Is Jack Pearson Actually the Most Annoying Character on This Is Us?
This week’s episode of This Is Us, “Sometimes,” returned to the show’s new favorite setting: Vietnam. It goes without saying (just kidding, I’ve said it a LOT), that we’re not super jazzed on the whole “Let’s revisit Jack’s traumatic experience in the Vietnam war” plotline, but now that Kevin has brought the war-torn country into the modern-day timeline, it feels as though it’s here to stay.
Thankfully, Us didn’t leave its viewers stranded abroad. The episode flashed between Jack’s tour, Kevin and Zoe’s visit, and Jack and Rebecca’s road trip to Los Angeles, providing ~some~ levity among the dropping of bombs (both literal and emotional).
All in all (Vietnam setting considered), “Sometimes” was a pleasant episode: Rebecca and Jack bond over turkey sandwiches and, um … sex; Zoe confides in Kevin about her traumatic childhood; Jack reunites with his brother … Pleasant. That being said, there was one thing that really turned me off from episode seven: Jack’s blind martyrdom.
I know, Jack Pearson is the greatest person who’s ever walked the earth and the purity of his heart is something we should all strive for, but is it getting out of hand, just a little (read: A LOT)? Not only did he literally volunteer to go to Vietnam to set his brother straight (?!?!), but when he and Rebecca get to L.A., his first priority is to visit the family of a soldier who died on his watch.
Yes, this is a nice thing to do, but he’s not just paying a house visit, he’s going to meet a pair of strangers and tell them he’s “responsible for [their son’s] death.”
First of all, he isn’t. The son in question was playing catch and stepped on a landmine — how could that possibly be Jack’s fault? Second, even if it was somehow his fault, isn’t that house call, years after the fact, needlessly dramatic and honestly kind of an insult to viewers who were wondering all episode long who he was so desperate to visit?
In the end, the grieving parents end up comforting Jack and telling him it wasn’t his fault. Maybe you should be seeking this validation elsewhere, Jack? Like anywhere else? Enter: Our ideal storyline for next episode: “Jack Visits Therapist."