In this week’s episode of This Is Us (titled: “Moonshadow”), Jack headed to Cleveland to meet with Rebecca at her first gig. In the past, we learned the circumstances about how Jack and Rebecca met.
Jack is newly home from Vietnam and is working as a freelance mechanic for chump change so he can move him and his mom out of his parents’ house where his dad continues to berate him every chance he gets. He and his friend, Daryl, have high hopes of purchasing an auto shop. When Daryl asks how much Jack made that day, Jack tells him he made a fiver from Mrs. Peabody (the owner of his future Chevelle), and he ended up with a blind date.
Rebecca is with her friends, who seem to be on the “right” path while she is singing at open mic nights and recording a demo. The girls encourage Rebecca to have a backup plan while harping her about her “plus one” for the upcoming wedding. She tells them that she will probably come alone and turns down the offer for a blind date. Later, Rebecca receives a rejection letter about her demo, then calls her friend to now accept the offer for the blind date.
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Jack asks Daryl about a poker game so that he can turn his measly stash to a bigger down payment for the shop. In a nerve-racking first game, Jack doubles his money, then leaves with his winnings. Before they can make it to the car, they are jumped. All the money is stolen from him, and he is told if he ever comes back, they will kill him.
Rebecca goes on her blind date with a boring finance guy named Ethan. Halfway through the meal, she bails and goes to her open mic night.
Jack hatches a plan to steal money from a local bar. He opens his wallet to give the bartender money for a drink, when he sees the time and date for his blind date. It’s that night, and he’s already late. When the time is perfect to lift money from the register, he stops when he hears Rebecca singing “Moonshadow.” He’s hooked and forgets about stealing the money.
In in the 90s, Rebecca is nervous about singing in front of the large crowd. Ben tries to comfort her, and then he tries to kiss her. Rebecca lashes out of him and leaves the backstage area to call Jack; she leaves a message for him, saying she loves and misses him. But little does she know, Jack is getting hammered at the bar in that very club. When he’s had enough of waiting, he goes backstage and finds Ben. Ben once again should have stuck his foot in his mouth, but instead, he ends up mentioning that he’s gone too far. Jack punches him, but Rebecca intervenes. She quits the band, then drives Jack home in utter silence.
When they get home, they have a huge blowout about Jack’s drinking and Rebecca’s career path being destroyed once again. At the end of the argument, Rebecca asks Jack why he loves her. He doesn’t answer her. Then she requests that the next time he says he loves her, make sure he’s just not doing it out of habit.
The next morning, they both wake clearly distraught about the circumstances of the previous night. Rebecca tells Jack that they both meant everything they said the night before and that Jack should go to Miguel’s so they both can have some space.
After Jack packs his things, he gives another amazing speech with all the reasons he loves her and says their story isn’t ending, it’s just getting started.
And during this speech, we flash to present day, where Kate wants to pursue singing, Kevin is going to the audition for Ron Howard, and Randall wants to adopt a baby.
This episode was more of a mellow one. It left us hanging about Jack’s death (which was set up to be something massive by Kate in the previous episode), but I’m okay with that. I loved seeing how Rebecca and Jack met, and I’m so happy he didn’t die this episode! But as we know, it’s coming soon. Also, the last few minutes gave us insight into the new paths the Big Three will be taking on in season two.
Join me next season for the recap/review of the season two premiere of This Is Us, which airs this fall on NBC.