Spoiler alert! This story contains major spoilers for This Is Us’ Season 6 episode “Katoby.” Proceed with caution if you’re not caught up!
This Is Us did it again. Even though we went into “Katoby” knowing that Kate and Toby were going to get divorced, and even though we knew Kate was going to get remarried to Philip, somehow creator Dan Fogelman still took us to the emotional brink. Through a ridiculous number of timeline jumps, we saw Katoby not just come to the decision to go through with their split, but we saw into the future and how their story, in fact, didn’t end when they signed the divorce papers. In doing so, we also were introduced to a new character, who Kate actress Chrissy Metz admitted she had a pretty funny reaction to.
“Katoby” picked up where Season 5 ended — with Kate getting ready to marry Philip — but over the course of the hour, we went from the day Jack Jr. was hurt at the park and traveled years into the future, where we unexpectedly saw Toby find new love. In a coffee shop meet-cute, Toby made a “parfait” pun, but Laura (Alexis Krause) said it was a little “vanilla,” and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the stuff love is made of. Another huge time jump showed Kate, Philip, Toby and Laura at one of Adult Jack Jr.’s shows, and Chrissy Metz told EW she was none too pleased to see the new woman on her TV husband’s arm.
Honey, let me tell you something. When I walked on the set, I was like, ‘Who are you?’ She’s like, ‘I know, I’m the new girl.’ I’m like, ‘Listen, I know that Kate’s moved on, but I don’t care.’ We joke about it because obviously you have to laugh instead of cry, but it is very surreal. It’s like, ‘Huh, why is he touching this other person? Who is this?’ It does take some getting used to and also that’s the first time I’d worked with her and in that prosthetic makeup, so all of it was very surreal.
While the characters Kate and Toby may have had the benefit of years to get used to seeing each other with new partners, the wound was still fresh for the actress! Even Chris Sullivan has had time to process seeing his TV wife move on with Chris Geere’s Philip. I can imagine Chrissy Metz having the wind knocked out of her a little bit.
The scene did more than show how Kate and Toby were able to find lasting happiness after their divorce. It also answered one of our Season 6 mysteries! With the Adult Jack Damon timelines taking place sometime after Rebecca’s death, we now know that Kate is still alive. Kate has yet to show up at Kevin’s cabin where the Pearsons are gathering around a dying Rebecca, but now that we’ve gotten Chrissy Metz in the old-age makeup, we can breathe a little easier.
Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan were masterful, running the full spectrum of emotions in Kate and Toby’s journey in “Katoby.” The actors said they went through 36 costume changes during filming, not to mention different makeup for each timeline. No wonder the actress said that jump into the future seemed surreal! It’s unlikely we’ll see much more of Toby and Laura’s love story, as only six episodes of This Is Us remain, and every part of that sentence is a bummer.
The final season continues next week with an episode titled “Day of the Wedding,” so I’m ready for the drama! This Is Us returns at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 19, on NBC. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what shows are premiering soon.