This Is Us Actually Figured Out How to Bring Jack Back from the Dead
Nick Pearson is the best thing that ever happened to the NBC drama.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: killing Jack onscreen was a mistake. After a season and a half spent rolling out the chain of events that led to the Pearson patriarch’s death, it feels weird and gimmicky that he’s still on the show (like, a lot).
When Us decided to hop even further back in time and take us through Jack’s years in Vietnam, my eyes were strained from rolling SO. DAMN. HARD. But two episodes ago, when (SPOILER ALERT) it was revealed that Jack’s brother “who died in Vietnam” is actually alive and well in a small town in Pennsylvania, my faith in Us was renewed.
Instead of suffering through belabored Jack Pearson flashbacks, we can now explore the rest of his history through a new perspective and character: Nick Pearson.
And though the whole “Jack’s brother is alive” revelation came long after the Vietnam flashbacks began, since we learned he’s alive in the mid-season finale the storyline has found the movement fans (read: me) have been craving.
In “Songbird Road: Part One,” we not only learn why Jack told his family his brother had died, but we get to meet present-day Nick himself (played by Griffin Dunne).
In what is possibly the most true to life takeaway from Us yet, the (literally) explosive conflict that kept the Pearson boys living separate adult lives was really just a miscommunication.
Returning to the scene that mid-season finale Jack is swimming toward in Vietnam, Nick takes a young local boy fishing with him. Instead of doing the whole bait/fishing pole schtick, the impetuous Pearson drops a hand grenade in the water and simply grabs the dead fish that rise to the surface. And first off, like, give the fish a chance, but also, obviously a little kid shouldn’t be sharing a tiny boat with a box of hand grenades. A fumbled grenade leads to the tragedy in question, and before Nick can explain what’s happened, Jack writes him off for life.
Years later, in the Big 3 childhood timeline we know, Jack visits Nick at his mobile home. He tries to bring up what happened, but Jack refuses to talk about it, abruptly leaves the trailer park and continues to live the rest of his life without a relationship with his brother.
Here’s the thing, though: WHY DIDN’T HE TRY HARDER?! Nick had been writing Jack cryptic post cards for years prior, why couldn’t he just detail exactly what happened in Vietnam and send it in a letter? We’re hit over the head with how incredible Nick and Jack’s brotherly bond was as children and young adults, so WHY didn’t Nick work harder to save it?
Of course, the fact that present-day Nick is in at least one more episode (“Songbird Road: Part Two,” we'd assume) means there may be more to the story. And knowing the way Us operates, we’re betting there is.
Sincerely, Peeved at Nick Pearson (both young and old man versions)