This Is Us picks up right where it left off after the Super Bowl. After Jack’s death, Rebecca worries that she won’t be able to make it on her own with the three kids. However, a visit from someone from the past during Jack’s funeral service helps her realize that she will be okay. Meanwhile, this episode, titled “The Car,” allows us more Jack time as we get to see pieces of the Pearsons growing up in their Wagoneer.
The History of a Car
The Pearson Wagoneer has a lot of history in it, starting from the moment they purchase it. The day the family goes car shopping, Rebecca doesn’t think they can afford the Wagoneer, but Jack sees how much his young kids are enjoying it, so he works out a deal with the dealership. Everyone is thrilled with the new addition to the Pearson family.
One of the good memories is when the family heads to a Weird Al concert. As they cross a bridge that Rebecca doesn’t like, they get caught in construction traffic, so the kids and Jack sing Weird Al songs to distract her so she’s not scared.
Fast forward a few more years, and Rebecca is having a health scare and she’s been having dizzy spells. After getting an MRI, Jack takes her for a drive to his favorite tree while they wait for the results. When she asks why it’s his favorite tree, he says it’s because it’s the one where they find out she’s okay, which brings a smile to her face. Shortly after, they get a page with the results. And, of course, she’s fine. Later, in the car, Jack tells her she’s going to live forever. He gets serious when he tells her that she’s going to outlive him, and then when he goes, he doesn’t want to be buried, as he’d rather be outside.
Fast forward to when the kids are teenagers, closer to Jack’s death, and he’s teaching the boys how to drive. While Randall is behind the wheel, Kevin picks a fight from the back seat, which almost causes them to crash. This pisses Jack off, so he makes them both get out and walk home. When they get home, Jack reminisces about his brother, who he rarely talks about. He explains that having a relationship with a brother is important and that after he and Rebecca are gone, Randall and Kevin will only have each other and Kate to remember the past.
Another day, Jack is driving to work when he sees Kate at a bus stop instead of at school. She tells him she’s skipping class to go see Alanis Morissette at a record shop to get her autograph. Jack sees how excited she is, so he tells her to get in and he’ll take her there. Along the way, she plays some Alanis for him, and he plays some Springsteen for her. She gets passionate about the music, and Jack tells her she should seriously thing about pursuing music as a career. As he drops her off, she tells him that the Springsteen music wasn’t bad, so he suggests they go to a concert one day.
Last Day in the Car
In his last day in the car, the family is heading home from the supermarket with their Super Bowl treats. Jack tells everyone to leave the following Saturday open because he has a surprise for them. As they all get out of the car, he leaves his empty coffee cup in the console and they head inside.
Jack’s funeral service brings out a lot of emotions from his friends and family members. On their way to the service, Kate says she wants to get rid of her dog. Kevin is moody and gets annoyed with his tie. Meanwhile, Rebecca insists on arriving before his urn, I’m assuming as a way to spend more time with him. She goes through the motions during the service without shedding a tear, and then she takes the urn with her and the kids before she heads to the reception.
At the reception, Kevin notices that Randall is wearing Jack’s watch and flips out. He confronts Randall, who tells him that he asked their mother, who allowed him to wear it. Kevin then confronts Rebecca and then turns his anger back to Randall. He tells Randall that he’s tired of Randall acting like the man of the house now. In fact, he says, a real man never would have let Jack go back into the fire that night. This statement causes both Kate and Rebecca to walk out of the reception.
A Visit From Dr. K
As she sits outside, Dr. K and his wife come to pay their respects. He tells Rebecca that Jack frequently visited him after their kids were born for advice. He sits with Rebecca as she worries that she won’t make it without him, adding that Jack was fearless and she is not. However, Dr. K assures her that Jack was full of fear about being able to provide for his family. He tells Rebecca that she will be fine. And she knows deep down she will be.
After her chat with Dr. K, Rebecca grabs the kids and leaves the service. They head to Jack’s “favorite” tree, and she reminisces about Jack as the kids have tears streaming down their faces. She tells the boys that no one has to be the man of the house; they just have to be teenagers. And she tells Kate that it’s not her fault that Jack died. They sprinkle his ashes around the tree. They do leave some in the urn to take home with them. Then Rebecca tells them that Jack had gotten them Springsteen tickets for that night, and she suggests that they go. The kids agree and head back to the car. Rebecca stays behind and tells Jack that they are going to be okay.
It’s an emotional blessing in disguise that This Is Us will be on a two-week hiatus during the Olympics because I know a lot of people having been crying for the past two days. Between Jack’s actual death and then his funeral, it’s been an emotional roller coaster. Jack Pearson really wouldn’t want us shedding tears over him; he’d want us to celebrate his life. And that is exactly what “The Car” did. It allowed us to get more Jack time and to see how many memories the Pearsons had in their car. It also allowed us to see just how much Jack loved his family, as if we didn’t know already. The speech Jack gives about his family when buying the car should be one of the Jack Pearson record books. Seriously, Jack Pearson was a great man, despite all his flaws, as no one can be perfect.
Were you excited to see Dr. K pay his respects to Jack? What is your favorite Jack Pearson memory so far from This Is Us? We know that present day Kate still believes that she caused her father’s death, so do you think she’ll eventually be able to forgive herself now that she has Toby in her life? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
This Is Us season 2 returns Tuesday, February 27 at 9/8c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)