This Is Us S2 Episode 13 Recap: 8 Can’t Miss Moments From ‘That’ll Be The Day’Published on January 24, 2018. Updated May 21, 2019
This Is Us is really pulling at the heartstrings of its audience as the series gets closer and closer to the day Jack died. Season two’s thirteenth episode brought us closer than ever as we finally saw how the fire started that burns down the Pearson home and presumably kills Jack, after an episode that detailed Jack’s last day with his family (unbeknownst to him and them). The episode had fans tearing up, laughing, and incredibly anxious, so as the emotions continue to well up heading into episode 14 which promises to have “all the answers” we’ve been looking for, take a look back at 8 can’t miss moments from “That’ll Be the Day.” Don’t forget the next episode will be the biggest yet and will be airing on Sunday, February 4 after the Super Bowl — you don’t want to miss it!
8. Pearson Brothers >Property Brothers
“That’ll Be the Day” was a little reminiscent of an episode of HGTV’s The Property Brothers. After deciding to go into business together, Beth and Randall launched R and B Properties and set to work on slowly improving the apartment building they bought where William used to live. While Beth implored Randall to “slow his roll” he promised the tenants he could fix every little thing, and luckily for him, Kevin stepped in to help. Kevin and Randall rolled up their sleeves, flashed their muscles, and got to work, and fans (much like the female tenants) were more than happy to watch the pair swing a sledgehammer. Unfortunately, Randall and Kevin’s ambition to do a month’s worth of work in one day was halted when a cockroach infestation was discovered and the building had to be evacuated. While working together, Randall opened up to Kevin that their dad had now been gone longer than they had him and was worried about not having enough time and Kevin reassured Randall he wasn’t going to die young.
7. Super Bowl Fail
In flashbacks to the past, the audience was on edge and watching every little move Jack made, knowing full well it was his last day with his family and it happened to be Super Bowl Sunday. As Jack and Rebecca got excited about their last Super Bowl with their kids before they went to college, things fell apart. Kevin fought with his parents and instead went to Sophie’s while Randall opted to take Alison to see Titanic instead and Kate wanted to go to her friend’s party. With the Pearson’s having absolutely no idea it was their last day with their dad, it was heartbreaking to watch them give up any time they did have, especially as Jack became increasingly disappointed that none of them would be there to watch the big game with him.
6. Hello Audio
Kevin and Randall talked about losing their dad and worrying about not having enough time while Kate, in the present, was presented with her own emotional reminders of her dad’s passing. After Kate catches Toby looking at puppies on the internet, she decides to surprise him by adopting one. She picked out a truly adorable little guy named Audio, but at the last minute, she changes her mind. With a theory that Jack goes back into the burning house to save Kate’s dog, it seems to be extremely painful for Kate to remember that dog she once had. In the end, however, she overcomes her emotions and upon returning home puts Toby through the emotional ringer as she explains how she picked out a dog which got him excited, then said she couldn’t do it which had Toby disappointed — but she then reveals she indeed did bring Audio home. Seeing the sheer happiness on Toby’s face as well as what Kate will do for Toby’s happiness is what makes them the most fantastic couple.
5. An Office With A View
Although Jack was disappointed that none of his kids stayed home to watch the Super Bowl for their last Super Bowl together before they moved away to college, it did leave room for some incredible Jack and Rebecca moments. As the pair discussed starting up Big Three Homes again, Rebecca revealed she found a perfect house to start with, and Jack asked her to be his business partner. Rebecca became excited about where they could put their home office, saying she always wanted partner desks to which Jack sweetly replied: “and I always wanted an office with a view.” Although they had no way of knowing it would be there last day together, it was emotional to see them get excited about the future of their business and be so in love.
4. Goodbye to Sophie
Throughout the episode, Kevin was postponing making amends with one particular person and instead kept busy by helping Randall at the apartment building. In the end, however, he had to face the one person he knew it would be the most difficult to say sorry to — Sophie. Kevin showed up at her place and told her she wasn’t just any name on his list of people he needed to repair things with as part of his recovery, she was THE name, and things got emotional as Sophie told him he was the one man who could hurt her like nobody else. She was able to be gracious in spite of how much Kevin hurt her and asked him just to let her remember him as the guy she once knew when they were young and things were good. If this was the last time we see Sophie, it was a heartbreaking and yet simple goodbye to Kevin’s greatest love.
3. Don’t Stop Trying
In the flashbacks to the past, a focus was on Jack desperately trying to convince Kate to send in a video of her singing instead of just an audio tape for her next round of auditions for the music college she wanted. Eventually, Kate confronted him, telling him that no one else sees her the way he does so he needs to stop trying. After he decided to tape her singing anyway, Kate watched the video and saw the pride and love in her dad’s eyes as he watched her sing, and they were able to have a great moment together. Kate told her dad she was sorry and that she never wants him to stop trying to get her to see herself the way he sees her. Thanks to the incredible performance from Hannah Zeile (who plays teenager Kate), it is easy to see the special bond Kate had with her father and why his death has seemed to affect her in a different way.
While the death of Jack has torn the Pearson siblings apart for different reasons, for Kevin it is because he never got a last moment with his dad, and never got to apologize after their fight. Near the end of the episode, after making amends with Sophie, Kevin returns home to discover that Charlotte had returned his father’s necklace, which fans will remember he left at her place during that devastating “Number One” episode. As Kevin cried with the return of the necklace and checked Charlotte’s name off his list, he flipped it over to reveal one more name, Dad. A lot of Kevin’s self-destructive tendencies come from the guilt he feels about how he treated his parents, but never getting to say sorry to his dad that fateful Super Bowl Sunday is something he needs to come to peace with, otherwise, he will never be able to fully heal.
1. The Fire
Last but certainly not least, after nearly a full season and a half of build-up, “That’ll Be the Day” ended with the beginning of that fire that would change all their lives forever. The episode was framed by an elderly couple who were selling their house, with the husband having a hard time letting go of all the things his wife wanted him to throw out. While it seemed as though theirs was the house that Jack and Rebecca were going to start their business with as the first one to flip, it was revealed that they were in fact neighbors down the street when Jack and Rebecca first moved in while pregnant with the triplets. The older man, George, drops by with a slow cooker which he says has made many great meals for his family, but the switch needed to “fiddled with” to work properly. Meanwhile, as Jack cleans up the kitchen after Rebecca spent the day making Super Bowl foods, he switches off the slow cooker and puts a dish towel on the counter beside it before going upstairs to bed. As the house goes dark, the slow cooker lights flickers and flames erupt, quickly catching to the towel. Images of the Pearson home burning down is juxtaposed with happy memories in the house, and as the fire builds towards the upstairs where everyone but Kevin is sleeping, the tension of what is about to happen also builds.