Can everyone who is still shedding tears over Sunday night’s emotionally devastating episode of This Is Us (Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV) please raise their hands? Oh, everyone? Sounds about right. That’s why you’re forgiven for being an emotional wreck heading into Tuesday’s instalment, in which we said farewell to the super dad that was Jack Pearson.
“The Car” was a true follow-up episode to the Super Bowl instalment, in that the grief was still palpable as each family member got a chance to think about their memories of Jack and their time with him relating to the family car. Considering that everything else the family owned burned up in that fire, relating Jack back to the vehicle actually made perfect sense — it was all they had left.
In the end there were plenty of little moments throughout the hour that had us bawling our eyes out, but here are the most devastating details that kept us up well into the night.
1. Rebecca’s attachment to the urn
Rebecca may have been strong for her children on Sunday night, but at the funeral she was a shell of herself and we completely understand why. She and Jack were married for more than 20 years, and then, just like that, he was gone. But what haunted her most was the fact that she wasn’t there when Jack died, making his death seem all the more sudden and devastating. That’s why she needed to stay with his ashes from start to finish, no matter how compulsive or irrational it seemed.
2. Dr. K’s return
Maybe it is his voice, but there’s something so comforting about seeing the good doc return at important junctures of the Pearsons’ lives. Or at least, there was until Tuesday night. While Dr. K doled out some great advice to Rebecca, and seemed to be the only one who could comfort her in her time of need, the fact that he too outlived Jack struck us as kind of sad. But hey, at least we got to hear more about that lemonade.
3. Jack was human after all
Okay yes, we know that Jack had his demons and turned to the drink. We also know that even though he was a freaking superhero, saving his entire family from that fire, in the end he couldn’t withstand that much smoke. But the biggest Jack-was-a-human-revelation came from Dr. K, when he revealed that sometimes Jack would spontaneously visit him and ask for advice. Somehow that made us sad all over again; even when Jack didn’t know the answers he would put on a brave face and fake it until he made it. All for the sake of his family.
4. The watch
The strained relationship between Kevin and Randall always gives us the feels, but somehow seeing Randall wear Jack’s watch and watching them squabble over the item and over being “the man” of the house was just plain awful. So it was a nice little touch at the end of the episode, when Kev held Randall’s arm in the back of the car and signalled that he was cool with his brother owning the timepiece.
5. That poor family dog
Jack died as a result of saving the freaking dog from the fire, so you’d think the family might honour that sacrifice and cherish him, right? Nope, not in this case. In this case Louie became the bane of Kate’s existence, a creature she could no longer bear to look at through her guilt. It totally gives you a lump in your throat, doesn’t it? Poor Kate… and poor puppy!
6. The coffee cup
It’s a well know truth that you never know what day might be your last. The fact that Jack’s coffee cup was still sitting in the car the day of the funeral was a sad reminder of that. Jack thought he’d be around for years to come — he was planning on launching a new business for goodness sake. Sadly, that wasn’t meant to be.
7. The Springsteen tickets
As we saw in one of the flashbacks, Jack was excited at the prospect of taking Kate to see Bruce Springsteen one day. Which is why he planned a big surprise outing for his family the Saturday after Super Bowl, and bought them all tickets to the concert. In Jack’s head it was one last memory to be made, a big family outing before they all went off to college over the summer. But sadly, that was just one more plan that wasn’t meant to come to fruition.
At least the rest of the Pearsons still went in their late patriarch’s memory. Because now that memory is all they — and we — have left.
Cue the waterworks all over again.
This is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV. The next new episode airs Feb. 27, following the Winter Olympics.