Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC
Okay, guys, let’s chat. Now that we’ve seen the first episode from season 2 of This Is Us, we are definitely feeling all the feels. The episode was packed with sucker punches and silver linings, like when Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) work through their adoption obstacle, realize they are “imperfectly perfect,” and come up with a solution. The voice-over narration by Randall’s biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) was also particularly heartwarming. And I have to point out the writers’ prediction of all the Kardashian pregnancies (unreal!). There were so many emotional moments, leaving us heartbroken, angry, disappointed and shocked, but let’s discuss the Big Three.
When Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) told the Big Three about their non-separation separation
The parents took their trio to a diner to tell them that they have relationship issues and are unsure of what the future holds. This conversation seems to be the catalyst for the way the teens feel toward each of their parents. Kate (Hannah Zeile) appears to take her father’s side while Randall (Niles Fitch) appears to take that of his mother. Kevin (Logan Shroyer), as per usual, seems unaffected on the surface.
Also, we find out Randall walked in on Jack and Rebecca’s big fight. Something about this is super significant, I just haven’t been able to pinpoint it yet.
Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) development as Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) fiance
From the beginning, I’ve felt like Toby would be an intrusion-like presence. He pushes Kate in ways that are arguably needed—his character isn’t a total bust—but his arrogance and demand for her attention rubs me the wrong way. He is constantly bashing the relationship Kate has with Kevin, and as a girl with a sister-in-law, I know that when you enter into a committed relationship with someone, you are also entering into a relationship with their family, especially when the family is as close as the Pearsons are.
Part of loving someone and wanting to be their life partner is knowing, understanding, and accepting where they come from. In Toby and Kate’s case, this means rolling with the dynamic of each other’s flawed family.
A hint at Jack’s death
Throughout this episode, we watched Jack unravel as a full-blown, self-realized alcoholic. That’s some heavy-hitting and heartbreaking stuff for the man we see as the near-perfect father and husband. When Rebecca finally goes to talk to him at Miguel’s (Jon Huertas) house, her disappointments are confirmed yet she doesn’t run this time. “Get in the car, Jack. You are my husband, and I am your wife, and if you have a problem, we will fix it together.” YAS.
She adds, “In a few months from now, everything will be back to normal.” Cue classic plot twist. Rebecca is driving with what appears to be a bag of Jack’s things when she pulls up to a home that has burned down. A closer look confirms that the mailbox says “PEARSON,” so it was, in fact, their house. Plenty of people are theorizing that this is how Jack dies, predicting that he was in the house at the time of the fire. However, I refuse to accept it.
First, it’s This Is Us, people. There is no such thing as a simple explanation—nothing is ever as it seems here. Moore told PEOPLEthat this is merely one piece of the puzzle, which is still more satisfying than the absence of clues we got in the first season. “I’m glad we’ve revealed a little bit to everyone,” Ventimiglia also told PEOPLE. “I know people have been asking questions, and I stay silent, because there’s so much I can’t reveal, but I’m glad they know at least a bit.”
But the show’s creator, Dan Fogelman, told Entertainment Weekly that “The Steelers jersey is a clue.” Hmm...