This week’s episode of This Is Us (titled: “The Big Day”) filled in the blanks about the day the Big Three were born and the people involved.
Jack & Rebecca
We get a glimpse of Rebecca in her early pregnancy when Jack puts on music for the babies and they start to move around in her belly. The two dance, and it’s just perfect…until months later when Rebecca is very pregnant and none of her shoes fit. She’s hormonal and overreacts about everything. She ends up telling Jack to leave the house for the day so she can relax. Soon enough she remembers that it’s his birthday and she just kicked him out! She tries to make him a cake and realizes she has none of the ingredients needed. Since she kicked her husband out, she has no car. She tapes a pair of flip-flops to her feet and trudges to the closest store within walking distance, which happens to be a liquor store. Out of breath and out of patience, she hysterically asks the clerk for something “homemade” that she can present to her husband. He gives her a muffin, and she buys some twinkies to “frost” the muffin. Then on the way out, she finds the “Terrible Towel” as a present for Jack and heads home.
Meanwhile, Jack is out with Miguel and his friends (who constantly find excuses to be away from their families) and realizes that the only place he wants to be is with his family. Instead of buying golf clubs as a birthday present for himself, he purchases a video camera and secretly tapes Rebecca talking to the babies. Years later, we see the Big Three watching home movies recorded from that very camera.
We get a few snippets from the hospital, filling in the blanks of that day, including the heartbreaking conversation that Jack has to have with Rebecca about losing the third baby.
Jump with me to read more.
During the pilot, after Dr. K had to give the news to Jack about the third baby, he mentions that he lost his wife the year before. In this episode, we realize how he’s still suffering from this loss. A few days before the Big Three are born, Dr. K is at home, getting ready for work. All of his wife’s things are still around the house. Even at the table, he sits eating breakfast and talks to her about getting sugary cereal for his grandkids, who are going to be visiting. At the grocery store to purchase the cereal, Dr. K runs into a widow friend, who offers to make him a home-cooked meal. He politely declines.
And when his son and family visit, Dr. K is approached again about moving on. He tells his son and daughter-in-law that he will never move on and they should stop asking him to. Later, when he visits his wife’s grave to talk with her about the whole situation, his beeper goes off and he heads into work to deliver triplets.
Later on, after the birth, we see Dr. K cleaning out his wife’s things and accepting the dinner offer from the widow.
Joe, the Firefighter
At the top of “The Big Day,” we find Joe, the fireman, in confession asking the priest for a miracle since his marriage isn’t doing well. So when he finds baby Randall at the firehouse doorstep, he takes the child home, thinking this is the miracle he needed. He tells his wife, Samantha, that this is the miracle he asked for (he thinks that because she couldn’t get pregnant, this baby will solve everything). She tells him to take the baby to the hospital, since a baby won’t fix their issues. After this effort, Samantha chooses to start over with Joe, and they give each other a handshake, in the classic movie and television “let’s start over” bit. Their future looks promising together.
One of the reasons I love Jack is that he’s really such a stand-up guy. He could have moaned about Rebecca and how badly she’d been treating him to the other guys, but instead, he ran home to be with her. And thank goodness, right?
And just when you thought a fireman was a fireman. Holy cow! I was absolutely heartbroken when I watched Joe’s story from the other side.
And don’t even get me started on Dr. K. I love his character and every chance I get to learn more about him. I thought it was a little harsh that his son wanted him to move on without really understanding how his father was feeling. But I liked how Dr. K struck back and yet still realized that he could let go of his wife’s possessions while still holding on to her memory.
Join me next week for the recap/review of the next new episode of This Is Us, which airs Tuesday, Jan. 24, on NBC at 9/8c.