‘This Is Us’: Producers Allude That the Toxic Situation with Marc Is What Causes the Rift Between Kate and Rebecca

Things are getting intense on This Is Us Season 4. We know that something traumatic is going to happen with teenage Kate (Hannah Zeile) and her boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams), but we don’t know what. The producers are teasing us with short scenes of the pair, making us wait for the truth.

In an interview, producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger allude to more trouble. Let’s take a look at what was said and what it means for Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) present-day relationship. Warning: Season 4 spoilers.

Hannah Zeile as Teenage Kate
Hannah Zeile as Teenage Kate | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Even short clips of teen Kate and boyfriend, Marc, make us dislike him more and more

There is something about Marc that gets under our skin, but we can’t quite place our finger on it. Every time he is in a scene, we find ourselves with this terrible feeling in the pit of our stomachs. 

The last scene he was in was so short that we barely saw him, but he was still creepy. Kate is talking to her mom and Kevin (Logan Shroyer) about what movie they are going to see. Kevin tells her about a film that he saw with Sophie (Amanda Leighton) that Kate seems interested in seeing. 

However, Marc immediately shuts it down, saying, “We’re not 12-year-old girls, right?” Kate agrees with him, but we can tell she wanted to see the movie. Marc is also stroking her in a disturbing, almost controlling way. 

After the couple leaves, Kevin asks his mom what she thinks of Marc. Rebecca responds, “As long as she is happy.” The rapid clip alludes to so much between Kate and Rebecca that happens due to this one boyfriend. 

How does this tragic thing happen to Kate without Rebecca knowing?

It’s easy to see how possessive boyfriend, Marc, gets to Kate without Rebecca suspecting anything. Rebecca has just gone through the massive tragedy of losing her husband, and is just trying to hold it together. She sees that Kate is happy and does not give it another thought. 

Berger explained to Entertainment Weekly, “And obviously it’s a relationship that was forged while Rebecca was in the throes of grief still. So she definitely has those regrets of, ‘Oh, if only I had been in a headspace where I could have better tracked what was happening then so much of this could have been avoided.’ But that’s just the nature of life that sometimes you’re split, and you miss what’s going on right beneath your nose.”

The producer confirmed that the relationship becomes toxic and a place of regret for Rebecca. We are dying to see what happens to teenage Kate that causes such trauma for her, still, later in life. However, it sounds like it’s going to take a while for us to get there. 

“It’s a bit of a slower burn for this. It’s more of a season-long story for teen Kate,” Aptaker told Entertainment Weekly. We will have to wait and see what happens.

The entire Marc situation is the root of the problems between adult Kate and Rebecca

Kate was young when she began dating Marc. She still lived at home with her mother. Part of Kate’s feelings of distress could be that Rebecca did not save her from the situation. 

“A lot of Rebecca and Kate’s relationship is colored by Rebecca wondering, ‘Did I intervene enough? Should I have stepped in sooner? Should I have said more?’ And yeah, this is definitely another example of that, of her just always wondering, ‘Should I have said something sooner?’ alluded Aptaker. 

This devastating situation that happens between Marc and Kate leaves many unhealed wounds. Even years later, when they find the picture of the couple, there is still this awkward feeling between Rebecca and Kate. 

Kate needed her mom to be there for her and see what was going on, but she didn’t. They still have not healed from this one period in time. Catch more of the “slow-burn” for young Kate Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.