For our review of the last episode of This Is Us, click here.
Synopsis: Rebecca and the Big Three reckon with secrets Jack kept from them; Jack’s Vietnam story continues to be revealed. (TVGuide)
Writers: Kevin Falls and Tim O’Brien
Director: Chris Koch
Running Time: 45mins
Airs: Tuesdays at 9pm on CTV (Canada)/NBC (United States)
Wow, just, wow. This week’s episode of This Is Us, “Songbird Road: Part One” just simply breathtaking. Almost every episode does but there is something different about this episode than the ones that we’ve seen up until it. The mystery surrounding Jack’s brother, Nicky is finally explained, and it is devastating. So, grab your tissues for what would be a very emotional episode.
One of the big reveals from this week came in the form of finding out that Nicky had been sending Jack postcards for an extended period of time. But Jack was ignoring them and not eager to respond. At this point in time, it’s unclear why Jack wants nothing to do with the brother he fought so hard to take care of. It’s not until Jack receives the final postcard from Nicky that he decides to go and pay him a visit.
He doesn’t tell Rebecca or the kids where he’s going and plays it off as an out-of-town work visit. He travels to an address that takes him to Songbird Road where he finds Nicky living in a trailer. The Nicky we remember from Vietnam is no longer the man that Jack is standing in front of, and the tension between them is palpable.
With the intention of telling Nicky that he wants him to leave him alone, Jack ends up going inside the trailer after he gets invited in. They make small talk until Nicky tries to talk about that day of the bombing in Vietnam. But Jack doesn’t want to hear any of it. He doesn’t let Nick have the opportunity to explain anything and the conversation just hits a dead end.
In a flashback, we find out why Jack is so perturbed with Nicky. Remember the day we assumed Nicky died in Vietnam? Well, that day Nicky was hanging out with a Vietnamese child (the son of that mystery woman) and they decided to go fishing. To catch the fish faster, Nicky was throwing grenades into the water so the fish would surface and they could just pick them up. But things go very wrong when the child gets a hold of a grenade and drops it onto the boat. Instead of grabbing the child, Nicky started screaming for him to jump off the boat and did so himself. Except, the child never made it out of the boat.
Nicky survived, but it left Jack with the impression that Nicky killed the little boy on purpose. In Jack’s defense, the day before Nicky was voicing his animosity over the Vietnamese so it wasn’t crazy to believe that this all happened on purpose. But alas, it didn’t. And it turns out Nicky never got a chance to explain himself to Jack.
There is a moment after visiting with Nicky that Jack contemplates going back, but he ends up turning towards home instead. He comes clean to Rebecca about where he was but doesn’t say who he was visiting. One of the many Pearson family secrets that remained a mystery until it didn’t.
In the present, everyone is caught up to speed about Nicky’s existence and Randall and Kevin decide they should pay a visit to the address they have. At first, Kate says she isn’t going to come, but last minute flies out and joins them anyway. During all of this, Rebecca seems distant and out of it. After all, she is finding out a huge secret from Jack’s life and learning that he lied to them about a big part of his life. So while the Big Three prepare to look for their Uncle Nicky, Rebecca agrees to watch Randall’s kids since Beth will be out interviewing.
Having been through a similar situation, Randall is skeptical about what they’ll find when they arrive at the address. He’s afraid that Kevin will be heartbroken when no one is there, but he wants to support him anyway. The Big Three head out and eventually arrive at the trailer to find no one there. And just as they’re losing hope, Uncle Nicky shows up–but he’s not too happy to see them.
At first, Nicky is interested to know if Jack knows these guys are here, but then they break the news he passed away some time ago. He tries to push the Big Three away but Kate tells him what everyone has been through to find him, so he has to talk and tell them what happened.
Nicky recalls the events of Vietnam to the Big Three and eventually asks them to leave. And they do until Kevin realizes that they can’t abandon their uncle like their father did. Back at the same crossroads as Jack once was, the Big Three turn towards Nicky’s home to confront him once again. They walk in to see Nicky sitting with a gun in front of him repeating, “I never got to tell him it was an accident”. Ugh, the feels.