Warning: possible spoilers from Tuesday night’s episode of This Is Us ahead. Read at your own risk.
Last night’s episode of This Is Us found viewers revisiting the birth of Randall, Kate, and Kevin (The Big 3). This was the first episode thus far into the new series that remained entirely in the past and gave fans more insight into the life of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore). Viewers also got to find out more about Dr. K (Gerald McRaney), who delivered the triplets, and the firefighter who found Randall as a newborn outside of the fire station.
“The hope is that if we start with the pilot as a starting point and then broke the rules of time as we jump all over the place, how interesting would it be to go back to where we met these people and see them in that timeline before we entered watching,” This Is Us creator Dan Fogleman told TV Guide. “It was always something I thought would be interesting. I always had the idea of Dr. K and the fireman coming back and seeing how they got there that day — the sliding doors of life that way.”
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) January 18, 2017
Fogleman admitted that he originally wanted this episode to air as the winter premiere. However, he quickly realized that viewers would be in an uproar if they didn’t reveal what happened to Toby during the mid-season finale, so he decided to tie up the loose ends before moving on. Fans were elated to know Toby was okay and are excited to see where his relationship with Kate is headed.
“Honestly, I thought at first it would be our first episode back because it would kind of be like restarting the pilot again and catching up an audience, but then the response to Toby was so strong. If I came back and don’t do an episode answering what happened one way or another, there would be a revolt,” he said. “People would be so mad at the episode. I thought it would give people an opportunity to re-enter the show. Also, in our first episode back, which is really strong, Milo and Mandy’s storyline starts five months before this so it leads to this one naturally.”
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) January 18, 2017
“It takes place in the past, and it’s the backstory for the day the triplets are born,” Mandy Moore told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s just Milo and I and then Dr. K’s story and then the fireman’s story. It’s a really interesting and special episode in that it’s only telling the story from the past.”
The episode was incredibly emotional and showed Rebecca’s reservations about becoming a mother to not one, but three babies at once. There are many scenes that show Rebecca talking to her growing baby bump and dealing with the stress that comes from being pregnant. She is overcome with emotion and even forgets it is Jack’s birthday and kicks him out of the house.
“This is a woman that we found out in the fifth episode wasn’t sure she even wanted to be a mother,” Moore said. “Then suddenly, to be a mother of three and to have to come to terms with that and how utterly life changing that is in the span of nine or eight months. That’s a lot. It feels like she’s drowning in her fears and her expectations and anxiety.”
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) January 17, 2017
Viewers also got to see the intense love Jack has for his wife and how he will go to any lengths to make her happy. Despite his character being drawn as a perfect husband and father, Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, explains that he is still a flawed man and isn’t perfect by any means.
“I think for all the praise that Jack gets from his wife, from his kids or even people on the audience side about what a great father or husband he is, Jack is still a flawed man. We will see that,” Ventimiglia said. “He has his demons. He has his battles, but he loves his wife and he loves his kids. He’s very simple in his life. He’s a very simple man in his life. He loves his wife and his kids and that’s his world.”
This Is Us airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]