This Is Us 2×13 Recap: “That’ll Be The Day” – The Last Pearson Family Super Bowl

this is us - 2x13 - stillWe’ve all been waiting on the reveal of Jack’s death for a season and a half now. Although, I’m positive none of us are actually ready for the gut-wrenching episode. While this episode of doesn’t haunt us with the details, it is the day/night of the fire that presumably kills Jack. “That’ll Be The Day” reveals that the last Pearson family Super Bowl ends up being Jack’s last period. Fortunately, at least for me, the tears didn’t come during this episode. However, the preview alone for the next episode, which airs after the 2018 Super Bowl, shattered me. I nearly ugly cried over a 30 second preview. So, at least we have that to look forward to. Yup. So not ready.

Enough of my rambling. Here’s the deets on “That’ll Be The Day”:

Dipping Toes in the Water

Early Super Bowl Sunday, Rebecca’s pumped as she brings Jack a wake-up shot of OJ as he’s reading the paper. He’s checking the real estate section because he’s decided to take a logical approach to starting up Big Three Homes. Instead of quitting his job, he’s going to dip his toes in a bit by flipping a few houses. Rebecca thinks it’s a great idea. They ponder how it’s their last Super Bowl day before the kids leave for college. Kate comes in complaining that Randall’s been in the bathroom for an hour. Rebecca tries to get Kate to understand, but Jack yells for Randall to get out. When Kate leaves, Jack and Rebecca down their OJ shots, and the day begins.this is us - 2x13 - jack and rebecca toast

Later, Rebecca shows Jack a listing she thinks would be perfect to dip his toes into. She’s even already called the realtor. It’s then that Jack propositions her to be his business partner. She did do a great job with their house after all. Rebecca loves the idea and agrees before they get all lovey-dovey. I love them so much, but it makes my heart so sad. ☹

Kevin’s Tude, Randall’s Date, and Kate’s Confidence

This week, the teens are pretty angsty. It’s to be expected, though, with college looming just around the corner. Randall’s probably the least angsty. He’s just smitten with the red head (Allison) from the mall. She came over for the super bowl party, but they both bail to go see The Titanic. Jack isn’t too happy about Randall missing the game, but lets his son go anyways. He later returns home with a goofy grin and confesses to his dad that he got his first kiss. Awww!

Meanwhile, Kate finds out she’s in the final round of applicant’s for Berklee School of Music. She just needs to submit another audition tape, preferably one of her own songs. Rebecca and Jack, of course, get super excited for her. Jack offers to video tape her audition, but Kate declines. Jack doesn’t listen, though, and secretly video tapes her singing. She catches him and cops an attitude. She tells him to stop calling her beautiful because it doesn’t work anymore☹. Later, she watches the video and tells Jack to never stop trying to make her see herself the way he sees her. Unfortunately, she still bails on watching the game as well.this is us - 2x13 - young kate

I understand Kevin’s woes about his dreams being crushed, but his attitude towards his parents is getting on my nerves. This week he’s sulking about filling out the application for community college. He even mocks Jack’s interest in the entertainment center he built – as long as his hands are busy, they aren’t reaching for the booze. When Sophie tells Kevin she got into NYU, he whines about how he’s supposed to play in the super bowl, not watching. Now he’s destined for community college. He bails on the watching the game and goes to Sophie’s instead. He later calls to apologize, but tells his mom he’ll talk to his dad the next day. – Sigh. ☹

Fire Starter

Throughout the episode, there are scenes of an older couple, George and Sally, going through the junk in their garage. Their house has been on the market for three months, and they haven’t gotten one bite. Sally insists it’s because of all the junk and tells George to get rid of it – even his juke box. He reminisces about how she always used to come into his diner and “That’ll Be the Day” would be playing. He doesn’t want to get rid of that. The sweet story, however, doesn’t change Sally’s mind, and she still wants him to clean it all out.

At first, I thought the couple’s home would be bought by Jack and Rebecca for Jack. Nope. George gets a box from his garage and takes it across the street to soon-to-be parents, Jack and Rebecca. They happily accept the used crock pot as George explains that you have to fidget with the nob a little.this is us - 2x13 - fire and memories

Fast Forward 17-18 years, and Rebecca’s still using that crock pot for the Pearson’s annual Super Bowl event. The day didn’t go as planned. Jack wakes up that night thinking Kevin finally came home, but it was just Randall who had a special night. After Randall heads to bed, Jack takes some time to clean up the Super Bowl food. He flips the crock pot off, writes a note to Kevin, and pets the dog before heading back to bed. Something glitches at the nob of the crock pot and it catches fire to everything around it. As the fire spreads, we see glimpses of memories at the Pearson family home before the episode ends.

Growing Older

In the present, Beth and Randall have bought William’s old apartment building. Randall is all gung-ho to get started, while Beth – who knows the business – is thinking more logically. At the meeting with the tenants, Randall promises to fix small things before Beth can talk about the larger issues. Just as Beth gives her husband the look, Kevin shows up and steals all the attention. Before Beth leaves for work, Randall promises that he can do everything he promised, but she knows better.

So, Randall and Kevin divide up the list and tackle the promised repairs – gun show and all! 😉 Kevin knocks down a wall with a female audience – LOL! Randall’s repairs, however, reveal a bigger problem – cockroaches, hundreds of them. EW! So all the residents have to relocate for the night so the exterminator can do their job. Randall practically has to drag Kevin away from the job. Like his father, staying busy means staying sober. He also admits he can’t make amends with some people – more on this later.this is us - 2x13 - kevin and randall

Randall turns the conversation around to how he’s growing older and how he’s running out of time. He makes note of how their father died young, and he’s already been gone longer than they had him. The realization causes them both to pause before Kevin assures his brother, “You’re going to be a great old man, by the way, like your other dad.” Aww 😊

Making Amends

We’ve noted before that Kevin’s been trying to make amends since getting out of rehab. After he leaves Randall, he finds himself waiting outside Sophie’s apartment. When she shows up, he offers his sincerest apology. She gives a sad speech about how all she wants is to be left with the past when things were good. He says she wasn’t just a name on his amends list, she was the name. It’s clear he means it, but she still tells him goodbye.this is us - 2x13 - kevin

When he returns to his mom’s house, there’s an envelope waiting for him. It’s an apology letter from Charlotte along with his dad’s pendant necklace. He pulls out his list of people to make amends with and checks off a few more names before turning it over to reveal the last name: Dad. Ugh, my heart!

Doggy Days

Elsewhere, Kate catches Toby looking at dogs on Petfinder. He knows dogs are a sore subject, but he fell down a doggy-hole when his co-worker started showing off his new pooch. As much as Toby wants one, he respects Kate’s feelings and drops the subject. However, she sneaks off to one of the shelters and instantly falls in love with a cutie named Audio.

As the shelter worker goes to get some paperwork, though, Kate reflects back on her dog as a kid. It brings her to tears as she tearfully apologizes to Audio. He comes with a lot of baggage out of his control. She walks out before the worker comes back. I know I should feel bad for Kate, but all I wanted to do was snatch that cute puppy up and snuggle him.this is us - 2x13 - toby and kate new dog

Kate goes home and admits to Toby that she went to the shelter and what happened. She describes Audio as Jacob Tremblay cute before saying she backed out at the last minute. The disappointment is evident on Toby’s face, but he’s still understanding. Then Kate says that she turned around because she knows how happy Toby would be if he had a dog. Toby gets super excited as she tells him to look down the hall. Welcome to the family, Audio! 😊

This Is Us airs directly after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 4th on NBC!

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