This Is Us Episode 12 Review
by Julie Perez
People need people.
This seems to be the running theme within This Is Us and this latest episode was no exception. In “The Big Day” we travel back in time, to before the triplets were born and we see how a series of events in one day changed the lives of multiple people. The episode focuses on the day that the triplets were born (which also happens to be Jack’s birthday) and since I’m typing this with tears still streaming down my face, I think it’s safe to say that the episode was heavy on the emotion.
This episode had us go into the backstory of the firefighter who discovered Randall outside of the fire station. We see that before Randall made it to the hospital, the firefighter saw Randall as the miracle that would save his marriage. Though his wife doesn’t see it that way and makes him take the baby to the hospital; at the end of the episode we see that Randall did end up being the miracle that began to repair his marriage but in a different way than the firefighter thought it to be.
As if the series had not given us more than enough reasons to love Dr. K, this episode revealed the part of his story that had me sobbing into my pillow. We find out that at the time that Rebecca, Jack and Dr. K’s lives crossed he was dealing with the loss of his wife. Though it happened a year before, he was finding it difficult to move on; so difficult, that he was contemplating ending his life. People need people and though we’ve seen time and time again how positively Dr. K affected Jack and Rebecca (and subsequently the kids) in this episode we see how much Jack and Rebecca affected Dr. K.
The magic between Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore continues with this episode. We see the struggle, the ugly and the angry; yet the love between the characters is never doubted. That may be the most difficult part about the way that the story is being told; essentially we’ve already discovered where Jack and Rebecca end up; yet we’re falling in love with their relationship when we already know the inevitable.
This episode hit me right in the gut; the sobs were uncontrollably coming out of me by the end of the episode. To see a loveable character like Dr. K, on the brink of giving up was truly heart wrenching to watch. We see him confess to his wife’s grave that sometimes he thinks that he can not go on without her; then by the next scene we see him put his doubts and fears aside so he could bring tranquility to the young couple who was about to become parents.
Can we also just take a moment to discuss the wonder that is Mandy Moore? She cries and my heart immediately breaks in half. To see her character deal with the death of one of her children was painful but the emotion that she brought to the scene was definitely worth witnessing. This Is Us is constantly playing with my heartstrings and as dehydrated as I am after an episode; I still find myself wanting more by the end of each episode.