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‘This Is Us’ recap: 1×15 “Jack Pearson’s Son” is a tale of two brothers

This Is Us recap: Season 1, Episode 15, “Jack Pearson’s Son,” Aired Feb. 14, 2017

This week’s episode of This Is Us ended up being more of a Point A to Point B affair. We rolled along through the first season’s well-established plot lines. We took some necessary action to get all our main character’s back in the same place. But luckily, we were saved from monotony by some really touching moments.

I started this episode off by screaming, “DON’T DO IT, KATE” at my TV. If you recall, last week left her lingering outside cabin 13 while she seemingly decided to throw her life away and hook up with Duke, the camp’s horrific handyman. But instead of hooking up with him she calls him out on his disgusting behavior THANK GOD. Who answers the door by saying, “that didn’t take long?” Prick.

Unfortunately, she discovers that his family owns the camp and gets kicked out. Oops.

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This brings her back to Toby and they reconcile, kind of. They start playing the question game, which all couples know is dangerous territory. All goes well until Toby asks Kate to talk about her father’s death, and she can’t do it. Which is TOTALLY PLOT SERVING, because we don’t know anything about his death yet either. We’re obviously not ready. Anyway, all of this results in Toby and Kate remaining engaged, but putting off their wedding.

Speaking of Jack but not of his death, Jack and Rebecca are preparing for her to leave on tour. He seems generally okay with it when he’s talking to her. But then he rants about it to Miguel later. I think the rant is warranted. It’s not the kindest thing ever, but it feels pretty honest.

Then his friendship with Miguel gets weird once again when Miguel expresses an interest in dating again after his divorce and Jack invites him to come buy drinks for lonely hearts (ew, kinda) at Rebecca’s show that night.

At the show Jack finds out from Ben, the band guy, that he and Rebecca used to date, which he isn’t down with at all. Also, Rebecca conveniently left that out so it seems like she was hiding something. He doesn’t want her to go on tour anymore, he tells her that he never really wanted her to (which is true), and they have a big fight. He ends up going to their Valentine’s Day restaurant alone, where we see him take some serious gulps of whiskey. SAY IT AIN’T SO, JACK.

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Jack’s return to drinking has sparked some speculation that this might be a clue into his eventual death. But does it really tell us anything? Your guess is as good as mine.

In Kevin-land, the premiere of his play is fast approaching. He’s nervous and goes in search of his mom to calm him down. He finds Miguel instead. I’m not sure how to feel about the Miguel situation. It weirds me out a little bit. It weirded me out when he and Jack were at the club and continued to weird me out at a very high level when Miguel was talking about how much Kevin reminded him of Jack. In spite of the weirdness, Miguel does give Kevin a touching piece of advice: to think about what his father would do. It’s a nice stepfather moment, but I think the time has come when we should learn about how Miguel and Rebecca got together. It’s the elephant in the room.

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Finally, Randall is the Pearson in trouble this. He’s completely falling apart because he’s essentially watching his father die and there’s nothing he can do. It’s heartbreaking. He’s struggling with his family and fumbles a big work meeting. But we did get some great Randall characterization through flashback. Short scenes featured him over-stressing and having anxiety attacks as a child. Jack calms him down. Good insight into his current breakdown. He is, after all, losing his father all over again.

When Randall calls Kevin to let him know he won’t be making it to the premiere of the play, Kevin knows something is wrong. As he and Sloane prepare to walk onstage in front of a live audience and the New York Times (!!!), he tells Sloane he’s thinking of what his father would do. Which is, of course, going to calm Randall down. Which is what he does. And that’s great.

EXCEPT HE LETS SLOANE GO ONSTAGE BY HERSELF IN FRONT OF ALL THOSE PEOPLE AND THE NEW YORK FREAKING TIMES WHICH IS A TOTAL DICK MOVE.

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He couldn’t have grabbed her shoulder and saved her at least that small amount of embarrassment!? It is her freaking play! I mean, by all means go be that guy for your brother who obviously needs you. But damn. Give a girl some warning.

Once you get over that, Kevin’s choice to give up his moment of redemption to help his brother (especially when we know he has made the opposite choice in the past) is extremely touching. They have one of the most complicated relationships on the show, which only makes the image of Randall crying on Kevin’s shoulders more striking. SO MANY FEELINGS that are only going to get more intense as the plot burn away.

Random Thoughts:

I love that Kevin has a recurring dream where he’s being interviewed by Katie Couric.

Can totally relate to Kate’s crush on Aladdin.

I’m pro every episode that features Mandy Moore singing.

Miguel and Kevin are drinking out of mugs I used to have. I loved those mugs. I left them in the kitchen of the job I left last year. RIP mugs. I miss you.

The suit Toby wears to the play premiere is SWEET.

 

That’s all for this episode! I’ll see you back here next week for a father/son trip to Memphis that is sure to have me in a puddle of tears.

(Featured Image Courtesy NBC.)

 

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Elle Uecker

Elle is a Portland based writer interested in all life's curiosities. She gets a little too enthusiastic about well-timed puns and space, the final frontier. She has also been known, from time to time, to crack a joke.

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