When the first season of This Is Us ended, we were left hanging on a whole slew of Pearson family plot lines. Randall had told Beth that he wanted to adopt a baby. Kevin took a meeting with Ron Howard and things were looking up for him and his ex-turned-current love Sophie. Kate was about to embark on a singing career. Jack just gave Rebecca a speech that had us all sobbing following a big fight that was a long time coming. The first season totally left us hanging on the biggest plot line of the show so far — Jack’s death.
Major spoilers ahead!
We pick up the morning after where we left off, with Rebecca picking up the kids following a fight with Jack (but major lol at teenage Kevin’s hickey). Rebecca tells the kids they’re going to talk as a family, and they meet up with Jack at a diner with the almighty words — “Your mom and I want to talk to you.” They’re honest with the kids about what happened and where they’re at.
In present day, it’s the Big 3’s birthday — Randall’s got baby fever, Toby is being cute as heck with Kate, and Kevin is filming a proposal scene for his new big film. Sophie has to skip Kevin’s birthday to be with her sick mom. Kevin hides his disappointment with a very timely “by next week they’ll be a zillion more of them” Kardashian joke (how did they know?).
Back in the flashback, Jack is chatting with Miguel about his marital problems with Rebecca, promising he won’t be a “long-term guest.” He seems worried and heartbroken but not entirely pessimistic. Rebecca’s at home with the kids, and they’re all suffering with the “mind blowingly upsetting crap” going on. They head to the movies, and Jack is waiting by the phone.
Beth and Randall are at a meeting with the adoption agency, and it’s low-key extremely awkward. While Randall is excited about the new baby, Beth is obviously has her reservations and doesn’t hesitate to let the agency and her husband know. Plus, they haven’t talked it through with their daughters yet. She’s rightfully concerned that he’s trying to duplicate exactly his own life in honoring his two fathers, and walks away from him in the parking lot.
In the season’s first seriously heartbreaking moment, we see a teenage Randall try to leave a party early and walk back into the house to his parents’ heated fight from the end of last season (I’m crying). We’re then back with Randall and Rebecca in 2017, and he’s looking for some guidance on his own adoption process. She takes us back to the moment her and Jack decided to adopt Randall, where we learn that she initially said no to adopting Randall.
Kate and Toby walk in to meet Kevin, and turns out he’s bought out the hottest restaurant in town. This must be some big movie, or that Manny money is crazy. Toby toasts to how proud he is of Kate, where she admits she bailed on the audition earlier today. Not only that, but she told her brother Kevin before him, which he doesn’t take well.
We see Beth talking to William’s, Randalls birth father’s, ghost briefly, and then Randall comes home. Our favorite Momma’s boy tells his wife that he disagrees with his mother, and that they do have the perfectly imperfect marriage. He also admits that while he loves his parents, he doesn’t want to be them, and says he’s down to find another way to give a child the opportunity his parents gave him. Beth opens up to Randall and proposes that they adopt an older child, rather than a baby.
Jack is still waiting by the phone, but his patience finally breaks and he heads back to the bar where Rebecca used to perform and tries to bribe the owner to rehire his wife as a solo act. It’s kinda awkward and aggressive, but the thought was there.
Kevin tries to explain to Toby the deal with the audition, and Toby gets defensive about being Kate’s “person.” They both love Kate, that’s for sure, but they can’t agree.. Kate shuts them both down (YES GIRL) and then heads back to the audition “to wipe the floor with those bitches” (YES GIRL).
She walks into the audition, convinces them to give her a shot even though they’re done, and dang girl can sing! When they stop her early, she stands up for herself in one of the most body-positive speeches in This Is Us so far. Even though the woman they picked does have an incredible voice, it’s so awesome to see Kate owning it. When she comes back and tells the boys she didn’t get the part, she’s even more renewed in her drive to do her thing.
In the final few scenes, we flashback again and the serious heartbreak begins. Rebecca goes to Miguels to get Jack back, and after her heartfelt speech, he admits that he has a drinking problem. He says he wants to sort it out on his own before coming back to his family, but Rebecca is not having it. They get in the car and she promises it will all be better in a couple of months. Next we see Rebecca, alone is a Steelers jersey in the car, along with a clear bag of Jack’s things — a watch, a wedding ring, etc. The kids are at Miguels, and are crying after just being told that their father has passed. Rebecca pulls up to their home, which we then see has been burnt down. She lets out a devastating sob (and I did, too).
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