‘This Is Us’ Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: The Fateful Chili
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
This week on This Is Us, Kevin (Justin Hartley) attempts to make amends following his rehab stint, Kate (Chrissy Metz) faces a childhood fear, and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) finally meets his long-awaited doom. Here’s what happened.
Season two, episode 13, titled “That’ll Be the Day,” opens on an elderly woman, Sally, who is frustrated with her husband, George, because he refuses to sort through the “junk” in their garage. When she uncovers a jukebox, George stops her and recalls a memory about a young woman and a song, “That’ll Be the Day.” George promptly pulls Sally in for a dance, even though she insists they throw the music player away.
Super Bowl Sunday
At the Pearson home, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) walks into the bedroom to find Jack lying in bed. In case her football jersey and the OJ shots in her hand didn’t give it away, she reminds him that it’s Super Bowl Sunday and there’s a reason to be excited, even if it’s all about the Broncos in the newspaper.
Jack averts the conversation to Big Three construction and tells Rebecca that he wants keep his job and flip a few houses until he’s ready to run the company full-time.
The couple’s moment is interrupted by teenage Kate (Hannah Zeile), who walks in to complain about her bathroom hog of a brother, Randall (Niles Fitch). Jack yells for Randall to let his sister use the bathroom, and she happily exits, which prompts Rebecca and Jack to cheers to their last Super Bowl with the kids before they leave for college.
Later on, Kevin (Logan Shroyer) is giving his dad a hard time about the entertainment center he’s building. But Jack is quick to reassure his son that this home renovation project is keeping him busy and away from the bottle.
Kate’s Audition Tape
Later that day, Randall and Allison (Isabel Oliver Marcus) are making Super Bowl cookies when Jack enters to confirm the wall unit is, in fact, complete. Allison inquires about Kevin’s plans for college, but Randall reminds her that his injury is stopping him from getting a scholarship. Suddenly Kate bursts into the kitchen with a letter from a music school requesting she submit another audition tape. Although Jack and Rebecca are more than willing to help, she isn’t about to let her parents videotape her (the horror!) and decides to audio the demo herself.
In a total dad move, Jack disobeys her request and secretly videotapes her singing. As Kate storms off, Randall reveals to his dad that he’s taking Allison to the movies to see Titanic and, therefore, missing the Super Bowl. Although Jack is disappointed, he encourages him to go.
Outside, Jack apologizes to Kate and tells her that he’s confused as to why she can’t see how beautiful she is on-camera. Kate isn’t buying it and tells him to stop saying those things because he’s the only one who sees her that way.
Best Pearson Super Bowl Ever
Meanwhile, Sophie calls Kevin to tell him she got into NYU and, in turn, needs to cancel their Super Bowl plans, so he—naturally—decides to take out his frustration on Rebecca. He tells her that he’s supposed to play in the football game, not watch it on the couch like his parents. As he storms off, Jack solemnly says, “Best Pearson Super Bowl ever.”
Later that day, Jack is preparing for the game in the living room when Kate walks in to reveal she watched the tape. After thanking him for always supporting her and encouraging her to see herself through his eyes, she reveals she’s going to watch the Super Bowl at her friend Molly’s house.
During the game, Rebecca tells Jack that she found a house she wants him to flip. Right on cue, Jack asks her to be his business partner, and she happily agrees.
That night, Rebecca receives a call from Kevin, who apologizes for his rude behavior earlier that day. Although she reassures him that Jack isn’t mad, Kevin refuses to come home and opts to talk it out the next day.
Audio the Rescue Pup
In present day, Kate wrongly accuses Toby (Chris Sullivan) of watching porn on his laptop only to learn he’s looking at dogs online. Since he knows dogs are a sensitive subject for Kate, Toby urges her to forget about it and starts getting ready for work.
Cut to Kate browsing for a four-legged friend at the Forgotten Dog Foundation. When she lays eyes on a small dog named Audio, it’s love at first sight. As she’s filling out the paperwork, she learns the name was derived from the animal’s passion for music. But when she gets a flashback of her childhood dog, she breaks down in tears and tells the employee (Lena Waithe) she can’t keep him.
Later on, Kate debriefs Toby on her failed trip to the shelter. After explaining the situation, she nods toward the living room and—whaddaya know—the “Jacob Tremblay” cute Audio is casually settling into his new home.
Kevin discovers that his mom and Miguel (Jon Huertas) are gone for the day and decides to tackle the list of names he needs to make amends with for his recovery. First up? Randall (Sterling K. Brown), who tells Kevin that he and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are too busy with their new apartment building.
Later on, Beth and Randall are on two completely different pages during a meeting with the new tenants. Suddenly, Kevin appears out of nowhere and explains he’s there to help. The tenants treat him like the celebrity he is, natch.
Kevin and Randall immediately get to work and tackle everything from fixing doors that don’t lock and tearing down walls to plunging toilets and exterminating cockroaches.
Like Father, Like Son
That night, Randall seems surprised by Kevin’s willingness to help and asks if everything is OK. Kevin explains that he needs to make amends with everyone on his list, which he’s finding difficult to do.
Kevin then transitions the conversation to Randall, asking him why he took on this project. Randall says he knows he’s 40 and shouldn’t be taking on a new career, but Kevin reassures him that if Jack could do it, so can he.
Meanwhile, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) opens the door to find Kevin waiting for her. After he assures her he’s doing OK, she admits that she didn’t see it coming. She reveals that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, and if he wants to make amends, he needs to let her go. She urges him to check her name off of his list before saying “goodbye”…for good.
Back at the house, Kevin discovers a package waiting for him. Inside, he finds his dad’s necklace along with a note that says, “Dear Kevin, Got your letter. I found your pendant. Glad you’re sober. —Charlotte.” Kevin emotionally crosses off her name.
The Dreaded Conclusion
In a flashback, Jack hears someone in the kitchen and walks in to find Randall eating a late-night snack. After Randall tells his dad about the movie and—gasp—kiss, Jack seems proud that his son handled himself like a true gentleman.
After Randall leaves, Jack proceeds to do the dishes, sweep the floor and admire the Big Three’s height chart on the wall before turning off the Crock-Pot and heading upstairs to bed.
Cut to Sally and George in their garage, celebrating the fact that a young couple is interested in buying their house. Right on cue, George picks up a box and knocks on the neighbor’s door to reveal Jack and a very pregnant Rebecca. He hands them the box, which contains a Crock-Pot they no longer need. Before leaving, he confesses that they may need to fiddle with the switch to get it to work.
That night, the Crock-Pot light flickers on and off, which causes a dishtowel to catch on fire, followed by the curtains and, of course, the Pearson family’s height chart.
Next week, This Is Us promises to answer all our burning questions about the fire, the towel and the emotional moments that lead to Jack’s death. So. Many. Feels.