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This Is Us - Across The Border - Review+Poll: The Blame Game

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"That car is going to tell my family's story just by looking at it."

Well, that was a couple of emotionally draining episodes, honestly, I have to say I'm glad we get a small hiatus because my eyes really need a break. After Jack's death, we have the funeral and it is just as heartbreaking because truly, the terrors of death are for those left behind. While they drive to and from the funeral, this episode tells the story of the Pearson family through the memories shared in their car and there's an underlying theme about Jack always being able to see the future somehow which I found very interesting. Also, there is clearly the matter of how everyone is looking for someone to blame, as one does.

We begin with the day they actually got the car, a Jeep Wagoneer (the first luxury 4x4), that they couldn't really afford. The truth is Jack is not perfect, and we couldn't really expect him to be, Jack overlooks his wife's wishes again (just like Randall does sometimes), he gets away with it because he's so damn charming, and lucky, and he decides to make a deal with the car salesman on his own. We'll later learn Jack sold the salesman on his family, on how clearly he could see the future with them in that car, and who wouldn't be convinced by Jack Pearson? He does make them a very good deal and we'll see a few stories of those he imagined in that car.

We see one with his wife, one time Rebecca got an MRI because she'd been dizzy, and while they were waiting for the results, Jack took her to his favorite tree to take her mind off things. It turned out it was just the closest to a payphone he could find and told her it was his favorite tree because it was where she'd find out she'd be alright. He told her he knew she was going to lie forever because otherwise, the world would have to stop. That was slick Mr., he'd be the perfect con man. But once they knew she'd indeed be okay, he got serious for a moment and told her he knew he was gonna go first and he didn't want to be buried.

There's another memory with the boys when Jack was teaching Randall to drive but he and Kevin argued so much they almost got hit by a bus so he made them walk home. When they got back, they apologized but he was still mad, he told them he couldn't understand why they couldn't get along, he said he and his brother were inseparable, and this left the boys confused since he never talked about him often. Jack replied it wasn't fun talking about his drunk father, depressed mother and the brother he lost while they were both in war. He told them he and his brother were obligated to rely on one another, that they were lucky because they didn't have to, but someday, when he and Rebecca were gone they would, this seems a bit dramatic to tell your children, but those kids really needed a wake up call, especially Kevin who was always horrible to Randall back then.

And the final one with his baby girl, one time he found her at a bus stop skipping school, and once she explained and she told him she had a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Alanis Morisette, he decided to take her himself and on the way encourage her to write her own stuff and not sell herself short. Now, how could any man compete with that father figure boggles the mind. She played him some of Alanis' music and he told her it sounded like complaining with a guitar, so he was surprised to learn it had won five Grammy's. He liked Bruce Springsteen which was predictable to Kate but by the end of the ride she admitted it wasn't bad, so he decided to get tickets to see him (which are the ones Rebecca will find in the car).

Now, on the day of the funeral, the Pearsons (how odd it is to say that when Jack is not included in the equation) are staying at a motel and Rebecca seems adamant they don't leave the urn alone for a minute. I'd never thought about how creepy it is to have that smiling picture next to the dead bodies, or the ashes. There are a few speeches, the priest mentions they were married for 21 years, and honestly when I heard it, it felt wrong, didn't seem long enough for them, right? During all of this, both Randall and Kate are letting some of their emotions out, but Rebecca seems to be still in shock, and Kevin doesn't seem to be processing any of it yet.

It also seems the kids are all struggling with different stuff, Kate is feeling guilty and doesn't even want Louie anymore, she's certain Jack inhaled too much smoke by going in the second time, and her logic does make sense, but, he also inhaled more than everyone else when he was going to get everyone one by one, so it's really pretty hard to tell. The boys, on the other hand, are competing about the figure of the new man of the house, and Kevin thinks Randall has no right to it since a real man would've stopped their father from going back in, which was very harsh, and completely unfair of him, and I get he's grieving be he wouldn't have done that to Kate.

Thankfully Dr. K makes an appearance, he's much older and has married again. He tells Rebecca that Jack continued visiting him at the hospital for advice, though he tried to tell him he only knew how to deliver the babies, but that he'd gotten into his head he was wise. She's beating herself up for not being there when he died, and that's why she'd been following his urn around all day, because she didn't want to leave him alone again. And she doesn't think she can do it all without him, he tells her Jack was also afraid and yet he did a pretty good job, so maybe it's possible. She seems like she wants to give up but he tells her that he isn't buying it and doesn't let her doubt herself anymore, which thankfully seems to drag her out of her shocked state.

She seems to take the reins again and takes the kids to Jack's favorite tree. She talks about how Jack always saw ahead and she assures Kevin and Randall neither has to be the man of the house and Kate that her father was an adult who made a choice, that she knows this might not change anything for her but that she'll remind her as often as she has to that it wasn't her fault. Then, they scatter some of Jack's ashes and Rebecca tells them they should go see Bruce Springsteen together with the tickets Jack got. Before they leave she aims her head at the sky and promises Jack she's got it.

"We're gonna be okay."

What did you think of the episode? How much have your eyes suffered these last couple episodes? Do you need a break as much as I do? I look forward to your comments and I leave you with a little poll.

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