I can't tell you how much I loved this episode. It seems polarizing which I totally understand but for the first time this whole season, I was emotional and feeling everything that the characters were.
Nicky I think did a good job explaining Jack, He was black and white. He saw his life before that incident and then everything after it. While I do find it hard to believe that Jack would shut his brother out like that without much of an explanation, I also feel like it makes sense that Jack took that part of himself, shut it off and moved on to be the man he wanted to be, the one his dad never could. And in that, in his mind, he had to forget his brother in moving to that place. I will say, showing that picture to Nicky of his family and then Nicky just looking at it, like, "man, what a wonderful life you made and you couldn't ask me to join you it" made me SO sad.
I wonder if those who were over in Vietnam have any insight to their dynamic, and how Nicky was so resentful of his life and Jack was just trying to make it better, even being in the hell that they were. I wonder if any of these men could say better why Jack might have done this to his brother because of circumstances. So many men just came home and didn't talk about it and I can't imagine Nicky ever being able to tell Jack in a letter and even in person, couldn't tell him the truth. What a sad and lonely life his brother lived and didn't even know Jack had died.
I just thought it was a very flawed and very human episode even if many didn't like what Jack had done. At the end though, his family did come back for Nicky and I do think at some point, Jack may have changed his mind about everything but he died so young, he really didn't have the chance.