Episode 7, “Sometimes”, focuses on the early days in Jack and Rebecca’s (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) relationship. One week after meeting on their first date, Rebecca asks Jack to join her on a road trip to Los Angeles where she has a meeting with some record executives. On their long drive from Pittsburgh, their relationship starts progressing pretty quickly and the two of them are smitten with each other. Jack silently listens to Rebecca’s nervous ramblings; rarely sharing any details about him and Rebecca notices how little she knows about him. When she pushes him to talk about his experiences in Vietnam he explains that he can’t talk about it, he wants to move on from that time in his life and forget whatever happened before meeting her.
In the present, Kevin and Zoe (Justin Hartley and Melanie Liburd) on a similar trip of their own. Like Jack and Rebecca, they too are in the beginning stages of their relationship. You’ll remember from Episode 5 that Kevin was given an old picture of Jack and a Vietnamese woman wearing Jack’s beloved necklace, which then inspired Kevin to travel to Vietnam in hopes of finding this mystery woman. Once they have landed his optimism is quickly tainted when he notices a small souvenir shop in town with several replicas of Jack’s necklace. Kevin realizes this may be a much harder task than he originally thought.
Much like his mother, Kevin is excited to be traveling with Zoe and frustrated by her unwillingness to open up with him. Other than her living with Beth’s family for a few years, he can’t help but notice how little he knows about her life. When she mentions that she doesn’t want her father to know where she is, Kevin jumps on the opportunity to ask some questions but she immediately shuts him down. Like Jack she eventually becomes more vulnerable and tells him that her father sexually abused her as a young child. He lives in China now and she doesn’t want to give him the chance to reach out for forgiveness. Also like Jack, she too wants to keep that traumatic part of her life buried in the past.
Once they finally reach LA, Jack leaves Rebecca at her meeting while he drives down to meet the parents of one of his fellow fallen soldiers. Remember the hospital scene when Jack’s brother is born in Episode 4? Jack’s father tells him that his only job was to care for his baby brother and he carried on with this job for all of his “brothers” during the war. Jack breaks down as he apologizes for not taking better care of their son; he feels an enormous amount of guilt and responsibility for all of their deaths. This is one of the rare times that we see Jack accept defeat and open up about what he experienced over there. This pulls us back to the opening scene from this episode, Jack finally finds his brother Nick in Vietnam. Nick disappointedly shakes his head and tells Jack that “Superman” was only his nickname.
Rebecca’s meeting with the executives doesn’t turn out to be as positive as she anticipated. In the car she is giddy with excitement about this meeting being the start of her musical career, talking about recording an album and going on tour. After listening to one of her songs the executives nod their heads in amusement and smile. When she’s told to keep in touch she confused, she doesn’t understand why they are brushing her off like that. Instead of being crushed by their feedback. Jack picks her up after meeting with his friend’s parents. Rebecca sees the vulnerability in his eyes and she decides that home with Jack is where she wants to be.