If there's anything the Season 3 premiere of This Is Us taught us, it's that Jack and Rebecca are human and had awkward dates just like the rest of us. Although the night ended on a sweeter note, the pair's spontaneous first date was a little bumpier than expected. Jack being broke prevented him from treating Rebecca as much as he wanted to, but the date included a nostalgic touch you definitely forgot about. Jack's shirt in the This Is Us Season 3 premiere has popped up before, and the tiny detail will have you crying about the Pearsons' love all over again.
In the premiere episode "Nine Bucks," Jack and Rebecca decided to go to a carnival after spotting each other across the bar. Rebecca was distracted from her singing, while Jack's plans to rob the bar were quickly abandoned. He told his friend Daryl that he met the girl, but had to borrow money from him to buy him and Rebecca tickets to the carnival. Jack's leather jacket and the darker lighting of the nighttime date kept viewers' eyes away from more specific outfit details, but if you look closely, you can spot that underneath the jacket are a flannel shirt and the collar of a green tee. Let's ignore the fact that this date supposedly took place in December when Jack might've needed more than just a leather jacket. What's the importance of what's underneath the coat?
NBC has released a sunnier photo of Jack and Rebecca at the carnival, which looks like it actually could have been a picture of Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore rehearsing the scene in costume. While Rebecca's date outfit seems almost entirely intact, Jack is without his jacket in the photo, showing off more of the green shirt underneath his flannel. This isn't the first time the green shirt has appeared on This Is Us, but it's been quite some time since we last saw it.
In the Season 1 episode "The Pool," Jack, Rebecca, and the nine-year-old triplets tried to beat the summer heat by spending the day at the local pool. While Kevin attempted to win over his parents' attention and Randall gravitated toward the other black people at the pool, Kate's issues with body confidence and loneliness began to show. To comfort her, Jack offered her the green shirt, a token from a drunken night in Florida during which Jack chased away people harassing a "drugged-out drifter." He explained to Kate that the shirt would help her enemies see her exactly as she wanted to appear and said he wore the shirt the night he met Rebecca, emphasizing its "magical" properties.
The most memorable image from "The Pool" is probably that of the whole family huddled together on a beach chair as the kids sleep and Jack and Rebecca share a tender look. In that scene, Kate is still wearing the shirt, and now that we've seen Jack and Rebecca meeting, the shot is even more heartwarming than it is at first glance. By explaining the shirt's origins and then sneaking it into the Pearsons' first date, This Is Us seems to have created a theme of connecting the Big Three to elements of their parents' pre-marriage lives. With Kate's connection made, the next link ought to be Kevin's reasoning for exploring Jack's life in Vietnam. Seeing as a war story probably won't feel very sweet, I'm savoring this T-shirt Easter egg for as long as possible.
Season 3 of This Is Us continues on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.