This Is Us Season 2, Episode 14: Goodbye, Jack

NBC / This Is Us

Is everyone ok?

The moment we’ve been been waiting for came and went and I honestly don’t know how to feel right now. I’ve taken all day to think about what I’m going to say and I’m still contemplating it as we speak. Let’s see what happens.

Season 2, Episode 14: “Super Bowl Sunday”

NBC / This Is Us

– 10:45 start time – big loss for America. If that episode starts at 10, I can’t even imagine how many more viewers would’ve watch the show.

– If you didn’t see my preview of the episode, check it out below.

Dog Theory for the win! America was right. Jack went back into the fire for Kate’s dog, Louis. Jack could never live with himself if he knew that Kate was disappointed in him so he put on his superhero cape and saved Louis as well as important mementos. I totally agree with Dan Fogelman in the tweet below. The picture was my favorite as well. Jack contemplating what he should do. I’m going to reference my mom a lot in this blog because I watched it with her and my father. Mom instantly goes “They teach you to never go back for animals in a house fire.” Well mom, not everyone is Jack Pearson. His whole life, he has wanted to be the dad that his father never was. Everything he does was for his family. Everything. Jack’s best quality was also his fatal flaw: putting others before himself. Jack doesn’t go back for the dog, and he (most likely) lives.

– The fire scene itself was exhilarating. Jack doing everything and then some to save his family. When Jack grabbed the mattress, my mother instantly said “Wouldn’t that catch on fire?” Mom is always thinking! Then, lowering the kids to the ground was edge of your seat TV. Also, imagine waking up, opening the door, and a blaze of fire comes right in your face? I can’t even comprehend what I would do.

– Jack didn’t die instantly in the fire. Was this a letdown? First reaction – yes. I wanted Jack to die in the fire as selfish as it sounds. I wanted him to die as a superhero, saving his family in the fire as the house collapses on him. Well, actually I didn’t want him to die at all. However, I was a little caught off guard with the fire scene only being 10 minutes. I thought they would space out the fire scene throughout the episode, taking breaks for jumps into the present day storyline. Once I got over the initial “letdown,” I started to change my stance from letdown to surprised. I was all in on Jack directly dying in the fire. However, as I kept thinking and read these interviews from Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, it lead to my next point…

– I understand why Dan Fogelman killed Jack off-screen in a tragic heart attack from smoke inhalation. One of the underlying themes in This Is Us is unexpected losses. Randall stated that in his speech. You can’t plan for death in most cases. Everything was going fine. Rebecca left Jack to get a candy bar, but once she left, and they had that had that pause where we could see Jack, you knew something was up. He used his last dying breaths to talk to Rebecca. It’s like he knew he wasn’t going to survive, but he sucked it up to have these last precious moments with the love of his life. Maybe it wasn’t the twist of all twists, but it hammered down the fact that life can change in the blink of an eye.

– So to bring it all home, it was a surprise for me in terms of how the death occurred, but I was not severely disappointed with how it all played out. It wasn’t perfect, but death isn’t perfect so I respect the fact they did not give Jack the cinematic and heroic death that I was looking for. The image of his dead body in the reflection with a haunted Mandy Moore looking on was gut-wrenching.

– Mandy. Moore. Take. A. Bow. If you read the articles that I linked to above, Mandy talked about how she did not know Jack would be there lying on the bed motionless and dead. What an excellent couple of moments that transpired in the hospital. The biting of the candy bar was a superb move by the writers. How could Rebecca believe that Superman himself just died? Her rock just collapsed after she left? Her everything would no longer be with the family? Shock, disbelief, and denial all came out with the one simple bite of a candy bar. Continuing her strong episode, her “suck it up, Miguel” speech tugged at everyone’s emotions. Miguel’s best friend just died and he can’t even cry over it? Brutal, brutal scene.

– Kate finally opened up to Toby, which was nice. I know I have said in the past I’m not crazy about some of their interactions, but I enjoyed this side to the couple. Kate was vulnerable and heartbroken while Toby injected just the right amount of humor in the conversation. That was a combo that I enjoyed.

– Kevin had his moment with Rebecca at the house and with Jack at the tree and he FINALLY got back to his funny one-liner personality. I get Kevin has to be serious, but sober, charismatic Kevin is a much better storyline than depressed and drunk Kevin.

– Most of America thought Jack’s death would be the biggest twist, but for me, the biggest twist was Tess being the social worker and future Randall visiting her at work. This is a big, big moment in This Is Us. I’m not sure if it has been directly stated, but flash forwards into the future offers a new dimension in the show. Are there too many timelines to balance? Perhaps, but if it’s mixed in every so often, it can be successful. It’s another way to keep the audience guessing. Also, what up, Deja?

No need to wait awhile for the next episode. See you on Wednesday morning for the normal recap! Guess who’s back? My favorite secondary character, DR. K #LFG

2 thoughts on “This Is Us Season 2, Episode 14: Goodbye, Jack”

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