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This Is Us Season 2 Episode 15 Recap ‘The Car’

It literally has not even been 48 hours since Jack Pearson’s death, and This Is Us is already back with a brand new episode, because this show will not rest until we are all hollowed-out shells of our former selves.

Milo Ventimiglia has already warned us, via Esquire, that Mandy Moore’s performance this evening is going to be devastating. And here’s another intriguing tidbit—the summary for this episode promises that it’s “the history of the Pearsons as told through the life of the family car.” I’m assuming that car is going to make it through Jack’s funeral, then break down immediately afterwards and refuse to work again because it just can’t even.

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Here are 25 of my thoughts and feelings from “The Car.”

1. Is this Rebecca on the morning of Jack’s funeral? Oh, Lord. Is the episode going to end with the Pearsons going to the Springsteen concert after the funeral?

2. Jack Pearson is a great guy, but he’s not above a little emotional manipulation. Use those adorable kids to get a good deal!

3. “Please don’t tell me I’m gonna die on my way to a ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic concert.” HAHA. Does Rebecca hate all bridges, or this specific bridge because it’s maybe crumbling and dangerous?

4. “I don’t want him any more anyway.” Poor little Louie, this is heartbreaking…but also so understandable. For Kate, that poor dog now represents all of her guilt over Jack going back into the house.

5. Jack always helped Kevin with his tie. But now he’s gone and Kevin can’t figure out his own tie oh god OH GOD.

6. The memorial tree where Kevin had his emotional monologue in “Super Bowl Sunday” was actually Jack’s favorite tree. And he brought Rebecca here for the first time when she was having a cancer scare and thought she might be dying. This tree has really gone through some Pearson upheaval.

7. Rebecca convincing herself of the worst case scenario health-wise is extremely relatable. And this scene takes place before Google was a thing!

8. “You’re gonna live forever. That means I’m gonna go first.” Oh no. I thought I was ready but I’m not ready. But Jack saying “don’t put me in the ground” does remind me of a question I had—does Kate have all of Jack’s ashes on her mantle in that urn, or did they scatter some of them? He just asked her to put him outside…

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9. MIGUEL. RANDALL. MY HEART. It’s interesting that we’re only seeing little glimpses of the speeches, not the entire service—there’s a fragmented quality to these scenes, as though we’re seeing it through Rebecca’s gaze and she’s sort of drifting in and out because she’s too numb to take it all in.

10. Ugh, Kevin is such a douche at this age. I’m annoyed that Randall is taking the brunt of his punishment when all he did was respond to Kevin’s needling, while he was trying to learn to drive. Give your brother a break, dude.

11. “My brother and me? Inseparable when we were your age.” Oh hi, Jack’s long-awaited backstory! Randall just casually voicing the audience’s frustrations here: “You just never talk about him, or anything when you were a kid.”

12. Oh hello, I just had the following thought: Jack would be so proud of the way Kevin and Randall have mended their relationship and supported each other as grown men. Now I am inconsolable again.

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13. “I’m tired of watching you pretend to be the man of the house. A real man would have stopped Dad from going back in.” Oh SCREW you, Kevin, you weren’t there and I know the fact that you weren’t there is killing you but just. shut. up. I’ve become so much more sympathetic to the older Kevin this season, but boy, the teenage version really grates, as he’s supposed to. Nobody forced you to storm out of the house in a huff and go to a party in the woods where nobody could reach you, Kevin!

14. Holy crap, Alanis Morisette signing copies of Jagged Little Pill is LEGIT. Despite this stern act, Jack is so clearly going to take her to the signing once she gets in the car…yep, there it is 🙂

15. “Who’s this Atlantis character?” DYING. Jack is such a dad. I’m fine. I’m doing fine.

16. I wonder if Kate is going to ultimately end up being a songwriter. The realistic odds of her starting a full-blown music career in her late thirties in LA seem low, but songwriting actually feels like it could be a great fit, now that we know she’s into that side of things and not just performing.

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17. Oh no, we’re back at the night Jack died, with Kate and Rebecca waking up in the middle of the night. “It’s because he went back inside, right?” The thing is, there’s no real way of knowing if it’s because Jack inhaled more smoke than the rest of them, or because he had an underlying heart condition that the rest of them didn’t have. But the obvious conclusion is the one that Kate’s drawing, and that guilt is going to define her for the rest of her life.

18. LORD, give me strength for this: Gerald McRaney, a.k.a one of this show’s most reliable Delivery Mechanisms For Feels is back as Dr. K. If your memory’s failing you, he’s the doctor who delivered Kate and Kevin in the pilot, and also delivered that unforgettable “take the sourest lemon life has to offer and turn it into something resembling lemonade” speech. I don’t know what he’s about to say to Rebecca after the ad break, but I am holding onto this throw pillow very tightly.

19. “I think it’s your voice, and your lemon metaphors.” “The mustache helps, too.” All of this is accurate, but I think the soothing voice is really the key.

20. Ohhhhh. This is why Rebecca’s been following Jack’s urn around all day. And why she was so determined to make sure she got to the service first, is because she left him before and he died alone. This is heartbreaking.

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21. “Not without him.” Every time she repeats this, it gets more painful.

22. God. Dammit. Of course Dr. K delivering another lemon metaphor is what officially made me start crying this week. The Perasons really are a sweet pitcher of lemonade, and that is weird to write out in words but I do not even care at this point.

23. I’m too deep in my feelings to really write any words about this scene. The one where Rebecca takes the three kids to the tree on the night of Jack’s funeral. But I will say that Rebecca is an incredible mother, and she’s saying the best possible thing she could be saying to all three of her kids right now: that it’s not their fault, and it’s not their responsibility to take on new roles now that Jack is dead.

24. This episode was not as much “told through the car” as I feel like that summary suggested. But that is fine by me, because this episode was beautiful.

25. Kevin holding Randall’s hand. Jack talking about his family being okay. This music. I. I can’t. The Pearsons are going to be okay. And so are we, This Is Us fans, because that promo for the next several episodes looks flat-out incredible. See you all on 2/27, when our hearts have had time to mend.

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