This Is Us recap: Season 2, Episode 14, “Super Bowl Sunday,” Aired Feb. 4, 2018
Because the Pearsons forgot to buy batteries for the smoke detectors, the house quickly went up in flames and Jack woke up to realize smoke was pouring into the room. After frantically waking Rebecca, he makes quick effort to save his children. At first he thought Kevin was home until Rebecca said otherwise, leaving only Randall and Kate in immediate danger.
After getting Randall safely to his mother’s side, Jack rushed to get Kate out of her room and out of harm’s way. In order to get out, he used a mattress to keep the flames off of them, but he still got burned on his hands.
Getting the family to the roof, he got Randall down first so he could help the girls. Then, Jack being Jack, he went back inside to get Louie and other things from the house. One of these ended up being the recording of Kate from earlier that day.
As Randall tells Beth in the episode, Kate wallows in her grief during the Super Bowl. We see she watches the tape recording of her dad from the day he died. When the tape gets stuck in the VCR machine, Toby quickly tries to recover the tape by unplugging everything to get it to someone he knows who can help.
Toby was trying his best to keep the mood light for Kate, even if he was a tad bit annoying about it. However, it was obvious he just wanted to make her feel better. We discover Kate does, indeed, feel guilty because Jack went back into the house for her dog, thus allowing more smoke to get into his lungs.
Kevin spent a little time with his mother on the anniversary, finding out that she spends it alone and that Miguel gives her some space. Learning Rebecca’s story about how she still gets a sign from Jack every year made our heart ache and miss them even more. Even after 20 years and separated by death, Jack and Rebecca’s love is never ending.
After trying to keep his mind occupied on other things, Kevin makes a drive to the tree where some of Jack’s ashes were scattered. In a previous episode, we saw Kevin’s list of people to make amends to and one was his father.
He had a touching conversation while sitting against the tree, telling his dad he wanted to make him proud. It was sad to see just how difficult of a time Kevin had since losing his father and not getting to know how his dad would feel about where he ended up.
Despite what he was going through, Kevin reached out to his mom in a special phone call that gave the two a new connection to their lost patriarch.
Randall does things differently on his end. He plans a Super Bowl party for his daughters and their friends. Of course, the best laid plans don’t always go well when Annie’s new lizard, Mr. McGiggles goes missing from his cage. Thanks to an accidental foot placement from Beth, okay she stepped on him, the Super Bowl party turns into a Lizard Funeral.
Even though Randall starts off talking about their lost pet, his words slowly begin to move toward his own feelings of losing his father. It was an unexpected loss and he never expected it would happen when he last laid eyes on Jack. Beth quickly worked to move him away from the topic but it also became clear his words had an effect on Tess.
Rebecca leaves Jack to go and make arrangements for a hotel and to check on the kids. As she is innocently on the phone, we see in the background that doctors and nurses are rushing towards the room Jack is in. Rebecca remains unaware of what is happening, which makes it even more heartbreaking.
When she gets the news that Jack suffered a heart attack due to the smoke inhalation, she is unable to process the news and does not believe it. It is not until she goes into the room and sees her husband that she realizes it is true. The camera work here was extremely haunting, as we don’t actually see his body, but we do see his reflection in the door as Rebecca stares in quiet disbelief.
Mandy Moore was absolutely brilliant in these scenes, showing the devastation and loss over her beloved husband. What also made this death scene so sad was remembering how Randall did not want his biological father to die alone. He said this because Jack died alone.
Despite losing Jack and being heartbroken beyond words, Rebecca knows she has to be strong for the kids. After telling Miguel to go calm down when the news nearly causes him to break, she goes inside and tells Randall and Kate they’ve lost their father.
The kids are difficult to watch in these scenes, especially when we see Kate go to find Kevin. No sound is heard as the two embrace, both trying to grasp the loss they have been faced with.
In the present, Kate is watching her beloved video now that it has been safely stored in the cloud. She tells Toby about her dad and how he himself saved her.
I thought this was a beautiful scene between the two and it showed how Kate’s journey after losing her dad was so rough and then Toby came along to give her the strength she needed.
A future tease
Randall goes to see Tess once the activity in the house is over. She admits that even though she doesn’t have a problem with the fostering, the changes her dad has been going through have made her feel unwanted.
Realizing how she has been feeling and wanting to make her feel better, Randall reveals that Tess was the reason he knew he’d be a good father. He had always wanted to be a good dad like Jack was and when she was born, he knew he would be all right.
In addition to the Pearsons, we also saw the little foster child who had been teased in an earlier episode in the season. But then a twist came we did not see coming. The little boy was actually from a flash forward and the social worker taking care of him is Tess herself. It is clear her dad’s efforts in fostering set her toward a future of helping foster children and I thought this was absolutely perfect.
Plus, we also got to see a glimpse of someone we have been missing: Deja is back. I can’t wait to see what her story will bring!
What did you guys think of the episode? Are we all doing okay after that? We get another episode this Tuesday! Until then, tell us your thoughts in the comments below or find us on Twitter!
Tune into This Is Us Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
(Featured image via Ron Batzdorff/NBC)