This is Us
The Big Day
Original Air Date: Jan 17, 2017
Jules – Senior Managing Editor
In a change of pace, this week’s episode is set entirely in the past. Specifically, it focuses on the day of the triplet’s birth from several point of views.
Jack and Rebecca: The couple plays the babies Stevie Wonder and they love it. Rebecca loves being pregnant until she can’t get up and no shoes fit her anymore. She’s also very cranky that the house isn’t done yet and forgets it’s Jack’s birthday. Miguel calls Jack to wish him a happy birthday and invite him for a round of golf, which he accepts. Rebecca also half kicks him out of the house. I liked Jack sitting in car with lighter asking God if his wife has been possessed by demons. Inside the house, Rebecca calls herself a monster and looks at the calendar to see how long until she’s due and then just realizes what day it is and then she goes into a panic mode. She wants to make a fancy cake for Jack’s birthday, but she has no ingredients and has to go to the store and has no car. She duct tapes on sandals, rips the recipe out and walks to the nearest store (even passing a screaming child) singing Stevie Wonder. The closest store within walking distance is a liquor store and with some help from the clerk, Rebecca leaves with a banana muffin, Twinkies and a Steelers “Terrible Towel” and fashions a cupcake from it – Twinkie as frosting – how genius! All the while Jack is at the golf course with Miguel and his gold buddies. Jack talks about wanting to stop time so he can spend as much time with his kids and doesn’t even end up playing golf and leaves to go buy himself a present that isn’t gold clubs. Back at the house while waiting for Jack to come home, Rebecca sits in the nursery to talk to her babies. She tells them how she can’t wait to meet them and that they will love their dad – “You’re going to be huge fans” and how she’s nervous about the kids meeting her. She says she won’t be the perfect mom, but that she will protect them fiercely and will always sing to them and that “I love you so much it hurts, and I haven’t even met you yet.” Cue water works if they haven’t happened already. When she’s done with her little monologue Jack reveals that he’s been filming her the whole time with his new purchase – a video camera!
Then we cue what we saw in the pilot with the traditional birthday dance, their trip to the hospital and this time hearing Jack tell Rebecca that they lost one of the triplets breaks my heart all over again. Flash forward to father’s day when kids are a little older – around ten – and a new tradition is to watch videos of the kids lives, starting from the beginning from the day they were born. The Pearsons sure have a lot of traditions and I love it.
Dr. Katowsky: Elsewhere, Dr. K. is going about his day and clearly still missing his late wife. Her stuff is still in the house and he even still talks to her as if she’s still there during breakfast. At the grocery store preparing for his grandkids visit, the doctor runs into a lady friend and fellow widow who tells him that if any time he needs company, she’d love to make him dinner. Dr. K. lets that go as his son, daughter-in-law and grandkids arrive for a lunch. His son is worried about dad not letting go and even asks about potential prospects since it has been 14 months. That’s when the doctor starts to lose it saying he knows his wife is gone and that “I will never move on. She was my wife; she was my life.” Oh Dr. K! He later visits his wife’s grave where he tells her that he’s not sure he can go on without her and misses her so much. Then his beeper goes off. It’s baby time and we’re back to the pilot scenes of their first introduction, the birth and the lemonade speech with Jack. We also see a new scene where Dr. K is happy that Jack has taken his advice about adoption. From there it seems he’s ready to move on, riding the house of his wife’s belongings from where they were before. Him at the breakfast table still talking to his wife saying that a day doesn’t go by he doesn’t think of her and hopes that what he’s doing is what she would have wanted makes me tear up.
Joe and Samantha: Speaking of the abandoned Randall, let’s meet firefighter Joe. He’s at confessional talking about stopping smoking and moves to talking about his marriage and how they are in a rough place and that they need a “miracle” to save his marriage. Wife Sam is not happy with Joe, who has to go to work on the day that Williams leaves Randall on the door step of he fire station and it’s Joe who finds the baby. Seeing this as the miracle, he brings the baby home to wife Sam, who is not loving the idea thinking Pea that they can just adopt a kid and all things will be better. So baby goes to the hospital instead and I’m happy Randall didn’t end up with them. Sam does eventually come around a little, later telling Joe that he was so sweet to bring the baby home and it makes her think if they could start all over again and he agrees. So the couple goes for a fresh start.
The entire episode ends with Dr. K’s lemonade speech over a montage of the Pearsons enjoying Father’s Day, Dr. K. enjoying dinner his his lady friend and Joe and Sam having dinner out.
So what did you think? I loved the all flashback episode and seeing the day in full and every actor knocked it out of the park, but especially Mandy Moore and Gerald McRaney. I don’t think I’ve cried this much in an episode in awhile and this one definitely brought on the tissues. Another solid outing! Share any thoughts below!
Next Episode: Three Sentences