If you think you were done crying about Jack’s death on This Is Us, think again. Barely two days after the fateful post-Super Bowl episode — where we all learned the events surrounding Jack’s death in the house fire — we’ve been gifted another brand new episode of the NBC series. While this one isn’t as heartbreakingly tragic as the fire episode, it’s just as sad, because it shows us Jack’s funeral and his last few days. Also, it’s a story about a car.
The episode revolves around Jack buying a brand new car for the family, and the memories he, Rebecca, Kate, Kevin, and Randall all have inside of it — including the trip to the grocery store before the Super Bowl in 1998, which turns out to be their last family outing together. As the family’s driving back to the house for the big game, Jack tells everyone to keep the following Saturday free. He’s got a big surprise for them, so don’t make plans.
Before this, though, we learn that at one point Jack found Kate cutting school because Alanis Morissette was singing her CD (lol) in town, and she’s Kate’s favorite artist. Jack, visibly pissed that she’s not in school, picks her up, and instead of taking her back to class, drives her to the record store. Along the way, Kate makes Jack listen to some Jagged Little Pill. Jack then returns the favor by having Kate listen to one of his favorite artists, Bruce Springsteen. Though Kate’s not that into The Boss, she comes around and tells Jack that he’s still pretty good. It’s a precious father-daughter bonding moment, and from the way the episode plays out it might be one of the last one-on-one moments Kate and Jack have together.
So now, back to Jack’s funeral, and the “surprise” he had planned for the family the following Saturday. Obviously, Jack dies, and it is hella sad and sorry if you’re crying again (me too!). Following the service, Rebecca takes the kids to Jack’s favorite tree — which we saw Kevin visit in the last episode. They spread Jack’s ashes there, before Kate stops them so she can keep them for herself.
It’s then that Rebecca drops Jack’s big surprise on the kids: He got the whole family tickets to see Bruce Springsteen because he’s such a good dad and WOW, THESE TEARS ARE REAL.
You can see the pain on 17-year old Kate’s face, because she knows the tickets are because of her continued interest in music, and how she and Jack had just talked about Springsteen. Rebecca suggests that the family go to the concert, even without Jack, because that’s what he would have wanted. The episode closes with the family driving there, still in their funeral black, as we watch Jack purchase the car years ago, explaining to the salesman that his family will always be okay driving in the car — even when he’s not there.
Though this is incredibly sad, and will be until the end of time, there’s good news! This Is Us is now off until February 27th, because it’s time for the Olympics. Your eyes and tear ducts have two full weeks to recover before the waterworks return.