I don’t usually cry during This Is Us. I know a lot of people do. I’ve come close before, though. At the end of this episode, titled “Jack Pearson’s Son,” when Kevin makes a bold decision, I certainly come close again. Meanwhile, Randall continues to struggle with all the stress in his life, Toby and Kate get to know each other, and Jack and Rebecca have a fall-out about her band tour.

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The Calm Before the Storm

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Rebecca is leaving lists of things Jack needs to take care of while she’s on tour for a month. Jack assures her that he and the kids will be fine. But that doesn’t stop her from writing more lists.

That day at work, Miguel asks Jack how he really feels about Rebecca leaving with the band. Jack finally opens up and says that he thinks it’s crazy she is leaving her family. He feels like her gigs at home should be good enough, but he would never tell her that because she would resent him. He also confesses to Miguel that he’s worried about her band mate Ben. Miguel assures Jack that he has nothing to worry about, as Rebecca only has eyes for him.

Miguel then asks Jack if he’ll be his wingman the following weekend. So Jack invites Miguel to Rebecca’s gig that that night so he can possibly meet someone.

Before she goes, Rebecca gets ready for the gig that night. As she gets ready, she hears the kids come home and overhears Kate tell Randall that Sophie and Kevin are having sex. Of course, Rebecca freaks out. Later, she and Jack have the safe sex talk with Kevin, but it’s interrupted by Randall, who is freaking out about a project at school. And it’s here we see that Randall’s panic attacks have been going on since he was a teenager. Rebecca has another mini freak-out about leaving the kids, but once again, despite his true feelings, Jack insists that Rebecca needs to go on tour.

It All Unravels

At the Valentine’s Day show, Jack can’t help but notice the flirtation on stage between Rebecca and Ben. Miguel, while distracted with another woman, once again assures Jack that he has nothing to worry about. After the show, Ben says hello to Jack and “accidentally” reveals that he and Rebecca dated in the past. It takes all of Jack’s might not to cause a scene, as Rebecca wants to continue their Valentine’s Day plans. But he cuts the night short.

Rebecca confronts Jack at home. He wants to know why she lied to him about Ben. She claims they dated for two months when they were 19 and it meant nothing. She adds that she didn’t tell Jack because she knew he’d flip out and be jealous. Jack tells her he doesn’t want her going anymore, that he never wanted her to go. They both say some pretty hurtful things, which leads to Jack at the bar eating a bacon cheeseburger by himself.

Toby and Kate: The Deep Dive

Kate does knock on cabin 13, but it’s not to hook up with Duke; it’s to tell him off. However, in doing so, she gets kicked out of the camp because his parents own and run it.

Kate goes to see Toby at the hotel to apologize and get their relationship back on track. Toby finally accepts her apology and is relieved that she didn’t give in to Duke’s “charms.” He then confesses that they really don’t know much about each other. He says that since their relationship has been so rocky, they don’t really know about each other’s pasts. So Kate declares a deep dive into their past to get to know each other better.

The questions range from which do you like better, cats or dogs, to celebrity crushes. However, Kate digs real deep and asks Toby about the time he had suicidal thoughts. He explains that he had always struggled with depression, and it spiraled out of control when he got divorced.

When Toby digs deep, though, and presses Kate for details on her father’s death, she’s at a loss for words. She explains that she wants to tell him, but she’s just not ready to uncork the bottle of emotions she’s kept locked away for so long.

Later on, at Kevin’s play, Toby tells her that he thinks they should get rid of their summer wedding date and just enjoy being engaged. He realized that they both need to be fully comfortable with each other to be married, and they shouldn’t rush learning about each other just to meet a deadline. Once again, Toby says and does the right thing.

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A Breakdown

William is on the verge of having another one of his panic attack/nervous breakdowns. Everything in his life is going haywire. His work is suffering because of his personal life, and his boss is noticing. As a result, most of his work is being given to Sanjay, another person at his firm.

A day before a big meeting, Randall preps at home, but Beth needs to go to DC when her mother breaks her hip. This leaves Randall to take care of William, so he hires a hospice nurse. When Randall finally gets to work late, his boss informs him that the big meeting has been moved to that afternoon. But instead of preparing, Randall deals with an impromptu visit from Kevin, who is solely focused on his play, and a call from William’s nurse, who is locked out of the house.

Randall runs home and yells at William for getting upset with the nurse. He flat-out tells William that he doesn’t want him to die when no one is around. William, despite his body failing, understands and agrees to do what the nurse says. By the time the Randall gets back to the office, the big meeting is underway. He tries to collect his thoughts and present his facts, but he struggles and tears up. Sanjay sees him struggling and continues the presentation for him.

That night, Randall’s vision goes blurry and he starts to cry. He calls Kevin all confused to inform him he won’t be at his opening night.

What Would Jack Do?

Throughout most of the episode, Kevin whines about opening night. He worries he’s going to blow it. And it doesn’t help that Sophie won’t be there, and he’s having nightmares. It also doesn’t help when Sloane informs him that the New York Times will be there to review the show.

Kevin first calls Kate to whine, but she’s preoccupied with Toby. Then he goes to see Randall, who is preoccupied with everything else. Finally, Kevin goes to see Rebecca but ends up unloading onto Miguel. He does this reluctantly since it’s been made clear that Kevin does not like Miguel. But we know that Miguel is a good guy. So he tries to give Kevin advice, despite knowing that Kevin doesn’t like him. He tells Kevin that he reminds him of his father and that, whenever he was nervous, he used to seek out Jack’s advice. Miguel recommends that if Kevin is nervous before curtain call, he should just think of what Jack would do.

A few minutes before the curtain goes up, Kevin takes the call from Randall informing him that he won’t make it. Kevin is clearly upset, but something clicks. He realizes something is off with Randall. So just as he’s about to go on stage, Sloane asks him what he’s thinking about. He replies, “I’m thinking about what my dad would do.” The lights go down, and Sloane heads out. When she turns around, though, Kevin isn’t there. At first thought, we think that Kevin has stage fright. But then we realize that he’s doing what Jack would do — and that is to go to Randall and comfort him, which is exactly what Kevin does. He runs to Randall’s office and finds him crying on the floor. He picks him up and just holds him, just as Jack would have done.

“Jack Pearson’s Son”

It’s funny that Miguel sees Jack in Kevin because I always thought Kevin is the opposite of Jack. Kevin is selfish and always thinking about himself, while Jack always put his family first, even when he didn’t want to, like the tour. Though, I have a feeling there’s more to that story that needs to be revealed. But it’s Miguel’s words that finally trigger the good in Kevin. He finally opened his eyes to realize that Randall needed him, needed someone, needed his father. So he got the next best thing: his brother. I’m so happy that Kevin is possibly growing up.

Randall needs professional help. It’s clear he takes on too much. Beth revealed that to William a few episodes back. This isn’t the first time he’s done this. But Beth should have seen this was coming. She should be helping him too. Though, when more than one family crisis occurs, there needs to be a balancing act, which is stressful on everyone.

I’m glad that Toby and Kate are slowing down. And I’m glad she didn’t cheat on Toby with Duke.

Rebecca needs to be a little nicer to Jack. While I can understand her point of view of wanting to do something for herself, I don’t think that touring with an ex-boyfriend and leaving your husband with your teenage triplets is the best idea. Perhaps a girls’ spa weekend would do the trick? Or a weekly dance class? She’s already got her band gigs and practices. But my question is, what does Jack get to do for himself? I’m sure all of this will get revealed in due time on This Is Us.

What did you think of “Jack Pearson’s Son”? Did you tear up when Kevin ran to Randall? Were you pissed at Jack or Rebecca or both? Who do you think is right in that fight? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

This Is Us season 1 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Want more news? Like our This Is Us Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV