“This Is Us” knows what its job is — to make viewers cry — and it succeeds at said job every week.
But on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Eagles pulled off an improbable win and Justin Timberlake failed to wow the halftime show crows, “This Is Us” stepped up its game and killed off Jack Pearson.
It wasn’t the fire, it turns out. Not per se. It wasn’t the Crock Pot and it wasn’t the dog and it wasn’t the fire.
“When you lose someone suddenly, and unexpectedly, it hurts differently. I had a tooth that got infected once. Woke me from the dead of sleep, middle of the night. It was this dull, throbbing, excruciating pain, it was awful,” Randall says at the funeral for a lizard.
“But then, the pain changed. It became sharper. Like sudden, direct bursts of pain that came out of nowhere. Boom, boom, like a lightning strike. That’s what unexpected loss is like. It’s like a lightning bolt you can’t even see reaching inside of you and tearing out your guts.”
It wasn’t the Crock Pot and it wasn’t the dog and it wasn’t the fire. It was a doctor who didn’t pay enough attention. It was smoke inhalation that caused stress on his lungs, and then his heart. It was cardiac arrest.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Kate watches the tape of her singing on Jack’s last day. Kevin gets blackout drunk and sleeps with an attractive woman. Rebecca makes his favorite lasagna. Randall celebrates.
But everyone is sad, because that’s what “This Is Us” does. It makes you sad. It makes you cry.