If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Randall hosts a Super Bowl party while Kevin and Kate reconnect with the past. (TVGuide)
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Director: John Requa & Glenn Ficarra
Running Time: 45mins
Wow. Just wow. This Super Bowl Sunday will be one for the ages–and not for the reasons we think. This Is Us delivered its most emotional, heart-breaking episode yet. The episode picked up right where last week left off, with the Crockpot igniting the fire. Jack wakes up to the smell of smoke and soon realizes the house is being consumed in flames. Ugh, first gut-punch of the night.
In utter panic, he wakes Rebecca up and proceeds to save Kate and Randall. Like the heroic father he is, Jack manages to get Randall and Kate into the safety of their room. Watching Jack save his kids was terrifying–as we waited for the death shoe to drop. Smarter than anyone would be in a situation like this, Jack gets the entire family to safety via tying blankets together. The sound of Kate’s dog, Louie, barking causes her to call out for him. Kate’s desperate face is enough for Jack to run back into the house to retrieve him for her. And this is the moment we think we’ve lost Jack for good–as the flames completely consume the house. The entire world breathes a sigh of relief when Jack comes rushing out of the house with Louie and family mementos in tow.
In the present, the family prepares for Super Bowl Sunday. Kate watches videos that Jack made of her singing, Randall throws a party for the girls, Rebecca makes Jack’s favorite lasagna, and Kevin tries to distract himself from feeling depressed. Our hearts dropped seeing Kate watch the video–especially when the tape is nearly ruined by a glitchy VCR (thankfully, Toby’s friend saved and put it in the cloud).
As the episode progressed, we knew the inevitable moment was soon approaching–and nothing could prepare us. After being taken to the hospital, Jack is treated for his second-degree burns from the fire–and is told that his airways are full of soot. A precious, final moment takes place between Jack and Rebecca as they reminisce about their children being born there–and how Jack forgot to get batteries for the smoke detectors. And then, it happened. Rebecca left to call the kids and get some snacks for Jack–meanwhile, all hell is breaking loose directly behind her in Jack’s room. As Rebecca stands facing the vending machine, the doctor approaches her bearing the worst news ever–Jack’s dead. Due to intense smoke inhalation, he went into cardiac arrest and left the world way too soon.
The scene that follows is Mandy Moore’s most phenomenal moment in This Is Us thus far. She was so raw, exposed, and true in her character’s most horrific moment. Bravo, Mandy Moore. While we did not see Jack’s body, the reflection of it is shown in the window –and it completely slayed us. A flashback montage of the past and present flicker onto the screen, while Rebecca breaks down over the reality of Jack’s death. Gathering Jack’s items, she must now face her kids to tell them they’ve lost Jack. Before approaching them, Rebecca composes herself to stay strong for the kids–and boy, she did one hell of a job. All the while, Kate took it upon herself to find Kevin to tell him about Jack’s death.
This episode was a positive change for Kevin because he finally went back to Jack’s funeral spot and had a heart-to-heart with his dead father–promising that he will make Jack proud of him. Kate opened up to Toby about losing her father, and how she felt it was her fault. In the scariest moment of their lives, she was worried about her dog, rather than telling Jack to forget about it. However, after her father passed away, she didn’t feel her life change until she met Toby–who turned it around in a way she didn’t see coming. Rebecca shared with Kevin that every year since Jack died, she felt like he sent her a reason to make her laugh–this year, it was Kevin.
And just when we thought This Is Us couldn’t possibly top the episode, it throws us for a loop with Randall. Tess conveys her worries about him wanting a new life. Randall takes this moment to make Tess realize just how important she is to him, “You’re the little girl who made my life somersault.” Throughout the episode, we are given glimpses of a foster child with a social worker–a child we assume is going to be fostered by Randall and Beth. This is due to the fact that Beth and Randall receive a call about a foster child. However, it is not the young boy we have been seeing, but DEJA! And better yet, the social worker we had been seeing throughout the episode is an older Tess. Amazing, right?
This Is Us was amazing, wonderful, beautiful, and absolutely heart-breaking in this episode. The show hit all the marks and presented Jack’s death in a way that was satisfying to the fans–as satisfying as something like this could be anyway. They didn’t disappoint or let us down in one of the most anticipated moments on television, ever–kudos to the creative team for that. It was every bit perfect and gut-wrenching as was expected. Not to mention, every actor in this episode brought their A-game, it was absolutely unbelievable just how perfect they truly were.
We have no idea where the story will go from here, or how much of Jack we will continue to see–but we are in for the long run. We love you, This Is Us.