The real tear-jerking episode 11 of This Is Us season 6 premiered this week and answered some burning questions about little Jack.
Directed by Chris Koch and written by K.J. Steinberg, it revolved around the incident that led to the potential end of Kate and Toby's marriage. It also saw flashbacks from Jack and Rebecca's 10th anniversary and moments from Kevin and Madison's growing friendship.
It's now time to dive in and dissect the 11th episode of NBC's most-loved show, This Is Us.
Note: This article contains spoilers and reflects the writer's opinions.
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 11 review
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 11 was as chaotic as things could get for the Pearson-Damon family. While the episode featured the much-awaited Big Green Egg, it was not the reason things started to fall apart for Kate and Toby. Viewers of the show were made to believe earlier that little Jack would somehow burn himself on his dad's new smoker. It was assumed that this would to the scar seen in previous episodes, but that was never the reason.
The actual reason turned out to be a chaotic moment during Rebecca and Miguel's anniversary party at Kate and Toby's home. Jack managed to sneak out of the house and make his way to the park, only to fall and hit his head. This is what led to the stitches on his head and the breaking point between his parents.
Toby failed to lock the door of Jack's room while Kate forgot to lock the front door of the house. This led to them blaming each other.
All of the resentments and issues the two had beneath the surface came pouring out into their lawn. This is where Kevin and Randall had their big blow-out in season 4. The beginning of the end for Kate and Toby's marriage is truly here in This Is Us.
Episode 11, Saturday in the Park, had two aspects to it. It had a tense afternoon at Kate and Toby's house in the present and Jack and Rebecca’s goofy anniversary date in 1986. The outcome for the two events, one way or another, was the same. No matter what happens, the Big Three will always have each other's back, and Kevin and Randall will always come to the rescue of Kate.
This season, Kate and Toby's storyline might have felt repetitive due to the constant and random tension between them. However, none of it was random as This Is Us was setting base for why the two were potentially never meant to last.
Kate's parenting philosophy towards Jack and Hailey is nothing but a result of Jack and Rebecca's positive parenting style. She wishes to instill the self-confidence in her kids that she lacked for so many years. This is so they are prepared for the world the way she wasn't.
Little moments, big achievements
Moments that made this episode of This Is Us a real tear-jerker were Randall calling Kate 'Katie girl', which was something Jack referred to her as.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Kincaid, who portrays baby Jack, carried the entire episode on his back with his brilliant performance and innocence. When he shared with his doctor that the park is where his mom and dad are happy, it is what sent everyone crumbling. The little moment Toby and Beth shared in the backyard was also heart-warming as it acted as a callback to season one.
The big hero this week was Rebecca, who figured out that little Jack went to the park and rushed to rescue him. This felt like a personal achievement considering Rebecca's declining health. Her biggest accomplishment, however, was that she raised kids who can survive without her as they can always fall back on each other.
This realization first came forward on her anniversary in 1986, when the Big Three came together to lock their babysitter in for being rude to Kate. In the present day in This Is Us, she witnessed the same when Kevin and Randall were present for Kate as she struggled with her marriage.
This episode of This Is Us Season 6 was one of the tensest episodes the series has ever delivered. From Jack's solo trip to the park, to Toby and Kate's cruel fight, it all seemed overwhelming even though viewers were already aware of the future for both. In the end, there were some sweet parts that helped calm the anxiety this episode gave. This includes Jack and Rebecca's anniversary date, the direction song, and the Kevin-Madison moment.
The latest episode of This Is Us Season 6 is now streaming on Peacock, Hulu, and Hotstar.