In the latest episode of This Is Us, Jack’s memory is as strong as ever for Rebecca thanks to one particular family piece of art.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 5, Episode 8, of We are, “In The Room,” which aired Tuesday on NBC.
Although he died when his children were teenagers, We are‘Jack Pearson continues to be a part of his family’s life in unique and interesting ways. In the latest episode, Season 5, Episode 8, “In The Room”, the show shows that even though Jack is gone and the rest of the family is separated by distance and COVID-19 restrictions, the Pearson family will always be connected. This connection is perfectly represented by a dilapidated work of art hanging in the family cabin.
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Rebecca and Miguel are still isolated in the cabin, far from the last great moments in the lives of Kevin, Randall and Kate. Kate and Kevin are having babies while Randall is learning about his birth mother, and Rebecca feels guilty about not being there for them. She feels like she is disappointing Jack because she is missing these moments, something that she and Jack promised each other they would never do.
This promise came as a result of one particular weekend that she and Jack spent at the cabin when the children were teenagers. Played as a subplot in the episode, the flashback to this moment begins when the children decide they no longer want to go away for a family weekend and express their desire to spend time with their friends. So Jack and Rebecca head to the cabin alone for what is supposed to be a romantic weekend.
However, Jack is in a bad mood when they get there and it gets worse when Rebecca complains about her children’s teenage quirks. However, before she can figure out why he’s in a bad mood, the couple discover a leak in the ceiling. The leak destroys a box of her children’s art, and although Rebecca initially doesn’t think it’s a big deal, Jack is upset about the loss. However, instead of explaining, he goes to the hardware store, leaving Rebecca confused and alone.
When he returns, Rebecca is trying to air the art as a way to save him. It is then that Jack reveals the truth behind his state of mind. He’s upset that the kids don’t want to spend time with him and Rebecca anymore. He worries that they are running out of time with them because they are growing so fast. Jack confesses that since he and Rebecca are not close to their parents and have not been since they moved out of their homes as young adults, he worries that their children are the same. Tragically, Jack expresses a fear that ends up coming true: missing important moments in his children’s lives.
Rebecca comforts Jack and tells him that her relationship with her children is different than the relationship they have with their parents. She promises that they will always be there for the little moments and especially the big moments in her children’s lives, and that whatever happens, her family will remain close. She uses a piece of the destroyed art to illustrate her point. Previously, the art consisted of five handprints, one from each of the five Pearsons. However, after the leak, the water flushed the paint, turning the handprints into smudges and causing the paint to blend together, connecting the spots. Rebecca says, just like in the picture, the Pearsons will always be in each other’s lives.
This piece of ruined family art symbolizes Jack and Rebecca’s promise to remain dedicated and connected with their children. So when Rebecca was separated from her children due to COVID-19 restrictions, she feels like she’s disappointing Jack. However, modern technology gives you a way to be with them and keep their promise.
Created by Dan Fogelman, This Is Us stars Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Chris Sullivan and Susan Kelechi Watson. The new episodes air Tuesdays at 9 pm ET / PT on NBC.
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