Tonight's This Is Us revealed something major: the cause of that fire. I know you're anxious to find out what it is, so let's get right to the recap. Brace yourselves for this one.
We open with two random older people cleaning out their garage. They’re selling their house, and the wife wants the husband to get rid of his junk. How they are connected to the Pearsons is a mystery at this point, but let's check in with our usual players...
'90s Pearson Family
It’s Super Bowl Sunday in the Pearson household, and it’s obvious shit’s about to hit the fan. Jack is on the fence about starting his own business and also feeling temptation to drink again, which is why he built a huge wooden entertainment system to watch the big game. Randall’s having a girl over, Alison, to watch the Super Bowl, but he ditches before kickoff to catch a movie with her. I’d be annoyed if Kevin did that, but Randall can do no wrong in my eyes.
Speaking of Teenage Kevin, he’s being his usual horrible self about Super Bowl Sunday and college, scowling and copping attitude and making side-part Rebecca frown. Teenage Kate is in the final rounds of admission for Berklee and has to record an audition tape. Jack wants to film it on camera, but Kate’s like, “I’d rather die.” Same, girl. Geez, the tension’s already building, and I’m shook. No good can happen on Super Bowl Sunday! Teenage Kate implores Jack to stop talking about how beautiful she is because she doesn’t see herself that way. Oof. The takeaway from these scenes thus far is that Jack’s really pissing off his kids.
Teenage Sophie gets into NYU, and Teen Kevin's mad about it. It causes him and his parents to get into a huge fight about college, and he literally says, “I was supposed to end up in the Super Bowl, not watch it, like you guys.” What. A. Monster. He storms out and goes to Sophie’s. If you’re keeping tabs, that makes two Pearson kids who’ve ditched Super Bowl Sunday thus far.
Oh no: Now Kate's ditching the Super Bowl, too. It's now just Rebecca and Jack in the house. Jack asks Rebecca to be his partner in the home-flipping business he wants to start. (This would be the precursor to him owning a construction company.) She agrees, and they have vivid fantasies about their post-kids life with this new business. Their first clients are an older man and woman who have a one-family household. (Are these the same older people from the top of the episode, perhaps?) Holy shit. I'm bawling, because I know Jack's about to die...but Rebecca doesn't! They have sex. I'm terrified. Oh my God. Oh my God. These are genuine emotions I'm feeling. For This Is Us!
Kevin calls and apologizes to Rebecca, but says he doesn't want to talk to Jack and doesn't want to come home. Instead, he suggests that he and Sophie go to a "party in the woods." Oh no. This is why you never go outdoors!
Adult Kevin and Randall
Randall is in way over his head with renovating William’s old apartment building, and Beth tells him this when they go meet the tenants. He agrees to all of these minor repairs and ends up being there for hours. Kevin’s there, too; he calls Randall to make amends post the DUI-Tess debacle and winds up helping him with the repairs. A group of women gather and watch sweaty Kevin knock down a wall, and I relate to that on a spiritual level. Randall thinks he’s doing a good job, but then a bunch of roaches come out of one of the walls he fixed. Whatever, I’d still let him rewire my entire apartment.
Kevin's all into these renovations because he wants to stay sober. He and Randall have an intense, emotional conversation about how Jack's been gone longer than they had him. It's touching. Kevin was also wearing a tank top during this scene, so I'm pleased. Kevin alludes there are some people he won't be able to make amends with, but hopefully he and Randall can make up. I hate when they fight, TBH. Randall has to send all the tenants to temporary housing while they spray the building for roaches. Beth reads him for filth for screwing up their gig so quickly because of course she does. I love her so much.
Cut to Adult Kevin going to Adult Sophie's and talking about his addiction. She says the amends he wants from him is to just let her remember the times their relationship was good. She forgives him, but it's clear this is the end of their time together. Kevin goes back to Randall's apartment and finds a package addressed to him. In it is his father's necklace—the one he left at that woman Charlotte's house when he was drunk. He now can cross Charlotte and Sophie's names off the list of people he wants to make amends with. There's only one person left: His father. Oh boy.
Kate thinks Toby's watching porn on his computer, but he's actually flipping through pics of dogs. He wants a dog, but knows that dogs are a "sensitive issue" for Kate. (Remember, Kate’s teenage dog played some kind of hand in The Fire.) But Kate decides to go behind Toby’s back and look for a dog, anyway. And she finds one! She starts the process to adopt it but backs out at the last minute, breaking down in tears at the animal shelter and literally apologizing to the dog. She then storms out. Kate ends up changing her mind, though, and getting the dog—despite the fact it will constantly remind her of Jack. What. The. Hell. Is. About. To. Happen?
Everything from this episode led up to the final 10 minutes. Here's what happened:
Kate's listening to her Berklee audio tape, loud with headphones on. Randall is back from his date with Alison, and he tells Jack that they kissed. Jack starts doing dishes and putting food away. He then leaves a note on Kevin's door saying he loves him and that he owes him and Rebecca an apology. Keep in mind that Kevin is now the only kid who isn't at home.
The older man and woman from the beginning were actually Rebecca and Jack's old neighbors. When they moved, they gifted Rebecca and Jack with a faulty crockpot. Jack turns off the crockpot when he's cleaning after the Super Bowl, but it accidentally turns back on in the middle of the night and causes a terrible, all-encompassing fire. The fire slowly but steadily starts moving up the stairs.
And that's where the episode leaves us. Literally that's it. I need an ambulance.
Parting thoughts: The next episode airs after the Super Bowl, and the teaser says "all our questions will be answered." 😳 😳 😳