A double installment of the Pearsons would usually have me bouncing off the walls. Instead, I was mentally preparing myself for the worst on This Is Us Season 2 Episode 15.
Funerals, in general, are unpleasant, especially when you're saying goodbye to a stand-up man like Jack Pearson.
Therefore, I was preparing for waterworks. And I wept, but only because of how brilliantly the writers immortalized his character. (No, I never doubted them for a minute!)
And through a car, no less. It's true; a car holds some of your nearest and dearest memories.
Yes, there was a funeral, and it was brutal, but the flashbacks provided a lightheartedness that was very "Jack."
Jack Pearson wasn't just the patriarch of the family; he was the glue and the rock. He was their support system; he held everything together and always re-assured Rebecca that everything would be okay.
The word "okay" never held so much weight until he used it to describe what he wanted for his family long after he was gone.
The Wagoneer was one of the ways he secured his family's safety, and there was nothing more gut-wrenching than seeing the kiddos jump into the car after they purchased it juxtaposed with them solemnly getting in for the drive to his funeral.
The funeral in itself wasn't as dramatic as I thought it would be; the scene with no music was much more impactful than any of the speeches.
There was such a heaviness in the silence, which allowed you to embody Rebecca's current state: present but completely out of touch with what was going on around her.
The Bruce Springsteen tickets were a great way to honor Jack's memory. There could not have been a more fitting post-funeral tribute than the family going to see his favorite musician! He would have been so mad if they hadn't gone!
We finally got a bit of backstory about his favorite tree, too, which earned the title by merely existing.
Rebecca: How did you choose that tree?
Jack: It's the closest one to the pay phone.
Jack wanted to ease Bec's nerves during her cancer scare and chose the tree closest to the telephone pole. Of course, he did. That's so Jack of him to do.
It was a bit eerie to see him speak of dying first and wanting to be buried "outside" because it's almost as if he knew he was going to pass before she did.
While I loved the idea of spreading his ashes, it's a good thing Kate got to keep the remnants.
I don't think Jack wouldn't have been opposed to spending an eternity hanging with his favorite girl, not to mention it helped ease her guilt a bit.
Obviously, she still blames herself for his decision to go back inside to rescue Louie, but at least she had all these years to sort-of make it up to him.
Seeing Doctor Nathan, who delivered the triplets and gave Jack the ultimate lemon adage, brought things full-circle.
Rebecca's right — there is something so soothing about him.
Dr. Nathan: You are the same woman who lost a child and rolled out of the hospital with three babies just the same. You're as tough as they come, Rebecca Pearson.
Rebecca: Not without him.
Dr. Natahn: Bullcrap.
Per usual, he delivered an inspiring speech that was strangely hopeful and so very necessary.
Things may look bleak, but Rebecca had it under control. Jack made it look easy, but under all of it, he was just as scared and uncertain as she now was.
With Jack gone, she had to assume the role of both parents and pretend that everything was fine even when she was terrified.
I've said it many times before, but Rebecca is a badass. I'm even more in awe watching her put on a brave face for the kids and hold everything together when it would have been perfectly okay for her to crumble under the pressure and lean on her kids for support.
She didn't place the blame on Kate; she didn't scold the boys for fighting at the funeral; she didn't skip a beat. They became her priority, and she owed it to Jack to take care of everything the way he had for so long.
I can't do this without him. I can't, I just can't. He knew how to do all of this. He was... fearless. I'm not fearless, I'm not.Rebecca
The scene at the reception between Randall and Kevin was tough to watch. It's already a hard day for everyone; there's no need to make it any harder.
Kevin has never been my favorite character, and if you've read my previous reviews, you probably already knew that. I find him to be spoiled and entitled at times — this being one of those times.
I understand he's going through a lot, and unlike the other two, he feels cheated because he never got to say goodbye or apologize to his father. The guilt is something he'll have to live with for the rest of his life, but that doesn't mean he had to take it out on his siblings.
His comment to Randall was a low blow. He's not the only one who lost a dad and acting angry isn't going to bring him back.
Randall: What's the matter with you?
Kevin: You know what man? I'm tired of the act. I'm tired of watching you pretend to be the new man of the house.
Randall: I'm not trying to be the new...
Kevin: A "real man" would have stopped dad from going back in there. I would have never let dad go back in.
Randall: But you weren't there, Kev. You're never there for anyone.
It's also not what Jack would have wanted. His wish for the boys was that they would finally grow up, find common ground and learn to appreciate each other.
The fight ended up being necessary because it served as a changing point for them. They both realized their father was right; the time had come where they needed each other more than ever.
Rebecca probably never even thought twice about the watch nor did she give it to Randall cause he was her favorite.
After the scene where Jack encouraged Kate to pursue a singing career, I found myself wondering what life would have looked like if Jack survived.
We know that Kate's weight gain occurred after his death and around the same time, she gave up her dreams of becoming a singer.
Would things have been different if Jack was alive?
Would Randall have turned out any different? Would Kevin have found his way?
If you've been questioning how the series would incorporate him in future episodes, look no further.
Jack has been dead for pretty much the whole series, yet it feels so fresh now because we just watched it happen.
The flashbacks will continue because there is so much story left to tell, especially when it comes to "war Jack."
And hopefully, this means we find out a little more about Nicky, their relationship and how he died.
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