This Is Us’ recap of Songbird Road part two picks up exactly where part one left off, with the Big Three having found Nicky drunk and alone in his trailer with a gun in front of him.
There’s an awkward few moments where no one seems to know what to do. Kevin decides that Nicky is going to come stay with them at the hotel for the night. Nicky goes along with them, but seems restless and uncomfortable in a strange place. They offer him food and water, but he just asks them to leave so he can get some sleep. The Big Three discuss their options in the hallway, but Randall and Kate mostly shrug their shoulders. Kevin is elected to call Rebecca to tell her what’s going on.
In the morning the Big Three meets for breakfast at the hotel. Kevin has done a lot of research on Veteran Centers and treatment options. Nicky joins them for breakfast and doesn’t take much interest in Kevin’s Veteran Center idea. He says he’s been to a few Vet Centers without much benefit.
Suddenly, Rebecca arrives, explaining that when Kevin told her what was going on she just started driving over without thinking. The meeting is tense. Nicky seems to feel guilty somehow and Rebecca doesn’t hide her fascination and mixed feelings. When Rebecca asks if he knew about them, Nicky tells her about the weekend Jack came to see him in 1992 and that he saw a picture of them. Rebecca seems taken aback by the secret meeting between Nicky and Jack. Nicky excuses himself. Rebecca remembers that weekend, how distracted and moody Jack was and how strangely he acted. Rebecca took Kevin to the mall to get his baseball cards signed so that Jack could have a day at home.
Kevin is determined to help, but both Randall and Kate have obligations to get back to. Kate has a doctor’s appointment and Randall obviously has a lot going on at home with Beth unemployed and him taking office in a few weeks. Kevin is initially pretty rude about it, especially to Randall who loves to take people in. Randall is a little hurt and Kate gives Kevin a disapproving look. Kevin apologizes, saying he didn’t get any sleep. So it’s just Kevin and Rebecca: Mother-son day!
As Kate and Randall drive away together, Kate reminisces about that Valentine’s Day weekend when Jack went to see Nicky. She remembers a ridiculous sequin fight with Kate’s Valentine’s Day card decorations. With a few hours to kill before Kate’s flight, they decide to drive to the old neighborhood and take a look around.
That Valentine’s Day weekend, Jack is left in charge of Kate and Randall, but he’s moody and distracted. Jack excuses himself, telling them not to make a mess with their decorations. Randall, empathetic as always, knows something is up with Jack and just takes a moment to sit with him outside and lean up against him comfortingly.
Kevin and Rebecca take Nicky to see the Vet Center, but he’s still not interested. He went to check it out as a courtesy but he says that counseling never worked for him. Kevin gently persists, but Nicky tells him he’s out of his depth – obviously not knowing Kevin’s struggle with substance abuse himself. Kevin is frustrated and takes a moment for himself. Rebecca joins him and they both admit that they’re mad at Jack for keeping Nicky from them – that its hard to be mad at someone who’s not around to be mad at.
Kevin, Rebecca, and Nicky go back to the hotel. They’re going to stay one more night before taking Nicky home. Rebecca tells Nicky that it’s time for them to talk. Nicky’s face is resigned, like he knew he would have to sit down with her eventually and talk about Jack.
Kate and Randall arrive at their childhood home – or the house that was built in its place – right in the middle of an argument the new inhabitants is having. They are initially turned away, but the family’s young daughter invites them in a few minutes later. They talk about how everything is different and Kate realizes that the day of the sequin fight was also the say they invented Pearson Pizza. Kate remembers that day as being awesome, but Randall remembers that Jack was also really angry and weird. He got mad at the mess Kate and Randall made and then threw a plate against the wall in the kitchen. Kate doesn’t remember that at all and wonders if her whole childhood is a delusion. Randall just says that the best you can do as a parent is hope that the good stuff sticks, and that’s what Jack did. So that day was hard, but they also made the best of it. Jack came to them later and apologized, named their special pizza toppings Pearson Pizza, and started a crazy sequin fight – so maybe they were both remembering it right.
While Rebecca and Nicky spend some time together, Kevin is back at Nicky’s trailer trying to fix the place up. He’s sad and frustrated, leaving Zoe a voicemail about everything that’s happening. Something seems to catch Kevin’s eye and he’s distracted in the middle of his message.
Meanwhile, Rebecca tells Nicky about Jack’s journey toward sobriety and how she thinks he eventually would have made his way back to him. She explains about Kevin’s substance abuse past and how much it means to him to make people happy. Kevin seems like a simple, selfish, spoiled brat sometimes, but he’s more complicated than that. She remembers that day at the mall and how when Kevin got his baseball card signed by a player who might be traded to Minneapolis, he learned about what he liked and looked up places for him to go in case he had to move there. He acted like a stubborn brat earlier, but it was because he wanted to do something nice for someone else to make them happy. Nicky takes it as a message from Rebecca that he has to shape up a cooperate because Kevin needs a win. To Nicky, Kevin is just a movie star who wanted to be a hero for a day. Rebecca obviously has a lot of responses to this, but instead just shakes her head and walks away.
Nicky comes to sit with her again a little later and tells her a story about a tongue-and-groove tree fort Jack built when they were kids, how he liked to build things. Nicky says he used to be a person, that he would like to be that person again, but doesn’t think he can. But he tells Rebecca that his family was everything and all Jack ever wanted.
Nicky meets Kevin back at the hotel and brings him back to his trailer to help direct the clean-up and repair effort. He thanks Kevin for his concern and promises that he will go to at least one meeting at the Vet Center, but will not promise to go to two. They shake hands and Kevin leaves Nicky on his own, but hoping to see him again someday.
Randall returns home to discover that Beth’s mom has hurt her hip again and that she’s leaving immediately with Zoe to visit her in D.C. There’s the set up for next week’s Beth-centered episode.
Kate returns home and tells Toby all the good memories she wants them to make with their son, of movies in the backyard and popcorn and blankets.
On the way home, Rebecca tells Kevin how proud she is of him and how grateful she is to him to have the image of Jack’s tongue-and-groove tree fort. Kevin thinks back to that day on his own in Nicky’s cabin. There was a bottle of whiskey sitting on the counter and Kevin got drunk that day. Oh God, Kevin, you were doing so good, please don’t mess this up.