'This Is Us' Introduces a New Mystery From Jack's Past
By Meredith B. Kile
Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven't watched Tuesday's new episode of This Is Us.
Kevin went looking for answers about his father's military history on Tuesday's This Is Us -- and he may have found more than he bargained for.
As Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) waited on pregnancy news and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) kicked off his campaign for town councilman in his father's Philadelphia neighborhood, the third Pearson sibling set out with Zoe (Melanie Liburd) to meet with a man who served alongside his father in Vietnam.
"Your father was not a mechanic," Don Robinson (Charles Robinson) tells Kevin (Justin Hartley), showing him a photograph of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and his fellow soldiers. "He was a staff sergeant with the Alpha Company's third squad. Squad leader, in fact. And in October of 1971, your dad saved my life."
But he's reticent to tell him much more, reflecting, "In my experience, with this particular war, sometimes the answers are so dark, you're better off not having them."
The conversation leaves Kevin feeling "like my brain's going to explode," he tells Zoe. "I feel like I learned a lot today, and at the same time I feel like I didn't learn anything."
However, that's not the end of the story. Don shows up at the hotel the next morning with a change of heart and a few more clues for Kevin to explore.
"You have to understand the Jack I knew wanted everything from that war behind him," he explains, handing over a stack of letters. "Who's to say he wouldn't have wanted you to know his story?"
Inside one of the letters is a photograph of Jack and a Vietnamese woman, seemingly the same villager we were introduced to in last week's "Vietnam"-centered episode. But the most interesting detail of the photo? The woman is wearing Jack's necklace, the one he later passed down to Kevin. So what does this mean? Who is this woman and what does she mean to Jack? How does her necklace become Jack's necklace? Does she have any relation to the mysterious "her" referenced in the season three premiere?
Fans will be looking for answers alongside Kevin as the season goes on, and This Is Us producers assure that we'll know more about this year's biggest mysteries sooner rather than later.
"We're always conscious of towing the line between frustrating people and keeping people excited and peeling back the layers of this family. That's one we're being really careful in calibrating it. It's something we are going to answer sooner than later," co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker told ET following the season three premiere. "This isn't a grand three-year-long thing to find out who 'her' is and we're going to be slowly revisiting the future at pointed moments throughout this year, getting to where Randall and Tess are headed."