“This is Us” mid-season premiere reveals the fate of Toby

Warning: this post contains spoilers for the mid-season premiere of This is Us.

The mid-season premieres are upon us, finally, and for fans of This is Us, so is good news about one of the show’s favorite couples. If you remember, during the winter finale, Toby traveled across the country to spend Christmas and reunite with his girlfriend Kate, only to collapse and be rushed to the hospital – with his fate unknown for five long weeks.

Well, I guess the #PrayforToby campaign worked, as we discover in the beginning of the episode, entitled “The Right Thing to Do,” that Toby is still alive. He’s not out of the woods yet, as doctors found an arrhythmia in his heart that requires surgery. Toby initially rejected the surgery, but with Kate’s support, went through with it and is now recovering. Toby and Kate expressed their love for each other and Toby told Kate he’d “marry her in a minute.” Aww!

In his time on the show, Toby has become a fan favorite and show creator Dan Fogelman said that he wasn’t ready to kill the character off (yet), telling The Hollywood Reporter, “We had conversations early on about what would be Toby’s fate; we always knew he was going to have this kind of collapse halfway through the first season. We decided pretty early on that he would make it.”

Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby (and is quite the snappy dresser), was also happy to have survived his heart issues, telling People, “It’s really nice of Dan and the creative team to create a character that people are so attached to. Even last night, I was out having dinner, and my waitress, the last thing out of her mouth was, ‘Are you coming back?’” Thankfully, he is, and he shared the good news on Twitter with the hashtag #WeMadeIt.

Entertainment Weekly also spoke with Dan Fogelman about our new favorite TV couple, Toby and Kate (“Tate?”), giving us some hints that there still might be some bumps in the road before the couple finds their happy ending. Here are some highlights:

How did Chris Sullivan take the news of Toby’s recovery? He seems very happy to be alive. He also seems to be taking great pleasure in teasing everybody about what happened to him.

Why put Toby’s life at risk on the first place? With Toby, if I was a sophisticated television viewer, I might make him survive only to kill him at the end of the episode in a different way. So I thought it was an interesting thing to re-bring in the tension and see how an audience followed that and handled it. Because at this point, you have to be aware of how sophisticated your audience is getting, so sometimes in order to play with expectations, you need to get ahead of guessing what the expectations of the audience might be.

Are Toby and Kate engaged? They act before thinking, and they act before analyzing, and that has both charming and positive consequences but then also can lead to problems. So I think you’re meant to feel a little easy about the proposal in terms of the very question you’re asking: “Are they really engaged?” [It’s] something we return to many times in the upcoming episodes.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

In the show’s other plot lines, we go back in time to the time when Jack and Rebecca discovered they were having triplets – right after signing the lease on a lovely 2-bedrooom walk-up. In present day, we get to see Randall struggling with the discovery that his biological father William was bisexual and spending lots of time with his lover Jesse. William also revealed to his son that his chemo meds were no longer working and that he wanted to stop chemo treatment. Poor Randall.

As for the third Pearson triplet, Kevin, he and Sloane declared their mutual like for each other just as terrible Olivia returns from “finding herself.” Of course, Kevin manages to mess things up, telling Olivia he was staying with Sloane because it was “the right thing, even if it’s not what you want.” Sloane overheard the conversation and didn’t want a boyfriend sticking around out of some sort of duty and ended their relationship. Ouch.

You really need a scorecard and a box of tissues when you watch this show. Especially the tissues. Chris joked with People that, “Each actor is compensated based on how much they can make an audience cry. We’re all doing our best.” They sure are, aren’t they? What did you think about the premiere? I’m all in for the second half of the season and can’t wait to find out what happens with “Tate.”

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28 Responses to ““This is Us” mid-season premiere reveals the fate of Toby”

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  1. Lisa says:

    Milo is mesmerising in this. In every scene he is in I can’t keep my eyes off of him! Love this show and agree tissues are in order for every episode.

    • Happy21 says:

      Totally!
      I don’t know why on earth he wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe for his role. Mandy Moore (love her now and always have) was nominated and she’s good but not Milo good.

  2. Tanguerita says:

    I realize I am pretty much alone with this opinion, but I find “This is us” absolutely unwatchable: it’s so cliché-ridden and over the top.I gave it two tries and then up. To me it seems like they want to cram so much in every hour and character it ends up being ridiculous: ok, he is an ex-junkie, he is dying, but that’s not enough, so let’s make him bisexual as well. Sterling K. Brown is stellar, so is Chrissy Metz, but Mandy Moore is painfully wooden.

    • ab says:

      you’re not alone, it’s not my bag either! too sappy. I’ve caught a few episodes and can’t get into it.

    • evie says:

      I didn’t like the first episode AT ALL so I can totally get where you’re coming from. I had all my friends telling me to stick with it, though, and now I like it. Sometimes it is a bit heavy-handed but I like a bit of cheese to watch, too. The characters are so good, it keeps me coming back for more. Agree with you on Mandy Moore, especially when she is portraying the mom in the older years.

    • minx says:

      I was skeptical at first but grew to like it. But I agree, Mandy Moore is painful to watch. I just saw her on a old Grey’s Anatomy and she’s always “acting.”

    • browniecakes says:

      I told my sister if they kill Toby This is Us is This is It with me. Too over the top with the plot lines. Like when Kate ends up working for Toby’s ex? That kind of over the top. Or when the triplets’ OB/GYN (love Gerald McRainey) is in the hospital when Kate has appendicitis, we can’t have him just in a car accident, he is dying of his injuries. Let’s add an amnesia plot line and have the stillborn triplet survive and show up next Thanksgiving and we’ve got As the World Turns PM.

    • QQ says:

      Nope, I’m with ya, NBC can’t keep me to save their lives, But this stuff smells so maudlin and emotionally manipulative that I said NOPE on sight when they run promos for it!… Then I found the twist thing and I cackled all the way to the bedroom to tell my BF

  3. Kasia says:

    I don’t like Toby but I hope he comes around and stops making everything a joke while Kate is so alone in her weight loss journey. I still think she can do better and find someone more supportive.

    • kcat says:

      Ya I didn’t think really many people liked Toby. Everywhere I read I see people really hate Toby. It never occurred to me to hate him, but I am kind of over the fat jokes, weight discussions, and food stuff. I understand that being overweight is a huge part of their lives but I want to see more about Kate than just her weight, and with Toby I feel like that is all we are getting.

      • Darlene says:

        I don’t like how he’s always, always trying to get down Kate’s pants. Always. Since the first moment, he’s been pressuring her for sex, and it continued in the hospital bed.

      • kcat says:

        @darlene, you are right about that. Is it an attempt to show the public that yes overweight people have sex, lots and lots of sex. It’s like so over the top.

      • CaryleBee says:

        OMG, I totally agree with both of y’all about the sex!!! And I don’t like Toby, I really feel like he’s obnoxious. I guess I watch the show out of a mild curiosity but I do agree with a lot of folks here that it is emotionally manipulative and a bit over the top.

  4. caranne says:

    It looks like Toby lost a lot of weight in these pics.

    • Dorothy#1 says:

      I think he wears a fat suit.. He has a small part in Stanger Things and he looks pretty muscular it in. He has a beard and looks kinda hot. I didnt even reconize him in This is Us.

      • Happy21 says:

        What? He’s in stranger things? Where?
        He does look pretty slim here.

      • caranne says:

        He’s in stranger things ? I didn’t notice him, I got to take another look. I was thinking that maybe he lost weight for the story line; guess not.

  5. serena says:

    I can’t wait! I really love this show and every character in it! I have an extreme soft spot for Milo because.. well, he’s always been my crush since Gilmore Girls so, let’s hope he gets to be in all the seasons.

    Ps. Wasn’t Kate pregnant at the end?

  6. Gayla Randall says:

    I cant wait for Tuesday nights – I love this show! One of the best as far as Im concerned.

  7. JeanGenie says:

    I was hoping that Toby would die. Kate is a compelling character, but he’s so damn obnoxious that I fast forward through their scenes.

    • Matador says:

      Co-sign. Toby is beyond obnoxious. Given the way this show works, they’re most certainly going to off *someone* in the season finale. William is far too obvious a candidate, so I am keeping hope alive that Toby’s surgery fails and he croaks.

    • minx says:

      Don’t like Toby either…he’s so hammy and over the top.

  8. NeoCleo says:

    I don’t watch the show but I am getting a real kick out of the skull pants on the bottom photo.

  9. eto says:

    The latest episode was SO ANNOYING to me. Milo’s character going off and making HUGE financial decisions with no input from his wife not once, but twice? I know it was a different social climate, but that does not scream romance for me.

    • browniecakes says:

      How about Rebecca NEVER telling Jack about William? For all those years? Come on.

      • Happy21 says:

        I have to agree with @browniecakes on this one. That was a HUGE no-no by Rebecca, more so than borrowing money and selling his car and going to his dad for money. That being said, it is supposed to be what? 1980? Things were a little different back then for a lot of couples and from what I can see of the show, Rebecca really didn’t have much involvement in their finances (asking if they could afford the 2 bedroom walk up, etc., him working on the bank statements, etc.).

  10. Happy21 says:

    I am not a huge Toby fan but he does grow on me a little more each episode. I saw the joking finally last night as a nervous tick he has, don’t take anything serious, then it’s not real and just make jokes about it. And as far as joking about diet and stuff, he doesn’t want to admit it’s as big of a deal to him as it is. That’s just how I see it.
    I will say my husband this episode kept commenting how annoying he is, etc. But then again when Toby didn’t want the surgery and Kate got mad, my husband was all like ‘what’s her problem?’ He didn’t get it. Men are indeed from Mars :)