It’s easy to love Jack Pearson. He’s a wonderful father (that many wish we had), a kind man, and he treats everyone in his life with such love and respect. It’s incredibly admirable and inspiring.
However, after two seasons of seeing almost nothing more than the heroic side of Jack Pearson, it’s time to get a little gritty and show us some of the darker, flawed moments from Jack’s life.
It’s beautiful what a great father Jack is to his children, but it’s come to the point (actually, the show has always kind of shown it this way) that Jack is considered the hero of the family, while Rebecca is the villain.
As fantastic as Jack is, the position he put Rebecca in while raising their children was probably one of the worst things he ever did because it led to her being vilified by Kevin and Kate, especially, and to her estranged relationships with them.
Jack Pearson, the great, mighty, and heroic father grew up in an abusive household, and, realistically, there would be some sort of aftermath of that trauma (not just his alcoholism) that would affect him as he entered adulthood and become a father himself.
As I said before, it’s easy to love Jack Pearson, but can you really love someone before you know who they are? There are still so many sides and stories we’ve left to see of Jack and how he was before having children, before Rebecca, and even through childhood.
We’ve seen Rebecca in the present day, post-Jack, and have seen how she handled life with Jack’s death, which put even more of a strain on her relationships with her children.
Honestly, I’d expect a line in a future episode from a flashback scene after Jack’s death where Kevin and/or Kate wished that their mother would have died instead, that’s how terribly vilified Rebecca is due to Jack’s perfect nature.
It’s not just for Rebecca, though, that Jack needs to be explored. It’s too late to really fix the way their children see their father vs. their mother; any attempt to do so would just create plot holes, which we’re all hoping we don’t have to see due to their wacky timeline.
Jack’s very unexplored past and dark side are the reason it’s impossible to see Jack as a man. He’s more so a “god” at this point because of how the story has painted him as a man who can do no wrong, always does the right thing, and even his alcoholism was wrapped up relatively neatly because of his family.
His addiction was treated as a minor roadblock in his path, and he quickly stepped back into the role of perfect father about a week after going to AA meetings.
As This Is Us season 3 premieres and the show shows us more of Jack’s time in Vietnam, I hope we get to see a much more troubled version of the Pearson patriarch.
The war in Vietnam was troubling, to say the least, so how would Jack react to being a part of such a terrible, gruesome event in history, and what were his thoughts on the subject?
This singular time in Jack’s life will provide the show with opportunities to flesh out his character and paint Jack as a troubled person who grew into a great man and father, instead of a man who always chose the right path in his life.
Since we can’t see Jack in the present day timeline on the show, delving into his past is the only way to depict the type of man Jack was and might have been if he’d lived.
All I ask is that the writers attempt to acknowledge the perfect depiction of Jack that the audience has seen and go deeper into his motivations, passions, and mistakes. Every other character on this show has major flaws, Jack should be no exception.
This Is Us premieres September 25 at 9/8c on NBC.