‘This is Us’ finale assures us ‘nothing bad happens on Christmas Eve’ (spoilers)

This Is Us - Season 1
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the winter finale of This is Us

Yesterday, I talked about how I loved This is Us, and not only because of Milo Ventimiglia’s tush. Well, the winter finale, with the foreboding title “Last Christmas,” definitely packed a gut punch. On the lighter side, Kevin played the role of boyfriend at Sloane’s Hanukkah dinner and decided to use his own money to help produce her play – with her as the star (instead of bitter Oiivia) and…well, that’s about it. Oh, and Miguel IS Clark Griswold when it comes to Christmas decor.

The other story lines weren’t quite as merry and bright. In flashback land, we find out that Dr. K, who delivered Kate and Kevin and was responsible for Randall’s adoption, is on the verge of death after a car accident (but survives), Rebecca comes reluctantly to the terms that she might be at least partially responsible for Kate’s relationship with food (and that there’s a lot about her daughter that she doesn’t know), Randall encounters a suicidal co-worker (and buys a boat, which is a fate worse than death, believe me), William is gay (who saw THAT coming?) and, most tragically, right after reconciling with Kate on Christmas Eve, Toby (not Toby!) collapses in a heap on the floor and is whisked to the hospital. And yes, this all happened in the span of 42 minutes. Merry Christmas!

Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby, talked to People about his character’s turn of events. When asked how he was feeling, he replied, “Oh, man. #PrayForToby.” He said he found out about his character’s heart attack earlier on in the shooting of the season, but asserted that no matter what happened to Toby, the show’s creative team will handle it skillfully, stating:

It is a bold and tricky storytelling move that only the writers’ room of This Is Us could handle. Any actor becomes concerned when the writing staff starts having them collapse over coffee tables, but I have faith in our creative team that they will tell the best version of the story that there is to tell.

[From People Magazine]

When asked if his character was dead or alive, Chris responded, “Well, I’d say he’s definitely one or the other. You know what I mean?” And, while Chris also didn’t give a definitive answer when asked whether or not he’s been filming scenes for upcoming episodes of the show, he recently tweeted this photo from the Paramount lot, where the show is filmed.

What a lovely photo…wait? Clouds? Is that supposed to represent heaven? Where Toby might be next season? Oh, I hope not.

Okay, let’s see what the Manny has to say about the cliffhanger. US Magazine spoke to Kevin, a/k/a the hunky Justin Hartley, who said he didn’t see the shocking twist coming, adding, “Every single episode is like that for me. I’m like, ‘Welp, didn’t see that coming!’ I don’t know if I’m stupid or what, but I’m always shocked by their storytelling. It blows my mind.” As for his character’s romantic future, it seems like signs are pointing at “Klone” and not “Olivin” (sorry, those names don’t lend themselves well to the couple name generator). On his character’s story act, Justin said,

Kevin is continuing down this path where he’s looking for love and all that kind of stuff, but then something happens, someone comes back into his life and he’s trying to figure out that situation, and then maybe someone else comes back into his life! I think Kevin realizes who it is that he’s longing for, and it’s one of those things that This Is Us kind of does where it’s like, man, that was right there the whole time, but you just didn’t see it. And you sort of experience it with Kevin, which is one of the things I love about our show, when the character is experiencing something, as an audience member you’re kind of going through it with them, and I kind of love that sort of team work of our storytelling.

[From US Magazine]

I hope the means he ends up with Sloane. They make a great couple. But so do Randall and Beth…and Kate and Toby…I hope! They just can’t kill off Toby. I love the relationship between him and Kate and I really want to see Kate happy, especially on the verge of her gastric bypass surgery and the (hopeful) start of a new life for her. And now we have to wait to find out what happens until the show comes back on January 10.

For the record, this “winter finale” stuff is complete BS. The time of year I have a little surplus time to watch TV and every one of my favorite shows goes on break. End rant. Oh, and thanks for the cliffhanger, This is Us! I feel like I just got coal in my stocking. #PrayForToby

This Is Us - Season 1

NBC & Vanity Fair 2016-2017 Season Celebration

Photo credit: Getty Images, WENN.com, NBC, Fame Flynet

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24 Responses to “‘This is Us’ finale assures us ‘nothing bad happens on Christmas Eve’ (spoilers)”

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  1. rosalee says:

    I love this show..I stopped watching network television a few years ago..but I got the free pilot on iTunes and frankly I look forward to Tuesday nights to get my fix..I love the Big Three..each of their characters are finely drawn..I loved the scene when Kevin and Randall are rolling around on the concrete and a small crowd surrounds them and Seth Meyers asks Kevin if he’s okay…to tell the truth I was worried a police officer would appear and shoot Randall..

    • Ramona says:

      I may be able to make time for a new show, could you pitch this to me. I dont mind spoilers. I get a Brothers and Sisters vibe i.e. a modern family with deep secrets except with a more diverse cast – am I close?

    • GingerCrunch says:

      It’s great, right??? I was excited for it as I came to ‘Parenthood’ a little late and was sad to see it end. This more than makes up for it! I knew there was a plot twist, and the entire episode I was like, is that it, or was that it? Then Toby!!! Loved, loved, loved him in ‘The Knick’. Love all the characters, tbh.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      @Rosalee – Me. too! I was like “oh, no! Black man fighting with a white man. Randall, you in danger boy!” LOL

      • Terri says:

        Especially when they got up to run off when they heard the sirens and Randall says “run – I’m still black” right after saying “hi Seth Myers”

  2. NastyWoman` says:

    This show gives me all the feels. Every. single. week. The writers are amazing. The actors are awesome. Such layered, three-dimensional characters. What a joy to watch.

    Okay, does anyone else notice how much thinner he is now? So I guess HIS story arc is that he loses a lot of weight (which will make Kate angry, no doubt). (I’m refusing to believe Toby dies, by the way.)

    • tracking says:

      I think I read he wears padding on the show. And, yes, all the feels. William’s storyline makes me weep. Consistently. But I love them all.

    • Terri says:

      I’m hoping as part of his story line, he also needs to stay on the East coast for recovery time rather than flying home. Nice tie in. He cannot die.

  3. Jess says:

    I couldn’t agree more on the winter finale BS, why do they do this now?! Ugh, drives me crazy.

    I was shocked about William, but almost cried laughing so hard at Randall’s daughter saying, “grandpa’s gay, or at least bi”, that just cracked me coming from someone so young.

    Toby can’t die, please please please don’t let Toby die. Kate deserves him!!!

    I love this show so much. I can’t wait to find out what happened to Jack and how Rebecca ended up with Miguel.

    • Terri says:

      Yeas – the daughter is just so “duh daddy” about it, and calm. So obvious to her, but everyone else just oblivious. It was handled perfectly.

  4. Patricia says:

    Wait, is Toby wearing a fat suit?
    I find Toby a bit obtuse and he doesn’t respect any of the personal boundaries Kate lays out. It’s not irredeemable but I think he has some work to do to be the best he can in a relationship.

    The stuff with Rebecca and Kate and the weight issue is hitting home for me, as a woman who has been heavy much of my life (and also just large, tall, big boned in general since I was a kid) with a very petite mom who has never had an extra pound and didn’t know how to relate, help, or even talk to me about my weight. I always compared myself to my mom even though I was several inches taller than her by the time I was 13, I always felt something was wrong with me because of it. Too real!

    • MsGoblin says:

      I’m right there with you, Patricia!

    • Anilehcim says:

      Yes, I think he wears padding or a fat suit. Chris Sullivan is a big guy (I think he’s like 6’5 or 6’6), but he isn’t heavy like that. I just noticed it during last week’s episode.

    • Jess says:

      I thought the same thing a few episodes back, his stomach looks fake sometimes, and seeing him here I have no doubt!

      I’m sorry this is hitting home for you, it hits for me a little as well. Ive never really had issues with my weight but I’m still bigger than my tiny mother, I felt huge next to her and she puts so much emphasis on weight that it made me feel like crap as a kid, and even now, but I think she’s anorexic, and her mother was the same way she is so I almost feel sorry for her. Man, mother/daughter relationships are tough:(

    • misery chick says:

      @ Patricia-besides William’s whole story (who BREAKS my heart every time he speaks) the scenes of Kate and Rebecca in the doctor’s office and in the car…soooo terrifying real, I could barely breathe. Of course I was Kate and my mom Nancy was Rebecca-I would have NEVER EVER been brave enough to have my mom with the doc, talking about MY weight…no words.

  5. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    So, I have been deliberately avoiding This Is Us. I read the synopsis of the first episode, and it just hurt too much. We lost our son during our second trimester this summer, and I struggle with my weight, and it just felt like it could be a nightmare of triggers for me. My husband has really, really wanted to watch it, so last night we watched the first two episodes and I sobbed hysterically through episode one, but it felt cathartic. We’re in the process of adopting, and it continued to drive home that we can build a beautiful family even though I can’t seem to give my son a biological sibling. I feel like I got an incredible amount of healing out of a TV show, believe it or not.
    Episode two was great, too, and I love that Toby is Mr. DGAF, but the first episode was unbelievable for me.

    • tracking says:

      LiZLemonGotMarried, it’s such a wonderful show and I’m glad it was ultimately a healing experience for you. All best wishes as you continue to build your beautiful family!

    • Paleokifaru says:

      Liz Lemon I had a miscarriage last year right before Christmas and I know what you mean about avoiding triggers. But I’m so glad to hear tht you were able to have a cathartic moment and that the adoption process is going well. Wishing joy and luck to your family.

  6. thaliasghost says:

    Of course he is gay. It seemed to me that they set him up to be like James Baldwin in some way from the first scene on.

    So the entire point of bitchy Olivia is so that we would get manic pixie dream girl Sloane.

  7. LawBabe says:

    I LOVE THIS SHOW. Some of it is a bit cheesy and predictable (Pilgrim Pete) but the acting is superior and the writing has everything–emotion, humor and inspiration. I’m not sure how they are going to write in the bypass surgery with Kate and the actress who plays her. I’m wondering if she just needs to come to terms with and love who she is–so much of her eating issues seem to be emotional (relatable). Kevin–gee whiz, eye candy. Randall’s family is adorbs and I love that the actor from American Horror Story is William’s love. I’m in tears every Tuesday missing my Dad after the show.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      The father is everything. Almost too much, too perfect. When he had Randall on his back and did push-ups until his arms trembled, I bawled. What a beautiful spirit. Again, great writers on this show.

  8. Anilehcim says:

    I’m so happy you’re covering this show! I’m in love with it! Such a beautiful portrayal of a flawed family. I hope Toby lives! I love Chris Sullivan, he quickly became my favorite part of the “The Knick” on Cinemax. I’m not looking forward to the reveal when Jack dies. They’re building him up to be such an amazing person and it’s going to be a tearjerker.

  9. Darlene says:

    William is almost certainly bi. He expressed great love and passion for Randall’s birth mom. As a bi woman, I see very, very little “bi visibility” on television (or anywhere) so you seriously have to give me this one. He’s not gay, he’s bi. And that’s ok and totally normal…and a lot more prevalent than people think.

    ALSO, when was that super thin photo of the actor who plays Toby taken? I knew he had dropped a lot of weight between the pilot and the rest of the series, but now I’m thinking that he ended up in a fat suit for some of the episodes. ??