After all these months of watching This Is Us and fans heaping hero worship onto the character of Jack, we now saw in the season finale tonight that he’s just like the rest of us. He is flawed. He’s not perfect. He can be mean. He can be inconsiderate. He can be selfish.
But more than that, we saw that Jack and Rebecca’s relationship is not unlike our own. It’s not the perfect relationship They had their struggles just as the rest of us do. They fight. They get angry. They struggle to remember why they love the other person. They suggest time apart.
But just as they have those negative aspects at this point in their relationship, they also have the extremely good times in their relationship that we need to remember in our own. They had a very magical first meeting. They both needed that other person in their life right at that moment. He needed to be saved from going down a really bad path in his life. She needed someone to appreciate her and her talent once again.
However, again, just like the rest of us, they seem to have forgotten all they found in each other in the beginning. All she could remember is that she was tied to being a stay-at-home to three teenagers who no longer need her. She lost a sense of who she was before her kids, kids that we know mean everything to her. But she’s struggling to find something else in her life, just as he has the whole time as well, always dreaming of starting his own construction company.
They’re both in the same boat, but they’re handling it in different ways. They both loved their lives with their children so much, but they both recognize they need something more. She handled it by going out and finding it. She found that singing career again that she gave up so long ago. He handled it by going out and drinking.
But by doing that they were both reaching into what was comfortable to them. She was comfortable singing. It’s all she knew other than being a mom and wife. He was comfortable in a very dark side of himself, drinking and stealing money. They both sunk back into the people they were before they met each other.
And after all that, we’re still left with the question of how Jack dies. We’ll have to wait awhile to get that answer. The show creator spoke this past week and said it will be quite awhile before we find out. Right now it’s the cornerstone of the series, so he doesn’t want to give up that answer too soon. Yet he also doesn’t want viewers to become frustrated.
In those terms I think he did his job well this week. He gave us other things to think about with Jack and Rebecca other than just how he dies. He made us go back and examine their relationship, both the good and bad, just as we do with our own, or that we need to do with our own.
And that goes back to the true cornerstone of the series. It found a way to take us back to what it’s about. It’s about family. It’s about life. We forgot about that the past few weeks just wanting to know the secret about Jack’s death as well as worrying about William. But with this season finale, the show got back to its roots. Family. Life. Real family. Real life. A real relatioship. And with that it has a great springboard for season two.