This Is Us Season 1, Episode 1 rewind: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

The Season 3 premiere of This Is Us is just around the corner. Fans are getting some juicy tidbits from the cast and crew of what to expect moving forward. Before diving into the upcoming season, it’s the perfect time to take a look back at Seasons 1 and 2.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan who can’t get enough, or if you’re someone who finally wants to see what all the fuss is about, we’re here to school you on everything This Is Us (no doubt some fans may educate us in the process).

We’re going to break down every episode, starting from the very beginning. We’ll touch on the highs, the lows and all the tear-jerking, gut-wrenching, heartwarming, shocking moments from the series. Consider this your CliffsNotes guide to This Is Us.

The series premiere introduces us to a young couple, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia), who are expecting triplets. They appear to be in the process of moving, and the writing scrawled across one of the boxes reads “family photos ’75-’79.” There aren’t any other indicators of when or where they are at this point.

Despite being ready to pop at any time, Rebecca does her best to conjure up something resembling a celebration for Jack’s 36th birthday. Viewers see perfect male specimen Jack nearly naked (his birthday suit) — an epic moment. It’s also the first time we hear Jack uses the moniker “Big Three” to refer to his children.

In 2016, we meet Kate (Chrissy Metz), an obese woman, struggling with some serious self-loathing; Kevin (Justin Hartley), a TV actor who stars in a mediocre sitcom and is in the midst of a mid-life crisis; and Randall (Sterling K. Brown), a businessman who locates his birth father who dumped him at a fire station when he was just a newborn. All three are turning 36 and embarking on storylines that will carry throughout  Season 1.

Aside from establishing that Kate and Kevin are brother and sister early in the episode, the connection between these characters (minus Rebecca) appears that they share the same birthday.

Rebecca goes into labor, and despite Jack’s unwavering optimism, everything that can go wrong does, resulting in the Pearsons losing one of their babies — a son.

Enter Dr. Nathan Katowsk (Gerald McRaney), aka, “Dr. K,”  a man who lost his wife of 53 years to cancer and his first child during delivery Dr. K brings Jack and Rebecca’s babies into the world and offers Jack some advice on how to cope with his grief.

“I like to think that maybe one day you’ll be an old man like me … talking a younger man’s ear off, explaining to him how you … took the sourest lemon life has to offer … and turned it into something resembling lemonade.”

This sage wisdom becomes the Pearson’s family motto.

This Is Us

(Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Kevin’s career frustration results in a YouTube-worthy meltdown that takes place during a live taping of his show,The Manny.

Kate meets Toby (Chris Sullivan), a fellow member of her support group. Kate is hesitant to start a romance, but she’s charmed by the affable man.

Randall confronts his biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones), a former addict who life hasn’t treated kindly, and who also happens to be dying. Despite Randall’s conflicted feelings, he brings William home to meet his family: his wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and two daughters, Tess (Eris Baker) and Annie (Faithe Herman).

Randall tells William a fireman brought him to the hospital, and that’s where his adopted parents found him — a lucky break.

These stories converge when it’s revealed Jack and Rebecca are not only Kate and Kevin’s parents but Randall’s as well.

The pilot of This Is Us is bittersweet, and it’s obvious the creative minds behind the show plan to take viewers on an unpredictable journey — one like we’ve never experienced before.

Next: This Is Us: What's up with Miguel?

This Is Us Season 3 premieres Tuesday, September 25 at 9/8c on NBC. Tune in to see what’s next for the Pearsons. 

Did we leave anything out? Did you see that twist coming? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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