This is US Episode 31 RECAP: Massive and Horrible Clues to Jack’s Death

Credit NBC

Credit NBC

I have only just recovered from the ending last night…The fire started! Nooooooo! And then the preview for the Superbowl episode!

“I can’t believe they are killing Jack after the Superbowl,” I said, in shock and no small amount of fear. Fear? Yes, this is going to be ROUGH. I WILL NOT DO WELL! I will not even sufficiently enjoy my annual fondue, because YIKES, I will know what is coming.

“Do you feel like you know a family member is going to die after the Superbowl?” my husband asked. Yes, yes I do!

How are you guys doing? Don’t you kind of wish we could all huddle together and hold hands while we watch what happens next?

Anyway, I did really enjoy this episode, portentous though it was. So many good ingredients went into the pot this week, eh? Although, some of those ingredients went into a killer crockpot!


1. FLASHBACK: The Pearson teens are being snarky punks (well, not Randall) as their parents gear up to watch the Superbowl one last time as a family before Jack dies (well, they don’t know that yet, or do they? Jack kept saying  The Last Pearson Superbowl like he knew or something). I mean, I know–he is referring to the Big Three going off to college next year, but maybe he had some sort of inkling…

2. Unfortunately, none of the kids wants to watch the game with mom and dad (which stabbed me in the heart, because I have been in some similar situations with my cherubs!). Kevin was the WORST (why is teen Kevin so unbearable?), dumping his parents for his girlfriend but first being mean to Rebecca about his having to go to community college. Like it’s her fault. Randall, by far the nicest of the teens, ditches the game to see “Titanic” with Alison, who will surely be showing up in current day one of these episodes. (Please, Alison, don’t make trouble for Beth and Randall!) And Kate? Kate is as prickly as my hedgehog, and that’s saying something. She doesn’t even want her adoring father to act like he adores her, which made me want to shake her! Ninny! Girl, do you know how lucky you are?

3. CURRENT: Lucky for Randall, who has bought William’s old building with Beth, Kevin is bored and itching to help people and generally “make amends” for the ways in which he damaged his relationships through his addiction. Just as Jack in flashback needed to stay busy to keep from drinking, now his son needs to keep busy, too. Kev helps one of Randall’s tenants tear down a wall in her apartment, leading to one of the funny moments on the show. Even my husband laughed when all those ladies got themselves chairs to be comfortably seated for the Kevin’s Rippling Muscles Show. :)

4. Toby wants a dog, but is sympathetic to Kate’s dog issues, whatever they may be. Although, I’m sure I’m not the only one who came to this horrifying conclusion: Jack must have gone back into the fiery house to save Kate’s dog!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope I am wrong, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? Later, Kate meets an adorable mutt named Audio but decides that rescuing him would be a trigger for her. “You come with a lot of baggage that is not your fault.” OY VEY!!!

5. Back at the ranch, all the teens have deserted their parents (and all those lovely snacks) for their assorted friends and girlfriends. Jack and Rebecca have their own “Last Superbowl”, enjoying the corn muffins and chili, simmering in an old crockpot. A really old crockpot. Rebecca shows Jack a house for sale which would be a perfect first flip for Big Three Homes, Jack’s dream building company. Jack invites Rebecca to be his business partner, which braids perfectly with Randall and Beth’s partnership in the present day. I love how much these guys respect their wives!

6. Speaking of Beth and Randall’s building, things go insanely well until they don’t, and a multitude of cockroaches invade the building. But hey, at least those ladies first got to watch Kevin swing a sledgehammer for a good while!

7. Aww, Kevin. I like this Making Amends Kevin. There’s something so restorative about Kevin purposefully repairing the broken relationships on his list. But some will be harder than others. Sophie (I was wondering when we were going to see her again) is resistant to Kevin’s amends, and who can blame her? “Sophie, you aren’t just a name on my list, you were THE name on my list.” (My heart just broke a little….). But it may be too late, nonetheless, and Sophie essentially shuts the door on Kevin, who still has one name on his list.

8. “Dad.” Yes, Jack is near the top of Kevin’s list, though it will be harder to make amends to someone who is dead. I was delighted to see that Kevin had also tried to make amends to Charlotte (the doctor who he slept with and then kicked him to the curb). She made her own amends by sending him Jack’s medallion! YES! Fist pumps in the air all over TV Land for the return of the medallion!

9. Kate overcomes her dog triggers and brings Audio home to an elated Toby, who even loves the name, because “Audio is like some weird, obnoxious celebrity baby name.” Cute! I love the idea of people on TV rescuing mutts–a different kind of an orphan and a different kind of adoption! (Around here we adopt humans and dogs and cats and hedgehogs; well, at least one hedgehog!)

10. As the wires of the old crockpot, still plugged in, start flickering, the headcount at home is four: Jack, Rebecca. Kate and Randall. Kevin had opted to spend the night at Sophie’s. Oh and Kate’s scruffy little dog. The fire has started at the Pearson house. In about ten days or so, we will find out “everything,” something for which I am bracing myself. You?

Five episodes left, two before the Olympic break!

Favorite scene? Favorite line? Performance of the week for you?


Last week: Can Kevin and Miguel Put Their Issues Behind Them?

Feb.9: Can the Pearson’s Find Healing for Their Old Wounds?

KATE episode recap, HERE.

KEVIN episode recap, HERE.

Will Jack and Rebecca be able to guide Randall through a racist world?– HERE.

Check out the week before that–the Halloween episode where Tess is born– HERE!

And the week before THAT–with the big Nicki Pearson reveal– here.

Comment below for your chance to win a This is Us Season #1 soundtrack! The winner of the first “semester” of Season 2 is Christy D! 



  1. Bethany says

    Yes. The dog is the reason he goes back in. I knew it the moment I saw the preview and then it clicked why Kate was hesitant to take home that dog….too painful. But glad she put Toby first and decided to face her fear. …what perfect storyline once again. The fans might have been mad at Rebecca for forgetting the batteries; we might be mad at Jack though for going back in. So there’s not just one person to blame. But then, if Jack goes in after his dear daughter’s beloved pet….wouldnt we all want to? We know we shouldnt but then, we dont want broken hearted kids either so we do what we can…and jack thought he could.

  2. Linda Mikesell says

    I liked the scene with Kevin and Randall walking down the apartment building hall ready to tackle the work. Very macho..

    It was heartbreaking watching the fire start and seeing all the loving family events intertwined. Seeing the family photos brought another heartbreaking thought to mind also. The house looked pretty much destroyed by the fire in a previous episode. What about the pictures and videos. Oh no, I just remembered seeing Jack put Kate’s music video in the entertainment center. I’m sad all over again

  3. says

    Each episode of This Is Us is amazing. So many senerios hit home for me. I was so moved in the scene where Jack was video taping his daughter singing. He truly believes his daughter is beautiful and his little princess. And it is so heartwarming he enforces this feeling with Kate. He was so sweet cleaning the kitchen. Yes, I’m sure he was keeping busy so he wouldn’t drink, however he seemed to be enjoying and taking pride in his home as he cleaned so throughly. I’m still not convinced he died by running back for Kate’s dog. That theory is just too predictable. And I’m also confused as to how the house totally burned to the ground yet Kevin had tapes of old home movies. I’m suspiously thinking Kate had the smoke detector batteries in her recorder thus feeling guilty the alarm didn’t go off giving warning sooner to the family of the fire. So it’s “her” fault. Can’t wait to finally see how this all plays out.

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