‘This Is Us’ recap: Everybody’s got history

Spoiler alert! This story contains details from “This Is Us” Season 3, Episode 7, “Sometimes,” which aired Nov. 13, 2018.

Who knew Vietnam would be such a fruitful story source for “This Is Us”?

This week’s episode of the NBC family drama focused on Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Zoe (Melanie Liburd) visiting Vietnam in the present, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) road-tripping to Los Angeles in the past, and Jack’s military service in the even further past. It was Jack’s time in Vietnam that would greatly affect the other two timelines, from the way it made him withhold in his relationship with Rebecca, to the way Kevin and Zoe are building theirs.

The narrow focus of the episode was a smart choice on the writers’ part, and helped give more weight to both Kevin’s search for answers about Jack’s service and the flashbacks to the service itself. It also was a showcase for Ventimiglia, a big presence here. “Us” fans need their Jack Pearson.

The episode began with a classic “Us” opening, which tracked how Jack’s necklace came to be in the hands of the Vietnamese woman in the photograph, from its forging onward. It then returned to Jack and Nick’s (Michael Angarano) brotherly reunion that ended the fourth episode.

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