This Is Us, the biggest freshman hit of the 2015-2016 TV season, is off again this week. The show doesn’t return until Tuesday, January 10 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. However, that isn’t stopping talk about the show’s future. This Is Us left us with a serious question that will hopefully be answered right away because we can’t wait any longer. Is Toby still alive?
As many of us know by know, the mid-season finale, “Last Christmas” ended with Toby (Chris Sullivan) on an operating table after collapsing during the Pearson family Christmas. We heard the heart monitor beeping, but the show cut to the credits before it flat-lined.
Toby’s appearance in the mid-season finale was a surprise in itself. Toby and Kate (Chrissy Metz) had ended their relationship because Kate wanted to focus on losing weight. She didn’t think she could do that while dating someone who wasn’t on a diet. So, Kate broke off their relationship, headed to New Jersey to spend the holidays with the rest of the Pearson family without him. Toby decided that he didn’t care, booking a last-second flight to the East Coast to be with Kate and they quickly reconciled.
In recent interviews, Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby, has done a great job of keeping the future of his character a secret.
“It’s definitely going to keep people on their toes for a few weeks while we take a break,” Sullivan told Entertainment Tonight. “It was shocking. It’s a difficult thing to have to watch your character — who I’ve come to love and enjoy playing — have to go through something like that.”
Sullivan also wouldn’t reveal the character’s fate in an Entertainment Weekly interview. He did say that he knew this was how the first half of the season would end.
“It is a bold and tricky storytelling move that only the writers’ room of This Is Us could handle,” Sullivan told EW. “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.”
In an interview with Deadline, creator Dan Fogelman was surprisingly open about the second half of the season, confirming that there will be more time periods in the future. “We’re taking great care to keep the audience on their toes without making it too abstract or hard to follow,” Fogelman told the site. “So we’re careful how we switch periods and in what order we do so. Thank god for Milo’s malleable facial hair, is all I can say.”
This Is Us will also feature a new face in the second half of the season. Deadline confirmed that Hari Dhillon, who has had roles on Madam Secretary and Law & Order: SVU, will play Randall’s workplace rival.
NBC hasn’t released a plot for the 11th episode of This Is Us yet, but it is titled “The Right Thing to Do.”
CAST: (click the name of each actor to find out more about their character)
Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson
Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson
Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson
Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson
Justin Hartley as Kevin Pearson
Susan Kelechi Warson as Beth, Randall’s wife
Chris Sullivan as Toby, Kate’s boyfriend
Ron Cephas Jones as William Hill, Randall’s biological father