The first This Is Us to dispense with the modern timeline entirely and stick with the past is a strangely superfluous one, repeating so many scenes we’ve already, er, seen, in a bid to flesh them out with detail I really don’t think we needed.
So, the babies’ in utero jam was Stevie Wonder! Rebecca really struggled in the last few days of her pregnancy! She forgot Jack’s birthday! Jack was lovely! The fireman who found Randall was going through a very rough marital patch! And Dr K… Well, Dr K is never superfluous to anything; Gerald McRaney is terrific and his story was quietly devastating, winning this week’s prize for making me cry the most.
Although, in fairness, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia gave it a good shot with Rebecca and Jack’s story as well – their easy, comforting chemistry is lovely to watch – and even though I have never ever found myself wondering how the fireman who found Randall was getting on with his wife at the time, the ending of that story turned out to be sweet enough as well. Not a necessary episode, then, but a nice one: I smiled, I cried, and I didn’t have to put up with Kate and Toby, so I’m fine with it.