This Is Us Super Bowl Sunday Recap Season 2 Episode 14 – This week’s This Is Us is a hard episode to watch, and you’re unlikely to make it through dry-eyed, because we finally get the answers to the question: exactly how did Jack die? And none of them are easy.
This Is Us Super Bowl Sunday Recap Season 2 Episode 14
This Is Us Super Bowl Sunday Recap Season 2 Episode 14 image from NBC.com
Jack wakes up to the smell of smoke and the house on fire. He fights through the flames to grab his kids, first Randall and then Kate (Kevin is still out). It’s a tense sequence, not least because you are constantly on edge, waiting for something to go wrong.
The family climbs out the master bedroom window onto the porch roof, and Jack lets them down one by one. Just as he’s about to come down, last of all, Kate hears her dog barking in the fire and screams for him. Jack decides to go back in. It’s scary and devastating to see the window of the master bedroom fill with fire, and you feel it right along with Rebecca as she screams for her husband. And just as you’re sure he’s never coming out, the front door opens and he runs out, the dog under one arm and a bag with a few keepsakes under the other. It’s both a surprise and a relief to have Jack around for a little while longer, even if you know the end is inevitable. It’s also hard not to be a little angry at him for putting himself at risk like that when his family was already out of the fire.
Fire fighters come to put out the flames. Jack has some burns and the paramedic recommends that he go to the hospital to get checked out: he took in a lot of smoke.
Super Bowl Sunday
In the present, each member of the Pearson family keeps the anniversary of Jack’s death in their own way. Kate wallows, watching the VHS Jack made of her the day he died, over and over again, continuing to blame herself for his death. Kevin, who usually avoids it by getting drunk, is left struggling. And Randall celebrates it because it was Jack’s favorite day.
Toby keeps trying to cheer Kate up or make her feel better, but she continually shuts him down. She just wants to feel sad. When the VCR breaks down and damages the tape however, Toby saves the day, bringing it to a guy he knows who can fix it. Later, Kate admits that she has spent twenty years thinking very little of herself. But then Toby came into her life. He never gave up on her and he made her believe in herself (in a way, much like Jack always did). He changed her life.
Mother and Son
Rebecca admits to Kevin that every year she makes Jack’s favorite lasagna and watches the game. She tells him that every year on her saddest day, she believes Jack sends her a sign that makes her laugh.
Kevin goes to Jack’s memorial tree and has a long talk with him, admitting he’s never been back to it since the funeral. He apologies for not being there the night of the fire, and that the last thing he ever said to Jack was awful. He’s sorry for not being the man that Jack would have wanted him to be, but vows to do better.
Later, he calls his mom, and admits how much talking to Jack helped…he also admits that he’s not sure he got the right tree. Rebecca laughs and says that this year, Jack sent her Kevin.
Randall is throwing a Super Bowl party for his daughters and their friends. As often seems to be the case with Randall, he’s completely throwing his all into it, making sure everything is fantastic. He doesn’t want this to be a sad day.
But Annie has a new pet lizard, Mr. Giggles, which escapes during the festivities. When Beth goes to answer the phone, she accidentally steps on him. As she puts it to Randall: “he ain’t giggling now.”
Randall starts to make a little speech for Mr. Giggles to make Annie feel better, but as he talks about the sudden death he starts to think of Jack and how painful it was to lose him.
Tess, who’s been acting off all day, gets upset and heads off to her room. Randall goes to talk to her, finally acknowledging that this is a tough day for him. She opens up and tells him what’s been bothering her. First he brought William to the house, then Deja, and now he has a new job. She’s worried that he just wants a whole new life, and one that doesn’t really include her. But he tells her that he will always love her, because she was the little girl that changed his whole life around, and that being a good dad was the one thing he’s always wanted to do.
After the fire, Rebecca takes Jack to the hospital. The doctor is worried about Jack’s heart rate and there’s soot in his airway and burns on his hands, but for the most part the doctor thinks he looks all right.
Rebecca goes to make a hotel reservation. As she talks, we see in the background medical staff rushing to an emergency. But she doesn’t notice. She’s getting a snack from the vending machine, when the doctor comes to break the news.
One of the complications of smoke inhalation is that it puts stress on the lungs and the heart. Jack went into cardiac arrest…and has died.
At first she can’t believe it, getting angry at the doctor and hurrying to Jack’s hospital room where she finds him dead on the bed. Mandy Moore gives a brilliant performance of shock, confusion, and sheer grief.
Rebecca goes to Miguel’s house where the kids are waiting. She meets Miguel outside and breaks the news. He starts to cry but she tells him to stop. She needs to be strong for her kids right now, and if Miguel can’t do that as well, she needs him to take a walk.
She then goes inside and tells Kate and Randall that their father is dead. Later, Kate finds where Kevin is partying with Sophie and breaks the news.
In the present, Kate and Toby dance together as the Super Bowl plays in the background. Kevin and Rebecca watch the game together. And Beth gets a call.
During the episode we saw the little boy who was looking for a foster home, Jordan, the same little boy we saw a scene of when Deja went away. We see him being told a family has been found for him.
The call is from Deja, she’s outside the house and needs them. From the stairwell Tess watches as her parents talk to and comfort Deja. And we jump to Jordan again, being introduced to his new family. The social worker on his case is informed that her dad is here to see her and Randall comes in. Jordan is in the future and Tess is his social worker. It’s beautiful to see how her family’s love and actions have shaped Tess as an adult. It’s a lovely note of hope to end on after a heartbreaking episode.
Other episodes of This Is Us reviewed on TV Eskimo:
s2e14 – Super Bowl Sunday
s2e13 – That’ll Be the Day
s2e12 – Clooney
s2e11 – The Fifth Wheel
s2e10 – Number Three
s2e9 – Number Two
s2e8 – Number One
s2e7 – The Most Disappointed Man
s2e6 – The 20’s
s2e5 – Brothers
s2e4 – Still There
s2e3 – Deja Vu
s2e2 – A Manny-Splendored Thing
s2e1 – A Father’s Advice
This Is Us – Season 1
This Is Us Super Bowl Sunday Recap Season 2 Episode 14 characters and cast include:
Jack – Milo Ventimiglia (Rocky Balboa, Heroes, Pathology, The Whispers, Gotham, Mob City, Gilmore Girls)
Rebecca – Mandy Moore (Tangled, Red Band Society, Grey’s Anatomy, A Walk to Remember, The Princess Diaries)
Randall – Sterling K. Brown (The People vs. OJ Simpson, Spaceman, Army Wives, Person of Interest, Supernatural)
Kate – Chrissy Metz (American Horror Story, Loveless in Los Angeles)
Kevin – Justin Hartley (Smallville, Revenge, The Challenger, Aquaman, Emily Owens M.D.)
Beth – Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie, Blackout, The Blacklist, Third Watch, The Good Wife)
Toby – Chris Sullivan (The Drop, Imperium, The Normal Heart, Stranger Things, The Knick, The Americans, Morgan)
William Hill – Ron Cephas Jones (Half Nelson, Mr. Robot, Sweet and Lowdown, He Got Game, Across the Universe)
Sophie – Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Family Guy, True Blood, She’s the Man)
Tess Pearson – Eris Baker (Drunk History, K. C. Undercover)
Annie Pearson – Faithe Herman (Doe, Bodied, Criminal Minds)
Miguel – Jon Huertas (Castle, Generation Kill, Elementary, Miss Dial, The Shield, Undressed)
10 Year Old Kate – Mackenzie Hancsicsak
10 Year Old Kevin – Parker Bates
10 Year Old Randall – Lonnie Chavis (White Famous, Bella and the Bulldogs, The 5th Quartet)
16 Year Old Randall – Niles Fitch
16 Year Old Kevin – Logan Shroyer
16 Year Old Kate – Hannah Zelle
ER Doctor – Bill Irwin (Rachel Getting Married, Interstellar, Legion, Law & Order: SVU, Quarry, Monday Mornings, Sleepy Hollow)
16 Year Old Sophie – Amanda Leighton (The Fosters, The Powerpuff Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Make It or Break It)
Deja – Lyric Ross
Adult Tess – Iantha Richardson (Benny Got Shot, Truth or Dare, Why Are You Single the Stageplay)
Allison – Isabel Oliver Marcus
Jordan – Jonny Berryman (Code Black, Skyward)
Electronic Repairman – Erik Marion