This week on This Is Us Season 2 Episode 8, it was a long journey home for Kevin as we relived not only his first step, and the proof that he was "Number One" in his parents' eyes, but the moment he stopped being able to walk when he broke his leg playing football. That's a trauma older Kevin is still fighting today, as he goes on the field as relives it. But it was a much smaller moment during one of the flashbacks that got our attention: the power outage. Did the breaker start the fire on This Is Us?
Let's go back to that first scene, when the lights were off, when we saw Jack working on that breaker box. Here's the thing: We know anything that can go wrong in this house will. And that's kind of a weird spot for Kevin to start his memories of the college recruiter from Pitt coming over to visit. It makes far more sense for those memories to start in the kitchen, with his mom yelling at him about the shirt, not the sitting in the dark, and then sneering while Jack played amateur electrician.
Why would *that* be Kevin's starting point, unless that breaker box was an important thing? Which, did you happen to notice the box was missing half it's breakers and was an open hole directly into the wall and the wiring? Bad juju, as my electrician husband would say. I know this house is a money pit, but seriously people, call professionals when fixing the wiring in your house. And put the covers back on your breaker boxes and fuses. This has been a random PSA.
Let's discuss the logistics of what's happening now that Kevin's leg is broken. The kid can't walk. That means he can't be in the basement bedroom anymore, he needs to move upstairs. That means switching rooms with Kate most likely. (Randall's good and all, but he's not about to swap out his room.) So that means the next time we return to fall of '97, Kate and the dog may in fact be living downstairs in the basement. We should watch out for that.
Know what else lives in that basement? A half open breaker box. Know what else what else lives in that basement? A waching machine that could easily turn into an electrical fire if it shorts out.
Know what makes electricity short out and break a washer?
Animal Pee. Ask me how I know this*.
(*I have cats y'all. Four of them, and two of which get real mad in the winter when they can't go outside to pee. Two Snowmaggedons ago they did in our washer in the same manner. Now my husband digs snow paths for them to go to the bathroom. True story.)
Know what the show took great pains to make sure everyone noticed this week? That dog has bladder issues, as we saw when it peed on the couch this week.
Now we have all the things necessary for a sudden basement fire calamity. And a reason to have all of these things be in the basement at the same time.
Are we sure that's what happened? No, not completely. But it's one set of maths that adds up to a house fire and someone dying in it. A thing that Kate and Randall might have worked through, but as we saw this week, Kevin is only starting to do himself.
We have some advice for him though: Next time he takes a car around to stare at the house, don't forget to stop for the french fries.