Welcome to my weekly review of This Is Us. Today: Season 2, Episode 13, That’ll Be the Day. (The reviews will include spoilers, so don’t read if you haven’t watched and don’t want to know what happens!) My reviews are based on a single viewing. If I were to watch several times, as I can obsess over my favorite shows (I’m looking at you, True Detective, Season 1), I might be even more insightful (or over-Randall-ing it all). But I’d rather write my initial impressions than take time dissecting after many views. So….
They tricked me again. Of course, the old couple at the beginning sorting through the crap in their garage — I assumed were the couple from the house that Rebecca found for her and Jack to start Big Three Homes with. But no, they are the couple that gave just-starting-out pregnant Rebecca and Jack a Crock Pot that was fritzy 17 years prior to it being fritzy when Jack cleaned the kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday, then left a towel too close to it. The Crock Pot fritzed; the towel caught fire.
The beginning of the ending of this story has begun.
Oh, Jack! Why keep an old Crock Pot that was broken-ish already another 17 years? Why not make sure you put the towel somewhere else? Why not unplug the damn thing?
But I get ahead of myself. That was all at the end of the episode filled with so much goodness. Kate struggles with the idea of a dog — because of the baggage attached to the last (Dad found it… did dad die trying to save it?), but finally gets one because it would make Toby happy (much like Jack would do anything to make people he loved happy). Randall and Beth begin renovating the housing complex for the lower income folks, not without issue, of course. Randall, saving the world and building a monument to people who shaped him and cared about him. How Jack-like. And Kevin comes uninvited to help with renovations, keeping his addict hands busy, just like Jack did when he built the new TV case. (AND Kevin gets his dad’s medal back from the woman he spent the night with, so my guess on that was wrong.)
Young Kevin whines about Sophie getting into NYU and he has to go to community college because he was counting on football to get him through a good school. He gripes at his parents and what we know to be his last exchange with Jack is unhappy and nasty (Kevin, not Jack). Young Randall has a date with The Red Haired Girl, Allison, and he and dad discuss how he was, of course, a gentleman. Kate has to send another audition tape to the college she wants to get into. She first chastises Jack for constantly reminding her that she’s pretty. Then, after seeing a video he made of her singing, she says he shouldn’t ever stop trying to get her to see herself the way he sees her.
These are the memories the kids will take with them on this last Pearson Super Bowl Sunday, as the flames overtake the house and soon change their lives forever.
And now, I finally have a reason to get excited about Super Bowl Sunday — the episode we’ve all been waiting for runs after the game. On Jack Pearson’s favorite day of the year.
4 stars out of 4 for the penultimate fire episode. We’ve known it’s coming, but it will still be difficult to watch. Watch we will, though. We’re all part of the Pearson family now. We have to.
p.s. If Jack dies trying to save Kate’s dog… Yeah, I know, dogs are people too, but once the people are out and safe, you wait for the fire people to try to save the pets.
Tune in here after the next episode for another This Is Us: Review for You. Read all of my reviews for season 2 here.