HOLLYWOOD—The NBC drama “This is Us” has to easily be the most heart-breaking TV series that I have watched to date. It seems every episode; the show finds a way to stir emotions in Americans that you never expected. For nearly a year, we’ve known that the family patriarch Jack would meet his demise. However, audiences had no clue how until a few weeks ago, when we were teased how a crock pot catching fire would ultimately lead to Jack’s death. That crock pot was not the culprit people.
After waiting patiently, audiences were teased to what is certain to be one of the most talked about episodes of “This is Us” for a very long time after Super Bowl LII, with the episode titled ‘Super Bowl Sunday.’ MAJOR SPOILERS: If you have not watched the episode stop reading RIGHT NOW!
Things opened with a climactic moment: Jack waking up to see smoke emerging from the hall, the house engulfed in flames, I’m on the edge of my seat, watching. He rescues Randal, just as he goes after Kate, but they find themselves trapped in her room because the flames are too vicious. He uses a mattress to combat the flames, as they make their way back to the master bedroom. With the house engulfed in flames, Randal, Kate and Rebecca are lowered to safety, just as Jack makes the heroic attempt to go after the house pet, Luis. Ugh, I know people love their animals, but in the world of fire, sometimes you cannot rescue an animal if it means a human life will be lost. Wow, I could have sworn Jack was a goner, but he managed to save the dog and himself!
He even managed to retrieve some family memories at the same time. Flash to the present, where Kate is seen watching videos of Jack and herself when she was a kid. Kate was nearly in tears with the thought of her memories being erased from that VHS tape. We flash forward to the present where Kevin and Rebecca are seen discussing their rituals for Super Bowl Sunday. In other regions, Randal is seen preparing for Super Bowl Sunday, celebrating a devastating memory, whereas Kate mourns and Kevin avoids, Randal’s words people.
Madness inside Randal’s abode with a lizard on the loose, Beth unfortunately had a mishap and stepped on Mr. Giggles. Let’s go back to the past where we see Jack being treated at the hospital. It was a very somber episode watching Rebecca and Kate process their grief by performing rituals that allow them to reconnect with their emotions. As Randal paid tribute to Mr. Giggles, he found himself recalling that fateful night where Jack died. Just as I expected, while Rebecca was away from Jack his condition worsened. As doctors were rushing to save Jack, Rebecca was talking to the kids, worried about Kevin’s whereabouts and purchasing a Twix bar.
When the doctor broke the news to Rebecca, it was some terrific acting from Mandy Moore; the level of range and emotion she displayed was awards worthy. Pencil her in come Emmy season people because the woman was fantastic. Rebecca was not able to process what she was hearing from the doctor about Jack dying from cardiac arrest as a result of smoke inhalation. However, when she entered his hospital room and saw his lifeless body she shattered into a million pieces. A heartbreaking gut-punch America.
Watching that scene where Rebecca revealed to Miguel and the kids that Jack died was the toughest thing I’ve witnessed on TV in years. Kevin on the other hand decided to have a conversation with his father; visiting a place that he hasn’t been to since his father died. He promised to be a better person in honor of his father. Going back to the past, Rebecca takes a moment to grieve, just as Kate makes the decision to break the news to Kevin about their father’s demise. Back to the present, Kate shares a tale with Toby about how her father was always patient with her, and she confessed her love for Toby. Jump back to the past as we witness Rebecca unleashing all her grief in front of the torched family home.
Kevin and Rebecca had a heart-to-heart that was uplifting, as we pierced more into the mind of Rebecca and Kevin; it shows the two have a much stronger bond than they imagined. Randal had a conversation with his daughter Tess, who is fearful that her father may be seeking a new life, but with kind words he expressed her importance in his life. While this transpired, we saw a flash forward to a much older Tess who was working as a social worker, and that kid that I was certain would be adopted by Randal and Beth was actually being adopted by another family.
Wow, this series certainly knows how to pull the wool over one’s heads. Why? That call Beth received was not from another foster child it was from Deja, the kid who was initially returned to her mother. Yeah, the episode ended on a very climatic note, one where the audience is left to wonder how the family will bid adieu to Jack and how Deja’s sudden return to the family will impact Beth, Randal and the kids. This wasn’t even the season two finale! With that being said, I’m desperate to see where things are headed considering the big mystery of Jack’s demise has finally been answered.