‘This Is Us’ Season 2, Episode 14 Recap: Super Bowl Sunday
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
On this week’s special Super Bowl bonus episode of This Is Us, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) finally meets his demise (not the way you think) and the Pearsons honor his memory on the 20th anniversary of his death. Here’s what happened.
Season two, episode 14, titled “Super Bowl Sunday,” opens on Jack waking up to the house ablaze (thanks, Crock-Pot).
The Nightmare We Knew Was Coming
After waking everyone and confirming Kevin (Logan Shroyer) is safe at Sophie’s (Amanda Leighton), Jack gets to work rescuing Rebecca (Mandy Moore), Randall (Niles Fitch) and Kate (Hannah Zeile).
He successfully saves both Pearson children and his wife from the blaze with some serious MacGyver skills, but wait—Louie the dog is still inside! Jacks hears the dog barking and (against his wife’s wishes) makes the risky decision to go back inside. As we all hold our breath, Jack emerges from the flames with the pup in tow. Phew, that was a really close one.
Because he’s Jack Pearson, he somehow manages to collect family albums, Kate’s audition tape and all of our tears before the Pearson house completely burns down.
And the Inevitable Heartbreak
Jack and Rebecca head to the hospital to dress Jack’s wounds and discuss his condition. He inhaled a bunch of smoke, but overall he’s in good shape and refuses to take any painkillers. Jack apologizes to Rebecca for not picking up the batteries for the smoke alarm and still manages to make her swoon before she heads off to make hotel reservations for the family.
While Rebecca is checking on the kids at Miguel’s and making arrangements, Jack suddenly goes into cardiac arrest from the aforementioned smoke inhalation and dies. Rebecca doesn’t believe he’s gone and continues to eat a candy bar until she sees her husband’s body and it all sets in. Cue the heartbreaking montage of memories.
Numb, Rebecca makes her way to Miguel's. She tells him to be strong and then does the hardest thing she’ll ever have to do: break the news to Randall and Kate. Kevin is still at a party in the woods with Sophie, and Kate later finds him to inform him their father is gone.
Twenty Years Later…
Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Audio settle in for her Super Bowl tradition on the 20th anniversary of her father’s death. She pops in the videotape of her audition and tears up just as Toby (Chris Sullivan) enters and tries to turn her frown upside down. But, before Kate’s “catharsis jugular” can really begin, the tape unravels in the VCR.
She and Toby go to get the tape fixed, and Kate reveals what we’ve long suspected: She thinks she’s the reason Jack died. On a happier note, the tape is is fixed and, with the footage safely saved in the Cloud, Kate can go back to grieving. Grateful for his help, Kate tells Toby that she didn’t expect to recover from her father’s death and that meeting Toby helped her learn to really live again.
So. Many. Tears.
A New Normal
New roomies, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Rebecca discuss their typical Super Bowl plans. Kevin usually gets blackout-drunk and tries to snag the most attractive model available. Rebecca buys ingredients for Jack’s favorite lasagna and watches the game while she waits for her late husband to send her a sign he’s watching.
One month sober, it appears Kevin is still trying to adjust. He goes to visit his father’s tree and truly open up to Jack for the first time in a long time. Kevin apologizes for the fact that the last words he uttered to Jack were terrible, he unloads about his addiction and vows to make his late dad proud. But, Kevin’s still Kevin and doesn’t miss a chance to brag that he did a movie with Rocky (Sylvester Stallone).
After his vent sesh, Kevin calls Rebecca to check in and thanks her for being so strong for her family when Jack passed. They commiserate and then it all becomes so clear, this year, Kevin was the sign.
Randall is excitedly preparing for his Super Bowl party with a stadium made of sandwiches and an apron that reads “Hot Dad.” When Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) tries to touch base with Randall on this difficult day, he does the Super Bowl shuffle and says that while “Kate wallows” and “Kevin avoids,” Randall loves the Super Bowl because it was his father’s favorite day.
The pregame coverage gets underway and Randall tries, to no avail, to make a bunch of little girls understand the importance of the game. Suddenly, Annie’s (Faithe Herman) lizard, Mr. McGiggles, is missing! When he’s finally found, let’s just say he’s no longer in a laughing mood. Randall hosts an impromptu funeral for the lizard that gets very dark, very quickly, leading Beth to step in.
Like Father, Like Son
Soon after, Randall notices Tess (Eris Baker) sneaking off and goes to apologize for being out of sorts. She tells him she’s been taking the phone off the hook so that they can’t receive calls from social workers. It’s not that she minds the foster children, it’s that she’s worried her father keeps searching for happiness outside himself. So young, so wise. He gives her a pep talk straight out of the Jack Pearson playbook and, boom, the phone rings and it’s Deja. She’s at the front door.
The Super Bowl is a hard day for the Pearsons, but at least they have each other…and we have all the tissues.