Major spoilers from Tuesday night's (October 25) episode of "This is Us," "The Game Plan," lie ahead.
In a completely heartbreaking episode of "This Is Us," we finally learned Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) fate — and we were not ready for it.
The episode "The Game Plan" centered around themes of football, family, and the meaning of life (an American tale if I've ever heard one), and it is through these vehicles we learned that Jack is now dead, and that it has had a ripple effect on the entire clan.
Truly, the episode was a beautiful one that did a great job showing the intricacies of family planning, dealing with loss, and learning to let love in.
Ending the night with a beautiful speech delivered by Kevin (Justin Hartley), the episode gave us a silver lining takeaway after being dealt the blow of Jack's death. Throughout the night, we also learned that Kevin, Randall (Sterling K. Brown), and Kate (Chrissy Metz) are still working through how to value themselves after their father's passing — and finally becoming successful at it.
While Jack's death wasn't too shocking (we already knew that Rebecca, played by Mandy Moore, has moved on with another man), fans still completely lost it when they discovered his tragic fate:
However, we shouldn't get TOO carried away with mourning Jack as some perfect human.
I'll admit Jack has some FABULOUS, heart warming, I-wish-that-was-my-man moments on the show ... but he is also a deeply flawed character. (And no, his physique is NOT one of said flaws.)
The thing about Jack as a husband is that he is incredibly manipulative and overbearing.
Put your pitchforks down and hear me out: go back to the first episode, where we saw Jack and Rebecca preparing to give birth to triplets.
As the doctor was explaining a literal life and death situation for Rebecca, Jack loudly and overbearingly spoke over him on the behalf of the couple.
Like yes, he was terrified, so I'll give him a bit of a pass — but when your wife is literally on the brink of losing her life and the lives of her children, maybe don't silence her when she wants to hear what the doctor has to say?
And when Rebecca was trying to tell him she saw the father of their adoptive baby in Episode 3 — a very life changing, insanely impactful moment — maybe Jack shouldn't have shut her up by insisting she was just nervous about adopting a new baby?
He also constantly undermines Rebecca's authority with the kids.
Though sometimes it ends up being for the best — Rebecca is handling young Kate's weight pretty terribly — frankly, Jack just pushes his own agenda no matter how Rebecca feels.
Jack's flaws are seemingly "resolved" by the end of the episode, but it is silly to write his behavior off as just Jack being a "man's man," or looking at his behavior as "just how husbands were back then."
What's more, it is dangerous to look at these moments with romantic, rose-colored glasses.
Being a good father and overall decent husband doesn't mean you are impermeable to flaws, and it also doesn't mean we shouldn't critique his character just because he's sweet and dead. I am very hopeful that we'll see major character development from him in the years we know Jack is around for — though super-fans, I'd brace yourself for some heavy shit.
So far, "This is Us" hasn't held back when it comes to complexity in its characters, so I am sure Good Guy Jack has even more flaws than the ones we've seen eek out of him so far.