Monday, 25 June, 2018

Could This Is Us Be All In Jack's Head?

Milo Ventimiglia as an older Jack Milo Ventimiglia as an older Jack. NBC
Herman Weaver | 14 March, 2018, 11:28

It's up to Randall and Kevin - the designated wedding planners - to get things back on track. The celebration brings out a lot of memories for everyone involved.

On Tuesday's sophomore finale, Kate and Toby said their "I do's" at the Pearson family cabin and we saw what life would have been like had Jack still been alive in the present day.

Because they're the Pearsons, Kate's wedding was an emotional event. By the time we pick up the action, she's already signed away her parental rights, and Deja is more sullen and angry than ever.

It wasn't clear who the "her" they are referring to is, but it's obvious that whatever happens to this person is not good.

In a weird "what if" moment, This Is Us explores the 40th wedding anniversary of Jack and Rebecca, had he not died after the fire. We might not be wondering how Jack died anymore, but the series sprinted out of the shadow of that enormous storyline with the introduction of three - count them! - new cliffhangers that'll have you theorizing all summer long.

Who do you think the mysterious "her" is?

But could old Jack somehow reappear on This Is Us past the sophomore finale? She was preparing herself for her wedding, and in a moment of clarity over the ice cream shop that was no longer, Kate realized that Jack was her everything in the past, but he can't carry that role into her future. Toby has often had to be the strong and supportive one. It's not shown, but does she dump Jack's ashes? Earlier in the night, Toby's parents warned him about marrying Kate because they knew how depressed he had gotten after his divorce, and they were anxious about him falling into that again. Now that we've seen them a second time, I have a theory about who it is they're going to meet.

While Kate goes missing, Kevin and Randall go searching for her. Clearly, the game didn't work, since they are now upset as they continue the search for Kate. She hangs up and takes Jack's urn to their favorite tree stump.

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The tension between Kate and Rebecca has been a major component of This Is Us Season 2. Madison unsurprisingly makes an entrance, pronouncing herself the maid of honor - Kate indicated she didn't have one - and inserting herself into the bridal search. The wedding goes off without a hitch, including toasts by both Kevin and Randall. Deja has understandably been acting out after her mother abandoned her at the Pearson household. Zoe reveals that she was dumped by her mom when she was 7 or 8 years old. "When Rebecca and I started Big Three Homes, she stopped writing the notes", he explains, but he was okay with that, because, "I had the highlight of my day, right there, sitting by my side every day". Beth's parents raised her. Within the latter half of this season alone, This Is Us gave us a heartbreaking miscarriage; an almost devastating vehicle accident that resulted in a DUI; a fire that nearly killed Jack Pearson, then didn't, but sort of did because he died of a heart attack afterward, all on Super Bowl Sunday; an eviction; and a wedding day that should have been focused on celebrating Toby and Kate but instead was dominated by the heavy grief and guilt Kate has been carrying for two decades with regard to her father's death.

Another pivotal part of the episode was seeing Randall and Beth's foster child Deja (Lyric Ross) lashing out after her birth mother left her with them.

Why it might not be her: The scene of Deja wrecking the auto was juxtaposed with the scene of Randall and adult Tess talking, which is a classic set up for a This Is Us head fake.

What Does the Future Hold?

Asked if the show plans on aging her more, and if we're going to see older iterations of Rebecca, Fogelman said, "Yeah, it's possible". Kate had a monumental breakthrough in regards to her relationship with her father, while Kevin showed surprising maturity in his speech at the wedding reception, which proved cathartic for the cast and the viewers. First, Kevin flies to Vietnam with Beth's cousin Zoe and a photo of Jack in war. He's lying on a bed looking miserable when Kate tells him this, so it could be a medical malady (the cancer threat people have been theorizing) or he could be spiraling into a deep depression. But rather than rail against her mother, she now sees her as inspiration, someone to hopefully become in her own way. Yikes, they have to be referring to Beth...or maybe Deja? If someone Randall and Tess care for end up behind bars, they could feel somewhat responsible and that could be weighing on them.

"This Is Us" took a page out of the "Lost" playbook by introducing the flash forward to the show's storytelling toolkit earlier this season.

We also saw Kate and Toby in the future, but it wasn't a happy scene. He might even imagine Kate finding inspiration to sing again, years after she abandoned her dream. I really hope they explore more of the backstory for Toby too. Rebecca is Kate's way. "Me neither", Randall concedes, before Tess gets up from her chair.

If you are unable to watch the latest episode of This Is Us tonight, then you don't have to worry. Are you surprised that Kate is able to "let go" of Jack and make room for Toby? Who do you think Randall and Tess are talking about in the future? Want more news? Like our This Is Us Facebook page.

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