This Is Us- Past & Future

Season 3 Episode 7 

Past and Future

There’s no avoiding it. Our past impacts our future. Past relationships, past traumas, the home we grew up in all play a part in something called our implicit memory. These are memories that we may not even realize we remember but play a part in the way we respond to the world around us on a daily basis. 

Both Jack and Zoe are attempting to move forward in Season 3 Episode 7. Jack and Rebecca go on a road trip and Jack is trying to open up and connect with Rebecca while dealing with memories from war. Zoe has traveled across the world with Kevin and is trying to manage her fears about her father while her interest in Kevin increases. 


Growing up with an alcoholic father, Jack learned to lock up his emotions to keep from feeling the hurt his father caused. This implicit memory makes it difficult for Jack to open up to Rebecca. Being abused by her father has led to Zoe keeping people at a distance in order to protect herself from others who might be out to harm her. Relationships, whether friendships or romantic give us new opportunities to confront these implicit memories. Jack is starting to realize that there are definitely emotions inside him and is just beginning to feel in front of Rebecca. From seeing more of their life together we know that he wasn’t successful in completely opening up to her but definitely made progress. Zoe is discovering that Kevin may in fact be a safe person and worth sharing her story with. This goes against both of their nature - or implicit memories, but they both take risks and try something new. 


Some things to consider:

  1. Many behaviors that we “learned” as kids are no longer serving us now. In what ways do you react to your current world as if you are responding to your past? How might you begin to try something new? 

  2. Could those things that drive you crazy about your best friend or spouse be their own reaction to their implicit memories? How might you help them try something new instead of judging them or creating greater conflict?