This Is Us: Season 1, Episode 12 “The Big Day” (B-)
It’s strange to me that this show would choose to devote an entire hour to nothing but the parents’ narrative, focusing on Rebecca not being terribly friendly to her husband at the height of her pregnancy. What we’ve learned from this show already is that Jack is inherently a good guy, and we know that, by the time the big three were around, he was completely and totally loyal even if he had a bit of a problem with his drinking that came about from all the stress. What we had in this hour was a supreme test of Jack’s ability to put up with being constantly berated by a seemingly ungrateful wife who, on top of everything, didn’t remember that it was her husband’s birthday. This episode had a very dated feel, and Rebecca making her way to the liquor store to purchase anything she could to make up for the way that she had treated him was a sentimental if slow-moving journey. There was a peculiar focus on two fringe characters, the doctor who delivered the two babies and the fireman who found the third, with them receiving their own backstories. Dr. K’s inability to get over the death was obviously sad, whereas the marital woes of the fireman being improved by his offer to adopt a baby was sweet. I’m not sure why we needed a full detour from the adult children here to spotlight all of this stuff, but hopefully in the next episode we’ll be back to the present for a more centered installment.