Brace yourselves, Pearson family fans! Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan of This Is Us hinted at more trouble for new parents Kate and Toby — and these problems aren’t entirely wrapped up in their new son Jack’s health issues, either. Baby Jack might be the catalyst, but this beloved couple may have to deal with issues that extend beyond the scope of adapting to life as new parents, as People reports.
While it was undeniably exciting to discover that Kate, Toby and their new son are all okay moving into the new season, the trio isn’t without their challenges. Early on, they found out baby Jack was born blind. Understandably, this was a big adjustment for them, and they seemed to be using different coping mechanisms to handle the news. Of course, that spells trouble. Although Toby kept telling everyone he had lost weight due to stress, the reality was that he’d been sneaking to the gym for workouts. This on its own isn’t a bad thing — but the deception could signal bigger problems for Toby and Kate.
“I don’t think that fans will necessarily expect the secrets that Toby was keeping and how that will affect their relationship moving forward,” Metz teased to People after the premiere. “Trust really is intimacy. The physical stuff is great and wonderful, but real intimacy is trust and so there’s a bit of that trust that’s broken in him keeping this weight loss and working out a secret. We’ll see how that evolves and unfolds with them.”
After all, you have to wonder why Toby feels the need to hide his renewed commitment to his health from the family. As Sullivan explains it, “As of right now, it seems like Toby’s figured out where his priorities are, and his priorities are staying alive as long as possible for his son.” But, c’mon, why wouldn’t he just share that with his family? That’s a healthy attitude. Hiding it implies it’s somehow wrapped in unhealthy emotions for Toby.
Meanwhile, Kate seems to be leaning on two old crutches to cope with her stress: overeating, and her brother. “Kevin is her safe space because they are twins and they share the most difficult parts of their lives together, without judgment and with love,” Metz explained.
With all of this going on, it’s really no wonder that Kate and Toby could be in for a bumpy ride this season. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, series creator Dan Fogelman effectively confirmed as much: “They were not expecting everything that happened with Jack, and so that puts a natural exhaustion and strain on the relationship,” he said.
Yikes. We’re not feeling super-confident about that ominous series’ flash-forward featuring Toby without a wedding ring. But, who knows? If anyone can pull through this rough patch, we’re hoping it’s these two.