If you’re a fan of NBC’s “This Is Us,” you know that not more than one minute passes without something emotional happening. We’ve watched Randall, Kate and Kevin Pearson grow up, and we’ve watched as their lives have continually falls apart and then get back together again. But above all, we have watched piece-by-piece as the story of dad Jack’s death unravels. Finally, in last week’s episode “That’ll Be The Day,” we got to the day of the fire. And, like many other things in the show, it was extremely heart-wrenching.
For most of the episode, everything seemed completely normal. Jack and Rebecca spent the night of the Super Bowl alone together because the kids all decided to make other plans (Kevin and Kate decide to leave after arguments with their parents, as usual). However, everything felt wrong because we are painfully aware of what was to come. We have seen the condemned crock pot, we have seen Rebecca crying outside of the burnt house in her Steelers jersey, we know the smoke alarm has no batteries and we know that Jack will somehow not survive. This is what makes the show so interesting, it is like a puzzle and as it continues we can see how everything ends up being intertwined.
We now know that a faulty crock pot sparks a flame that engulfs the entire house, and that only Randall, Rebecca and Jack are home. But we still do not know exactly why Jack is the only one that doesn’t survive. I predict that in his typical superhuman fashion, Jack will end up trying to save Kate’s dog as the others escape, but unfortunately this time he will not save the day. We will find out the answer this Sunday, conveniently during the real Super Bowl.
As the episode progressed, it was hard not to yell out at the characters. You cannot even deny you wanted to yell at the teenagers to stay home, or at least for them to say “I love you” one last time to Jack. There have been lots of frustrating moments with those teens, but knowing this was Jack’s last day made it worse. It’s pretty clear that the kids still hold onto feelings of guilt from that night.
There have been three episodes since the series returned to finish its second season and things have been slowly patching themselves together (aside from the death of Jack). Kevin is out of rehab, has been sent his father’s necklace and is helping Randall fix up the apartment complex him. Furthermore Beth recently bought (Yes! Randall has a job again!) while Kate helps Madison, from the weight-support group, deal with an eating disorder and also adopts an adorable little puppy. Things may be starting to look up, but that doesn’t mean they could easily become rocky again. I predict it is only a matter of time before something else emotionally taxing happens and the drama continues.
Now that the suspense is over and we’ve found out how Jack died, you may be wondering where the rest of the season will take us. There seems to be some tension between Beth and Randall over their new project, so I assume that will eventually boil over. There were some hints at teenage Kate having an eating disorder right before her father’s death, so I also assume we will be returning to that.
As the season progresses it will be interesting to see where life takes America’s favorite family next. If one thing’s for sure, it will definitely continue to include the mix of heartwarming but emotionally tolling stories we know and love.
Melissa Scrivani is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.