With This Is Us tying up all the loose ends in its final season, one would think the series would focus mainly on the present and future. But there are still a few unanswered questions from the past, especially where Jack is concerned. Though fans have always known about Jack’s father and his abusive tendencies, his mother has remained a mystery throughout the series. But the This Is Us Season 6, Episode 4 promo promises the show hasn’t forgotten her.
Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 6, Episode 3 follow. In Jan. 20’s “Four Fathers,” fans got a pair of hints about how the future may play out for the current adult crop of Pearson siblings. Kate connected with future husband Phillip over difficult marriages, and the show introduced the cooking apparatus that will ruin her marriage much like a crockpot did for her mother before her. Faced with a difficult choice to repeat the past mistakes, Kevin decided not to text his co-star to dive into another disastrous relationship. Instead, he called Cassidy, fueling speculation she might become the eventual second Mrs. Kevin Pearson after all.
But the show’s actual twist ending occurred back in the early 1980s, after Rebecca and Jack congratulated themselves on ending the day on a good note. However, as Rebecca wisely noted, the day isn’t over until it’s over, and sometimes the day is only over when it decides it is. As such, Jack’s day did not end in triumph, but rather heartbreak, when he received a call notifying him his mother had passed away.
Episode 4 is titled “Don’t Let Me Keep You.” The synopsis is short: “Jack visits Ohio.” Whether that means the episode will be a single-story focus on Jack is unclear. However, the pairing of a trailer that shows nothing but his story and the synopsis not mentioning anything else suggests both Kevin and Kate’s stories will be backburnered for the time being.
In talking about Episode 4 with Entertainment Weekly, producer and writer Casey Johnson said the upcoming episode will be all about Jack unpacking his guilt and grief over how his relationship with his mother played out. “It’s a really beautiful, complicated episode that deals with all of that,” Johnson said. “A lot of it came from his own experience, but Jack’s really going to have to face all of that — the good and the bad of his past with his mom.”
This Is Us: The Final Season continues with new episodes every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming the next day on Hulu.