This Is Us Season 3 Episode 16 Recap: If Happy Ever After Did Exist

“If happy ever after did exist.” – Adam Levine, Maroon 5. I hate myself for singing “Payphone” in my head, but the idea of happy ever after is the only thing in my head. Last night’s episode was all about happy endings and how they don’t always go to plan.

This Is Us Season 3, Episode 16 Recap: “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away”

Chris Sullivan and Chrissy Metz in This Is Us / Photo Credit: NBC

– I’m going to destroy my computer right now. I tried to upload a photo and instead of it going into WordPress, it went into my Browser so the photo took up the entire screen. No big deal, right? Wrong. I clicked “back” and it took me to a new post. Shit. I hope my old post saved since I just finished it. Wrong. Nothing saved. My entire column vanished. I thought drafts saved automatically? I took 30 minutes to right a great recap and now this second attempt at one will be shit. Fuck this.

– Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. Forgive me if it’s brief. I’m going by memory here.

– Kate and Toby: I like this storyline for them. I grew sick of the “Kate and Toby fight and then make up” plot. Caring for baby Jack injects a much-needed fresh take to their story. Toby had a great scene with Finch from American Pie where he decided that he needed to step up and become a father, which Kate greatly appreciated. I still believe that Kate or the baby are doomed. I’ve been in the camp that Kate is going to die for awhile now and it looks like this theory is picking up steam. Hopefully, we will get pointed in the right direction during the finale.

– Kevin and Zoe / Kevin and Sophie. Is it me or is Kevin and Zoe’s relationship moving at the speed of light? One moment they’re in Vietnam, the next moment they’re fighting about apartments. Now, Zoe doesn’t want to have kids. Just like I believe Kate is doomed, so is this relationship, which I’m totally fine with by the way. I like Zoe. I like Kevin. I’m not crazy about them together. On the other hand, I’m all in on Team Kophie being end game. If you’re Sophie, you don’t take that coffee date if you still love Kevin. Guess what? Kevin still loves Sophie. Sending Sophie and her fiancé Billy Joel tickets was a nice gesture, but this love story is far from over. Kevin decides he’s ok with not having kids and stays with Zoe. My prediction is Zoe eventually comes around to wanting kids and there’s happiness and jubilation, but it will never happen. Team Kophie all the way.

– Randall and Beth. This relationship mirrors Jack and Rebecca. Jack and Rebecca had their fair share of marital problems and it lead to a temporary separation. They eventually made up and stayed together up until Jack’s death. I believe that same scenario (without the side of death) is going to happen to Randall and Beth. Randall wants to save the world. Beth wants to teach dance. Both want to achieve their goals, but both are putting themselves first right now. Will they divorce? The easy answer is yes, but my gut says not. A temporary separation is in their future, but they will get back together and fix things. I don’t know how or when, but it will happen.

– Jack and Rebecca. Cute dance! My biggest takeaways: Jack’s childhood is the next chapter of his life that we will learn about and happy ever after’s are complicated.

– Pretty good review from memory if I do say so myself. Next week is “The Fight.” Randall vs. Beth. Ding ding ding. Tune in.


This Is Us Season 3 Episode 8 recap: Six Thanksgivings

Happy Thanksgiving! Last episode was what I like to call a “Holiday Episode.” It happens when the characters and major plot lines intertwine with the holiday of choice. Personally, I have enjoyed the holiday episodes in previous seasons for This Is Us with the most memorable one occurring when Toby collapsed on the table and had a heart attack during Christmas. There was no heart attack last night, but a storm is brewing in Vietnam between the Pearson brothers.

This Is Us Season 3, Episode 8 Recap: “Six Thanksgivings”

THIS IS US — “18,615” Episode 308 — Pictured: Milo Ventimiglia as Jack — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

– In “Six Thanksgivings,” This Is Us broke down the episode into 6 acts and each short story visited a different set of characters and how they spent their Thanksgiving before tying them together at the end. It was not the best holiday episode, but it was one of the better episodes of the season.

– Let’s start with the easiest act to discuss, William’s Thanksgiving. My motto is as followed: “Any episode that features William is an episode worth watching.” The episode dove into William and his eventual boyfriend Jesse’s early relationship. Jesse opens up to William about his cocaine addiction while William is there to provide advice and an invitation to a party later. Once Jesse shows up with a mystery woman, William is clearly jealous. However, Jesse reassures William that the woman is his cousin, much to William’s delight, and a relationship was born. This may have been a random storyline in the grand scheme of the episode, but I don’t mind getting a chance to see the great Ron Cephas Jones again onscreen portraying this wonderful character.

– Kate and Toby. The parental tryout didn’t go according to plan, but they both made up for it in the end. Toby came in clutch with Cracker Barrel. (The breakfast is good at Cracker Barrel. The cheesy potatoes are dynamite. However, I can’t speak for Thanksgiving dinner.) However, the bigger reveal involved Kate’s interaction with Tess. Tess had her first period and since her parents were out of the house, Kate was there to comfort Tess in a time of need. Once she became comfortable, Tess revealed that she has a girlfriend. It’s very ironic (although it was probably planned) that Tess told Randall that William was “gay, or at least bi” when William brought Jesse over for Christmas dinner. Perhaps Tess was hinting at her own sexuality preference? We’ll soon find out the whole story when Tess discusses it with Beth and Randall.

– Speaking of Beth and Randall, the dynamic duo were on the campaign trail as Randall tries to secure votes for his election. It did not go according to plan after Randall sided with Beth over his campaign manager. I respect Randall for listening to his wife, but at some point, Beth has to take a back seat to Jae-Won or at the very least work together. Watching the preview for the next episode, it looks like Randall will gain some momentum at a political rally so it looks like the team is coming together. Remember that Beth received a call at the end of the episode that forced the family to leave abruptly. Who was it from and what was it for?

– Shoutout to Miguel. His stock continues to rise with each episode. I tweeted this out after the episode.

Miguel was experiencing his first Thanksgiving since the divorce with his wife and it was not a walk in the park by any means. It took a Jack pep talk (shocker) to cheer him up. I loved the present day Miguel moment even more when he stuck up for Rebecca at Thanksgiving dinner with his daughter and son. If my son ever disrespected me in front of my wife at that age, he’s getting a drumstick shoved up where the son don’t shine. Also, the Randall speech montage was a charming touch to tie together every story.

– Finally, let’s go to the best part of Season 3, the Vietnam storyline. Jack and Nicky continue to be at odds, but Jack and the mysterious woman are gaining traction in their relationship. We found out the origin of the necklace as the woman gave it to Jack as reward for helping her son with a foot injury. When Jack confronts Nicky for his lack of help, Nicky tells a horror story about his first training officer was killed after interacting with the village people and showing compassion. Nicky said, “You can be nice all you want, Jack. But they’re not just women and children.” Nicky has been through it all and it’s clear that Vietnam has taken a lot of his happiness away.

– Time to brainstorm. How did Nicky die? Was the woman involved? Was Jack present for Nicky’s death? There are my “theories.” They are more like random thoughts, but they have some meaning to them.

  • Jack is responsible for Nicky’s death / Jack kills Nicky. It’s a very popular theory right now and most likely the leader in the clubhouse.
  • Nicky dies trying to save the mysterious woman.
  • Jack kills Nicky after he tries to hurt the mysterious woman. This one is a little too dark for a network show, but love triangles get the best of people!
  • Nicky kills himself. This is super dark as well, but between Nicky’s emotional state and the war intensifying, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

I still believe that Jack is going to hold a dying Nicky in his arms and they are going to bring up “Superman” because that was Nicky’s nickname for Jack. When Nicky calls Jack, Superman, Jack says, “No, Nick. You were Superman all along.” End Scene. Tears begin.

Tune in for the midseason finale that is going to “change everything.”

This Is Us Season 2, Episode 13: The Last Day Alive

NBC / This Is Us

Are you still breathing after last night’s episode? As of late, the last five minutes in the past two shows have been eye-opening, shocking, and upsetting. I mean all of that in a good a way because we have arrived at the point in the show that everyone has dreaded / wanted to see. Jack is going to die and we are going to find out how.

Side note, huge win for this cast at the SAG Awards. I was so pumped!

Season 2, Episode 13: “That’ll Be The Day”

NBC / This Is Us

– ‘Cause that’ll be the day… when I die

– Just like last week, I want to talk about everything else before we go into the past and mention “you know what.”

– Time is clearly the theme of the episode. Everyone wants more of it and they want to capitalize on it now because as the song goes, “cause that’ll be the day when I die.” Kevin needs time to check off the names on his list, Randall is racing against time to fix the building, and Jack is buying his time before he can fully jump into Big Three Homes.

– You want to know why Sterling K. Brown won the SAG Award the other night? Go right to his scene with Kevin in the apartment building where they talk about Jack. Randall has always had anxiety and seems to put unnecessary pressure on himself in order to be perfect. We now find out why Randall has done that as of late and that’s because of his age and its proximity to Jack’s age when he died. When you do the math, Randall did not have a father for very long. He had Jack for about 17 years and he had William for about 1 year. Randall is afraid that just like his previous fathers, he will die abruptly and leave his family behind to pick up the pieces. Randall doesn’t see himself living past Jack. Perhaps a big accident or illness for Randall in the future where he has to pull through?

– Kate and dogs are like lamb and tunafish. In turn, Toby is a guy who seems like he’s the guy in the pet store who asks to pet every dog. Kate finally buying the dog tells me that she’s ready to talk about her father’s death with Toby. It’s time. Dogs have been an emotional trigger to Jack’s death throughout her life. WHY? This dog keeps me up at night. How and why was it involved in the death? Let’s just say I have talked about it a lot since September.

These are points are from four separate articles I wrote in the past couple of months.



Obsessed much, Dan?

– Kevin and his list.

Kevin does not know how to let things go, which is why he has turned to pills and alcohol in times of grief. However, ever since his rehab stint, Kevin has been trying to patch things up with everyone that he has wronged. Once he does that, he can physically check them off of his apology list. Randall, Rebecca, etc. Tonight, he checked off Sophie and as a fan of Kevin, that one hurt. I’ve missed Sophie this season so to finally get her back in a scene only to breakup with Kevin was a double-edged sword. But, karma worked it’s magic as he got his Dad’s necklace back from Charlotte. Speaking of the list, Jack is the last person on Kevin’s list. Kevin never got to apologize to him because…

– It’s time to play “What Did We Learn About Jack’s Death This Episode?”

  • No batteries in the smoke alarm, Rebecca’s dish towel that once covered a bracelet, and…drumroll please…a crockpot started the fire!!!!!!!

– After all of the guesses, from the faulty washing machine to cigarettes, it was a crockpot with a messed up switch that started the fire. The crockpot switch didn’t work, it sparked up, Rebecca’s towel (which once covered a bracelet) caught the spark, and the fire has started. I’m kind’ve relieved it was just a crockpot because it shows the randomness of death. You can’t prepare for it. You don’t know when or how your are going to die. It just happens in ways we can’t explain even if that means we die from a neighbor’s crockpot. Side note, if there is a significance to the crockpot that I missing, please let me know.

– Crockpot sales have to go down. It’s inevitable.

– Jack and Rebecca’s scene talking about becoming partners and starting a business was just cruel. Jack’s note to Kevin…also cruel! We saw that both Kate and Randall were able to have a last moment with their dad before the fire. Kate apologized for her outburst in regards to Jack filming her and Randall talked about his date to see Titanic. If I was Randall, I don’t blame him for going because Titanic is awesome. Ironic that Randall saw a movie about an indestructible ship that sunk with the captain going down with his vessel. The Pearson family and their house are about to be destroyed and their captain is going down with it.

– You want to know why This Is Us is so well-written? Jack died on his favorite day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, after the big game. When are we going to see Jack die? On America’s favorite day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, after the big game. It’s so simple yet such next level thinking. I love that coincidence. Ratings should be very high when the next episode airs.

– Let’s play house for a second. Who do we know is in the house during the fire?

  • Jack and Rebecca are room sleeping in their room.
  • Kate is in her room, headphones might be on (?).
  • Randall is in his room.

Kevin is not there. He is at Sophie’s, but he has most likely traveled to the woods party that he mentioned in the episode.

– I will wrap up with these final questions:

Why is the dog significant? A LOT of people are now on the bandwagon of “Jack runs into the house to save the dog but dies instead.” This is a very good theory and I like it. However, is the dog a diversion? This Is Us is not so obvious when it comes to the plot of the show, hence all of the twists and turns. Is Jack dying because of the dog too simple?

Why does Kate blame herself for Jack’s death? The easy answer right now would be the dog. Kate screams that the dog is still in the house, Jack runs in to save it, and dies. Since Jack would do anything for Kate, it would be no surprise to anyone if Jack runs into a burning house for Kate’s dog. Also, the theory can be adjusted just a little. Kate goes into the house to save her dog, Jack then saves both of them, and dies. That’s possible, too.

How does Jack die? We have all the clues. Now, it’s time to see it on-screen. According to Milo Ventimiglia, it will be an “absolute soul-crushing event.” America isn’t upset or anything! After going into some forums and reading up on some theories and facts I missed, I think this dog is going to be a diversion. Here’s why. Does Jack know that Kevin was staying at Sophie’s house? Does Kate know that Kevin was staying at Sophie’s house? Only Rebecca knows this. Is it possible that in the heat of battle (I, thank you), she forgets to mention this because she’s clearly occupied with saving her family? Perhaps Kate mentions to Jack that Kevin might still be in the basement and he goes back in to save him. It would explain why Kate blames herself for Jack’s death and always looks after Kevin. Your guess is as good as mine. I love to go against the grain so I’m switching from saving the dog to saving Kevin.

– Final, final thought: Those last five minutes were some of the best television I have seen in awhile. The music, the setup, the details. Everything about it was spectacular. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I will leave you with the final song from that scene. Read these lyrics. ”

And, I built a home

For you

For me

Until it disappeared

From me

From you

And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust

See everyone Super Bowl Sunday.