This Is Us recap: Season 2 Episode 15, “The Car,” which aired Feb. 6, 2018.
This Is Us aired yet another somber, powerful episode that said so much about the history of the Pearson family. In the episode “The Car,” remaining members of the family are prepared to say goodbye to Jack as flashbacks show moments in their lives surrounding their family car.
As Rebecca is waiting for the kids so they can leave for the funeral, flashbacks show how the family received their Jeep Wagoneer. When they arrived with the kids, Jack showed interest in the Wagoneer but it was too expensive. However, somehow in typical Jack fashion, he was able to get the car for a little more than they could afford.
The mood of the flashbacks was a stark contrast to what was happening in the family’s present during the funeral. Rebecca is unable to really focus on anything other than just getting through the day and she is trying to be near his urn as much as possible.
We also see how the kids are affected, with Kate refusing to keep her dog and Kevin not wanting anyone to do his tie. The last person to do his tie was Jack and not having him is eating him up inside.
Kevin and Randall’s tumultuous relationship was always something Jack tried to deal with and without him there as a buffer, things get tense. When Kevin sees Randall has their dad’s watch, he is angry and Kate is the one to get them to cool off since Rebecca is still lost. She has had Jack there to help with them for so long that she is having a hard time figuring out what to do.
One of the many flashbacks showed that Jack tried to get his sons to get along. He even talks about his brother Nicky, who is confirmed to be deceased. Jack has never discussed his brother at length, but he tells his son they will need to lean on each other one day since their own parents won’t always be there.
While seeing Kevin be so harsh with Randall has been tough, it’s understandable he is grieving and doesn’t know how else to express his anger and sadness. He has unimaginable guilt over not being home, which we saw in the last episode. We do see that as adults, Kevin and Randall are trying to work on their relationship and we can see how the loss of their father could have affected them for better and for worse. They’ve also had their own feelings over the loss that they kept to themselves, as we know the entire family won’t talk about his death.
Somehow the good doctor who delivered the Pearson kids always manages to be there when the family needs it, albeit during dramatic moments in their lives, as he says. Dr. K comes with his new wife, Anne, to pay respects and talk to Rebecca. She is still struggling to accept that she has to be a parent without Jack. Dr. K reminds her she does have strength and she will get through this.
That moment for Rebecca is a revelation, especially when we see how in another flashback, she had her own scare about her health. Jack was there to support her and assure her she would be fine. This also leads us to seeing how the tree where his remains were placed came to be. Jack had chosen the spot because he wanted to be someplace where they could be close to a phone for when Rebecca’s test results came in.
While talking about the scare, Jack also tells Rebecca what his own wishes are, not wanting to be buried in the ground. After having felt lost all day during his funeral, Rebecca realizes what she needs to do with her kids. They have their own moment together to grieve their loss.
Rebecca takes her children to the tree, with Kate holding her father’s urn in her arms. She gets the courage to talk about their dad, telling them stories about how he managed to always see something before it happened. She assures her sons that they just need to be teenagers and tells Kate it isn’t her fault her dad went back into the fire.
After spreading some of Jack’s ashes, Rebecca reveals their father had a surprise for them. They had tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert. They all agree to go and Rebecca has to cross a particular bridge that she has never liked to cross over in the past. In flashbacks, we saw how Jack would hold her hand and she would close her eyes while the kids distracted her. However, now she has to cross it and be strong for her kids.
As Kate glances at her mother and Kevin shares a quiet moment with Randall, Rebecca draws the strength she needs to cross the bridge and keep going for her family.
This was only one part of the journey that we will continue to see for the Pearsons. We may have seen how they lost Jack, but there is still plenty to be told not just as the kids get older, but as we see Jack before he became a husband and father.
We are on a two week break until Feb. 27. While we wait for new episodes, tell us what you thought of Tuesday’s episode in the comments below or find us on Twitter.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
(Featured image via Ron Ratzdorff/NBC)