This Is Us Season Premiere: A Father's Advice

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This Is Us Season 2 Episode 1 celebrated the Big Three's birthday's and the gift to viewers was the first clue into Jack Pearson's untimely death. 

The show's creator teased that the premiere would give us a "big piece of the puzzle" when it came to Jack's death and he wasn't lying. The huge reveal came at the last possible second so, for most of the episode, I thought I was safe from all the crying. 

I was so mistaken. And I should know better by now! There is no such thing as a tear-less episode when the Pearson's are involved. But, to follow the episode's timeline, let's start with the bittersweet birthdays first. 

It's a Twin Thing - This Is Us Season 2 Episode 1

Kate was feeling confident and sexy as she prepared for a singing audition. If you recall in the season 1 finale, she decided to follow her passion and pursue a singing career.

She's been struggling with her weight since the beginning, but I was kind of surprised that after feeling so positive about going down two sizes, she reverted back to her old mindset and was intimated by the skinny girls. 

Seeing her realize that she's a grown woman who needs to stop being letting women make her feel bad about her body and finally audition was so empowering. But, I found myself once again feeling disappointed when she assumed that her audition was dismissed because of her weight. 

It's a touchy subject but Kate needed to be called out for constantly hiding behind her weight. The director flat out told her that the dress size had nothing to do with his decision, she just wasn't as good as the others. And really, she just picked this passion up not too long ago so that shouldn't come as much of a surprise! 

I have a love-to-hate relationship with Toby mainly because half the time he's the decent guy Kate deserves and the other half of the time he's getting jealous for no reason.

Based on this episode alone, you would think that Kevin was some hot man trying to swoop in and steal his girl instead of Kate's twin brother. Flamboyantly impressive suits aside, Toby has a lot of issues he still needs to figure out. 

Speaking of issues, it was refreshing to see Kevin acknowledge that his cocky attitude was a cover-up for thinking that he's mediocre.

He was just given a movie part in a Ron Howard film, he's living in LA, he's got the Manny role on his resume, he's good-looking, but he still think's he's not good at anything except being Kate's brother. I guess that explains why he's always been needy – he needs her to stroke his ego so that he feels worthy.

Hopefully, this season finds him working on his self-confidence with Sophie by his side. She's humble and accepting of his flaws and will definitely keep him grounded. 

And who else was impressed with Kevin predicting that three Kardashian's would be pregnant this week?!

Alright, he didn't actually say that but he did call them "gremlins" adding that there will be a bazillion more of them by the end of the week. Even the Pearson's can't catch a break from the Kardashian's. If his career as an actor fails, he could become a Hollywood psychic! 

Kate Singing

Randall had major baby fever but his intentions weren't necessarily in the right place. He was more focused on honoring both of his dads' legacies than actually adopting a child. He didn't even notice that Beth wasn't too keen on the idea.

It took an awkward fight at the adoption center interview, which led to them both smoking imaginary cigarette's outside while trying not to "throw down" in the parking lot, for him to realize that Beth was feeling pressured. 

Still, the "perfectly imperfect" couple, who at this point could give Jack and Rebecca a run for their money, found a solution that worked for them. In order to go through with the adoption, they would adopt an older boy. A boy whose life they could change for the better. 

I don't know why I didn't see this coming but this is honestly so Randall and Beth. That moment made me realize just how incredibly strong and selfless Beth has been. No wonder Randall fell in love with her. 

Now, to the part of the story that we all watched with gritted teeth and our hand in the tissue box - the past.

Jack & Rebecca - This Is Us

Rebecca pulls the "everything is fine" card and takes the kids to a diner to meet up Jack. There, they have an honest conversation about their "break." I guess Gwyneth Paltrow would call it "conscious uncoupling" nowadays.

When Kevin utters the d-word, they both band together to assure them, this is not going to end in divorce. Unfortunately, we know that it's going to end much, much worse. 

Instead of divorce, Rebecca and Jack are faced with an issue she's not even aware of  - her perfect Jack is an alcoholic. 

He's stripped of his perfect father and husband title as he breaks down and admits that he's been drinking for months now. Rebecca is understandably floored by the confession seeing as she thought they knew each other better than anyone.

I can't imagine how heartbreaking this had to be for her, but instead of running for the hills, she stood by her man. Rebecca's always been the glue holding her family together and it's admirable that she wasn't going to let that change, no matter the obstacle.

Jack - Get in The Car

As she orders him in the car, she optimistically says, "a few months from now, everything will be back to normal."

You know this is the moment where everything changes. 

The next scene shows that sometimes, things never go back to normal. Sometimes, life has other plans.

It's unclear how much time has passed but Rebecca is driving home, a distraught look on her face, his belongings in a plastic bag on the seat next to her.

Jack's Belongings

It's happening – the night of Jack's death. For those who thought seeing a glimpse of his funeral was bad, this was tenfold. 

We see Kate and Randall at Miguel's, crying, and although I wanted to cry with them, I couldn't help but wonder when she got a dog. And also, who was that girl next to Randall? His girlfriend? Miguel's daughter?

I've had a lot of theories about Jack's cause of death but a fire never even crossed my mind. 

We don't know for certain that Jack died in the house fire but seeing the Pearson home burned down, it would make sense.

Not to mention, it's fitting. He was the perfect father and husband and he built that house for his family. When his demons got the best of him, the house and the family he had was destroyed in the fire. A symbol of the perfect family being torn apart. 

Maybe he died while saving them? Maybe he was drunk and left a candle on? Maybe Kate started it? Remember, she said it was her fault.

I guess we'll find out eventually but really, no reason will make this hurt any less.

It's gutting. And if this is any indication of the forthcoming season, we need to stock up on tissues. 

Share your thoughts and watch This Is Us online, then start the discussion in the comments section!

A Father's Advice Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (63 Votes)

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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This Is Us Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

I said no. But your father was so sure I was tired and I was grieving and he just kept pushing me. He was so determined that you were meant to be. Meant to be ours. Sometimes, in marriage, someone has to be the one to push to make the big moves. And oftetimes in our marriage, yes, it was your father. Our marriage wasn't perfect, it's true, but none are. And your father wasn't perfect either, but he was pretty damn close. As close as they come. He pushed a stranger on me, and the stranger became my child and that child became my life. He became you."


I'm a 37-year-old woman. And I shouldn't need to be pushed or coddled. Not by a man, not by my husband, not by my brother, not by anyone!