Last week’s This Is Us wasn’t a This Is Us. It was election coverage. Go Dems! So to bring you up to speed on what to expect from tonight’s episode of This Is Us, here you go — Kevin wants to go to Vietnam with Zoe to track down the woman his father knew, and we may learn more about Jack’s Vietnam story. Namely, what happened after meeting up with little brother Nicky.
First, the necklace. A woman takes it off of someone’s body who died in the war. That guy found it in a bar. But, now it’s time for the great brother reconnection. As we left off, Jack was brought by helicopter to meet with his brother.
“Jack. Is that really you?” Nicky asks. “If you die out here, that’s not on me.” But Nicky still has mixed feelings, not believing he’s even present. It’s a little spooky. Jack asks him what he’s on, and Nicky just laughs. He was charged with an Article 15, so he doesn’t think he’s going anywhere. “It’s just a nickname, man,” Nicky says. “You’re not Superman, man! It’s just a stupid nickname.” Well, that hurts. This isn’t the same Nicky we once knew.
On The Way To L.A.
Jack’s road trip with Rebecca to Los Angeles is a little more positive. They’re officially out of Pittsburgh and talking about the record label that Rebecca is set to meet with. They’re the same label that signed Joni Mitchell. Like a real romantic, Jack notes Rebecca is way better.
“I love being from Pittsburgh, but something it just feels a little small,” she says. They’ll be staying with her friend Nicole while they’re there. They also learn they both like turkey, which is a win! Finally, something they have in common.
Speaking of travel, Kevin and Zoe hit Vietnam. After taking a photo, Zoe wants to make sure Kevin doesn’t tag her on Instagram. But, it’s nothing related to Kevin. Her father lives in China, and she doesn’t want him to know she’s close by.
Flashback to the war. Jack talks to someone and thinks he can get Nicky back on the right path. “He’s not cut out for this,” he says. “That’s why I’m here.” But supposedly, he’s too late. Nicky has already screwed up too much. Jack then tells a story about how, when Nicky saw a big spider as a kid, he removed it safely. Their father, on the other hand, destroyed them. But, the officer doesn’t tear up at that story. They don’t pair brothers together, and that’s final.
Kevin’s time in Vietnam is a little more enjoyable. He’s eating fun foods and trying to get to know Zoe. What was dinner like for her as a kid? “Dinner is dinner,” she says. Kevin sees something and does to excuse himself. It’s a necklace, which looks a little like the one he’s peeling the wallpaper over. “Do you sell a lot of these?” he asks the jeweler. And, yep. Many, many many.
Jack is out to eat with Rebecca, asking her more about her record label connection. He has no doubt about the fact that the label will fall in love with her. Her big dream is opening for Neil Young and going on the road. She just loves watching people dance while she sings. That’s a perfect cue for Jack to lead her to a slow dance.
At the hotel, things are very casual. Rebecca watches Jack take his shirt off, and the two joke later, but then they kiss! And it’s magical! But they still sleep in separate beds at first, but that doesn’t last the whole night. Montage to them doin’ it and getting closer and closer during this sexy trip across the country.
It’s all super hot until the morning where Jack has night terrors about the war. He’s a little bit standoffish about it, which kills the mood a little. Rebecca tries to ask him if they’re common, and he says he doesn’t remember them much. But he also doesn’t want to talk about it.
Back in Vietnam, Jack tries to get back to his own camp. Cut to, Jack and Rebecca cruising in California. They made it! They’re at Nicole’s house. She’s an actress from Pittsburgh who was just in a paper towel commercial. The house itself is a party. Nicole calls her “Becky,” but she’s the only person who’s allowed to call her that. Jack goes to grab drinks while the two catch up.
Rebecca confides in Nicole and says that there’s still a lot she doesn’t know a lot about Jack. But no matter what, she wants to be wherever he is. If only he let her in.
Kevin is a little discouraged based on the necklace. Turns out, there aren’t any big origins behind it. He’s really upset, and take it out on Zoe — since, there’s a lot about her own father she’s a little secretive about. She wants to go back to the hotel since she doesn’t feel well. And, then she vomits on a tree.
Jack, traveling with Bao in Vietnam makes a stop. Jack, on guard, sees a bunch of children before the two speed off once again.
In California, he opens up to Rebecca saying that he can’t talk about it — what he did, and what he saw. He doesn’t want to bring that part of his life into his relationship. He drops her off at the record label and wishes her good luck. She wishes him good luck with “yours, too,” since she doesn’t know much about the friend he’s supposedly meeting up with.
Rebecca’s Big Meeting
The record label seems to like Rebecca, but write her off and ask her to keep them posted. “Can you actually be a little more specific with your feedback?” she says. They want to see a show. From there, they’ll keep in touch. “Please, I drove a really long way,” she says. “I think you’re Pittsburgh good,” the label head says. OUCH.
Jack meets up with the Waterson’s. He introduces himself to the Mr. and Mrs. and says he’s responsible for their son’s death. OUCH.
War-Jack straight up asks if Bao is a good guy or bad guy. Bao speeds away on his motorcycle. I think I missed something here. But LA-Jack, at the Waterson house, tells the parents that his war memories are murky. The guy, in particular, was named Roger. The two were playing football, and Roger ended up getting blown up on a landmine. “I let my guard down,” he says with tears. “Taking my eye off your son, that was the worst thing I did. And I take responsibility. I take full responsibility.” He’s sorry and thinks that Roger was one of the good ones.
“It wasn’t your fault, son,” Mr. Waterson says. Obviously, this moment of forgiveness digs into Jack’s pure soul.
Cut to Kevin. He brings Zoe either coconut water or suntan lotion while she’s in the tub. He can’t read the label. Kevin mentioned that his dad kept the first 28 years a secret from his mom, and while that worked for his parents (did it?) it won’t work for him. He wants to know about Zoe’s life. “If I can’t, that’s okay,” he says. “Because you smell like peaches.” Well, right now she smells like garbage. But mostly it’s peaches. Also, she keeps snacks in her purse. And also, he’s falling in love with her. Whoa.
“My father sexually abused me,” she admits. “He tries to contact me every so often and make amends. But I have no interest. I’ve moved on.” She notes she’s not saying it because he asked, or because of the L-bomb. But because he’s already ruined so much for her, and she doesn’t want him to ruin this as well.
Bak to Rebecca and Jack. They both, obviously, had tough times apart. Rebecca confides that she was just “Pittsburgh good,” but said that she’ll take that as a compliment. Jack calls her “Bec” and asks her to sing for him. She totally digs the new nickname and sings a tune. That tune? Well, it makes Jack break down. Cue a This Is Us end-of-episode montage!
First, it’s Jack’s time in Vietnam. Eating a can of beans by the campfire, he runs into the girl with the necklace. She runs away. They also cut to a scene where Nicky and Jack reunite, and Jack is told he has two weeks to make things right with him. “You should have let me rot,” Nicky yells. And that’s it. But surely, there’ll be more. This show loves to keep shit open-ended.
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