On Nov. 17, This Is Us Season 5 left fans buzzing when teen Kate (Hannah Zeile) unveiled a positive pregnancy test after holding a box that clearly read “ovulation test.” The moment was part of a major cliffhanger before the NBC drama’s winter hiatus. So viewers came up with a number of theories to explain the scene.
Now, ahead of the show’s return on Jan. 5, This Is Us executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger have cleared up what happened to Kate. Here’s what we know and what to expect moving forward.
Did Kate take a pregnancy or ovulation test in ‘This Is Us’ Season 5?
Following the This Is Us Season 5 episode on Nov. 17, fans wondered whether the ovulation test was simply a mistake or Kate was intentionally trying to get pregnant. But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly published on Jan 4, Aptaker and Berger admitted Kate’s pregnancy/ovulation test was a mistake. They also confirmed that Kate took a pregnancy test.
“As soon as we saw that people were misinterpreting, of course, it drove us crazy,” Aptaker said. “So let the record officially show: That was [meant to be] a pregnancy test box.”
The EPs also pointed out the mistake was likely the result of the difficult filming and editing conditions amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This one, unfortunately, was just a casualty of how absolutely impossible it has been to make television this year,” Aptaker said.
“Despite the dozens of people who stared at that scene countless times before it went to air, we were all just so fried from all of the COVID [filming conditions] that we missed that one,” Berger added. “You can chalk this up to Zoom editing. Usually, we’re all in a bay together looking at these giant monitors. And this is the one where we were like, ‘Ah, if we had just been there, someone would have seen it!’”
Meanwhile, Berger shared a This Is Us fan theory of her own to explain Kate’s ovulation test.
“I’ve told myself she was hiding her pregnancy test in her ovulation kit box so that nobody spots her with a pregnancy test,” Berger said. “It’s just how I’ve justified this in my mind.”
[Spoiler alert: What happens to Kate in This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5.]
What to expect from Kate moving forward
Now, This Is Us fans know teen Kate was pregnant with Marc’s (Austin Abrams) baby. So where does that leave adult Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) storyline when the show returns? Ahead of This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5, Entertainment Weekly dropped a clip of Kate and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) conversation. Kate confirmed she had an abortion at 18. Meanwhile, Toby questioned why it took her four years to tell him — or anyone.
When speaking with TVLine in December 2020, Metz teased what Kate’s upcoming arc will focus on when This Is Us Season 5 returns on Jan. 5.
“What’s really shocking is she never told even Toby,” Metz said. “So, it’s going to be really interesting to see what ends up unfolding as it pertains to that really huge event in her life. It’s something she never, like ever, was sharing with anybody, and never had.”
She later added, “This is something that she’s finally ready to grapple with, at least as far as telling Toby what’s going on, what really happened. And what does it mean for the relationship, and for her as a woman, and as all the ways that she thought about herself?”
Meanwhile, in the above interview with Entertainment Weekly, Berger explained what to expect from Kate in This Is Us Season 5 Episode 5.
“It’s a really important episode in learning a little bit more about the whole psychology of this woman,” the executive producer said. “This is just a really important puzzle piece. When you step back and you look at Kate Pearson as a whole, this episode sheds some light, some clarity on everything that she’s been through.”