This Is Us - S2|EP13 "That'll Be the Day" (TV Review)

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"That'll Be the Day" is the thirteenth episode in season 2 two of the network hit This Is Us. Starring, Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, and Susan Kelechi Watson. 


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The show opens up with a mysterious older couple cleaning out their garage, it is presented that they are moving. The Pearson's circa 90's are prepping for the Super Bowl, present day Randall and Kevin begin renovations on the apartment complex and Toby & Kate ponder getting a dog. This series has really found a way to make their audience care for all these characters, these people who are just living their lives. This episode really had me reaching for the tissue box, it wasn't anything crazy but just the quieter moments that caught me off guard. First off, Milo Ventimiglia should be right next to Sterling K. Brown next year when award season pops up again because his role of Jack Pearson is haunting and yet full of life and energy. His death lingers but at the same time his life is well represented even after his passing in the present day stories. Milo has really tapped into something special and can make you feel great pain, joy, love and sympathy for the character without ever going over the top. I forget I'm watching an actor and I just see Jack. This episode in particular finally glimpses at the question we've all been asking, "How does Jack die?". Just writing this piece has me feeling a stir of emotions. Justin Hartley... he should also be in that line of men during awards season. Kevin just breaks your heart, this episode he goes around making amends with those he's hurt and at the very end it is revealed he will never be able to do that because the last person on his list is his 'dad' as it is written on his list. That reveal when he flips the list to see 'Dad' written at the top alone, that moment really is the amalgamation of every episode and every experience Kevin goes through and what he is going through... regret. Kevin really is the tragic character out of the family, sure Kate has her weight problems and blames herself for Jack's death but that isn't as much tragic as it is guilt. Her character is something completely different. In this episode she decides to adopt a dog for Toby and her but in a bit of dialogue she reveals something telling. What she says to 'Audio' (the dog she does end up adopting) alludes to Jack and the cause of his death. Watching the episode you will know why Kevin is who he is and why everything he is struggling with affects him much more, including his fathers death. 

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In the closing moments of the episode we see the old couple appear again and they stop by the Pearson's home when Rebecca was still pregnant with the triplets. The old man (George) drops off a crockpot and we are back to the 90's with a middle aged Jack in the kitchen cleaning up. "To Build a Home (feat. Patrick Watson)" by The Cinematic Orchestra starts to play and as Jack goes to sleep the crockpot turns back on and catches fire, and a montage of family moments flash in the swell of the music creating a knot in your stomach and tears streaming down your face. That is the moment you know that the moment we've been dreading is coming. 

Overall, this episode brings the raw emotions, tugs at our heart strings and in the end it leaves us wanting the show to stretch the dreadful moment.