Pearson kids finally meet their uncle, and he has a hell of a story to tell. Nicky explains what went down in Vietnam on the January 22 episode of "This Is Us", and it will break your heart.
After the war and after starting a family, Jack begins to get postcards from his brother, who signs them as "Clark Kent." He always leaves his return address: 2125 Songbird Road. Jack never returns Nicky's postcards, though Nicky's notes are becoming increasingly pressing. It is only before saying "the last one" that Jack himself breaks.
Jack goes to Nicky's trailer in the middle of nowhere. "How did you get my home address?" Jack asks right out of bats. "You can't write me home." It is extremely tense between them. Jack tells his brother to "care", but he just can't leave. He didn't come so far for nothing. Nicky gives Jack pictures from Vietnam and they start to warm up to each other.
Today, the bulbs gather to talk about Nicky. As much as Kate tries to find her way around, Kevin emphasizes that Jack knew Nicky was alive all the time. This is the first Rebecca to ever hear about Nicky living. Jack kept this from her during their entire marriage. Kevin is going to Bradford, where Nicky lives, and Randall is just as good. Rebecca won't go. Kate is also hesitant, but she cannot resist.
So Pearson's going on a road trip. They just can't get over why Jack told them his brother was dead. Kate is really caught by her father lying to her. Meanwhile, Rebecca does not treat the news well. Later, Rebecca Miguel tells about Nicky. She's frustrated that she didn't ask Jack more questions all these years ago. Now she seeks the truth.
Kevin, Randall and Kate pull up to Nicky's place. Kevin knocks on the door, but Nicky goes up behind the Pearson trio. "Does Jack know you're here?" Ask the older Nicky. All Pearson's are shocked at his question. Kate tells Nicky that Jack is dead. Nicky asks when Jack died. His brother has been dead for 20 years and he didn't even know it.
Pearson kids don't waste any time asking Nicky the hard questions. First, he wants them to leave, but Kate refuses. Nicky finally settles down and talks to them. "Your father tried to clean me up. It didn't work," he tells them. When asked why his father told them he was dead, Nicky says, "He should never have come from me."
Back in Vietnam, the mystery woman's little boy comes over to Nicky and tries his glasses. Nicky makes him fish using hand grenades to kill the fish in the water. They have a lot of fun until the little boy tries to grab the grenade. Nicky drops it. Nicky shouts at the boy to jump out of the boat with him, but he doesn't. That's when the explosion happens. Jack swims out to Nicky. When Jack looks at the broken boat and sees the boy's flip flop, he thinks he knows what happened. Jack thinks Nicky killed the boy. "I'm done," shouts Jack at Nicky, who is catatonic. Nicky is sent to a psychiatric facility after the incident.
When Jack visits Nicky years later, he refuses to talk about Vietnam. Nicky tries to tell Jack what really happened that day, but Jack won't go back. "I've moved on," Jack says. And he means it. "Did I ruin your life?" Nicky asks before Jack goes out the door. Jack replied, "No, Nicky. I have a good life." Jack shows him a picture of his family. Nicky thinks there's no place in Jack's life for him anymore. He thinks he'll clear Jack's perfect life and family with his problems so he lets Jack go. He promises Jack he won't write any more. Jack goes away and they never see each other again.
The older Nicky admits that his memories of Vietnam fade, but that the boy's mother is burned in his memory forever. He tells the kids that Jack "saw everything in black and white. That's why he had two lives … He walked away from the first life and when Jack chose a direction, he never changed the course. He put the war behind him. He looked Never back. "But Jack almost returns to Nicky the same year, but he eventually gets on his way. When Jack comes home, he admits almost everything to Rebecca, but he holds back. Why, Jack, why ?!
Nicky also asks Pearson kids how Jack died. When he is told Jack died of a heart attack, Nicky shakes and asks the children to leave. Is it because he knows about Jack's heart disease? Kevin, Randall and Kate leave Nicky's place. They're going home to Pittsburgh, but Kevin can't leave Nicky behind. "I can't leave him as a father did," Kevin says. They all go back and find Nicky with a gun. "I must never tell him," Nicky is crying. "It was an accident." Kevin puts his hand on the uncle's shoulder. Nicky Pearson will not stand alone this time.