This Is Us: Everything We Learned About Jack from That Vietnam Episode
This post contains spoilers for This Is Us Season 3, Episode 4, âVietnam.â
After months of waiting, This Is Us finally brought fans way back in timeâ"to the Vietnam War, specifically. Last season, we found out that Jack Pearson fought in the war alongside his younger brother, Nick. On Tuesday night, the time-jumping drama spent an entire episode unraveling how both brothers wound up overseas war and what happened while they were there. There are, unsurprisingly, still plenty of questions about Jackâs past left to be answered later this seasonâ"but with this installment, This Is Us has begun to give us a clearer picture of his family, and how he turned out the way h e did as a father. Letâs break down the most important revelations from the episode, in order, starting with this shocker:
Jack was not drafted into the Vietnam War.
Instead, he volunteered to fight after Nick was drafted and deployed. Classic Jack!
Throughout the boysâ childhoods, Nick was sicklyâ"in and out of the doctorâs office all the time. After being drafted in 1970 and deployed overseas, Nick began acting out, convinced he would die in Vietnam. Jack, who could not be drafted for medical reasons, chose to enlist as a volunteer, intending to help protect his brother. As the future Pearson patriarch told his family doctor, âI just need to be where he is.â
Jack had a pre-existing heart condition.
The heart attack that killed Jack last season didnât come entirely out of the blue. As his doctor mentioned this week, Jack had suffered from tachycardiaâ"an abnormally rapid heart rateâ"since he was young. I t was for this reason that he could not be drafted; in fact, Jack had to fudge his way into the Army by doing pushups and then catching his breath before his medical exam. Like returning to a burning house in order to save Kateâs dog, it was an act of courage on behalf of the people he loves.
Jack has contemplated breaking a rule at least once in his life.
Jack has been a goody-goody since the series beganâ"the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect protective son for his own mother. And although his trip to Vietnam was motivated by the purest intentions, Jack did flirt with breaking the law in this episode. He planned to drive his brother over the Canadian border to dodge the draftâ"but Nick ended up sneaking away, leaving a note for Jack saying that though he was grateful to his brother, it was his turn to be the hero. Perhaps Nick was shaken by his normally abusive fatherâs words on the night he got drafted: âMake m e proud, son.â
Jack and Nickâs father didnât always suck.
Stanley Pearson turned abusive sometime between Jackâs toddler years and his elementary years; as seen in the scene where Nick is being born, Jack and Nickâs father was once a caring family man. Perhaps most importantly, he did not drinkâ"but his own father did. As we know, Stanley Pearson later became a belligerent alcoholic himselfâ"and Jack, too, turned meaner when alcoholism began to get the better of him. When and why, exactly, Stanley began drinking remains to be seen.
There are more unanswered questions left, too.
For instance: How, exactly, did Nick dieâ"and what kind of trouble was he raising over in Vietnam before he got sanctioned? Did Jack see whatever happened to Nick? And, perhaps most importantly: how did Jack get promoted to staff sergeant so quickly? As with most questions in this series, it could be a while before the an swers appear.Get Vanity Fairâs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Source: Google News Vietnam | Netizen 24 Vietnam