This Is Us Crew, what’s up? We’re finally back. I know what you’re thinking. Why is this reaction coming on a Thursday? That’s because I could not watch the premiere on Tuesday thanks to Chance The Rapper. So I had to get through all day yesterday spoiler free until I was finally able to watch it last night. Quick shoutout to me for avoiding any spoilers on social media. I was miserable not being able to read about the episode. This was me trying to avoid spoilers.
Anyways, let’s get into my reaction.
Season 2, Episode 1 Reaction: A Father’s Advice
– Obviously, we are going to get into the last scene, but let’s talk about what else happened before that. For starters, the episode as a whole felt like a second date. You met a new person, asked them out on a first date, had a good time, and figured you’d run it back. Nothing monumental happened on the date, but you were just glad to be with that person again. That was this episode for me. It was basically a reintroduction to the show after a long hiatus. Kind’ve a “let’s get our feet wet first before we jump in at the end.” Was this the best episode? Of course not, but it was just nice to have it back on TV.
– Happy Birthday, Big Three!
– It’s clear who the best actors on the show are and that’s Randall and William. Their interactions are by far the best and I’ll even throw Beth into the mix. I loved the scene at William’s favorite spot between Beth and William. Despite all that William has done for Randall, Beth still feels left out. It’s a really raw moment and shows why she wants to alter their adoption plans.
– “Sheets are for long-term guests.” Confident much, Jack?
– Everyone knows I’m an adult Kevin guy, but teenage Kevin is a hugeeeee dick. I actually think it’s going to get worse and I can tell by the last scene because Kevin was not there in the living room. Hence, there had to be a falling out.
– Is it me or does Jack talk like a young Robert De Niro? I don’t know what it is, but it’s like his mouth always forms a perfect “O” when he talks. All of the words sound like he needs to use more teeth. Please keep reading this review. It will get better.
– To be honest, I’m not crazy about the Kate – Toby – Kevin triangle. I prefer Kate and Toby as one story and Kevin and Sophie as another story. I also loved how when Kate was shut down at the audition because it was not because of her weight, but her talent alone. Since Season 1 was about Kate’s feelings about her body and it definitely is still an issue for her, it was nice to see that someone didn’t see her for her looks and judged her purely on talent.
– Jack is an alcoholic. A lot of people think that perhaps Jack died in a car accident, but after the final scene scene, it looks like it was something else.
– Ok I can’t keep pretending I’m interested in anything else besides the final scene.
– Jinkies, a clue! No offense to the rest of the episode, everyone was waiting for the big reveal and we got it in the form of a house fire.
– So before last night, I was on Team Plane Crash to Pittsburgh as the reason for Jack’s death. This house pretty much says that Jack did not die in a plane crash. Why am I confident? The creator confirmed that “the fire is directly responsible. That is the cause of death.” So the next question is “how?”
– Chekhov’s gun. If you’re not familiar with Chekhov’s gun, it says that every element in a story is necessary. If an element is not necessary in the plot, remove it. Dan Fogelman (creator) said to watch the last two minutes of the episode like the Zapruder film. These are the clues and it’s our job to figure it out.
– Taking this into consideration, these were the clues that stood out to me: fire, destroyed house, Pittsburgh jersey, Jack’s belongings, a dog, Kevin’s cast, a girl with Randall (probably his girlfriend), Kate said ‘she has to be the one to tell Kevin’, Kevin not present at Miguel’s house.
- First theory – Kate burns down the house and Jack dies in the fire.
- Second theory – A fire burns down the house, Jack heroically saves someone / something and dies in hospital.
- Third theory – Miguel and Jack are in the house when fire happens. Miguel lives, Jack dies. Big Three blame Miguel for life.
– Those were kind’ve my basic thoughts. I’m usually not a big fan theory guy, but I went on Reddit and A LOT of new theories are being thrown around. If you don’t want to read them, by all means, stop reading this review. If you do, I’m just going to explain the ones that make sense to me and finally give you my prediction.
- Kate started the fire: Fire started in Kate’s room, Jack saves everyone, but gets sent to hospital via injuries. Kids stay at Miguel’s while Kevin, who was injured in the fire, hangs out with Sophie. Rebecca goes to visit Jack in hospital, but he dies.
- Washing Machine Theory: The messed up washing machine causes the fire. Kevin moves back upstairs after he breaks his leg so Kate then sleeps downstairs. Somehow, Kate uses / messes up the washing machine and it cause the fire. Jack dies in it.
- Dog Theory: Fire starts in the house while watching a Steelers game. Everyone escapes, but Jack goes back in for Kate’s dog. He dies.
– A lot of these theories make sense and a lot of them are extremely out there. Things that I didn’t mention above that got me thinking: 1) Why does no one smoke? Beth and Randall had a moment where they “fake smoke.” Are the Big Three afraid of smoking because that’s what caused the fire? 2) Kevin’s planes: a lot of people are saying how Kevin threw out his planes when Jack dies. How could he throw them out if the house burned down? Also, the house represents Jack. The house holds everything together. When it crumbles, the family crumbles. Jack holds and protects the family like a house.
– Taking every theory into consideration, this is my theory as of now: Some time before the fire, Kevin breaks his leg and has a falling out with either Jack or Randall. This is why Kevin is not present in the end. The rest of the family gathers to watch a Steelers game on television, which is why Kate says it’s so important to watch the game with her dad’s ashes. Kate starts the fire somehow (I think it’s via cigarette) and the house begins to burn down. Everyone makes it out alive besides the new dog. Knowing that it means a lot to her, Jack runs back into the house to save the dog, which he does. However, Jack is injured / severely burned and rushed to the hospital. Rebecca goes to hospital while the kids stay at Miguel’s. Jack dies in front of Rebecca. Rebecca takes his things and goes home. Kevin knows nothing at this point and since she feels it is her fault, Kate feels she has to tell Kevin the truth. The end.
So that’s how I’m ending this reaction. It’s long so thank you for reading. My final prediction: A lot of Season 2 will be figuring out what happened leading up to the fire. The finale shows us how the fire starts and Jack dies in Season 3.
See you next week!