show from the very beginning. It’s so real and raw and not afraid to go to heavy places. Ps: I love your recaps!

    • Lorilee says

      Thanks, Allison! I love writing them, a nod to my 17 years as an entertainment writer! You are right, our show is not afraid of the heavy topics, yet also keeps it light.

  4. Candace says

    (speaking medically) He could have died of smoke inhalation without “charring.” But, I keep thinking how did that happen without everyone else being there, too?
    Of course, the home I lived in as a teen burned badly during the morning while everyone was at school and work–even the cats escaped, though the house suffered major damage, the kitchen gutted beyond recognition . . .
    Heart wrenching storyline.

  5. Cara Snyder says

    Legitimately could not handle all the emotions I had last night! I thought I was keeping it together, and then that darned bag of personal effects just did me right in.

  6. Laury kossoff says

    I got the chills when Rebecca let out that gut wrenching scream as she pulled up to the house. Then gasped when I saw the house. Such a GREAT episode!

  7. says

    I would love to be able to watch this only we live in the country and dont pay for cable just not in the budget andcI can do better things with the money like buy books! Is it available on dvd? Thank you carry on and have a wonderful evening!

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