SPOILER ALERT: You will learn everything that happened during this episode – especially the ending - if you continue reading.

NBC’s Emmy-nominated hit TV show, "This Is Us," premiered on Tuesday, September 26th, taking off where the Pearson family last left us in tears at the end of season one. The first episode titled, "A Father's Advice", takes place during Kate, Kevin, and Randall a.k.a. The Big Three’s 37th birthday, intercut with flashbacks from twenty-two years earlier that highlight their parents Jack and Rebecca’s marital troubles surrounding Jack’s drinking problem.

Opening with a flashback from before his death, William Hill (played so beautifully by Emmy-nominated Ron Cephas Jones, I was immediately happy to see him back), types one of the poems he wrote for his son, Randall. As voice-over narration, his soulful reading of the poem tells us that he’s writing about a father’s advice to his son about love. The poem springs from the famous line written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, that says, “'Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” and continues to explore the truth of that statement as the love stories are told throughout the rest of the hour.

As William’s reading of the poem continues to narrate, Rebecca (played by the ever so talented, Mandy Moore) picks up her confused, teenage children to take them to a family meeting at a diner.

Once there, Jack (played truthfully by Emmy-nominated Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca tell them the truth. Namely, that Jack caught Rebecca’s bandmate being inappropriate with their mother, which caused Jack to get upset and Rebecca to quit the tour. They add that they’re going to take a little time apart to give each other “a breather.” The kids, of course, are upset.

Kevin notices Jack’s scraped and bruised knuckles and we get a stronger sense of Kate’s teenage angst against her mom. Randall, being the sensitive kid he is, breaks out in tears. (The teenage versions of Kevin, Kate, and Randall are played by Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, and Niles Fitch, respectively).

Once the kids leave, Jack tries to touch Rebecca’s hand in reassurance but she pulls away, adding that it’s too soon and she needs some time to get over the disappointment.

We’ve never seen these two in an argument like this – ever.

Despite Rebecca trying to distract herself by taking the kids to the dollar show to see a Tom Hanks movie, she can’t seem to shake the funk she is in because she has, once again, lost her dream of becoming a professional singer. Jack tries to redeem himself by booking her a solo gig at the bar she used to sing at with the band and quickly learns that getting a gig there was tough to come by. He seems to finally understand exactly what he asked Rebecca to give up for the first time.

By the end of the episode, Rebecca goes over to Miguel’s house to ask Jack to return home, admitting she should have never asked him to leave in the first place.

But Jack has his own admission as well. He admits that he’s drunk at that very moment, that he’s been drinking on the sly for a while, and he’s having a problem stopping. He asks to be left alone to deal with it and shuts the door on her. But after a brief blackout on the screen, there’s a knock. Rebecca asks him to get in the car because if he has a problem, they’re going to deal with it together.

They enter the car and are driving together when a subtle cut happens. You almost don’t even notice it until you realize that Rebecca’s hair is styled slightly different and now, she’s wearing a jersey from her hubby’s favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jack is no longer in the front passenger seat but instead, there’s a clear plastic Ziploc bag with what looks like someone’s stuff – presumably, Jack’s personal belongings.

She drives up to a house. There’s the Pearson mailbox except when we see the house for the first time, it’s burnt to a crisp with firefighters still around. Jack, clearly, has died in this fire and Rebecca bursts out in tears, beating the steering wheel in agony, while William’s voice-over narration begins again about love (more on that below).

Are Kate and Toby happy together?

While Rebecca and Jack’s story is unfolding, we also follow our present-day Kate, Kevin, and Randall’s current relationships on their 37th birthday. Kate and Toby seem to be getting along beautifully until Kevin is around. Toby (played well by Chris Sullivan) feels that Kevin doesn’t respect the boundaries of his romantic relationship with his twin sister and it turns into an argument about whether Kate needs to be coddled by Kevin or pushed by Toby.

It ends with Kate demanding that she be treated like a grown woman and that she doesn’t need anybody to do anything for her.

This causes her to get the courage to finally audition for a lead singer position that she wimped out of earlier that day and is okay when she’s passed over due to her lack of talent because it didn’t have anything to do with her weight.

Is a long distance relationship working for Kevin and Sophie?

We first see our modern day Kevin (played ever so sweetly by Justin Hartley) on his knee proposing against a Parisian backdrop, only to discover he’s acting out a scene in that Ron Howard movie we learned about in season one’s finale. So he was not proposing to Sophie (played by "The Walking Dead" veteran, Alexandra Breckenridge) but he did end up getting a birthday song and cake from Ron Howard (who returns with another cameo performance) and his movie crew.

Shortly after, he finds out that Sophie didn’t make her flight out to Los Angeles to celebrate because she ended up having to care for her mother who has Multiple Sclerosis. Kevin, maturely, understands and makes the best of it by celebrating with Toby and Kate anyway. He buys out the entire sushi restaurant causing Toby to feel a bit inadequate since he doesn’t have Kevin’s Hollywood money. Toby finally has had enough when he finds out that Kevin knew that Kate skipped out on her big audition before him and they end up having that argument mentioned above that causes Kate to go to the audition to face her fears.

But Kevin does have a moment with Toby while they’re both waiting for Kate while she auditions.

They seem to reach an understanding about each other’s role in Kate’s life although Kevin promises to give the newly engaged couple some space.

Sophie surprises Kevin in the end when she’s waiting for him in his hotel lobby and they immediately kiss and seem very happy together. Let’s hope that lasts because I really do like these two together. Their whole backstory of having been high school sweethearts gives Kevin’s storyline the same heart every other character’s story has on the TV show.

Will Randall and Beth adopt?

But, our normally happily married couple, Randall and Beth, do bump heads over the entire episode about whether it’s a good idea to adopt a baby. Randall (played by rightful Emmy-winner Sterling K.

Brown) has total baby fever while Beth (played delicately by Susan Kelechi Watson) seems unhappy about it. Interestingly, this storyline flips the usual gender roles with Randall staying home with the kids wanting another baby and Beth working outside the home and not feeling so sure they should disrupt the delicate balance of their life.

We don’t find out what’s truly bothering Beth until a flashback she has with William (again, taking place before his death) in an inner city park. She confides that it bothers her that Randall decided to have William and Kevin move in without speaking to her first. He continues to push (there’s that word again) things on her. William, of course, points out that the things that Randall pushed on her didn’t turn out so bad and Beth concedes to that point although she could have lived without “The Manny” in her basement for a year.

We discover this is the reason when earlier in the episode Randall demanded that she get on board about this adoption, Beth had to walk away before a fight ensued between them – he, once again, was doing whatever he wanted without concern for her desires.

Randall has his own present-day experience with his mother, Rebecca, about his own adoption. He wants to know the truth. Did Jack and Rebecca waver at all about adopting him? At first, Rebecca tries to give the usual line that they both knew immediately but Randall isn’t buying it this time. So she finally confides that Jack pushed (again with the word push) her into the decision. But adds the first line that caused me to tear up (because tears come with the territory with this amazing drama series), “He [Jack] pushed a stranger on me and that stranger became my child and that child became my life.

He became you.”

But Randall takes this information and comes to a different conclusion. We learn why when we see a flashback from the night Jack and Rebecca fought, causing the need for “the breather” told to us in the beginning. Randall had come home early from a party and overheard Jack putting down Rebecca’s singing aspirations. So he decides not to push Beth into this adoption but instead, tells her that’s not the type of marriage they have and he will adjust the plan if she’s not on board. She confides that she’d like to adjust the plan, takes Randall to the same park table that she used to sit with William, and asks if he’d like to adopt an older kid instead.

In the end, while Kate practices singing with Toby, Kevin is happily spending time with Sophie, Randall and Beth view an adoption website with faces of older children in view, and sadly as Rebecca cries in her car over losing Jack, William’s voice-over narration continues with the ending of his poem.

He concedes that his fatherly advice has changed with time and that he would like to add that “it’s better to have loved then lost, surely, but try not to lose it at all.”

How was this premiere episode?

This season two opener hit all the right notes as usual – having the perfect mix of heart, laughter, and tears, just like season one. But what I loved most about this story was its subtle commentary about the difference between beliefs about marriage from Rebecca and Jack’s time to modern day.

This idea that someone, usually the husband, had to push their spouse into things they didn’t want to do is no longer working for today’s marriages. Randall, clearly, remembered how hurtful it was to overhear Jack laugh at the notion that Rebecca’s singing in pubs could be considered a career. So he decided to change his approach with Beth and give her voice within their relationship respect instead. It led to a deeper connection between them and ultimately, serves as a better example of what marriage really should look like today.