One of the major reasons that NBC’s This Is Us has resonated with viewers is that the writing and acting are so strong and real that it’s easy to forget that this is a television show.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode “The Right Thing To Do” please do not continue reading.
Viewers are watching the lives and family history of the Pearsons unfold in two time periods: The past and the present. In the present, the adult Pearson children Kate, Kevin and Randall (Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown) are navigating through life separately and together as ‘The Big Three.’ In the past, Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) are making a life for themselves and their children. In the recently aired episode “The Right Thing To Do,” Jack and Rebecca are shocked to learn that they were expecting triplets. For a young couple wondering how they would make ends meet with one child, finding out that they are have two addition ones was daunting.
Jack was forced to ask his supervisor at his construction job for a raise. He received the salary increase but it still wasn’t enough. Rebecca, who has a turbulent relationship with her very judgmental mother (Elizabeth Perkins), considered moving back in with her parents in order to save money. But the real test of Jack’s love for his wife and their growing family was when he heard Rebecca crying at the possibility of living with her parents again and he decided to seek out his abusive father for a loan. Earlier in the episode, we met the elder Mr. Pearson and witnessed the horrible way he treated his wife and son. His mother had Jack promise that he wouldn’t grow up and be like his father. I believe that Jack based his fathering on being as different from his own father as possible. So imagine how he must have felt swallowing his pride and going to the man for money. My heart broke for Jack as he said to his father that his dad was right that he would never amount to anything. I don’t think Jack believed this but was only telling the man what he thought his father wanted to hear, thus assuring that he would get his loan. Jack’s father was definitely wrong. Jack grew up to be a strong, loving husband, willing to make any sacrifice for his family. Which meant selling the car he adored for money for a bigger home.
With each episode of This Is Us, we are seeing the love and commitment Jack and Rebecca have for each other. Their love has been tested in their struggles to raise their family but they remain undaunted. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see their other challenges as well as how Jack died and Rebecca’s remarriage to Miguel.
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