This Is Us – Season 2 – Episode 13 – “That’ll be the day.”I'm re-posting this recap because of the typos in the original one. I apologize for that. Flashback
-This week’s episode starts off with an older couple going through old boxes as they prepare to sell their house. The wife doesn’t believe anyone wants to buy a house filled with old stuff. As she removes a dusty cover from an old jukebox, the husband reminds her that she used to play that jukebox when she came into his diner. Her song of choice was “That’ll be the day” by Buddy Holly. He sings a few lines as they dance but she still wants him to throw it out.
Rebecca greets Jack, in bed, with pregame shots of orange juice, per their tradition, substituting whiskey for vitamin C this year. As he peruses through the real estate ads, he tells her that since he can’t just quit his job to start a new company, he should try flipping houses. Rebecca thinks that’s a good idea.
Kate interrupts them to complain about Randall hogging the bathroom. Rebecca thinks he just wants to look nice for Allison, a girl he likes. Once Jack gets Randall to get out of the bathroom, he and Rebecca are reminded that this is their last Super Bowl together with the kids, as they’ll all be heading to college soon.Flashforward
– Kevin has a list of people he needs to make amends with. He texts Randall several times before Randall replies that he “cannot do a K-venture today” because he’s heading to the apartment building to do work.
Randall (bought William’s old apartment building in last week’s episode)
is super excited about fixing it up while Beth is concerned about him going broke. Beth cautions Randall about taking his time over several months and try not to conquer the impossible in a day.
Kate comes upon Toby, looking at what she thought was porn, since he quickly closed his laptop. After she wrestles the laptop away from him, she finds that he was actually looking at dogs. He’s aware that dogs are a sensitive issue for Kate, but he couldn’t help himself after a coworker brought pictures of his adorable dog to work.
Beth and Randall introduce themselves, as the new landlords, of the tenants in the old building. They discuss how they will repair the building, starting with a list of priorities Beth made. But Rosemary needs her front door fixed, Lloyd needs his heater fixed and other tenants chime in about the washing machines, elevators, dumpsters, etc. When Randall starts another list, Beth thinks he’s moving too fast. Then Kevin shows up.Flashback
- Jack is putting the finishing touches on a built-in wall unit for the TV. He wants Kevin’s opinion about it, but Kevin (on crutches) really doesn’t care and says he has to fill out college applications at Rebecca’s insistence. Jack explains that he’s trying to keep himself busy. Rather than picking up a drink when he gets the urge, he picks up a hammer instead.Flashforward
- The tenant meeting is dispersing when Kevin offers to take on a task on Randall’s list, fixing Rosemary’s door. Beth attempts to point something out to Randall but he beats her to the punch, by saying all the things he thinks she was going to say. He knows he shouldn’t make promises that are hard to keep. He knows his excitement has gotten the best of him. But he feels he can do it because after all, his dad (Jack) was in construction. It’s in his blood. And with that, Beth gathers her things and leaves for work, wishing Randall the best of luck on her way out. He’s gonna need it.
Kevin, still wearing his leather jacket, is explaining his old show to Rosemary as he fixes her door. Once he’s done, he asks if there’s anything else he can do. Jokingly, she tells him about a wall her ex put up, which blocks the natural light. Flashforward
- Randall and his friend Allison are decorating football shaped cookies while Kevin fills out a college application. Jack is excited about the game. Allison asks Kevin if he’s applying at the same college as Sophie. Sarcastically, he says no. Rebecca says Kevin has to adjust his plans and he will go to community college and later transfer to a different college. Kevin (In a constant pissy mood) gets up to leave, eye roll and all.
Kate is nervous about a reply to her application. Jack snatches (what they hope is her acceptance)
letter and opens it. It says she’s in the final round of applicants and needs to send in an original audition piece. Jack tries to convince her to send in a video of her singing, but Kate insists on an audio instead.
As Mama & Papa Pearson look on at Randall smiling and laughing with his love interest Allison, they take comfort in knowing that at least Randall still likes them. Flashforward
- Kevin, armed with a sledgehammer and Randall, carrying a tool box, make their way down a hall in the apartment building. Randall is feeling like Mr. Fix-it as he rolls up his sleeve, minus a cigarette pack. (The look on Kevin’s face as Randall does this, is priceless.)
In Rosemary’s apartment, Kevin, in his tank top, starts hammering at the wall. Rosemary is an audience of one at the moment. She sips her beverage and watches the “Manny” at work.
Randall is in Lloyd’s apartment, having a difficult time removing something from the wall. Lloyd looks on, unimpressed.
Back at Rosemary’s, she is joined by a few of her female neighbors, one of them records Kevin on her phone. Randall is now trying to unclog a toilet. A tenant observes as Randall then tries to flush the toilet using his feet. Kevin finishes the wall.
Kate visits an animal shelter, just to browse because her fiancé wants a dog. She tells an employee that she isn’t quite ready for one herself. Once she spots a dog named Audio, she gets excited.Flashback
– Kate, while singing into a microphone, records herself as she sits on her bed, in front of her mirror. Jack, secretly recording her on video, stays in the background so she doesn’t see him. Then Kate’s dog barks at Jack, disrupting Kate. When she sees that her dad is videotaping her, she becomes upset, yelling for him to stop and realize this is too stressful for her. She leaves. Jack tells her not to be mad at him because it’s Super Bowl Sunday.
Randall comes upstairs as Kate is leaving. Jack reminds him that the game is starting soon, but Randall has a change of plans and wants to take Allison to see “Titanic” for the seventh time. Jack is a bit disappointed, but he understands and tells him to go.
Jack catches up with Kate outside and apologizes. It’ll break his heart if the reason she doesn’t want to be on camera is because she doesn’t think she’s beautiful enough. Kate cuts him off, saying she doesn’t see herself the way he sees her and neither does anyone else. Reluctantly, Jack agrees to stop complimenting her if it makes her feel awkward.Flashforward
– Randall, feeling quite accomplished, calls Beth to needle her about her doubts and let her know that things are going smoothly. He teases that “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but his apartment building was”. While still talking to Beth, Lloyd shouts for him.
Randall is startled to see an invasion of cockroaches running out of a hole in the wall he made earlier. Beth asks if “there’s trouble in Rome, Caesar?” before Randall hurriedly hangs up.Flashback
- While Rebecca is struggling with a crock-pot, Kevin takes a call from Sophie. She got accepted into NYU and is going to celebrate with her parents. Kevin, halfheartedly, congratulates her before hanging up. Kevin is once again, rude to Rebecca when she tries to be encouraging about his own situation. He says he’s pissed and wishes she would shut up about community college. Jack warns him about how he talks to his mother. Kevin is frustrated that he’s not on his way to the Super Bowl (as in his football career)
and is instead going to watch the Super Bowl with them. Then he decides not to even do that, he appoints himself the “bad guy again” and leaves for Sophie’s house. Jack and Rebecca are disappointed that another Pearson has left.
Kate, in her room with her dog, decides to look at the video Jack recorded earlier. As she looks at herself singing, she sees Jack’s reflection in the mirror. He seems very proud as he smiles at her. Kate watches this part of the tape again.Flashforward
- After Kate reveals that she’s a singer with a flexible schedule, she finds out that the reason the shelter named the dog Audio, is because he likes music. While waiting on Audio’s vaccination report, to finish up the paperwork, Kate flashes to the dog she had as a teen. Then she changes her mind about Audio. She doesn’t think it’ll work. She apologizes to him and leaves.
Randall relocates his tenants to a hotel and some of them feel like it’s an eviction. Kevin wants to finish up what he started and thinks it’s better if he keeps busy. Randall gives him a few minutes, then talk turns to Kevin’s list of people he needs to make amends with. He has doubts about one person in particular. They talk about Jack having to do the same with his list.
It’s a somber moment as Randall talks about Jack being gone longer than they had him, 20 years. Picturing himself as an old man is hard for him to do. He’s starting a new career a few years from turning 40 years old and trying to fix up an old building in the shortest amount of time. Kevin tells him he has nothing to worry about. He’s in good health, has a great family and Beth will never allow him to die. Besides all that, he’ll probably be like his other dad, William. Flashback
- Jack brings out snacks and drinks just before the game starts. When Kate appears, he thinks she’s going to join him and Rebecca, but instead, she tells him she watched the tape. She doesn’t want him to stop trying to make her see herself like he sees her. He agrees. She asks if she can go to her friend Molly’s house, who’s invited other people over to watch the game. Jack gives her permission since her brothers bailed on him.
Rebecca brings out bowls of chili as Kate leaves. She convinces Jack to try a corn muffin, hidden under the cloth is a real estate ad she cut out and circled. She thinks this can be one of the first houses he can flip, when he starts his business. Seeing how invested Rebecca is, he asks her to be his partner. After some back and forth, she accepts. With all of the excitement, they head upstairs.Flashforward
- At the hotel, Randall hands out beverages and snacks as the tenants wait for rooms to open up. When Beth shows up, Randall waits for her “I told you so”. She tells him he should always start with pest control and a list of other things. He should also realize that he’s never owned a building before and he should utilize his wife’s resourcefulness since she’s worked with under-served communities her whole career. Flashback
- As Rebecca puts food away, Kevin calls and apologizes to her. He wants to know if Jack is mad, Rebecca says no but he should talk to him. Kevin declines, wanting to wait until tomorrow. He informs her he’ll be staying the night at Sophie’s, on her couch. Rebecca leaves the food and heads upstairs.
Then we see Kevin tell Sophie about a party in the woods.Flashforward
- Kevin is waiting for Sophie outside of her home and she doesn’t look pleased to see him as she walks up. She asks if he’s okay. She can’t believe that, as a nurse, she couldn’t see how messed up he was. He’s the only man she’s ever truly loved and the only one who hurt her the way he has. She knows he didn’t mean to, but he did. She just wants to remember him like he was in their youth. She tells him to check her name off of his list. He tells her she wasn’t just any name on the list. Then they say their goodbyes.
Toby is working on his laptop (Porn-free)
when Kate walks in. She tells him she went to the dog shelter and found the cutest dog. Cute like Jacob Tremblay. (The little boy from the movie Room)
She thought about getting the dog, but it would remind her of- Toby cuts her off, shaking his head that he understands. But she changed her mind. Excited, Toby runs to the hallway where Audio is waiting.
Kevin returns to his mother’s house and finds a large envelope near the front door. It’s from Charlotte. She found Jack’s necklace, the one he left at her house a few weeks ago and returned it. He breathes a sigh of relief. He takes out his list and checks Sophie’s name off. He flips the list over to the last person, Dad.Flashback
- Kate’s lying in bed, with her headphones on, listening to an audio tape of her singing. Jack and Rebecca are asleep in their bed when Jack awakens to the sound of the front door closing. It’s Randall. He’s in the kitchen eating chili by the time Jack gets there. Jack wonders where Kevin is since Randall isn’t with him.
Randall is all smiles as he tells Jack he had a good time at the movies with Allison and that they kissed. He heads off to bed as Jack cleans up the kitchen. Once he’s finished, he writes Kevin a note and sticks it on his door.
The note says: “Kevin, if I don’t see you before work tomorrow, I love you. You owe us an apology. Dad.”
Jack locks up the house and pets Kate’s dog before taking a moment to look at the kids’ growth chart in a corner of the wall. He folds a red towel and places it on the countertop, near the crockpot. He turns it off. He then turns off the light in the kitchen and heads to bed. Flashback-Flashback
-The couple in the beginning of the episode is shown again. The wife tells her husband George, that someone wants to come see the house. Their real estate agent said it was a nice couple. Georges says okay, but isn’t too enthusiastic as he stacks boxes. His wife assures him that they’ll get new stuff when they sell the house. George grabs a box and heads to his neighbor’s house. He rings the doorbell and Jack answers it. Georges tells him someone is finally interested in his house. When a very pregnant Rebecca comes to the door, Georges hands them a box with a crock-pot in it. No more than two years old he says. He warns that they have to fiddle with the switch on it, but it works. Jack and Rebecca thank him, and he leaves.Flashforward to the Flashback
- The crock-pot switches on and short circuits. A small fire starts at the switch and burns, catching that red towel on fire. (We see Jack give Rebecca a beautiful diamond bracelet hidden in the folds of the red kitchen towels at Christmas.)
As the fire spreads, we a see montage of happy family moments. The last scene is of the fire reaching the staircase.Well, I’ve wanted to get to this point for quite some time. How did Jack die? That’s been the biggest question for 2 seasons. Now we know, unless there’s some weird twist. And I’m not sure I want to know, now that I know.
I assume the oceans will rise come February 4th. Not only will we hear the cries from the fans of the team that loses the Super Bowl, we’ll hear the cries of every This Is Us fan, as we torture ourselves watching the most dreaded event on TV. Set your DVR's for extended time. The show will start at the end of the Super Bowl game.