This Is Us Recap Season 1 Episode 5

This Is Us Recap: Game-Time Decision, Plus: Jack's Whereabouts Revealed

Need to catch up? Check out last week’s This Is Us recap here. 

The good news: This Is Us‘ Jack spends part of the modern-day storyline in this week’s episode watching the Steelers game with his daughter.

The bad news: He does so as a pile of ashes in a nondescript urn. Yep, it’s as we feared — Milo Ventimiglia’s character is, indeed, dead. (Though it doesn’t stop him from wearing his team’s colors, which is dedication in the extreme.)

While everyone undoubtedly will focus on getting an answer to the query the series posed at its outset — where’s Grandpa Jack? —  a shift with equally far-reaching consequences happens quietly at the end of the hour. As Randall sobs and packs up boxes in William’s bedroom, we realize that he’s doing so because his biological father is no longer among the living, either. That means This Is Us has executed an unforeseen, “We have to go back!,” Lost-style flashforward, brief though it may be.

While I’m sure this opens up the drama’s storytelling capabilities (if it’s used more than once — I haven’t seen any episodes past this week’s), it also allows Dan Fogelman & Co. to make us sad about stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. And because getting upset about events that may never come to pass is my specialty, this brings me perverse joy. It’s like my anxiety just got a straight-to-series order!

Read on for the highlights of “The Game Plan.”

STEELER YOURSELF | After a way-back flashback to Rebecca’s childhood, we learn that Rebecca has a fear of becoming her mother: i.e. a football widow who doesn’t understand the sport and can’t connect with her husband about it. So while she’s on a date with Jack (at least, I assume it’s during their courtship), she asks him to teach her all about the sport.

Next thing you know, Rebecca is a grid-iron enthusiast hurling insults at the television and speaking with authority about defensive plays and the like. And on the Sunday of Super Bowl XIV — aka in January of 1980 — she’s pumped because she gets to sing a bit at a local bar called Froggy’s before the game gets going. Miguel and his wife are supposed to meet them for the festivities, but are delayed because of some unpleasantness involving their kids and a stomach bug. “Why do people have kids?” Rebecca wonders, that morning. “No idea,” Jack replies, and they do a shot in bed, shaking their heads.

This Is Us Recap Season 1 Episode 5AN ORIGIN STORY | The thing is, though, Jack really wants kids. And as the day goes on, he confronts his wife about it at the bar. Shouting happens. A punch is thrown (when an overhearing lame-o gets into it with Jack). And Rebecca storms away to sit outside in the cold while the team she loves achieves glory in the season’s crowning game.

That’s where Jack finds her later as happy game-viewers amble out of the bar. “If it’s between you and having kids, you win. Every time. No question,” he tells her, waxing affectionate about how he wants to watch football games with his kids like he did with his father (albeit a lot more lovingly). And she responds with a really understandable, “I love our life. I love it right now. And I’m so scared of changing it.” He gets it. They kiss. And then, having made up, they go have sex in the Froggy’s bathroom, which is a) when Kate, Kevin and their unfortunate sibling are conceived and b) not the story I would’ve shared with my kids, but to each their own.

MEET THE PARENT | Toby doesn’t understand why Kate wants to watch the Steelers game by herself, and she doesn’t do a great job of explaining. So he keeps at her until she agrees to watch at his place… only he invites his friend, and they insist on talking over and (gasp!) pausing the game, which makes her so irate that she takes off. When he comes to her place later, she apologizes, saying that she used to watch the games with Jack all the time until she moved out to Los Angeles. And when Toby says he’d like to meet her pop, that’s when we learn that Jack has been sitting on Kate and Kevin’s mantel this whole time.

So Kate and Toby end up watching the game with Jack, whom they place on the coffee table and on whom they plant a Steelers knit cap. I guess grief manifests itself in myriad ways, right?

FALSE ALARM | When Kevin complains about the loneliness of his posh New York City hotel suite, Randall and Beth happily pipe up and say they’ll spend the night there. So while Kev and William babysit, the couple zip into the city for a romantic overnight and some “loud, adult, no-kids-in-the-next-room sex,” which Randall excitedly previews as he explores the rented rooms. But Beth has some troubling news: “I’m late.” As in, she feels terrible and almost threw up while looking at pizza. As in, she’s maybe pregnant but too freaked out to take a test to see.

So the pair go to the drugstore, where they’re both clearly spinning at the idea of adding another child to their family. He had been thinking about early retirement in Charleston. She had been preparing to go back to work full-time. But by the time they’re sitting on the bathroom floor, waiting for the test to give them some news, they’ve come around to the idea of sibling for Annie and Tess. “A son wouldn’t totally suck,” he says. “We do make cute kids,” she adds. But then the stick says “Not pregnant,” and the relief on their faces is realistic perfection.

This Is Us Recap SEaosn 1 Episode 5‘THERE’S JUST US’ | Meanwhile, back at the house, Kevin is more concerned with getting off-book for the play than with being the “celebrity judge” at the girls’ doll pageant. So he ropes them and William — whom Kev says has the voice of “the owl in a Pixar movie, no offense” (heh) — into running lines with him. But this endeavor quickly devolves into the girls asking if William is going to die… and Kev trying to make it better by pointing out that everyone, including Randall and Beth, will die someday… and then the girls are heading off to bed scared out of their minds that everyone they care about will be gone and there’s nothing they can do to stop it. (Same, kids. Same.)

When he and William are alone, Kevin laments his doofishness. “You do that a lot… doubt yourself,” William points out, adding that “you were very good, Kevin, on that show.” Bolstered by the gentle support/real talk, Kevin goes up to show the girls a painting. Apparently, whenever he takes on a new gig, he paints the way it makes him feel. (Side note: Curious — so was The Manny painting just one big dollar sign, or lots of little ones?) He shows them the art he made for the play, explaining that all the disparate parts and colors turn into one big thing, and how that thing represents all of us, interacting and loving and living and dying. “What if we’re in the painting before we’re born? What if we’re in it after we die?” he muses, as flashbacks to his childhood — as well as the aforementioned, heartbreaking flashforward — unspools on screen.

“There’s no you or me or them. There’s just us,” Kevin goes on, and man, is Justin Hartley killing it here. Also: Who knew Kevin was a closet Buddhist?

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kelly says:

    Mandy Moore is awesome and Justin Hartley killed it tonight Jack and Rebecca are just pure magic together and William&Kevin made a wonderful duo.

  2. Kim says:

    Suspected Jack was dead….but damn the waterworks still came when it was revealed

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah, me too. I’m really disappointed. Was really hoping they were fooling with us and Migel was such a close family friend the kids called him grandpa. Now Rebecca is married to the guy and Jack is dead.

      It’s like I’ve been reading a great book then all of a sudden someone spoiled the ending.

      I Don’t know how I feel about the show now to be honest. Was hoping for the, “happy ending”, growing old. I know sounds sappy. A lot of #$@%# in the world and wanted this show to be the tears, laughs, great show.

      btw, Toby is just so annoying. I hope Kate meets a guy who is just not so much in her face, demanding.

      • Sarah says:

        I am curious to see what happens to the ratings. I mean we now know Jack is dead. I was talking about it to a friend last night, she said she’s so disappointed it’s not worth watching anymore.
        She too was hoping for the happy loving family thing. Finding out their dad is dead and mother loved him so much she married his best friend?
        Yeah, I’m curious where the ratings go. I think this is the, “jumped the shark” Big mistake to kill the father, Jack.

        • Cas says:

          I think having him be dead was the only option. People die, life goes on. Miguel always had a thing for his wife and he probably helped her with a lot of stuff after his passing. People are allowed to move on. And to me it makes sense she would do it with someone she was probably always good friends with. But if they were together and Jack was alive that would sting even more. And if you stop watching a show because of something as minor as this you weren’t a fan anyway.

          • Sarah says:

            Well, I most certainly was a fan.
            BUT, for me to invest myself in a show for however many years I would rather have watched their lives unfold, up, downs, tears, romance, life, death.
            Like I said it’s like reading a great book then someone walks in and tells what happens at the end.
            What do we know,
            Randall got married, had kids, reunited with his dying dad.
            Kevin became an actor and now wants to do stage work.
            Kate has struggled with her weight and now has an annoying boyfriend.
            Jack is dead.
            Rebecca moved on from the love of her life to his best friend.

            What could possibly cheer/make this show good now?

            Pretty sure if this show did a test run with an audience it would have been written differently.

            Like I said I’ll be curious to see where the ratings go. For me, I’m hoping to find another show.
            I wanted a nice family show. This show just, “jumped the shark”
            I used to like Parenthood until they made is 90% about Max. Stopped watching that show before it was cancelled.

        • Jamie says:

          Lolz I don’t think you understand what the term “jumped the shark” actually entails. They’ve been alluding to Jack’s death since the pilot – tons of viewers are talking about how they saw this coming, even if you didn’t. This will likely have no impact on the ratings, especially since this doesn’t mean that the character is gone. A fourth of the show is done in flashbacks, so we will continue to see the same amount of Jack’s character that we have been seeing.

          • Sarah says:

            Kind of rude to say I don’t understand what, “jump the shark means”..I do though and for me this episode did in fact, “jump the shark”
            “tons of viewers”, what”..Lol but, ok yes several viewers did comment they thought Jack had passed. But, several fans were hoping they (writers) would have a different explanation for where Jack was, ie, alcoholic and they divorced, medical, he just didn’t come for a visit when Rebecca came with Migel. Migel who was a close family friend. Possibly Randall’s God Father. They could have written so much. They didn’t. Jack is dead. Every time people watch the show and see Jack when the kids were young they will have in the back of there minds..oh..but look Jacks dead now. It’ll always be there.

          • Gaia says:

            Yeah…if you think a show “jumped the shark” on it’s, what, 4th episode? You don’t know what that means. Jamie’s right.

          • Jenn says:

            Jamie is right – Loiz is wrong.

          • JeanBean says:

            It’s not rude. It’s just informing you that you are incorrect if you think “jumping the shark” happens in a 4th episode of a show.

        • TheloNaGrapso says:

          Would you rather the other alternative, which might still be the case? His life unraveled so much she cheated on him with his best friend?

          Even the “best case scenario”, is he dies and she goes with the best friend? Despicable.

        • mary says:

          Remember you’ll still see Jack, the flashbacks are not over. As for Miguel, we don’t know how long after Jack dies, that they got together. Grief brings people together, it’s not unheard of.

  3. TvPeong says:

    This episode was good, though I was hoping that Jack would still be alive.

  4. april-ann says:

    Oh, dear. I really, really hoped Jack was alive in the future. I usually don’t watch or like the idea of precursors, even when presented prominently as flashbacks like this, nor The Carrie Diaries for one and the mercifully never made Gossip Girl featuring the young Rhodes sisters for another, because we know where it goes. But I liked this. Future Jack needed to be there for me, though, because he needed to be there for his kids, especially his princess, Kate. Also, did we hear Kate say that she watched the Steelers win Super Bowl with her dad in ’76? Some scenes from the past do appear very pre-80’s, even pre-70s. Is their “future” set in 2006? I guess that’s impossible since a sans kids Rebecca sang at the bar the night they also won it in 1980. Hey, weren’t the kids born in 1979? Okay now I am really confused. Anyway, don’t know if can watch now that it is established that Jack is no longer with us.

    • Karen says:

      The modern scenes are in 2016, when Kate, Kevin, and Randall are 36, which means they were born in 1980. Kate said she watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl in 2006 with her dad.

      • Ben says:

        I think that Kate meant that she hadn’t watched since her dad died, but in 2006 she started watching with the urn and that made her new tradition of watching with her dad.

        • april-ann says:

          Thanks, Ben. I missed that. I was trying to watch but last Friday I adopted the sweetest one year old mutt who had been abused. We are going through the adjustment period and watching anything has been a challenge. Getting sleep has been challenging, too.

          • Em says:

            Completely unrelated to This Is Us (though also thanks to Ben for that, that one passed me by) – well done for adopting an abused dog, it’s a really hard task but so so rewarding!! Power on through it, it will be all worth it in the end!! Hope the adjustment period has already started having subtle improvements and you’re going in the right direction – one of the best things I’ve ever done, adopting mine five years ago!

      • april-ann says:

        Oh, thank you Karen. That makes sense now. Kate must have said something like ’06 and I thought she said ’76.

    • jimmyu says:

      No she said that her and her dad watched the 2006 Super Bowl the Steelers won.

      • april-ann says:

        Thanks, jimmyu. I didn’t hear it right and jumped to all sorts of conclusions that didn’t make sense.

        • april-ann says:

          …although The Manny does not seem like a show that would be made in the 20teens. More like way earlier. And doesn’t Broadway stand on its own now and you have to be considered to have talent if you are going to be cast (Kevin has talent and I believe he will prove it but as far as those on Broadway are concerned he doesn’t – they cast him only to sell tickets). Or is it off-Broadway – did they say? Doesn’t matter – I thought it had been years since they cast a thought non talent just to sell tickets.

          • You obviously aren’t familiar with the show Melissa and Joey.

          • Spandex says:

            There’s also a show called Baby Daddy on Freeform that seems quite similar to the show quality tone of The Manny. I do wonder what the Baby Daddy actors think about all of this

          • Anna says:


            As an adult who started watching “Baby Daddy” while hanging out with my younger cousins, I can tell you that the quality actually seems quite different. Baby Daddy can be quite goofy at times, but the writing and quality of jokes are actually quite good – better than a lot of sitcoms we see on network channels. The only real similarities I see are the fact that there is a baby involved. I would say tone and quality-wise, “The Manny” is probably closer to “Melissa and Joey”.

          • april-ann –
            each season Broadway seems to be filled with stunt castings (mostly seen in plays). Names sell tickets and shows need to stay open to pay their bills. Sometimes stunt casting works wonders and sometimes it flops. Take a quick perusual through or to read up on the new shows…

    • Gerald says:

      On another note, Kate said she was conceived during the super bowl in a Bathroom at the bar, but they didn’t reconcile till after they won the Superbowl.

      • mary says:

        For some the Superbowl would still be going on, they tend to party all night at that point.

      • Jerry G says:

        And nicely, the dates do all line correctly. This Super Bowl was in January 1980, and the kids were all born in the fall of 1980, as they turned 36 in the pilot episode.

    • Liney060 says:

      Kate “watched” the AFC Championship game against Denver with her Dad in ’06. The kids were born in fall 1980, nine months after the 1980 Super Bowl.

  5. Sarah says:

    Yea, it seemed pretty obvious that Jack was dead. Strange though that Toby didn’t know. And why was Randall packing William’s things at the end? A flash forward?

    • april-ann says:

      Yes, it was a flash forward playing out to Kevin explaining his painting about life to his nieces, showing us that William, the wise old owl, is no longer with us, either. I really liked William.

      • Sarah says:

        Oh man, what are we, 5 episodes in and already losing characters I really like :(

        • april-ann says:

          I know, right? I was even starting to like Beth and Randall’s unborn baby-not-to-be.

        • april-ann says:

          Yes! Twin boys Jack and William. I think that is yet to be explored. Randall is too driven to retire at 46 and Beth, I believe, will work but have a home office, lamenting how fast the girls are growing up and feeling the disconnect as they age. There’s still too much Daddy and Mommy left in Beth and Randall for that to be over although for the moment they seemed relieved. Question is…people like you and I may be too disappointed over Jack, will we want to keep watching?

          • Sarah says:

            I will definitely keep watching, I love this show. I want to see what happens with Randall and Beth and Kevin and Kate. I want to see what happened to Jack, though it will obviously be sad. They’ve already sucked me in way too far.

          • Anna says:

            I’m pretty sure they alluded to Jack being dead in the pilot (talking about him in the past tense with lines like “Remember what Dad used to say” and “Your dad must have been proud of you”), and then we saw Rebecca wearing his necklace even though she had married his best friend in the next episode, but people clearly kept watching. I don’t think this confirmation will affect viewership at all.

  6. LADY_in_MD says:

    I so related to Rebecca tonight
    Kevin Hartley for performer of the week or honorable mention?
    So many feels tonight but kinda knew Jack would be dead now the question is how? When?

    • Mlee says:

      Exactly! My head pretty much knew that Jack was dead when Rebecca showed up with Miguel wearing the necklace Jack gave her, but my heart was still hoping that he was alive. When Kate went over to the mantle and picked up the urn I can honestly say I ugly cried the rest of the episode! But I want to know how when what happened….everything!!!

      • LADY_in_MD says:

        Yes the necklace was my first inclination too
        The only thing I did figure out was it happened 10 years ago cause Kate said she watched the 2006 super bowl with her dad and that was the last time than he passed so I’m guessing Rebecca & Miguel got together recently or not too long ago

      • CIP says:

        I also knew he was dead but the scene with Kate got me. And I watched the last scene 3 times. I love the writing on this show!

  7. Claire says:

    I like that we’re finally seeing that Kevin is a bit more like Jack than expected. He’s sweet, his jokes are a little off-kilter, and he thrives on being around his loved ones. I enjoyed this soulful, less shallow side of him.

  8. Dannie C says:

    What a cast!!all of them playing on our heart strings. Like everyone else I was really hoping they were tricking us into think Jack was dead but unfortunately not. Really loving the show.

  9. Rachel says:

    Every week I am surprised at how good the show is. The writers and actors are really great. I’m glad they gave Kevin more to do because he was pretty shallow before. I really love the scenes with him and William. I am still on the fence about Toby and how he never seems to be OK with just letting Kate be who she is but I am happy to see her opening up more and becoming a multifaceted character. It looks like next time, we will get more of her. I am heartbroken about Jack and then to add William on top of it? Cruel! But I can’t get enough of this show.

  10. Jodi says:

    I just simply love this show. Every character, every storyline.

    Justin Hartley for POTW, please…

  11. Anna says:

    This show is such a beautiful sprinkling of feels every week. Justin Hartley killed it – it’s fantastic that they really spread the emotional weight/performances around the cast instead of relying on the same people like too many shows do. Just an insanely talented cast.
    Also, William is a gift to everyone – it was wonderful (and so unexpected) seeing him connect with Kevin. I hope they get this whole season with him before he passes.

  12. Lola says:

    I love this show. That ending montage had me craddled over holding my pillow. It’s just us speech by Kevin was remarkable. And I was confused but I think William died. So essentially we lost Jack and William in the same episode though we’ll of course still see Jack in the flashes.

  13. Rebecca says:

    i was really hoping that Jack would be alive. It was the only thing making me come back for more since I couldn’t care less about the triplets.

  14. Paula says:

    Another beautiful episode with a standout performance by Justin Hartley. I have been convinced since the first episode that Jack was dead so it astonishes me how many viewers thought/hoped he might still be alive in the present day. And I truly love William so letting go of him will be hardest for me. However I can’t imagine anything causing me to lose interest or to stop watching this immensely talented ensemble. I am thrilled Justin Hartley is receiving much deserved recognition because his talents have largely been wasted on past shows.

  15. Walkie says:

    Big mistake killing both Jack and William in the present timeline. They need some strong supporting characters outside of the main cast. Right now they don’t have any.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Toby burn. I like Toby. Would love to see Kate’s chemistry with another man though, maybe Toby realizes he needs to be less in her face about herself all the time. Or maybe she just needs that.

    • mary says:

      They didn’t. William’s death is a flash forward. Jack died years ago. Both will still be shown.

  16. s says:

    Enjoyed the episode. I thought Jack was dead present day and prefer that to divorce. Although no guarantee e ad Rebecca were together at time he died. Glad it seems Jack would have seen big 3 make it to adulthood. Question is was Miguel coveting Rebecca all those years? Where are his kids now? Draw of show for me is present day big 3 clearly have issues yet we see they were loved and parents did best they could

  17. Cas says:

    I ❤️ Justin Hartley. Ever since Passions. So glad he found success on primetime.

  18. drhenning says:

    The After-Show that NBC has On Demand and Online featured Ken Olin who made his name in a family show as the director of this episode. This show has many of the aspects of Thirty-Something but more as we see our characters in so many times of life.. It has the LOST Flash Forward and Backward aspects without having to think about too many characters. You do have to wonder if the show runs for a while how they connect everything or do they run out of story lines??

  19. Liz says:

    People didn’t assume Jack was dead as soon as Rebecca showed up with Miguel? Really? I certainly did. So last night’s “reveal” wasn’t revealing at all to me. Just confirmation.

  20. Broadwayfan says:

    I was so glad to see Kevin have so much screen time and interaction with the girls and William.
    His final scene with the girls and the painting was when I started my cry for the night.
    Justin Hartley is wonderful. I was surprised he was plucked from YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS for this role. I didn’t think networks came to soaps for stars. I loved his work on the soap. But, it’s obvious he won’t be coming back. This is show is a major hit, and he has a job for a pretty long time to come, I believe.

    • Jamie says:

      I doubt the network came to soaps to find him (especially since his soap is on a rival network) – he probably auditioned, did the best job, and then decided to leave the soap. But there are other former soap actors on primetime shows right now – Jonathan Jackson (General Hospital) is on Nashville, Kelli Giddish (All My Children) is on Law and Order: SVU, Jensen Ackles (Days of Our Lives) is on Supernatural, Hayden Panetierre (Guiding Light) is on Nashville, etc.

    • A fan of TV says:

      He has primetime work to get hired on, though, too. After Passions he did Smallville, and has always been IMO one step up on the soaps he does most. And if I’m being cynical, the freckle on his face won him the role of Mandy Moore’s adult son in primetime, though I agree, he’s doing great work with it all!

    • CIP says:

      He was also on ABC’s Revenge.

  21. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was good, sweet, and sad. Sad to find out Jack is dead in present day. Glad Kate kept him at home with her and watches the steelers games with him like they did when they were kids. Kevin did great in episode and William too. Sad William died in a flash forward at the end of episode. Glad Jack got Rebecca into football.

  22. Kristin says:

    I find it interesting that only Kate watches Steelers football in the present day; neither of her brothers even mentioned them in the episode. I would’ve thought all of the big three would’ve watched the game. I also find it interesting that Kate has Jack’s ashes. Good episode and this show somehow gets me cry every week!

    • sterling says:

      I had my father’s ashes instead of my siblings or my mother. I was the one who wanted them. I eventually spread them on the football field he coached on for years. As for why I know my sister really isn’t in to football and only watched with my dad. My brother has his own favorites. I am the only one who really still cares. Everyone has a different connection to their parent so I can see only one still being in that place of grief. She seems like she had a tighter connection to her dad that her mom so for her it may still be hard to move on.

  23. June says:

    I LITERALLY get chills 2 or 3 times whenever I’m watching this show! It’s so original, so wholesome with so many dimensions!. Reminds me of Parenthood, which was a awesome show….good things like this don’t come to TV anymore.

  24. June says:

    Just because Jack is dead, does not mean the show is over! We don’t know when, how he died….there is SOO much that can happen between time he was alive and when he died!

    • Mark says:

      I wonder if his death is part of what prompted Kate’s move to LA from Pittsburgh? Maybe Kevin was already set up there and invited her out as a way of coping from Jack’s death?

      • Bigdede says:

        On the show she said when she moved out to LA she stopped watching the games with her father then she watched in 2006 with him and the Steelers won. Most likely he died after 2006.

  25. A fan of TV says:

    Personally wanted him still to be alive somewhere, just saying :)

  26. Brownstone66 says:

    “It’s like my anxiety just got a straight-to-series order!” – My fave line from this recap! :-)

  27. Jenna says:

    Good episode, but Toby’s behavior was nothing sort of controlling, obsessive, and downright creepy and embarrassing. She said she wanted to do something alone for once. That does not mean you repeatedly badger her and rudely interrupt a woman sharing in a group so that you can guilt her into spending every waking moment with you. And then when she left and he follows, and somehow got HER to apologize for her totally reasonable desire to have one second of time to herself?

    I really like all the characters, but I feel like they try to portray Toby and sweet/romantic or something, whereas if I had a friend dating a guy like that I would tell her to run the hell away so fast….ew.

    • RichCD says:

      I agree. It was like he became a completely different character, just to service the Jack reveal. I think that could’ve been done much more believably. Ditto with Kevin’s foot in his mouth about death.

      • Jamie says:

        I disagree – I don’t think either became different characters at all. So far, Toby has been consistently kinda manipulative and controlling in his attempt to be sweet and romantic (people were already making this critique of him after the pilot aired). This episode wasn’t any different. And Kevin has always been super shallow and self-absorbed until someone points him in the right direction and he has a moment of clarity (so far it’s been Kate and Randall doing so – this episode it was William). Both were acting pretty in character from what we’ve seen so far.

    • Walkie says:

      They are two very flawed people who are not comfortable with who they are and they have a low self esteem. That’s going to affect how you deal with a relationship for good and bad. They are showing a pretty realistic portrayal of that type of relationship.

    • Lala says:

      Yeah and I did not hear you say the same about Kate last week when she was stalking Toby’s wife and inserted herself in his world without his & her permission. Why is Toby’s actions all of a sudden the worse ones. I find what Kate did last week with his ex wife to be borderline clinically insane. There’s nothing wrong with a guy who wants to spend time with his GF. I’m not sure how old you are but do you know how rare that is in today’s dating world. It’s hard to get anyone these days to try and commit. If you’ve ever been in a r/ship you’ll know that this is how things are at times…The story of Toby & Kate may seem uncomfortable, I certainly felt that way last week with Kate’s stalking…but it is the show’s way of developing these characters and letting us know more about them.

      • Jenna says:

        What Kate did was insane, and he is a manipulative abusive control freak. Thanks for your judgy response though, I’m very sorry you’ve never been in a trusting healthy relationship. But they do exist, and typically the parties are able to remain individual people and go to the bathroom on their own and *gasp* even watch a football game alone when they’ve asked to 45 million times and not have to apologize for it!

        I’m not a fan of shows romanticizing unhealthy relationships like that. Like if they want to show that truthfully as unhealthy and destructive I could respect that, but to watch her stalk people and him badger and guilt her and make her apologize for wanting an hour of time alone and have the show great that as normal is disappointing for me.

        • Lala says:

          Obviously you like blowing things out of proportion…”manipulative abusive & 45 million times…really?? Of course this is an unhealthy relationship, these 2 individuals are severely flawed esp Kate. This is a realistic depiction of how r/ships are when low self-esteem is a major factor. She has not mastered the art of loving herself and letting other people, besides her brother, into her life.
          From what the show has shown us so far Kate does not have friends or colleagues, she’s completely shut herself off to the world. She celebrated her birthday alone with Kevin. At least Toby has a mate. I’m glad Toby is pushy and makes her come out of her shell. She has so much to offer and at times it takes a loved one to bring that out. If Toby had been a friend who’s a girl then it would have been acceptable right? I don’t see why Toby has to be judged & criticized for doing the same thing. Sometimes to accommodate people in your life you have to get out of your comfort zone. This is a football game, it’s a social event, I’d be wary too if my other half wanted to watch a big game alone.
          If anyone has “abusive tendencies” on this show it’s Kevin. He has a good heart & might not intend to be that way but he doesn’t know how to be selfless.

          • Jenna says:

            I didn’t realize you had to take everything absolutely literally so no not 45 million times but A LOT. I would think it would be weird if a woman did that, because I value people’s right to independence and freedom. I’m big on respect and boundaries and I think without those a relationship can’t be successful. I believe in sharing time and experiences but not smothering someone and losing your entire identity, but I guess we’re just different in that regard. Respect and independence are very important to me.

            Also, even you would have to admit that his behavior at the meeting passing that ridiculous card was SO disrespectful to the woman speaking! She is seeking help and support and you are blatantly distracting the entire group for your own selfish gain. She is opening herself up about her most difficult struggles, and he’s involving everyone in his attempt to get laid. That’s gross.

  28. Gerald says:

    The Emmys are coming back to Network TV. This show, the writing and the cast deserve a boat load of statues…

  29. Stef says:

    It was a sad twist, but I disagree with a lot of viewers here by saying that I really don’t think it will take away from the show. It isn’t the exact same scenario, but Six Feet Under did quite well with their dad existing in the past (oh okay, and in ghost form). Don’t doubt the writers ability to keep this going.

  30. donholley77 says:

    That’s the beauty of already knowing Jack is dead! So much story left to tell! So many questions left to be answered! With William too, Thanks to the flashback/flashforward will still see a lot of both men!

    • Mark says:

      I’m definitely looking forward to seeing if there are any unforeseen connections Willie has with other characters on the show. Does he cross paths with Jack regularly and he doesn’t realize he is Randall’s biological father? Obviously Rebecca has interacted with him in the past.

      First guess is Jack dies of liver disease or some other alcoholism related medical issue. Maybe he is never able to fully kick his drinking habit?

      What happened to Miguel’s first wife? Does she too pass away? Does she get divorced from Miguel? Will his children come on as characters? Are he and Rebecca part of the same grief counseling group?

      Still think there may be a Toby arc somewhere with a Pittsburgh connection. Does his ex-wife have an overlap besides giving Kate a job?

      Lastly, does Randall and his family live outside of NYC or the Philly area? I feel like they mentioned it but I missed it.

      • cozygal36 says:

        Randall and his family live in New Jersey. I don’t think it was ever mentioned on the show but Architectural Digest had an article on the This is Us set design and it was mentioned there.

  31. HAP says:

    Hands down, the best show currently airing on network TV.

    • Bernie says:

      This episode’s final Montage really got me. Loved it. Cried and laughed. I really love all the characters, they are so real. I am so excited for all of the episodes to come.

  32. kmw says:

    Another great episode. I suspected that Jack wasn’t alive but very sad that William had passed away. Wasn’t expecting it this soon. What a winner NBC has in this show

  33. herman1959 says:

    Hmmm, I felt like they had been sending out all kinds of clues that Jack was dead, so I don’t understand why so many people were surprised. Cheer up guys, at least it’s not like Lost – we already know he’s dead – we can still watch the story unfold.

  34. I absolutely adore this show! Last night when I saw the part where Randall’s father died I had to rewind it not realizing at first what had happened. I hope there is more to his death than just that!

  35. Patricia a. Johnson says:

    Absolutely beautiful explanation of life and death. Wish i could find the exact wording.

  36. Lala says:

    This show is a masterpiece, I’m sad about Jack though…he’s my fav character, flawed but always striving to do better for his family. I love the bond he has with Kate.

  37. G says:

    Honestly..I was hoping Rebecca & Jack just split. Especially when in the flashback we saw Miguel with his wife. I had figured maybe Jack cheated with her and as the jilted spouses Miguel and Rebecca got close

    • Jamie says:

      Current day Rebecca was still wearing a necklace that Jack gave her tho – that would be super weird to still wear jewelry that your jilted spouse gifted you when you’re with your new husband.

  38. JeanBean says:

    I actually would have been more shocked if he was alive. I think the characters all show that something was missing from their lives. A bit stunted in growth you may say. I feel like he passed away pretty early on too. Maybe in their teen years.

  39. cohiba says:

    “Jumping the shark” is a pejorative idiom referring to the opinion that something has peaked in quality or value and is now in a downward trend.

    At first, the phrase was specifically used to describe an episode of a television comedy in which there is a gimmick or unlikely occurrence that is seen as a desperate attempt to keep viewers’ interest. Therefore, moments labeled as “jumping the shark” are often considered indications that the writers have run out of ideas; that the show has strayed irretrievably from an older and better formula; and/or even that the series as a whole is declining in quality.

    Popularized by radio personality Jon Hein in the 1980s, the phrase is based on a scene from a fifth-season episode of the sitcom Happy Days in which the character Fonzie jumps over a shark while on water-skis.[1][2][3] This was deemed a ratings ploy, for it was outside of the original thrust of the sitcom.

    The usage of “jump the shark” has subsequently broadened beyond television, indicating the moment when a brand, design, franchise, or creative effort’s evolution declines, or when it changes notably in style into something unwelcome.