**warning: contains spoilers**
In classic This is us fashion, viewers were thrown a curve ball when in a flashback featuring Jack and his dad, Jack is waiting for his father to return from the bar so they can go on a fishing trip. We believe Jack is alone, praying to himself that his father will come back, when up pops Jack's brother, Nicky! Jack makes a promise that he will always be there to protect him. The next scene shows him looking a pictures from Vietnam where they both served, but what happened to Nicky remains a mystery. We may find that Nicky died in Vietnam and Jack feel responsible. (This may also explain Jack giving dog tags to Kevin, demonstrating his strength as his knee is messed up, ruining his dreams of professional football.)
Some viewers are disappointed in the turn Kevin;s character has taken, but it doesn't bother me. Whether it is realistic that Kevin can be addicted to Vicodin with a simple meniscus tear or not, I don't know, but it is obvious there is a much deeper need for numbing emotional pain (like father, like son.) As demonstrated in the flashback, Kevin doesn't like to feel anything and he certainly doesn't like to talk about it. Instead he drinks it away, leaving us to believe this will drive Sophie away once again (when will he learn?)
What are your thoughts regarding Jack's brother? do you think he is alive or did he die in Vietnam? if he is alive, where is he? What impact do you think having a brother will have on the overall plot development, or on Jack's character arc?