Warning: this post contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This is Us
Well, after all of us This is Us fans were thinking Jack and Rebecca made the perfect couple, the first signs of trouble in paradise rear their ugly heads. In this week’s episode, “Jack Pearson’s Son,” the couple have a Valentine’s Day Eve fight, after Jack finds out that Rebecca once dated the band mate with whom she’s about to head out on a month-long tour. Jack becomes a green-eyed monster and completely discounts the sacrifices Rebecca has made over the course of their relationship. The episode ends with Jack spending the last few hours of the holiday alone in a restaurant with a cheeseburger…and a stiff drink. Uh-oh.
Stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia (who finally, thankfully, lost the porn ‘stache and goatee) did a post-show interview on the show’s Facebook page during which they discussed the fight. Mandy had lots to say about the origins of the fight and how her character was impacted.
“These are issues that have been boiling for a while. And Milo and I talked a lot about it. I don’t think this is a couple that fights often at all. I think that they have a very open line of communication with one another.
And I believe that there is a lot of resentment that’s just been building for years, about, from my perspective as a woman, this is a woman who had a sort of trajectory that she was on, that she saw for herself, her life and career. She met Jack, fell in love, kind of tabled all of that, fundamentally, like a huge piece of who she was, as an artist and as a creative person.
[She] didn’t know whether or not she wanted to have kids, was sort of on the fence. That happened. Cut to 16 years later, the possibility of that entering her life again is so equal parts exciting and thrilling, but also terrifying. And, I think the fact that it’s been met with some sort of resentment from the beginning from Jack, that he couldn’t let her have that is really disheartening.”
Milo, coming to his character’s defense, said he felt Jack “doesn’t like change,” adding that “having a routine of so many years, of having the kids and just the possible repetitive nature of things, he enjoys it.” He went on to say that Jack, in what is really an irrational moment, I mean, I sure wouldn’t throw him over for a less attractive dude in a band (sorry, Ben), felt “what his wife wanted was to spend time with another man.” Mandy immediately snapped back with, “That’s not rational” and went on to say “They both needed to have a little bit of air.”
So, what about Jack’s first drink after being sober for 16 years? Mandy said she felt him going back to the bottle was a “self-destructive” move, but Milo said, “I don’t think going to the restaurant was a protest. Maybe having the drink was. [Like,] ‘You’re gonna go do this for you? I’m gonna go do this for me.’“ Just a theory here, but do you think the demon alcohol could be the cause, or at least a big contributor to, Jack’s demise? I’m not the only one thinking this, as it’s actually one of the top fan theories regarding the cause of Jack’s death.
Tuesday’s episode wasn’t all about Jack and Rebecca. Let’s talk about Randall. He’s not doing well. He’s still got a tremor in his hand and is having trouble focusing at work. It doesn’t help that Beth had to up and leave for D.C. to care for her Mom, who fell and broke her hip, leaving Randall to deal with William, who also isn’t doing well. Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall, once again brings it, please give him all of the Emmys. He did win the award for best outstanding actor in a drama at the NAACP Image Awards last weekend, so he’s well on his way.
On the Kate and Toby front, Kate gets booted out of her weight loss camp after confronting awful Duke, whose parents happen to own the camp. Good riddance, Duke. Kate and Toby have an epiphany of sorts, realizing that they really don’t know as much about each other as they probably should, being that they’re engaged and all. The two share some fun facts – Kate had a childhood crush on Aladdin and his animated abs, Toby had a pet turtle named Shirley (“as in Laverne and”) and rocked some Z. Cavaricci pants – but when it came to discussing her father’s death, Kate shut down. Later, Toby told Kate he thought they were moving too fast and if she couldn’t talk about Jack’s death, they probably aren’t close enough yet to make it legal. I was on #TeamKoby, but I’m starting to have my doubts. The wedding postponement was kind of a jerk move, right? It feels a bit like emotional blackmail. Straighten up and fly right, Toby.
And then there’s Kevin, who is having major insecurities about making his stage debut as a “serious actor” and not just The Manny. He has a dream in which Katie Couric calls him “a vapid, pretty boy who made his mark pretending to breastfeed an infant from his own pectoral.” Ouch. He shares his concern with Sophie, who he’s now “cautiously dating”, Randall (who is obviously dealing with his own issues) and, when unable to talk to his Mom, Miguel, who offers Kevin some sage (?) advice, “you are your father’s son, remember that and think about what he would do.” If Jack would ditch the opening night performance of his play after getting a call from Randall, firmly in the grip of a panic attack, and rushing to be by his side, then Kevin is truly “Jack Pearson’s son.” I get the “family first” thing, but poor Sloane. That play was her baby and, on opening night, with New York Times critics in the crowd, her leading man (who also recently slept with and subsequently dumped her) bails. And…scene.
This show is something else, isn’t it? Am I a glutton for punishment for allowing my heart to get ripped out of my chest and stomped on every week? (I know I’m not the only one.) I don’t know, but I can’t look away. What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Check out photos of the cast at the NAACP Image Awards last weekend, supporting the amazing Sterling K. Brown, in the gallery.
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