This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12 Review: The Big Day

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It somehow seemed that all of the events from This Is Us Season 1 Episode 1 fell into place perfectly to set up this beautiful series, and This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12 drove home the many decisions that were involved to make it all happen.

Rebecca and Jack suffered a terrible tragedy on what was supposed to be an extraordinary day in their lives, and thanks to the remarkable actions of others as they made their way through unfortunate circumstances, the lives of all of them were changed forever.

Due Date - This Is Us

That didn't occur to me straight away. At first I was swept up in the love of Jack and Rebecca.

Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore shined during this hour that their characters shared with children only in the womb.

Like so many pregnancy storylines, we watched Rebecca as she lashed out at the man she loved, blaming him for her predicament, for blessing her with the three active lives growing inside her begging to get out, making her, frankly, miserable.

Hot - This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12

Hey! Thanks again for the bathroom sex at Froggy's, Jack!


But even when she forgot his birthday, the sacred day already full of traditions in their short marriage, a day when Jack was expecting sweet nothings and a Marilyn Monroe-style sexy dance, when it came down to it, there was no place Jack would rather be than at her side.

When you think back to the bickering at the Super Bowl party and how they came to be pregnant in the first place, it's hard to imagine three they could love each other or the impending arrival of their children as much as they did now.

Rebecca had no worries about Jack and his abilities as a husband or father, but she still struggled with her own abilities as a wife and mother.

The talk she had with her babies was so raw and lovely.

And it began another tradition in a man who adored them.

I wonder if she ever revealed what she said to them, or if she merely allowed the kids to guess at the conversation she shared with them so lovingly on the day they were born.

Father's Day - This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12

All the while, William was somewhere suffering, making his decision to drop his boy at the fire station.

And at the receiving end, Joe the fireman, enduring a personal crisis of his own. His marriage falling apart, he asked his priest for a miracle to save his life with the woman he loved.

And Dr. K, who didn't even realize he was aware of the triplets coming his way, but who was being read the riot act by his son and son's wife.

They were worried about Nathan (Dr. K), who refused to budge in the 14 months since his wife died.

So it seemed not everybody was as lucky as Rebecca and Jack.

But on that day, Rebecca and Jack's luck would have run out, if not for the intersection of all of the pain from the lives of those erstwhile strangers.

Strikes Back - This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12

Joe took Randall home to his wife, Samantha, in the hopes the baby was the miracle he had requested.

If she had believed in that miracle, not only wouldn't we have the same story, the Pearsons and Dr. K would have healed in different ways.

Joe was ready to give up hope on his wife, too. He stopped carrying the cigarettes and was back to full on smoking by the time he walked away from Jack. He probably stopped believing in miracles.

How differently would his life have turned out if he had gone home to a life in which Samantha didn't do an about face, realizing she loved the man who would offer to her a baby in a desperate attempt to keep their marriage in tact and start over?

Moving On - This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12

Then there's Dr. K. Sure, he came to the conclusion on his own to say goodbye to his wife of 53 years on his own, but moving on wouldn't have been the same if he hadn't felt the push from his son. 

He had to share the last laugh with Carol over his son thinking he knew so much after only ten years of married life.

He had to feel all of that turmoil boiling up inside of him in order to take it all and turn it around and back onto Jack, who needed Dr. K's life experience more than anyone else on that very day.

If Dr. K wasn't mulling over such life-altering changes and his long, brilliantly successful marriage and family, that came with a sprinkle of pain as all of our lives do, he couldn't have given Jack vision to see a life with Randall in it.

And without William, Joe and Dr. K, Jack might very well not have had anything to say to his crying wife when she said she felt three lives kicking inside her. That she felt they were meant to have three children.

Fate - This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12

Life truly is what you make of it, and that comes to you only if you're paying attention to all the signs along the way. 

Anybody in this story could have made a bad decision while dealing with their grief and in doing so, impacted another life in ways they would never know.

Watching This Is Us is a life lesson. It shows us how the smallest decisions can make the greatest impact, not only on our own lives, but on those we will never know.

If that's not a wonderful reason to watch television, then I probably shouldn't be doing this.

Let me know what you thought of "The Big Day." Has watching This Is Us made an impact on your life?

If you want to see it all again, be sure to watch This Is Us online. It's worth it!

The Big Day Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (75 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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This Is Us Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Hey! Thanks again for the bathroom sex at Froggy's, Jack!


Miguel: So, what are you doing for your birthday?
Jack: She went to the darkside, man. I actually think she forgot my birthday.