The end of Katoby. As This Is Us celebrated its milestone 100th episode on television, they brought viewers along to the future as they dedicated the hour primarily to the conclusion of Kate and Toby’s marriage.
“Filming this episode made me feel physically ill, which I think means we put our all into it… but maybe sometimes our all is not enough,” Chrissy Metz — who plays Kate Pearson on the NBC drama — wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, April 12, alongside promo footage.
“I know you’re getting married in a few hours, congratulations. I just wanted to say, Kate, you know what you said to me the day we signed our divorce papers,” Toby admitted to Kate during an emotional phone call ahead of her second wedding. “I want you to know that I see it now. I’m sorry it took me so long. If only I’d had a crystal ball. If I could have seen the way this all ended up.”
The episode bounced between the present and future timelines to wrap up Katoby’s story — including an impactful final scene where the two coparents attended an early concert of their son Jack’s with their new love interests.
“It’s much like real relationships, whether they’re platonic or romantic. There’s so much build-up and women process things so differently than men,” Metz, 41, told Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired. “Kate has processed so much that Toby didn’t until the end, and in my own relationships, it typically seems to be that way. … It feels that way with Kate and Toby. She’d been feeling this for so long, and they’ve been trying and trying to salvage it and fix it and patch it back together. It’s not easy when you love the person, but you know that you’re not supposed to be with them any longer.”
She added: “That’s the hardest part because it’s so bittersweet because there’s no real anger. If we’ve exhausted all efforts, then what else can you do? But having those processes as individuals, and then finally coming to a head at the mediation and divorce, it’s almost a relief, in a way. It’s incredibly sad, but it’s been such a long time coming.”
Sullivan, for his part, echoed his longtime scene partner’s sentiments while opening up about the emotional toll of filming Kate and Toby’s separation.
“We spent six seasons trying to build this thing. But, ironically, that’s how real-life feels. You spend all this time and energy trying to build something that works and it seems like, all of a sudden, things fall apart,” the Knick alum, 41, told The Hollywood Reporter. “So it’s a bummer of a way to go out. But it’s the portion of human relationship that Chrissy and I have been tasked with communicating back to the audience.”
He added: “The filming of it was exhausting. The number of timelines and the level of the varying emotions that we had to travel through. By the time we were done, I was spent.”
While Tuesday’s episode featured Metz’s first flash-forward appearance, she previously told Us Weekly that she hoped to be able to film in the futuristic timeline.
“I know that I have different wigs for different times, but I don’t know if they’re gonna actually finalize me at a particular age or what’s gonna happen,” the Florida native exclusively told Us in January. “So I’m not sure because sometimes it’s down to the wire. We’re like, ‘Ah, we’re gonna change something.’ But I can’t wait. I would love to see Kate aged up or [in] prosthetics. Jon [Huertas] and Mandy [Moore] go through three-and-a-half hours of prosthetics, and I’m like, ‘I wanna do that.’”
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Scroll below to see how the This Is Us cast and creative team have reacted to the emotional episode: