This is Us #33: Jack’s Story Has Only Just Begun

Credit NBC

Credit NBC

I find it interesting that, just like in real life, Jack died and several days later we went to his funeral. Even that schedule seems so true to life and real, doesn’t it? Although two days is too quick, but still…

Watching Jack’s funeral felt more like a real funeral of someone I know than any TV funeral ever has.  And this episode was sadder than the after-Superbowl one. Sadder and gloomier, just like real life when the shock wears off and you are faced with a life devoid of the one you love.

Another notable feature of this episode was that Sterling, Chrissy and Justin were completely absent. It was mostly the teen Big Three, who always do such an incredible job, don’t they? Niles Fitch as teen Randall is my Performer of the Week because of his restrained anguish–heartwrenching! I also really dug their Jeep Wagoneer with its natty wood paneling. Do you think maybe wood paneling will make a comeback?

Credit NBC

Credit NBC

Here’s my RECAP:

1. Everything triggers a memory of Jack for Rebecca, even the Jeep wagon. The story of the Jeep echoes the story of the family it carries. It was jarring to see them flip from Jack, flashing a toothy grin and driving proudly out of the lot with the Jeep, to Rebecca and the kids, somberly driving to Jack’s funeral in the older, more lived in wagon. (Cute: When little Randall–Lonnie Chavez–pipes up in the Jeep that he has “memorized all the phobias.” Sounds about right!)

2. I liked the way Jack made a quarreling Randall and Kevin get out of the Jeep and walk five miles home. “Fix what is broken between you,” Jack urges them. Because when he and Rebecca are gone, it will only be the siblings who remember all the family stories and dynamics. Now that hurt my heart, for more reasons than I can get into here.

3. We find out about Jack’s tree. In flashback, Jack takes an anxious Rebecca to a park to wait out the results of her MRI. She thinks she has a brain tumor, but Jack knows she is going to be fine. “This is the tree where we find out my wife is okay.”

4. Jack’s funeral begins, and Randall makes a speech: “I hope that one day I can find a love like the one my father had for my mother.” And he did–Beth.

5. At the reception, a seething Kevin resents the heck out of Randall wearing Jack’s watch. But it’s not about the watch. “A real man would have stopped Dad from going back in the house!” Kevin cuts into his brother. OUCH. What a terrible, understandable, sad, thing to say.

6. Back in the Jeep in happier times: Jack and Kate have a heart to heart about musical tastes. For him, her idol Alannis Morrisette sounds like “complaining with a guitar.” He pops in his beloved Bruce Springsteen and wonders out loud if they might all go see the Boss in concert soon.

7. Wonderful, dear Dr. K, who was such a stalwart presence the day Jack and Rebecca lost their third triplet and gained Randall, seeks our Rebecca outside the funeral. He is the perfect person to lean on, as he knew Jack in a way no one else did. When Rebecca shares her guilt that she wasn’t there when Jack died, and wonders if she can survive without him, Dr. K batters up with some tough love: “Bull Crap!”

8. Quote of the night: “You didn’t just make something resembling lemonade, you made one of the sweetest pitchers of the stuff ever,” Dr. K says, referring to Kate losing her baby and choosing to parent Randall on the same day. He helps Rebecca believe she is strong enough to make it on her own without Jack.

9. When she leans on Dr. K’s shoulder and they just sit there comforting each other–Cue inner wailing!

10. Rebecca and her kids leave the reception rather abruptly, which made perfect sense to me. Yes, folks might be offended, but Rebecca was on a mission: To visit Jack’s tree, sprinkle his ashes, and mobilize her kids for the extremely tough days ahead. Here Kate expresses her guilt for Jack going back in the house to save the dog (which surely WAS the reason he died). However, as Rebecca points out accurately, “He was a grown man who made a choice.” The wrong choice. Oh, Jack!!!!

Rebecca, alone at the tree, promises Jack that they will be okay. And we know that Rebecca Pearson will continue making sweet lemonade the best she can, even without her soul mate. 

11. Maybe my favorite thing about the whole episode was a line in the preview for three weeks from now: “Jack’s story has just begun.” Obviously, there will be more reveals about his time in Vietnam and his relationship with his brother, Nicky. Now, this sounds CRAZY far-fetched, but could Nicki Pearson still be alive? Or would that be a little too “Days of Our Lives”? Ha! Well, a girl can dream.

So! Now we have much to ponder in the next three weeks as we cheer on our favorite countries in the Olympics! I am from Canada, we live in the US (and my family members are all American), and my girl is adopted from South Korea! We will be cheering for all three teams!

Happy Olympics, Us pals! I will miss you. But before we say adieu for now, tell me your favorite scene, line, performance. What touched a nerve for you? What were your “tissue moments”? 

Comment below to win a copy of the This is Us Season 1 soundtrack!





  1. Janice Hobbs says

    My favorite scene was Rebecca, finding the courage to drive across that bridge on their way to see Springsteen on the night of Jack’s funeral. Jack would be so proud of her.

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