It was announced recently that This is Us has been renewed for two more seasons. So, we know they will get to tell a lot of more of this story.
I’m happy it’s been renewed. I just hope that they can keep up the quality of the episodes for two more seasons. This kind of show can lose steam pretty easily. But I doubt they planned only one season from the start. So, chances are they know what they’re doing and already know what stories they want to tell in future seasons. This season has been stellar so far.
As for this episode, it stands out from the others so far in that it stays in the past. For this episode we stay in the 80s largely with Jack and Rebecca on the day the triplets are born.
Rebecca is very pregnant and very cranky and forgets it’s Jack’s birthday. We get to fill in some blanks from the pilot episode and see where that horrible yellow towel and birthday cupcake came from.
When not with Jack and Rebecca, we see Dr. K as he mourns his wife and the firefighter who finds baby Randall in front of the fire station as he tries to save his marriage.
What this episode really does is show us how the triplets effected other people’s lives. Not just the lives of their parents but the lives of everyone they encountered on the day they were born.
That is an overlaying theme of the show in general, really. How our lives are effected by others and how we effect everyone we encounter.
What we also get to see in this episode is how much Jack and Rebecca love each other. This aspect of the flashbacks is always a favorite of mine. For all their mistakes and all of their average human flaws they always seem very much in love and overall happy with being together. I hope that theme stays and isn’t ruined as we see more of their lives.
This episode is all about relationships really. One couple about to become parents, one couple at a turning point that could be their end and one couple that has lost one half to death. Dr. K’s widowhood perhaps even an intentional foreshadowing of Rebecca’s future since we already know that Jack dies at some point.
I do fear that at some point we see more of a darker side of Jack. So far he has been the golden hero of the show. Rebecca still wears the necklace he gave her. Kate watches football with his ashes every year. Randall hallucinates him when he accidentally takes acid. Kevin still mourns the attention he didn’t get from him. He is clearly everyone’s hero. Maybe he will get to stay a hero. I’d like for him to stay the hero. The flawed hero who made mistakes but a hero none the less.
And he isn’t the only hero. They haven’t made Rebecca or anyone a villain. They have done an amazing job showing the good and bad of every character. Even the biological father that abandoned Randall at a fire station has been given a fair and sympathetic portrayal.
While I’m praising the show let me also praise the actors. They all do an amazing job but this episode in particular showcases just how good Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia are. We get to see the range of emotions that occur in real life. Rebecca rages and yells when she is pregnant and cranky and cries and mourns softly when she finds out one of the triplets didn’t survive birth.
That scene between Rebecca and Jack when Rebecca is talking about feeling the babies kick and Jack is comforting her and waiting to suggest adopting the abandoned baby who was born the same day as their triplets is such an amazing scene. Jack is sad and hopeful all at once. He is happy about the two babies that made it and sad about the one they lost and hopeful that Rebecca will agree with adopting the abandoned baby. His face shows all these emotions and it’s a subtle acting that not a lot of actors are good at. The way it is shot further showcases the emotion and I really can’t praise it enough.
The whole show I can’t praise enough and I’m so happy that it’s getting so much positive attention. I hope the attention continues and it gets all the praise it deserves. It is the exact show the world, especially this country, needs right now
This Is Us airs Tuesday at 8pm on NBC.