‘This Is Us’ Season 5: Chrissy Metz Teases Kate’s ‘Traumatic’ Storyline

This Is Us fans have been worried about Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) for some time now. The character is the only member of the Big Three who hasn’t appeared in a flash-forward. So many viewers seem to think Kate is either dead or divorced in the future. But as This Is Us Season 5 approaches and Metz continues to tease her character’s upcoming storyline, we’re starting to think we should be more concerned about Kate’s past

What did ‘This Is Us’ fans learn about Kate in season 4?

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In This Is Us Season 4, teenage Kate (Hannah Zeile) met a boy named Marc (Austin Abrams). She then fell in love for the first time. However, the relationship wasn’t exactly the fairy tale romance everyone had hoped. 

As the season went by, the NBC drama dropped subtle hints about Marc’s controlling behavior. He frequently commented on Kate’s weight and made snark remarks about things she enjoyed. Then in “The Cabin,” the Pearsons finally saw through Marc’s facade and recognized him for what he was — an abuser. 

After locking Kate out of the Pearson family cabin in the freezing cold, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) got rid of Marc and forbid him to see her daughter again. That said, Kate’s first love left a lasting impression.

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Throughout This Is Us Season 4, present-day Kate and Toby (Chris Sullivan) struggled with their marriage. Toby revealed he was having a hard time dealing with baby Jack’s blindness. He also lied about going to the gym and even confided in the CrossFit Crew before his wife. This caused Kate’s insecurities from her relationship with Marc to resurface. 

“[Kate’s] starting to feel insecure,” Zeile told Hollywood Life in February 2020. “That most definitely can link back to the fact that her first definition of love — her first boyfriend — made her feel insecure, called her fat, and put her in a place where she was constantly not feeling worthy. It seems like those similar feelings are resonating again.”

Chrissy Metz discusses Kate’s storyline in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5

Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson on 'This Is Us' Season 3
Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson on ‘This Is Us’ | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published in February, This Is Us showrunner Isaac Aptaker revealed Marc’s impact on Kate will be explored as the series progresses. 

“There’s so many things going on inside of Kate,” Aptaker said at the time. “But a first love is so formative and so shapes the way that you see yourself. And I think that the way that Marc speaks to her and treats her has a big impact on her self-esteem and self-worth for a while going forward.”

Meanwhile, Metz hinted Kate will go through something major in This Is Us Season 5 that “shaped” her into the adult she is today. Then when speaking with Gold Derby in July 2020, the actor delved deeper into Kate’s upcoming arc. And ultimately, Metz explained there will be a new storyline affecting the character’s self-esteem. Thus, creating another layer on top of her shame and guilt from losing Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and dating Marc. 

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“When she loses Jack — her first love of her life — that whole guilt and shame really affects her self esteem,” Metz said. “Then she in turn starts dating Mark, who is not a very nice human being. Because he has his own issues. That, in these very formative years in her life, creates even worse self-esteem.”

She continued, “There’s a lot that she’s trying to navigate. We are gonna see next season some other issues that nobody knows about yet that have played a huge role in why she decided to… a lot of people if they’ve been through something traumatic will wanna eat over it whether it’s soothing themselves or they’re trying to create a physical barrier between intimacy with anyone else.”

That said, Metz noted Kate’s story in This Is Us Season 5 isn’t solely about her relationship with food and weight. It will also focus on how she views herself. 

“It’s one of those stories where you could be under or overweight. But it’s still the mentality about self-worth and self-esteem,” Metz said. “There’s a lot that she’s been battling. But it’s a very important storyline for women and for men.”

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