As if we didn’t cry enough during the This Is Us Season 2 premiere, this week’s episode was also gut-wrenching. Before we continue, know that spoilers from This Is Us Season 2, Episode 2 “A Manny-Splendored Thing” lie ahead! Now, ready to cry some more together? Because here we go…
In the season premiere of This Is Us, Jack revealed to Rebecca that he is drinking again, and Rebecca said they’ll work through it together.
But of course, that’s no easy task. In this week’s episode, Jack looks for ways to occupy himself and keep him sober. He shows up at an Alcoholics Anonymous-type meeting, but soon leaves.
Where does he go? He drops by school and chats with Young Kate. She asks her father if everything is okay at work. He says yes, but echoes what Kate said about how her mother makes her feel about singing, “My boss has a way of making it feel like a job sometimes.”
Then, Kate grabs him by the cheeks, looks him in the eyes, and reassures him. “It’s gonna be okay,” she says, and it looks like he believes her. (Also, it looks like Kate is much more emotionally mature than we were at that age.)
Later, Jack hits the boxing gym — presumably as another way for him to control his addiction. And there are flashbacks to Jack watching his father drinking and Jack in the military — the latter of which is presumably to escape his father’s drinking.
Years later, Teen Kate reassures Jack in a very similar way to Young Kate, and it damn near broke our hearts.
Jack tells Rebecca — in what appears to be the morning after he revealed that he has a drinking problem — that he kept his alcoholism to himself last time, but that can’t happen again.
Rebecca understands, and shortly thereafter Jack tells Kate what’s going on. “I’m going to talk to your brothers too, but I wanted to talk to you first. There’s something I need to tell you. Part of the reason your mom and I had a fight,” he tells Kate, then takes a moment to compose himself.
“But, you have to know,” he continues, and Kate grabs his face and looks him right in the eyes like she had before. “I’m sorry. I never wanted to disappoint you, but I have to be honest with you guys. I need you guys.” Kate responds with a hug, like she completely understands and just wants to help him however she can.
Right after, we see Jack attending an Alcoholics Anonymous-type meeting — and it’s as though confessing what was going on to Kate and getting her support in return really did help him.