As we learned at the end of the first episode, Jack and Rebecca are actually the parents to Kate, Kevin, and Randall — and Jack and Rebecca are in the past (mid-’80s) while Kate, Kevin, and Randall are in 2016. We’ve got like, four overlapping storylines in two different time periods, but it works.
Whaaaaaat?? The episode spends a solid hour setting up the fact that the two of them are going to work through their issues, and be a better family together (at least a 12, in Jack’s words). Though Jack has recently turned to drinking, he promises Rebecca he’s going to stop, and even buys her a necklace (a moon, for “their song,” but we don’t yet know what their song is!!).
Now cut to present-day, when suddenly the ~grandparents~ pay a surprise visit to Randall and his family. We see Grandma Rebecca walk through the front door, wearing this moon necklace, but Jack’s not behind her. Instead, it’s Jack’s best friend, Miguel, who TOLD JACK TO GET HIS ACT TOGETHER at the beginning of the episode!
And we need to talk about the issue at hand: What happened to Jack?? Did he and Rebecca get a divorce? [whispers] Is Jack dead? There are so many questions, and not enough answers right now. We’re completely hooked on this show…but also our hearts are barely keeping it together. This Is Us has already been picked up for a full season of 18 episodes, so prepare for a whole lot more of this emotional rollercoaster.