Ever since we first met Jack and Rebecca on This Is Us they’ve pretty much been our favourite TV couple. So we were jazzed when the show headed all the way back to Aug. 31, 1980 on Tuesday night, with a standalone episode that looked into the 24 hours leading up to The Big Three’s birth.
Even better than that though? The show also re-wound to highlight what those 24 hours were like for Dr. K and the firefighter who brought Randall to the hospital… and let’s just say that we cried our eyes out at all of the unexpected twists.
Why? Well because that’s what this show does to us. So now here, in no particular order, are all five of the crazy twists, reveals and moments that had us reaching for the Kleenex on Tuesday night.
Rebecca forgets Jack’s birthday
No one could really blame Rebecca for being a hormonal, nesting mess in the episode, especially when it turned out she was in early labour. But seeing just how hormonal and kind of crazed she was lead to some pretty great Mandy Moore moments. And they made us love Jack that much more for putting up with it. Sure, we laughed when Rebecca ordered Jack out of the house and told him to readjust his attitude on his own birthday, but we also laugh-cried when she walked to a liquor store to find the ingredients to make him a cake.
Dr. K talks to his wife
Holy heck… nothing – we mean nothing – was sadder in this episode than in the moments when Dr. K was talking to his dead wife as though she were still there. The fact that he hadn’t touched any of her possessions since her death was equally sad, but the worst was when Dr. K was at the graveyard bawling his eyes out. Because you’d better believe we were bawling our eyes out too. (Can Gerald McRaney just get all of the Emmys already?)
Dr. K yells at his son
Okay, we cannot be the only ones who really didn’t like watching Dr. K yell at his adult son. While obviously no one is perfect, Dr. K kind of was. Or at least he was a great fatherly replacement for Jack at the hospital; someone we couldn’t imagine ever yelling at his own kids. Well, everyone has a weak spot and for Dr. K that would be his wife. Maybe his son will think twice the next time he tells his dad to move on?
The firefighter’s marital problems
Um, hi there sliding doors story line. Can you imagine if Randall was actually adopted by the firefighter who found him at the station? Everyone knows that a baby can’t actually fix a marriage, except for that firefighter it seems. (We mean, at least start with a puppy.) While it was heart-wrenching to see the firefighter ask God for a miracle in order to save his marriage and then consider Randall the miracle in question, we have so much love for the writers on this show. What other show would take a marginal character from a pilot and then give him or her a whole third of a one-off episode down the line? Freaking brilliant.
Jack tells Rebecca they lost the third baby
We were kind of thankful we only saw, but never heard, Rebecca’s reaction when she woke up from her delivery and learned one of her babies had died. The thought of it was too much. But then the writers went ahead and showed us that scene in full anyhow, and we pretty much had our hearts broken all over again. Interestingly, Milo Ventimiglia and Moore shot that scene way back when they did the pilot, and the writers saved it for this particular episode. Was that well thought out or just plain old cruel? Either way, they deserve some kudos here for amazing storytelling.
Now excuse us while we go find some therapy to get us through until next week.