Well, that was a twist we didn’t see coming.
After spending a season (well, half a season) learning about Jack’s experience in Vietnam, and how his brother, Nicky, died, we left tonight’s episode with one essential piece of knowledge: Nicky isn’t dead.
The final scenes of this week’s episode show a man collecting mail in a small apartment. And that mail is addressed to Nicholas Pearson. Jack Pearson’s brother. Who– it’s worth saying again– is alive.
The Twittersphere lost their minds over this explosive ending, with some people calling it the “best cliffhanger yet”. Check out some Twitter reactions below:
Interestingly enough, Refinery29 hit the nail on the head months ago, when they asserted their belief that Nicky was alive. Their evidence? The outlet pointed out how Nicky was mentioned in the episode “The Car” where Jack says that Nicky never made it out of Vietnam. But that’s it. That’s all we had to conclude that he was dead.
Refinery29 also pointed out that while Jack took a teenage Randall to see the Vietnam memorial, no attention was given to Nicky’s final resting place… because there is none.
What could this mean for the future of the show? Well, a lot. It could mean a reconciliation between Jack’s children and his brother. It could mean– if Nicky has been removed from the family for years– that he doesn’t know his brother is not alive.
Michael Angarano, who plays Jack’s brother, is a familiar face. The New York actor was previously on Will and Grace, where he played the role of Elliot. He’s also appeared in shows like I’m Dying Up Here, Mom, Arrested Development, 24, Summerland, and Sun Dogs.
What else did we find out at the end of the episode? A fast-forward to the future hints at Beth and Randall being separated. That’s right– the couple who has what we thought was the most stable marriage in the entire show, could potentially separate as they get older.