Is This Is Us' Jack Too Perfect?

Why can this man seem to do no wrong?

By Lauren Piester Feb 08, 2017 3:00 AMTags

There is perhaps no character on TV more perfect than Jack Pearson, and it's beginning to bother us. 

This Is Us' greatest strength is its characters, and most of them are filled with both strengths and flaws--just like real people, and just like the best fictional characters. Then, there's Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). 

In the beginning of the series, we saw that he was an alcoholic and that he and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) were having some issues, but as soon as he understood how much it bothered his wife, he declared that he would stop drinking, and we haven't seen them deal with that problem again (yet). 

In any case, the rest of his family have been shown making mistake after mistake—some worse than others (looking at you, Kevin), but all understandable, and none unforgivable. And then there's Jack, who may stumble, but then he redeems himself as if that stumble were a full fall off a cliff while it sometimes seems like Rebecca is racing to keep up with him.

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Tonight, the topic of divorce came up when Miguel (Jon Huertas) and his wife, Shelly (Wynn Everett) announced to their friends that they were splitting at some point during the kids' teen years. Jack just couldn't believe it, but Rebecca knew Shelley had been unhappy. To Jack, divorce is the end of the world, but Rebecca says that sometimes it just happens. 

Later, Jack accused Miguel of having an affair, assuming there must have been some big reason for the divorce, or someone to blame, but Miguel told him that over time, they just drifted apart, and there's no one to blame.


Meanwhile, Rebecca's bandmate (Sam Trammell) wanted her to join the band on a tour, and tried to make Jack the bad guy when Rebecca said she had to talk to her husband. She shot back with a whole list of all the incredible things he did on a daily basis, and called him a superhero. 

Then, her superhero husband took her on a date to their first apartment, which he rented for the night and filled with candles and twinkly lights, and they sort of renewed their vows on the bathroom floor, and it was hard not to fall in love with the two of them all over again. 

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While most everything we saw tonight ended up solidifying Jack and Rebecca's marriage, creator Dan Fogelman promised EW that things are going to get a little uglier.

"There's a distance in the marriage and in this amazing couple who we've gotten to love so much," Fogelman told the site. "We've seen a little bump in the road in our second episode, but for the most part, they've been rock-solid. We're going to explore a different version of them in the weeks to come. Not that it's all ugly...but we start laying some cracks that are going to scare people."


It's currently hard to imagine Jack's part in whatever causes those cracks, and we've begun to wonder if the nearly perfect image we have of Jack is colored by the fact that we know he's going to die. You know how it goes—good but imperfect people leave us, and suddenly all we remember are the best parts of them, the parts we'll miss, and not the parts we'd rather forget about. 

Maybe, as we get closer to filling in the gaps in the timeline around Jack's death and Rebecca's marriage to Miguel (which likely happened at least 12 years ago, since Kevin and Sophie were still married at that point), we'll also get closer to filling Jack in as a whole person who doesn't always do everything right (especially where Rebecca might do something wrong), but is still a good person, husband, and father. 

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And maybe, when the show finally finishes putting Jack and the rest of the family together, we won't be so uncomfortable at the idea of Rebecca getting remarried to Miguel, and maybe we'll understand Rebecca a lot better in general. She, after all, is still very much alive, and probably deserves a little less hate for the choices she's made in her life, both before and after the death of her first husband. 

Or, Jack just truly is a perfect man and This Is Us has ruined real-life parents and spouses forever. We'll just have to wait to see what we learn as the rest of the season plays out. 

What do you think? Head to the comments with your thoughts!

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC. 

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBC Universal family.) 

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