By Dan Snierson
January 10, 2017 at 02:16 PM EST
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us

  • TV Show

You’ve been hanging from a cliff of questions for a few weeks now, and, well, you’re going to need to keep up that arm strength for just a few more hours: The next episode of This Is Us hits NBC tonight, bringing a five-week hiatus to a close. While you go back and forth on whether Toby (Chris Sullivan), grand-gesturing boyfriend of Kate (Chrissy Metz), will make it out of the hospital after his dramatic collapse on Christmas Eve in the Dec. 6 fall finale, Sterling K. Brown — who plays the tightly wound, perfection-seeking family man Randall — can share a few clues about what to expect from the return of the NBC family dramedy, starting with one that touches on the Toby trauma.

“Obviously, we still don’t know exactly what the status of Toby is,” Brown tells EW, “but the family definitely rallies to Kate’s side in the hopes that everything will work out in her favor.”

In addition, there is more to explore in the wake of the revelation in the fall finale that Randall’s biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones), has been romantically involved with Jesse (Denis O’Hare), a man whom he met in NA. As you may have noticed, Randall seemed a bit surprised when his daughter Tess (Eris Baker) had to spell it out to him that William is “gay or at least bi.” “We find Randall trying to come to terms with William’s newfound orientation,” says Brown. “It’s weird for him. It’s caught him off-guard, and he’s having a difficult time processing it.”

In other stories, “you get a chance to see what’s happening with Kevin [Justin Hartley] and his play,” says Brown of his on-screen sibling. “Are he and Sloane [Milana Vayntrub] making a go of it? Is it going to be successful? Have they bit off more than they can chew?”

You will likely see answers to those questions before you witness full-on forgiveness from Randall in regard to his mother, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who lied to him that she did not know the identity of his biological father. There was a slight thawing on Christmas Eve between the two when the family gathered at Randall’s house, but “it may not be until late into the season where you actually get a chance to see them fully reconnected once again,” hints Brown.

You will have your chance to fully reconnect with This Is Us tonight at a special time of 10 p.m./9 p.m. in the East Coast and Central time zones, while the episode will be seen at the normal 8 p.m./9 p.m. in the Mountain and Pacific time zones).

To receive two key pieces of intel about this episode from series creator Dan Fogelman, click here.

To read what Chrissy Metz is hinting about Toby’s fate, click here.

To see a scene from the episode — the very moment that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) find out that they’re having triplets — click here.

Episode Recaps

This Is Us

NBC’s beloved era-hopping drama tells the story of the Pearson family through the years.

  • TV Show
  • 4
  • Tuesdays at 09:00 PM
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