The season 2 finale of This Is Us gave Kate and Toby the wedding they wanted — and even included a Pearson family exhale and the blossoming of new romance for good measure (Kevin, meet Zoe). But the end of the episode afforded viewers the slightest of peeks into the newlyweds’ future, and, well, they weren’t exactly living happily ever after.
The NBC family drama closed out the season on Mar. 13 with a trio of flashforwards for assorted characters, and one of them whisked us one year into the future, where we saw Toby (Chris Sullivan) in bed, battling depression. A concerned Kate (Chrissy Metz) was by his side, gently informing him that the doctor wanted him to come into the office so his medication could be adjusted. Fans, of course, remember that Toby had slipped into a severe depression in the past and battled suicidal thoughts following his traumatic divorce. So, what might have triggered a setback for the usually jovial dude who survived a massive health scare last season and also saw Kate suffer a miscarriage earlier this season? This Is Us executive producer Elizabeth Berger revealed that the pair will face some stressful situations in their first year of marriage, including their continued mission to start a family, and Metz is dropping a few more hints about the couple’s situation.
“Having a baby is something that is life-changing, and two people just want to hope that they can have a baby,” she tells EW. “Whose fault is that? Maybe there’s something going on physically with Toby too? Who knows? Those things might not have been talked about or addressed because we keep our secrets and we’re ashamed of them.”
Metz has said that the show will explore his depression “on a much deeper level” in season 3. And while Toby has served as a significant support system for Kate as she weathered emotional journeys and battled guilt stemming from Jack’s death, now it will be time for her to step up for her husband in his time of need. “It’s important to note that in relationships, there’s always somebody that might be a little stronger at one time, and then that dynamic switches,” she noted. “He’s helped Kate get through so much of her stuff that she’s really ready to show up for him, and while it might be difficult, it’s going to be necessary because they’re going to contend with some hardships. Yet again. Life on life’s terms.”
At least it sounds like they will be doing it together. Asked to sum up the state of the marriage in season 3, Metz says: “I think it’s good. They’re the two people who they can truly be honest with. They’ve come through so much together that they’re strong and they’re honest with one another. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges and they don’t need each other to help each other out.”
To read what This Is Us executive producer Elizabeth Berger had to say about the finale’s other time-jumping cliffhangers, click here. For much more from Metz, including her thoughts on a goodbye scene with Jack that you didn’t see, click here.
This Is Us returns for season 3 in the fall on NBC.