After breaking format and introducing some new characters in last week’s premiere, This Is Us (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET, CTV) returned to its roots this week with a present-day, Big Three-focused episode that also delved into the characters’ pre-teen pasts.
For any parents in the crowd, “The Pool: Part Two” was a teary, nostalgic reminder of just how quickly kids grow up. But it was also another perfect display of awesome TV dads—namely Randall and Jack, who both came through with epic Pearson pep talks for their families when they needed them most.
And then there was Kate and Toby, who learned in last week’s episode that their babe, Jack, is blind. And so a big part of this episode was about the new parents learning how to raise a child with a disability, with Rebecca, Miguel, Kevin and Madison pitching in. But while Kevin and Jack bonded and Rebecca fretted over her daughter, Toby made it clear that we should all be very, very worried about Kate.
Look, being a new mom is stressful enough. You’re constantly worrying that you’re going to fail your child and mess up. You don’t sleep, your body goes through a whack of changes and your life as you knew it is all of a sudden gone. It’s not all bad, but it is a lot. Add in a disability, and then factor in deep-rooted guilt over the fact that some doctors told you not to have a child in the first place because there were too many risks, and well… Kate has every right to be stressed AF.
She’s masking those feelings by overeating and pretending for the most part that things are fine, and that’s a brutal combination—especially for Kate. We already know that she and Toby aren’t together in that important flash forward from last season, but are they not together because they separated or does Kate’s health ultimately fail?
That seems to be the question the writers were dancing around in the episode too, and they gave us clues for both possible scenarios. On one hand we all know about the health consequences—diabetes, heart disease—that Kate is looking at if she continues down this path. On the other hand there’s Toby, who has been dealing with his stress by letting it rip at the gym.
A bleak future?
TBH, Toby getting fit is a great storyline given his own heart condition and the fact that the actor, Chris Sullivan, has been wearing a “fat suit” for a while now. Also, how many of us have been in a relationship where one person is trying to be healthy and the other partner isn’t necessarily on board? It can cause a serious strain on a couple.
So we understand why Toby is lying to Kate. She’s not feeling like her best self right now and her body might not even be ready to talk a prolonged walk. To learn that her husband is killing it at the gym and dealing with his own feelings in a more positive way would be hard to take. However, secrets are disastrous for marriages and we have a feeling that Toby will be caught sooner rather than later—that could signify the beginning of the end.
We kind of hate either scenario, and we feel like it will be a slow burn until we get some answers about what’s really going on. After all, look how long it took us to find out what happened to Jack. And when we did, we kind of wished we didn’t.
The takeaway? We’ll just have to keep rooting for Kate from our couches each week and hope that things aren’t all bad. After all, we know that baby Jack makes it in the long-run, and we would very much love to see his mom stick around to see all of her baby boy’s success.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.