The wolf pack goes on a camping trip on This Is Us Season 2 Episode 5 to fix Kevin and Randall's strained relationship.
What's supposed to be this strong, unbreakable bond between brothers is tainted by Kevin's incessant bullying. Poor Randall, his efforts to get his brother to love him go unnoticed.
Jack's bulletproof strategy involves stealingl a play from the Steelers.
Plus, the wilderness with all its bears and no running toilets, always has a way of bringing out the teamwork in everyone.
Rebecca and Kate stay at home for a girls day, which was ruined when they got a call that Jack's estranged father, Stanley Pearson, was very ill.
Mind you, this was all pre-cell phones so she couldn't just pick up a phone and call or text Jack the news. And realistically, if she had T-Mobile, she probably wouldn't have had service in the woods either way.
Instead, she headed over to the hospital to introduce herself to Jack's dad. It never occurred to me that these two had never met before but with how much he resented his dad, it's not surprising.
Stanley barely spoke a word which is quite the change from the loudmouth bully he was back in the day.
The only thing he could muster up was "is that my granddaughter" when he saw Kate peering in the doorway.
I'm a little disappointed that they didn't evolve that scene further or acknowledge the meeting between Kate and her grandpa. It was just placed there to inform us that there really was no relationship between this father and son.
When Rebecca did finally reach Jack, he confirmed it, stating that he wasn't cutting his trip short because his dad's been dead to him a long time. Cold, but deserved.
Further flashbacks underline what we already knew -- Stanley wasn't the greatest father. During their father and son fishing trip, he left his son in the car for hours while he went to the bar to get hammered.
As Rebecca broke the news that "Jack isn't coming," it echoed little Jack's reassuring statements to himself as he waited in that car repeatedly mumbling, "He's coming back."
And while This Is Us keep Jack's death this overarching mystery, they do provide some clues through flashbacks to his childhood.
As he's looking through old photos, one in particular sticks out. It's from Vietnam. In the photo, he's standing next to a soldier with the last name 'Pearson' printed on the uniform.
We already know he lied about to his friends and family stating he was simply a mechanic when he was on the battlefield, so what else has he been keeping a secret?
Flashbacks reveal that Jack wasn't the only kid in the car waiting for his dad to finish getting drunk. He was with his brother Nicky, who he swore to protect always.
Just so you know, your husband is a great father, and provider, and husband. You think you screwed him up but you didn't, you only made him stronger.Rebecca
We were led to believe this whole time that Jack was an only child, but these extra Pearson's just keep coming out of the woodwork.
Knowing Jack had a younger brother adds a new layer of mystery and motive.
Nicky presumably died in the war since he wasn't present at Jack's wedding or in his adult life.
It also explains the war flashbacks as Jack is coping with addiction; he couldn't protect his bother as promised and lost his best friend. The guilt and PTSD were unbearable causing him to drown his sorrows with liquor.
And that's why it is so important to Jack that Kevin and Randall get along.
The trip also revealed that Kevin has been struggling with facing his emotions his entire life.
Anything that was difficult, painful or challenging, he straight up buried away.
When Kate triggered his emotions by bringing up his dad and subsequently when he hurt his knee -- the same knee that was hurt when his father passed -- it stirred up emotions he was unable to deal with.
It became second nature to not feel anything at all.
The scene that showed him popping his last pill is symbolic of just how far his addiction has gone.
And what's worse is that he's in denial about it all!
Not only is he looking pathetic as he grovels for refills, he's getting angry when the doctor won't give it to him and lying about it to the people he loves.
I seriously hope that this doesn't lead to yet another breakup with Sophie because she keeps him grounded.
Judging by the look on her face, I think she's seen Kevin in this state before. As a nurse, I'd like to think she would notice the signs of someone going through withdrawals. When else have you seen Kevin sweat that much?
No black man will ever be jealous of being auctioned. Hashtag American history.Randall
It didn't help that to calm his nerves, he numbed the pain with alcohol.
During This Is Us Season 2 Episode 4 he said that he wouldn't let his knee take away his career this time, but it's not the knee that's going to bring him down.
I found it odd that Rebecca made it a point to mention that Jack's father was suffering from cirrhosis, so I looked it up thinking maybe it's a clue.
I wasn't entirely mistaken; cirrhosis is defined as chronic liver damage from a variety of causes leading to scarring and liver failure.
Cirrhosis has been linked to excessive and chronic alcohol intake, such as alcoholism. Sound familiar?
Furthermore; one of the symptoms also includes pain and edema in the leg, which is basically leg swelling.
This might be a stretch but Stanley, Jack and now Kevin all showcase three generations of addiction.
It could be possible that Jack also died of cirrhosis. It can be genetic, from what Google tells me, and he did have a drinking problem, which would wreak havoc on the liver.
Kevin could also be suffering from cirrhosis, which is what caused his most recent inflammation in the knee.
Could I totally be reaching for something more here? Of course! But maybe there's something there. Why else would Rebecca even make it a point to tell Jack when he could care less about his father?!
On a lighter note, Kate thinks eight-weeks into her pregnancy is a good time to tell Toby.
She chooses to break the news at his work, of all places.
I'm more thrown off by the fact that Toby has an actual job in the world of IT and that he's some kind of manager with an office. Go, Toby! Why did I always assume he didn't really do anything of importance?
Toby is ecstatic, but Kate quickly shuts it down. Her pregnancy is labeled geriatric, which I personally find weird because she's only 37.
Most people say you should have kids at a young age, but my mom had me at 35, and it wasn't a high-risk pregnancy at all. Nor was there anything odd about it.
Given her weight and lifestyle, the nerves are understandable, but they also take away all the fun of pregnancy; of anticipating this little human life. And she's putting a lot of stress on herself, which materializes in a rant against annoying Madison.
She realizes that part of the joy is actually sharing the news and letting people's excitement pump you up.
When she gives Toby a free pass to tell anyone at the coffee shop, I was preparing for the casual Kate freak-out because obviously, Toby wasn't going to tell just one soul.
Even though his "happy dance" was cringe-worthy, seeing her embrace his excitement and goofiness proves that maybe this pregnancy will unleash a whole new need side of Kate that's less strict and serious.
And hopefully, when the time comes, she'll turn to Randall for some advice on raising kids because he seems to have it all down!
It's been a month since Deja has been living with the Pearson's and she's finally showing some interest, even if it is because she's crushing on Kevin.
An "in" with Deja is a win with Deja you guys.
Just like Beth, I wasn't sure that Deja was ready to attend a gala filled with predominantly white people. Would she lash out? Embarrass Randall?
Thankfully, she proved that she's capable of acting like a proper young lady.
And even though she flinched when Randall tried to teach her shrimp-etiquette, it helped her finally open up about her past struggles with men at former foster homes.
Deja has been through a lot and there are still underlying issues she needs to work through but it's nice that Randall is staying so calm and taking his time with her. She's teaching him equally as much as the Pearson's are teaching her.
Enough time has passed where she's getting the sense of how things operate and knows that these aren't terrible people like the families that took her in beforehand.
What are your thoughts? Were you shocked that Jack has a brother?
You can watch This Is Us online and share your thoughts, comments, concerns with me below!