What Now?

“I love you, mom.”

“I love you, more.”

“I love you, most.”

WARNING: IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED DON’T READ ANY FURTHER ———-SPOILERS AHEAD!

Following the gut-punch that was ‘Memphis,’ ‘What Now?’ slowed the pace and brought a few important lessons to the table. So important to me that they will be something I will maintain in my life. This episode had to be a breath in-between the two most heart-wrenching episodes thatΒ This Is Us is going to give us. I was thankful that this one, even though brought the boom halfway through, was wholesome.

One day it just clicks. You realize what is important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what others think and more about what you think. You realize that a chapter is closing and another one is opening. You realize that even though you think things were a mess, that your days were terrible and that you wouldn’t recover. But still, you smile. You smile because, looking back, there was so much to be grateful for, so much to be proud of. You smile because you have made an impact and you fought to become who you are.

These 45 minutes made me realize this, made me actually sit back and reflect. Sitting there, on my couch, tears rolling down my cheeks and stains forming on my shirt. All of those words I just said came to mind and have been on replay ever since. So, thank you to the creators, the writers, the cast. You have given this 27-year old more insight over the last season than I ever thought. You have pushed me to do this, pursue a dream because I don’t want to look back and regret not doing something I love.

We all need to celebrate life. We all need to take a point from this show and put the fun into funeral. Having the children plan William’s fun-eral from start to finish was a brilliant idea. When so many of us don’t know how to bring the conversation of death, of the finality of someone’s life to children, this show has taught us how. Children, as much as we don’t like to admit, understand so much more than we give them credit for. They can grasp concepts more for what they are than for what they can be. They rebound fast and embrace love, embrace happiness. Why, as adults, we lose that, is beyond anything I can comprehend. Allowing this to happen within the show, was a stepping stone for so many parents. Take note.

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It was Beth who brought the emotional punch to this fun-eral. Where Randall was calm and struck with a sense of awe, she was the one who was hurting the most. Her children, her husband all got the goodbye and the closure that they needed with losing a man who had become a crucial part of their lives. She, got nothing. She was expecting William to return, to get back to their routine, to get back to her. Beth was the one who took care of him, daily. They bonded over his favourite strain of marijuana and built a bond that didn’t look like it would happen from their first meeting. Beth felt neglected and she is pissed that she didn’t get her goodbye. Beth is all of us when we lose someone close to us and never get that closure. She was the unexpected part of the show. Her breakdown hit me harder than that of Kate and Rebecca. But when she got that postcard… my heart.

The toast from Beth hits Kate the hardest. Kate was the closest to Jack, he was her heart and her soul. It seems as if this is the only other funeral that the Pearson family has attended and losing another father figure isn’t something they can process properly. Kate knows that she shouldn’t be making this day about her, leaving the house, but in the comfort of Randall it slowly moves into something else. Randall tells of his dream.

Now let’s pause because I lost my shit here. I had to pause and rewind several times because I kept missing things with my cloudy tear-ridden vision.

The dream sequence begins and everything you hoped you would get to see from the last episode you get. You get to see William meeting Jack, sitting on the old Pearson couch. Laughing, endlessly laughing. Telling stories to each other. Jack getting all serious saying he can’t believe Randall taught William to drive because when Randall was learning he pushed down hard on the gas pedal and backed out of their driveway like a bat out of hell. Laughing. William got to hear Jack’s laugh.

I can’t even sit here and write it without tearing up.

We can’t forget the mailman. We just can’t. The bonds that William built that we never got to witness resonates tenfold, the characters are still building even if we don’t see them.

We, as viewers, all know that this day would be coming. The grand lead up to what is inevitably the end of our Jack. This is where the episode leaves us. This is where I sat looking at my TV saying no. I don’t want this moment to happen, EVER. Even though I am expecting it, I am not prepared to see it. Especially the way it seems to play out…

Until Tuesday.

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