‘This Is Us’: Kate and Toby Relationship Refresher Before Mid-Season Premiere—Plus a Teaser of What’s to Come from Fogelman

Television’s favorite family is returning soon, but it’s been so long since This Is Us was on that we need a refresher. Let’s take a look at the tumultuous relationship between Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) and what’s in store for the pair when the series returns this Tuesday.

Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan
Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Kate and Toby’s marriage was on the rocks during the midseason finale

Throughout the first half of This Is Us Season 4, Kate and Toby slowly grew apart. Their relationship took some massive hits. First, we saw Toby working hard to get fit and healthy at CrossFit. For some reason, he kept his gym-time a secret from Kate. 

When she finally saw her husband without a shirt on, she was shocked and hurt. He lied to her about it while taking a piece of their relationship from her. The couple met at a weight-loss support group, so losing weight was a shared goal for them. Toby took the opportunity to share that with his wife away, crushing Kate.

Then, during the midseason finale, Kate reveals to Toby that she lied about baby Jack’s first solid food milestone. Toby tells his CrossFit crew about the situation in a group text, and then Kate comes across a conversation between Toby and an unknown woman, LadyKriptonite5. The person seems to be consoling Toby. 

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Later on, Kate confides in Beth (Susan Kelechi-Watson) about her marital issues. Beth pushes her sister-in-law to talk to Toby about what’s going on. She suggests that problems arise when couples share their issues with others instead of each other. 

During a flash-forward, Kate signs her name “Kate Pearson” instead of using her married name. Then in a preview of Toby in the future, he is not wearing his wedding band. Fans are quite worried that the couple gets a divorce.

What does show creator Dan Fogelman suggest is going to happen with Kate and Toby?

“They’re in a challenging pocket of year,” Fogelman explains to People. “I don’t think it’s crazy that almost every season, you’ve seen different couples at crossroads.”

“There’s a lot going on here,” he continues regarding the new parents. “Kate is feeling like she’s home alone with a child; meanwhile, Toby is feeling left out. They’re dealing with a baby who has special needs, and he’s putting extra strain on them as a couple. They have a very challenging back half of the season, but I don’t think it’s going to go quite where people think it’s going to go.”

Fans should feel a sense of hope in Fogelman’s comments. Many viewers are jumping to the divorce conclusion, but the producer alludes that it might be the opposite. 

“It’s also a lot about secrets being kept and community being formed,” the This Is Us creator talks about the struggling marriage.

Fans are hoping that the new parents come out of this tough time in their lives stronger rather than torn apart.

Will viewers find out more about LadyKryptonite5 and Kate’s old boyfriend, Marc?

Fogelman explains that the remainder of This Is Us season 4 will reveal the identity of the person Toby was texting. The series will also delve deep into Kate’s teenage boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams), and how that relationship still affects her.

“As we get into the back half of the season, I think the question also starts coming from Kate’s perspective of not only who is this person — that’ll happen and will be the surprising answer for people — but also secondarily, what is it that is pulling Toby into the gym so much?” the show creator teases. 

“We’re going to be tapping into some intense marital stuff that is specific to these two characters and their situation with baby Jack,” he continues. “It’s interesting stuff. It would be very hard for people to guess where they’re headed.”

So, the question is not who the mystery woman is, but why Toby is confiding in her. Kate also has a mystery person pulling her in a different direction, although he’s not in the present-day. Old boyfriend, Marc still haunts her.

“It’s a big part of our back half of the season,” Fogelman says of the teenage relationship. “Marc plays a very big part in the culmination of it all. A lot of answers will be caught in there as to what formed Kate in this stage of her life.” 

The good news in this situation is that viewers will get the answers they were looking for. On the other hand, the answers sound like they are shaping up to be very intense. You can find out what happens with Kate and Toby when This Is Us returns to NBC on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at 9 p.m. Eastern.