Jack Pearson was the magic man in the Pearson household and his death left not only a big hole in…
Jack Pearson was the magic man in the Pearson household and his death left not only a big hole in the family makeup but also a emptiness about who would be the cheerleader, the manufacturer of special things, the one who fixes everything. Every Pearson child has had his problems in the wake of Jack’s death, but it seems that Kate will be the one who fills the role that Jack left. The first proof? Kate talks with Tess on This Is Us was the one at a family time we all wish we could get on Thanksgiving.
Randall is the only Pearson with children right now and because Kate and Kevin live on another coast, we often do not see any of them interacting with their niches. But when Kate and Toby are in charge of making Thanksgiving dinner at Randall’s house, Tess stays home alone with them, setting that scene to see what Kate really can do ̵
1; and how far she has come. Her parents, Deja and Little sister, lead to a home-based shelter in Philly to volunteer in the name of Randall’s political campaign, but Tess feels sick and stays.
The reason Tess feels sick is that she only has her first period, and boy, she is embarrassed when Toby walks into her bathroom that rifles through a closet for a box with her mom’s pads and tampons. For a 12 year old girl, it’s a special kind of horror. (We’ve all been there.) But not only did Kate go in, look at Tess and make her feel better about the situation with her own embarrassing menarche story, she absorbed, without surprise or judgment, a new new fact about her  Ron Batzdorff / NBC
Kate told Tess that she could always come to her, if not her mother, about something, including first kisses and first boyfriends. Tess saw it easy to add, doubtfully, “or girlfriends?” Kate obviously did not expect such confession, especially because, from this viewer, Kate and Tess did not seem so close, but Kate rolled it and simply said, “Yes, or girlfriends.” This is a new development for the family, but Tess trusts Kate secretly. She has not even told her parents yet, and that’s the Jack Pearson magic I was talking about. Jack could offer the perfect call or reaction or moment to make a worrying feeling satisfied, and that’s just what Kate did here. Now these two have a binding moment to remember, and Tess knows she can go to Kate for what she needs.
It is far from the “injured” Kate that the audience met in Season 1 of This Is Us. When she slowly loses her hanging and blame for her father’s death, Kate fills the Jack role. His death was not her fault, and the more she perceived it, the more she opened herself, moving from the depressed teenager to an emotionally-realized adult woman who has everything together. Perhaps her relationship with Toby has changed her or maybe it’s because they’re going to start a family. No matter what it is, it works for Kate.
Ron Batzdorff / NBC
Right now Kate is the one who loves Pearsons together. Kevin is in Vietnam with Zoe. Randall and Beth have their own problems because of their campaign. Rebecca and Miguel sit through a horrible dinner with Miguel family. Toby tries to get out of his depression. Kate keeps them all up and it’s a role she seems to enjoy.