Well, This Is Us Season 2 Episode 14 really brought on the waterworks.
As the lead-out Super Bowl episode, the series delivered on their promise of unveiling the mystery of Jack's death.
As much as we thought we wanted the answers, I don't think many of us were prepared for them.
In the words of adult-Kate, "I cry so much these days."
Super Bowl Sunday picked up with the fire that's spreading throughout the house. Jack woke up in the middle of the night and realized there's smoke coming through the bedroom door. When he opened it, he saw the house was ablaze.
Instead of freaking out, Jack remained his calm and collected self. That attitude is what secured his family's safety.
He briskly ran through the flames to pull Randall into the bedroom and then did the same to collect Kate.
Thankfully, Rebecca informed him that Kevin WASN'T in the house, so he didn't go back to save their first-born as we believed.
When he got to Kate's room, he realized the fire was too widespread; he took a mattress to shield them from the flames, but he didn't come out unscathed.
Those last few scenes of alive Jack attest to his character. He was a father first and foremost doing everything to protect his children. As Kate later said, he risked his life because he couldn't bear to disappoint her.
While most of us thought Jack perished in the fire, that wasn't the case. That would be too easy; it would provide too few tears.
Jack made sure he saved his whole family, and as expected, returned for the dog.
And he came out victorious, even managing to scoop up some valuables in the process. That's just who Jack Pearson was. It's why we loved him, it's why Rebecca still loves him, and it's why the kids can't properly grieve for him.
Everything that followed his successful escape from the flames was problematic. While Jack seemed to be functioning just fine, I think after inhaling that much smoke, the paramedics should have been quicker to get him to the ER.
It was the '90s. They should have had better equipment. Did they really run every single possible test to rule out smoke damage? How was it possible that his tests were fine, but he had a heart attack?
Once again. I am NOT a doctor so maybe this is common. (If it is, please tell me.)
When I realized Jack hadn't perished in the fire, I thought the death wouldn't hurt as much. I was gravely mistaken.
Rebecca calling the kids and telling them they'd be home soon right before he passed away unexpectedly hurt more than I could have imagined.
It was the realization that they'd avoided the most traumatic moment of their lives — they all got out safely — but what killed Jack was the result of going above and beyond for his family.
It was a hard pill to swallow. Mandy Moore, girl, I give you props and then some for those scenes at the hospital. When you cried, I cried. When you bit into that chocolate bar, I understood.
The doctors were scrambling behind her, yet she had no idea her whole life was about to be flipped upside down.
Showing Jack in the reflection of the hospital door was more effective than showing him lifeless in the hospital room.
He was an exceptional human but his death was average. I'm not taking away from heart attack victims, but he simply died in the hospital from complications like so many people do on a daily basis. Who would have thought?
And I have to ruin the rest of their lives. I have to be strong for them. God help me, I have to be strong for them and if you can't be strong for them you have to take a walk around the block until you can.Rebecca
I shed so many tears when Rebecca told the kids. She was so powerful.
It would have been fine if she broke down, but instead, she held it together knowing that they needed a rock. Jack was their rock, and in his absence, she needed to become their rock.
As I watched, every part of my body felt numb, which is probably how Rebecca felt at that moment.
In the present day, the kids were dealing with the 20th anniversary of their father's passing.
We now know why Kate blamed herself — Jack "technically" died rescuing the dog. Had he not gone back inside, would he have gotten the heart attack? Who really knows?
Kate tried to spend the day blaming herself, but of course, her VHS tape crapped out. Was it possibly a sign that maybe she should let it go? That's what you get for still using VHS in 2018!
Toby thankfully "knew a guy" who was able to transfer the tape to the cloud. It's a lot safer, especially since this is the last memory she has of her father on the day of his death.
While she didn't actually let Toby in on her feelings, she at least allowed him to be a part of the moment. It's more than she's ever really done for him.
He saved her the way Jack saved her so many times; Jack would have liked him — someone taking care of his Katie girl.
While Kate wallowed, Kevin avoided. However, it's nearly impossible to avoid such a big anniversary when you're living at your mother's house.
Seeing the way Rebecca celebrates Super Bowl Sunday aka Jack's death broke my heart. I am so appreciative of Miguel, who gives her the space she needs to cook up Jack's lasagna and watch the game with him in spirit.
Every year your father finds a way to send me a laugh.Rebecca
Those of you who don't like Miguel? He was Jack's best friend, and it hurts him too!
Kevin needed to find his own way to mourn his father. Since that he didn't find out about what happened until much later, it really is harder for him to come to grips with it.
He didn't end things on a good note with his dad; he never said he was sorry. He didn't get to say goodbye.
Still, he drove out to his dad's resting place to have a little chat.
How tough was it to see Kevin sitting by that tree pouring his heart out? It's so apparent that the kids needed their father for so much of their lives, and even though Rebecca tried her hardest it didn't make up for it.
Kevin told Jack that he would have been disappointed in him, but I doubt that. He could have given him some pointers to deal with his hardships, but he'd never be disappointed.
Kevin promised to "make him proud," so I say bring it. Show us what you got Kevin. Although, I'm already proud.
Eventually, he caved and went to watch the game with his mother, and I got tingles thinking that this year, Jack sent her Kevin.
Do the deceased really stick around? Who knows. But it's nice to think that they do. It's nice to think that they take the time out of their day to send us little messages.
Randall used the "celebration" excuse to mask his true feelings about the anniversary. That became apparent during his eulogy for Mr. McGiggles. (RIP lizard!)
Did anyone else love seeing Beth nervously navigate Randall's "celebrations" knowing they could quickly turn dark? She's the real MVP!
I'm gunna go in the kitchen and get that and I'm never coming back.Beth
While I always enjoy scenes with Randall's family, I was blown away when they revealed that the foster worker and that little boy who we thought was the Pearson's next foster child was actually adult Tess Pearson.
We're nearing three generations here, guys. The timelines are getting hard to keep track of, but also, aged Randall? That was everything.
I was watching the episode with my best friend and both of our jaws dropped at that moment.
After it was revealed, I couldn't help thinking, "how did we not SEE THAT COMING!?" The adult version of Tess looks just like little Tess. We were so preoccupied with the cute boy, we completely missed it!
This means we'll be seeing Randall's children as adults and possibly Kate and Kevin's children if they choose to have them.
And that means ADULT adult versions of Kate, Randall, and Kate. Seriously, it just keeps getting better and better!
This series will never run out of storylines!
I also really enjoyed Deja's return. It was nice to see her in the final scene, though I hope we get some clarification on it. Why did she return? Does her real mother know? Will she be moving back in?
There's a lot of potential there.
The good news is, I lived through this episode. And I don't think the series is getting any sadder anytime soon.
I mean, there's the funeral coming up on This Is Us Season 2 Episode 15, but I think we're well equipped for whatever is to come.
I'll leave you with the fact that Jack was an extraordinary man who died in an ordinary way while still being a hero. His legacy has lived on and shaped the Pearson children. Heck, it's shaping us, too.
Make sure to watch This Is Us online for more heroism and leave those comments below to tell us what you loved/hated!