Of all three adult Pearson kids, Kevin has probably had the worst time expressing his feelings about Jack’s death. So it was heartbreaking to see him finally breakdown in Tuesday's episode of This Is Us as he came to terms with his past and the loss of his necklace that Jack had given him years ago. Now that we know it was special to Jack before he passed it on to his son, is it possible Kevin’s necklace belonged to Jack’s brother on This Is Us?
It's basically a relic from the years of heartache that Kevin endured as a teenager after his knee injury, so naturally, it’s remained important to him long into adulthood. He’s talked about it before, way back in Season 1, but finally, after Tuesday’s episode "Number One," fans were given at least a little bit more background about it.
In a flashback, Jack explained to Kevin that the necklace had been given to him during a hard time in his life when he was serving in the Vietnam War. He said wearing the necklace had gotten him through it. The sentiment was meant to calm Kevin down and comfort him after learning that his future in football was over. It also gave a little more insight into Jack's past in Vietnam that’s only been shown to viewers in tiny spurts.
After seeing the Army photo of Jack with some friends and his brother, we now know that his younger brother Nicky was also in the war with him, so the necklace could have been given to Jack during their time spent on the front line together. And that alone would make the necklace so much more important than it already is.
In Season 1, when Kevin first spoke about losing Jack and gave the very vague clue that it had happened a long time ago, he revealed to a grieving widow part of his history with the necklace Jack gave him as a teenager. "I have this — this necklace, this is his, and it’s the only thing I have left of him, and at first I didn’t want to wear it, I wouldn’t wear it, I wouldn’t even look at it. But now it’s all I have now, I can’t take it off now," Kevin said tearfully, opening up in a way viewers hadn't yet seen.
It's becoming more and more likely that Jack's brother died in Vietnam. Maybe Jack was with him in his final few moments and Nicky gave him the necklace to symbolize how he'll always be there with him. Or maybe Jack came across his brother's necklace after his death, and decided to wear it to keep his brother close to his heart. Either way, I can see how the item could help him through such a tough time.
Kevin and Jack's relationship was far from perfect — Tuesday night's episode proved as much. But the necklace helped to bring them closer together again and end the rift that had been growing between them. The necklace means so much to Kevin because it meant so much to Jack. And while Jack didn't come out and say who gave it to him, I have a feeling it had to of come from someone very special. Rebecca and the kids weren't in Jack's life yet during his time in the war. That leaves his brother as the main contender.
I'm sure we'll find out eventually who the necklace's original own was, but the answer seems pretty clear already. And the fact that Jack loved Kevin enough to give him something so important in his time of need just further proves what a great guy he truly was.
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