Okay, This Is Us, you got us. You got us really good.
Just when we were settling into a groove with the second season of the show (Tuesdays, 9 p.m., ET CTV), it threw us for another loop, introducing a brand new character to wrap our heads around. Also, now is probably a good time to remind anyone reading this that if you haven’t watched the latest episode, “Brothers,” it will be spoiled if you keep reading this post.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
You sure? Okay…
Jack has a brother. (Whaaaat?!)
We should have seen it coming from the episode title, but given that most of the actual episode revolved around Kevin and Randall — both in the present day storyline and in the past when Jack took them camping — we just assumed the episode revolved around their shaky relationship.
To be sure, we did get a lot of that character development. Jack decided that camping was the best way to have the boys bond and finally get along, even though Kevin was pretty darned awful to Randall. It wasn’t until Kevin found Randall’s notebook and all of his notes on how to not annoy Kevin that Kev finally gave his brother a chance, and they roasted marshmallows together in harmony.
Meanwhile in the present day, Randall took Deja to Sophie’s charity event for the hospital after the foster kid developed something of a crush on Kevin, and Kevin reminded Randall how he has this need for everyone to always like him. It’s called trying too hard, brother.
Oh, and Kevin also had that teeny meltdown when his oxycodone refill ran out again, leading his L.A.-based doctor to cut him off and for Kevin to lash out at Sophie. Something tells us that storyline is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better, especially with Kevin calling his former family doctor to help him with “his pain.”
But we were talking about the Jack of it all, weren’t we?
Our hearts couldn’t help but break for a young boy version of Jack, as he waited in the front seat of the car for his dad to come back from the bar so that they could go fishing. “He’s coming back. He’s coming back,” the boy repeated to himself over and over again while staring down at the worms. We knew things between Jack and his father were bad, but that particular scene gave us a notion of just how bad it really was Jack’s entire life. It also solidified Jack’s decision not to go to his father’s deathbed and to stay out camping with Randall and Kevin instead.
What we weren’t expecting though, was for a little boy with thick-rimmed glasses to pop up from the back seat as little boy Jack waited for his dad to return, asking if they were there yet. Like, where did this brother come from all of a sudden and why did the writers wait until now to introduce him?
Making matters worse, we also learned that Jack’s brother went to Vietnam with him, and since we haven’t seen him in any of the latter storylines involving Jack and Rebecca, we can only presume that he either died or is in a facility somewhere; whatever the case, we know it’s not good because the character isn’t in Jack’s life in any of the big events we’ve seen so far. Was that brother’s absence the final nail in the proverbial coffin between Jack and his father? Could it be one of the larger demons that Jack has to battle in order to stay sober? Did the brother have a drinking problem too?
Geez. Remember when our biggest concern was finding out how Jack died so that we could finally stop feeling anxious about that particular storyline? We’re not even half-a-dozen episodes into this season and it seems like every week there’s something else to worry about with this family. And if we’re being honest, we can’t get enough.
Here’s hoping for some happy Pearson news on the horizon. Until then, we’re sending you lots of hugs Jack.