What happened on that fateful day in 1980 when the Big Three were born? This Is Us takes its time in explaining all of the details of that day, including what Dr. K and the fire inspector, who found Randall, were doing. And, of course, in this episode, titled “The Big Day,” we also find out what Rebecca and Jack are doing before she goes into labor.

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Asking for a Miracle

Pittsburgh Fire Inspector Joe is hoping for a miracle. He heads to confession and reveals to the priest that he’s having marital issues. He reveals how the day he met his wife, Samantha, is the best day of his life, and he wants to feel like that again. When he heads home, his wife can barely look at him.

Joe heads to the firehouse where he finds baby Randall on the doorstep. He brings the newborn home to Samantha, hoping that this is the miracle he asked for since their issues started when they found out they couldn’t have kids. However, she feels differently and tells him it won’t solve their problems. She warns him to take the baby to the hospital before he gets arrested. So that’s what he does.

Later that night when he gets home, Samantha tells him she wants to start over to fix their marriage.

Moving On

It seems our beloved Dr. K is very depressed before he meets Rebecca, Jack and the Big Three. It’s been 14 months since he lost his wife, Caroline, and he still has the same routine, except now he’s thrown himself into his work. Everything in the house is the same, including all of her things. And he’s even still talking to her every day.

During a trip to the grocery store, he runs into a female friend, Ann, who eventually invites him to dinner. Of course, he declines. Later on, a visit from his son and daughter-in-law gets awkward when his son implies that Dr. K should go out more. He eventually tells Dr. K he’s worried about him, and Dr. K blows up, explaining that this is how he’s moving on and to just leave him alone.

A trip to Caroline’s grave brings Dr. K to tears as he almost admits he doesn’t want to live anymore without her. However, his thoughts are interrupted by a page from the hospital. Of course, we know that page is for Rebecca and Jack.

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Getting Ready

It’s Jack’s birthday, except Rebecca is acting like a crazy person. Her due date is six weeks away, and she feels as big as a house. She flips out on him that the house isn’t ready, as it’s still filled with boxes, and she eventually kicks him out for the day, completely forgetting that it’s his birthday.

Jack heads to hang out with Miguel. And as Rebecca relaxes, she checks the calendar for her due date and realizes it’s Jack’s birthday. She’s devastated with how she treated him. She decides to bake him a cake, except she has no ingredients. So she wills herself to walk to a store so she can make this cake. The only store within walking distance is a liquor store, which of course doesn’t have baking supplies. It does, however, have other treats, so she improvises with a banana muffin topped with the cream filling from a Twinkie for icing. And she picks up that infamous orange towel that Jack donned in the first episode of This Is Us.

While he’s out with Miguel, Miguel’s friends try to get Jack into golf. They explain that since a game is about four to five hours, it will give him plenty of time away from screaming kids and a crazy wife. However, Jack doesn’t want that at all. All he wants to do is head home to spend time with Rebecca and eventually his kids. It’s almost as if he knows his time is running out at some point.

When he gets home, he walks in on Rebecca talking to the triplets growing inside her. She’s worried they won’t like her and that she’ll make mistakes. Jack is filming her soliloquy with the new camera he bought for himself. After he puts it down, she gives him the towel, but he says all he wants is the sexy birthday dance.

Deja Vu

We pretty much know the rest from the first episode. Dr. K fills in for Rebecca’s regular doctor. They lose one of the babies. Dr. K gives Jack an amazing pep talk, including explaining how he too lost a child. Joe drops Randall off to the hospital. And Jack and Rebecca eventually adopt Randall and take him home.

Shortly after the babies are born, Dr. K starts to clean his house and pack up Caroline’s things. While he still talks to her, he explains how he needs to take the advice he gave to Jack. Eventually, Dr. K does have dinner with Ann.

Joe and Samantha seem to be doing okay. And, well, the outcome of the kids, Rebecca and Jack is still to be determined.

I like how this is an episode dedicated solely to 1980. It’s fun to see just what everyone is doing leading up to that fateful moment before the babies are born and Randall is adopted. However, the story doesn’t really moving forward. We still have no idea what the fallout of Jack borrowing money from his dad is. But who knows if he’s even told Rebecca?

As I mentioned above, Jack telling Miguel and his friends that he wants to spend every moment with his family is foreshadowing to what I’m assuming is his eventual death. His statement that he wants to “freeze every moment” seems to drive that point home, which is perhaps why he purchases a video camera. He wants to preserve all of the memories forever and ever. But who wouldn’t want to do that? He is, after all, the world’s best father and husband, according to Rebecca.

And I am wondering if Dr. K and Joe will keep playing roles in the Pearsons’ lives.

What did you think of “The Big Day”? Did you like that it took place solely in 1980? Did you like how we learned more about Dr. K and fire inspector Joe? Do you think there should have been a little bit of the present day in this episode? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This Is Us season 1 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Want more news? Like our This Is Us Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV